Almost without exception, churches somewhere utilize negative messaging for very practical reasons. After all, someone parking in the wrong spot can create havoc. So it’s quite natural to put up a sign that says, “No Parking Along Curb.”
But is that the only way to get the intended result?
The question is worth asking because studies show the impact of negative verses positive messaging on the brain.
Negative messaging narrows your thought activity and focuses on actions related to the message.
Positive messages, on the other hand, broaden your thinking and create openness.
(More on this topic, from The Science of Positive Thinking.)
So the big question is what kind of brain patterns do you want to create for people as they enter your church and prepare to worship the all-powerful and all-present living God and creator of the universe?
Let’s play this out for a guest coming to your church. What happens when they hit a cascade of messages like these:
- No parking
- Do not enter
- For church members only
- No skateboarding
- No rollerblading
- No bicycles
- No scooters
- No food or drink allowed
- No talking
- No trespassing
- No running
- No mobile phones
- No signs allowed
- No posters
- No advertising
- No parking along the curb
Essentially, you create what we call the “No Church” church dynamic.
Enough negative messaging and you might as well be saying …
Don’t come here
Don’t find God
Sounds laughable, doesn’t it?
It wouldn’t if you could feel the influence of multi-stages of negative messaging from the perspective of someone totally new to church.
What can you do about this dilemma?