Our first installment is about stupid church signs. Over the past week or so I have noticed while driving around town several church signs that agitated me. These signs were attempting to be cute or creative. They were placed in order to get attention no doubt. Yet, in my opinion, they trivialize the church, the gospel, or both. Here is a sampling of what I saw.
1) Church Doesn't Suck
2) This Sunday: Forgiveness - The Real "F" Word
3) This Sunday: Sponge Bob Squeeze Play
I think church signs are great tools. We have a nice digital one at our church. They enable you to put a message out in public that potentially thousands of people will see each day. They allow you to inform the community about important events. I have nothing against church signs.
However, church signs can also display messages that detract from the gospel and the church. The signs above certainly grab one's attention. Yet, one has to wonder what Sponge Bob has to do with the eternal realities of the gospel. Using language like "the real F word" tends to take one's mind in directions other than forgiveness. Common street slang doesn't really give the impression that the church is very dignified or serious in its communication with the community.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not against creativity. I'm not against playful language that draws an audience into a discussion. I'm just against trivial language. Church is not a game. The gospel is not a sound bite. Salvation is not a sit-com. We can be compelling without being silly. In fact, you cannot be one and the other at the same time.
How about putting some Scripture on your church sign? I still believe the Word of God is sharp and living and powerful to penetrate minds and hearts. Instead of some silly slogan that makes people think you've been watching cartoon network instead of preparing your sermon, or worse, you've been watching cartoon network for preparing your sermon, put something out to the public that will make them think about the gospel.
Secular society is already doing all it can to marginalize the gospel and the church. Let's not help them by being crass or silly in our communications - including our signs.