I know we’ve all witnessed annoying church signs. I’ve found myself greatly irritated by the sometimes hate-filled messages that fill church signs throughout modern civilization.
Sometimes the messages are just cheesy (which is just as offensive as the “turn or burn” and “god hates you” messages), like, “What’s missing from our ch_ _ch? UR. I’m sure that whoever comes up with these messages thought it was cute…but, it’s not. Instead, it just communicates how out-of-touch with reality the author is.
And, let me be honest, I’m sure my church has been guilty of our fair share of cheesy and offensive church sign messages…so I’m speaking to myself here as well. I need to better utilize my influence as one of the pastors on staff to protect our church sign from these offenses.
To make matters worse, they sell books devoted to the subject…and not all of them are making fun of the sophomoric statements. Some of them are just adding fuel to the fire. If your pastor owns one of these books and doesn’t use it as a source of comic relief, you might want to begin praying that he or she will see the light and find freedom from the slavery of sin that is contained in church sign messages.
There is one particular church that I drive by on a regular basis that has messages that make me want to call them and ask for an explanation. The other day I drove by and the sign read, “We use the KJV…God’s True Word!” I wanted to call and ask them what was the motivation. Do they truly believe that other translations are invalid and somehow not God’s true word? Other times their messages focus on abortion, homosexuality, and other hot topics. But, there is never a word of hope, love, or grace. The word is always about hell-fire and damnation. So much for “Jesus loves you!”
This church has also had the ever-so-popular “How do you want your eternity? Regular or Extra Crispy?” Really? Is this the best you can come up with? All that does is make me want to drive straight to KFC and indulge in the sin of gluttony. It never motivates me to think about issues involving the eternal consequences of my earthly choices.
Well, today I drove by a church sign that contained a message that wasn’t exactly offensive, but rather irrelevant (which, again, is sort of offensive). Generally, the motivation behind these church signs is to catch the attention of those driving by…somehow drawing them into the church. So, one should put together a sign that would draw the attention of the non-church-goer. The sign I saw today simply said, “Laborers needed for God’s harvest.”
Okay, so, I believe they are trying to play off the rising unemployment rate and the high numbers of people in our community looking for work. And, given that many farmers are in the midst of the harvest season I’m sure they believed this sign was culturally relevant. They utilized the Scripture from Matthew 9 which says that, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” It’s a biblically sound statement. I agree, God does need some workers to rise up.
But, my question is this…will that sign (or any church sign) draw people into the church? Will someone who does not believe in Jesus or go to church drive by, read this message and say, “Well, I do need a job. I guess I’ll go to church and take part in this harvest?”
It’s my desire that churches around the nation would just stop it with the stupid, catch-phrase, judgmental, Christianese church signs. How about just putting up the times of your worship services and something along the lines of “all are welcome” on the sign? Of course, then our churches would have to create an environment in which all truly are welcome (which is an entirely different subject matter).
Okay, so maybe it’s a lack of sleep…not enough coffee…or just a swelling of self-righteousness that has motivated this rant. But, seriously, enough with the stupid church signs already.