November 29 2021
5 min read
Has anyone lately advised you to install a few TVs or digital screens at your church premises? Or, have you seen another church playing welcome messages on bright HD displays and thought, “well, this is a nice way to communicate with the people”?
If that is the case and you are wondering whether you should replace your static signboards with electronic ones, let me tell you, you have landed in the right place.
In this blog, we will discuss:
Churches and signboards have a century-old association. From wooden frames with meticulously carved-out letters in the early 20th century to bright LED boards in the 21st century— church signs have evolved in tandem with the evolution of signage technology in general.
In recent years, the evolution has progressed towards digital signs that comprise sophisticated screens managed by software systems. As far as the screens are concerned, churches can use commercial displays or existing TV screens to display their messages.
Therefore, while setting up a digital church sign, the only thing that needs purchasing is the church display software that will deliver your messages on screen.
Often the idea is propagated that churches need to enter the digital ecosystem to ‘modernize’ their premises, in a sense that it will make the places of worship ‘look’ much better.
The truth is, ‘look’ is just a by-product. There are several functional benefits of using digital signs in churches. Here are some compelling reasons for churches to embrace digital display boards:
Static signage have limitations that digital signs don't have
Can you make the printed Santa Claus on your Christmas flyer jump into life and delight the young church-goers? Of course not! But on a digital display, the fun idea of an animated Santa Claus is easily conceivable.
Digital signage is dynamic; there can be images, audio & videos, moving texts, slideshows— all that add up to a memorable experience.
Another limitation of static medium is that there is no way to undo a mistake. Typing errors are common with printed pamphlets. And one mistake replicated on hundreds of copies can also cost you dearly. But you can always edit soft-copies on digital media.
Visibility Increases Dramatically
Bright screens are impossible to ignore, even from a distance. Firstly, it helps new visitors to identify the church’s location. And secondly, people actually stop and read the church signs as the messages are presented with vivid colors, graphics, and animations.
Helps Reduce the Environmental Burden
According to the University of Southern Indiana, nearly a billion trees worth of paper is thrown away each year in the United States alone. A paper pamphlet has a very short lifespan before it lands inside a waste bin. Digital screens, on the other hand, are essentially reusable.
Impromptu Communication becomes Possible
Printing handbills and flyers can take up to a week or more. Therefore, everything has to be pre-planned.
But, what if there is an emergency announcement? A digital signage content management software allows organizations to publish any content on the fly. It reduces the week’s time to a couple of minutes.
Whether you place it indoor or outdoor, your church sign can function as a digital bulletin board where you can post church timings, church ideologies, dos & don’ts within the church premises, contact numbers to the church offices, meeting agendas, etc.
Like any other organization, churches also need full-time staff, part-time staff, and volunteers. When outdoor digital signs are used to announce these vacancies, they can reach a far wider audience.
Churches host events throughout the year- weddings, special masses, picnics, exhibitions, and so on. Showing upcoming events, itineraries, event planning teams, highlights- all add up to a fresh, delightful church-going experience.
Digital signs for churches can be interactive as well. Modern youths are attracted to self-service. Churches can leverage digital interaction to foster religious learning among young visitors. For example, a simple interactive information kiosk or an attractive video wall inside the church premises can offer thousands of ebooks, information bulletins, hymns & prayers, fun games & quizzes, digital photo albums, 360º virtual tours of sacred places of the world, and much more. Church-goers can browse these resources at their own pace. This blends religious learning and enjoyment to improve the overall church experience.
To gain more volunteer support, especially from the young Millennials, churches can use digital signage to showcase their charitable works such as tree plantation, relief donation, and other community-building activities.
It is not uncommon to see religious institutions struggle for fundraising. Digital signs can prove to be vital for churches as far as fundraising campaigns go. For example, if you are raising donations for someone’s medical treatment, you can play a short documentary of their struggle. Real-life videos hold much more gravity than a simple text message that goes: “please donate to us for so-and-so cause.”
Besides this, churches can also use digital screens to thank donors with personalized messages, donor spotlights, and praises.
There are scores of Christian website RSS feeds that share inspirational stories, fresh perspectives on theology, discussions on Christian culture, etc. Churches can stream these RSS feeds on their indoor displays for the congregation to see and engage.
Advertising church produces on outdoor digital signage can help to generate additional funds. It can attract the attention of tourists who are eager to purchase souvenirs. At the same time, it saves the Church administration the costly expenses of promoting their merchandise on third-party signboards.
Our world has entered the age of bitcoins and digital wallets. Nowadays, people seldom use paper money for even basic transactions. Churches can also participate in this cashless economy. By adding a simple QR code on their digital screens, churches can let visitors make online donations and pay with their digital wallets for product purchases.
Churches can stream church sermons, religious conferences, the Pope’s homily, Christmas carols, and all kinds of live events on outdoor digital signs. It is a fantastic way to encourage even non-believers to participate in a meaningful discussion. Besides, it is surprisingly easy to play live content from any platform (website, social media) on a digital screen. For example, the Pickcel Streaming app can play real-time content from any web URL. It’s a simple copy-and-paste method.
Scrolling tickers are easy to implement, and they are very useful to relay internal news such as church meeting outcomes, daily reminders, motivational quotes, sermon notes, etc. These scrolling texts do not occupy much screen space and can be played alongside multiple other contents on the screen.
The modern digital signs have a multi-pronged value for churches. They don’t serve a single purpose; they serve many.
At its core, the church is an organization that works towards a set of goals. It requires daily maintenance, upkeep, community engagement, and participation. Technology makes these day-to-day functions faster and easier.
The result is a rapid progress towards achieving the set goals.
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