Tuesday, January 19, 2010


It is not too often that I want to just rant about something. This is one of those times and the subject matter is church signs. Have you ever seen those church signs that say things like:
  • Read the Bible - It will Scare the Hell out of You
  • Wal-Mart is not the only saving place
  • Sign Broken - Message Inside
What are we trying to say to a community who has little or no interest in a living God and for the most part does not attend a Bible believing church? Maybe we have not thought about the audience who reads our signs. Let me give you an example. Lets say that John Doe, a non-Christian, is driving down the road and reads the first sign I mentioned (Read the Bible - It will Scare the Hell out of You). What do you think will go through his mind? If he knows nothing of Christianity, maybe he thinks that a person has to be provoked to fear before a person can be helped. He may think that all aspects of God's Word is filled with elements of a haunted house; things that will scare a person into obedience. Is that the foundation of God's Word? Is that the motivator that we want to use to "make" people read God's Word? I don't know about you, but I want people to read the Bible because they "want to" and because they love the Lord. I don't want them to be scared of the Bible or scared to enter into a church.

How about our second example (Wal-Mart is not the only saving place)? What would John Doe think about that sign? Would he link money to membership? Would he even know what it means to be saved? If we remember Bible events correctly then we will remember the Philippian Jailer who asked Paul and Silas "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" [Acts 16:30]. He did not ask them that question because they told him that Wal-Mart was not the only saving place. He asked them that question because he saw Christ in their lives and desired that for his life. I am sure that he knew of the temple and had heard of the the followers of the way but did that change his life? No, it was because of an interaction with those who loved Jesus and were not scared to show it.

How about our third example (Sign Broken - Message Inside)? What would that say to Mr. John Doe? I believe that it would say we are a bunch of liars and are willing to deceive to get people to enter into our doors. If the sign has a message on it, then it is not broken. What are we thinking? Lying and deception is not God's way.

You may be thinking I am a little harsh here but we are wasting a very valuable resource that we have in front of our churches. Do you think that church signs would be better served by inviting our community to connect with a special event at our churches? Lets use our church signs for the glory of our Father in heaven rather than using them for "inside jokes" that only Christians can understand.

In Christ,
Doug Johnson

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