Apr 1, 2013

Why You Should Have the Worst Parking Spot at Church

Where do you park at church?

I've seen churches who reserve the best parking for the pastor and staff.  Here's a "real life" example.

But I think the opposite should happen.  I believe staff should park in the worst parking and save the best parking for guests.

Guests decide if they are going to return in the first 8 minutes.  Do you want them to spend the first 8 minutes trying to find a parking spot and then having to walk all the way across the parking lot?

Think for a moment how nice it is to find a great parking spot at Wal-Mart, Target, or the mall.  You enter the crowded, busy parking lot with thousands of cars stretched across miles of parking lot...(okay...maybe it's not that big...but it feels like it).  And just when you think you'll have to park far away, suddenly a spot opens up right in the front.  You hurriedly grab it, hoping no one else will beat you to it.  And when you pull in...you feel great.  Blessed.  Privileged.

Don't you want your guests feeling like that when they walk in your doors for the very first time?  Are you willing to save the best parking spots to see this happen?  Are you willing to park in the worst parking spot to see it happen?


I agree whole-heartedly with your post. I generally park a distance from the door to allow the better spots for members and guests. People often wondered why I did that and as I explained it, they began to understand and others began to do the same.

Now I park on the street. While it is the "closest" spot to the church, people do not think about parking there because we have a parking lot that guests will naturally drawn to to park.

I would never want a "reserved" spot for me close to the building.

At the church where I was on staff, it was an "order" to not park closest to the office doors during the week, and to sacrifice the good parking on the weekends.

It's a great way to serve humbly.

Would you mind emailing me where you got the "8 minute" fact. I've been looking for something like that. I know in child care we said people would form their opinion of your program within 10 seconds of driving into your parking lot.

My email is ljacobs@dc4k.org

I wouldn't say it is a fact, it's more of a theory. George Barna first quoted in the early 90's that people decide in the first 10 minutes. Many believe with ever decreasing attention spans and consumerism mentality,that it is now 4-8 minutes.

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