Home Pastors Articles for Pastors No Parking. No Skateboarding. No Cell Phones. Are You a NO Church?

No Parking. No Skateboarding. No Cell Phones. Are You a NO Church?

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 relax

Don’t worship

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? 

Four things:

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willmancini@churchleaders.com'
Will Mancini emerged from the trenches of local church leadership to found Auxano, a first-of-kind consulting ministry that focuses on vision clarity. As a “clarity evangelist,” Will has served as vision architect for hundreds of churches across the country, including such notable pastors as Chuck Swindoll and Max Lucado. Will holds a Th.M. in Pastoral Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary and has authored Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture and Create Movement; he also co-authored Building Leaders with Aubrey Malphurs.