church experience

Everything Speaks

In a meeting this past week someone mentioned the principle that “Everything Speaks.”  The thought behind this statement is that everything beyond just our words communicates a message to the recipient. Think about it in terms of a restaurant.  Before pulling in the parking lot you see the sign and get a feel for whether it is a fancy or casual restaurant often by the design of the sign.  Your experience begins in the parking lot whether it is easy to navigate or cluttered with trash.  Even when walking in you notice the exterior of the building and then whether you are greeted or not when you walk in the door.  That’s just the beginning of the nonverbal messages that are communicated through your dining experience.  Everything speaks!

This phrase has been running through my mind in every experience I have had this week.  Think about it in terms of your church’s weekend experience.  What speaks in your entrance/parking lot?  What does your lobby and worship center communicate?  What are the faces that people see?  Are they warm and welcoming or cold and insincere?  Are the lights bright or dim? Are your seats comfortable?  Do you pass plates or have a box in the back?  Everything communicates something!  We only get 1 shot at first impression and we must remember that everything speaks.

More than any other place that I have considered this principle is on our website (  When it comes to our web platforms we often think about the words that speak or the commentary in videos, but EVERYTHING SPEAKS!  This goes for the colors on our site, the cleanliness of the design and navigation, the location of our Online Giving, the visibility of our Senior Pastor and so much more.  I know what I am intentionally trying to communicate on the site, but I wonder what we might be unintentionally communicating.   Each week we have thousands of visitors to our website and we cannot afford to communicate the wrong message and neither can you.

I encourage your to process this principle this week.  Think about it in every experience you have and then apply it to your ministry environments and web platforms.

I will be eager to hear your thoughts and what speaks to you through this experience.