Most of us who write about church facilities give attention to the importance of guest parking. Some churches, though, still don’t understand why it matters – or they don’t give enough attention to it. Be aware of these guest parking problems our consulting teams have seen in the last several years:
- There isn’t any guest parking. A church without parking for guests is saying to the community, “We don’t give a lot of thought to the possibility of visitors attending.”
- It’s invisible from the parking lot entrances. If you don’t know that guest parking’s available as soon as you enter the lot, why would you look for it?
- It’s too far from main entrances. A long walk is not inviting to a guest. Even a shuttle isn’t the best answer.
- It’s visible when the lot is empty, but not when cars are present. If you want to see if guests will see the parking spots, check out the spots when the lot is fairly full.
- It’s marked only on the pavement. The word “Guest” painted on the asphalt is a good start, but drivers can’t usually see the word until they’re right there.
- The signs are poorly maintained. Upright signage is more visible, but signs that are poorly painted, rusted, or hanging on leaning posts send the wrong message.
- There’s not enough guest parking. This problem is actually a good one to have, but it’s still a problem. Guest parking spaces should illustrate faith – have enough of them to say, “We’re trusting God to bring more people here.”
- Members park there. Our consulting teams have watched as long-term members sometimes park in guest parking. These members might as well say, “I’m sure no guests are coming today.”
- The parking spots are in disrepair. Broken asphalt is not only unattractive, but it might also mean dangerous footing for guests.
- Nothing near the guest parking tells guests where to enter the building. No signage provides direction. No parking lot greeters are there to offer help. The guest has found his parking spot, but he doesn’t know where to go next.
What other issues have you seen?