In your mind, when does the sermon begin?
If you said “The parking lot,” I think you’re dead on. While we as pastors might prepare all week to communicate a message with passion and energy, if our audience is frustrated, annoyed, or just confused before the enter the building, we are working out of a deficit.
We should consider it a given that families will argue on the way to church. They most likely left late. A child will be wearing mismatched shoes. And a parent will yell at some point. In many ways, the odds are stacked against us before they are even with us. But we have the potential to create a better experience the minute they drive on our property if we will just plan ahead.
At Watermarke Church, our parking lot is one of our biggest challenges. We currently meet in a school, so parking around the building is scarce. To help make room for our cars, we lease and shuttle attendees in from two satellite parking lots. But while we could look at our parking situation as a negative, our team has decided to make it part of the Watermarke experience. I think you can do the same – regardless of your circumstance.