Have you noticed that you can easily spot popular establishments? Here in the Philippines, you know that there’s a fast food chain ahead because they’ve put up a sign on the major road 1 kilometer away. And as you close in, you’ll see another sign that it’s just 500 meters away. And then you’ll see this tall, large logo of the fast food chain. You’ll never miss it! This also goes to malls, parks, and other establishments. You can actually just ask anyone walking around where’s the establishment is and almost all will be able to pin point the location.
However, I find it weird that it’s totally the opposite for Christian Churches, at least here in the Philippines. If you are on a different country, it might not be the same, but here’s what I observed here in our country.
We spent our new year in my sister-in-law’s house in Laguna (a few hours travel from our place in Bulacan). And since January 1 (2012) fell on Sunday, one question I had in my mind is, what Church are we going to go there? So I went online and found a popular Christian group that has a Church near where my sister-in-law lives. So I checked their contact information and sent them a message asking what time is their worship service for January 1. However, I never got a reply. I also asked my wife to ask her sister if she knew any Christian Church we could go to. She was told that there is a Church near them.
Then came that Sunday morning, me, my wife, son and my wife’s niece prepared to go out to Church. We hired a tricycle to bring us to our destination. To our surprise, the popular Christian Church group I saw online was closed. So we decided to look for a different Church. Not familiar with the area, we just walked to where we came from and tried to look around for Churches. We found one, after almost 30 minutes of walking (however, they also don’t have any worship service that Sunday. It turned out they celebrated new year’s service on their mother Church, no notice though on their front door). On our way to the first Church, we did spotted a few Churches. However, we weren’t able to stop because we’ve only identified it’s a Church after we almost past it cause their Church sign is either too small to read, or it’s just “on” their Church building.
So I wondered, how many people were trying to look for a Church every Sunday but couldn’t find any because either people in the area aren’t aware of the Church or there are little to no signs that there is a Church nearby.
Some people would say that the Church doesn’t need that kind of marketing, cause Church is a Church and not a business. I agree, but isn’t the Church “more” than just a business. Church needs more than just marketing, we “need” to let people know about the Church, and I am referring to the Church building where people can gather.
I think Filipino Churches should use a better way of giving people directions where the Church is located. They can use signage, websites (but please, keep it updated), and other means.
I actually wrote this post back in January, but will only be posting it now.