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Church Signs

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In my town, there’s a long, steep hill where the road ends at a three-way stop directly in front of a church.  Written in bold letters on the church were the words, “Prepare to Meet Thy God.”

That’s a pretty intense message to read on a snowy day while driving down that slippery, icy road. 

I used to chuckle at the thought of a car, crashing through the side of the church, right under those words.  (Yes, I have a warped sense of humor)

As a kid, I would imagine a red faced preacher, pounding the pulpit and bellowing those words, spraying those so unfortunate to be sitting in front with spit.

The Pews Are Packed.  Not.

That message isn’t on that church anymore.

Someone told me that they felt it wasn’t very welcoming.   Now the trend for church signs seems to be funny and witty.  “Jesus answers knee mail,” or “This church is prayer-conditioned,” are a couple of cute ones.

I think these cute signs help make church feel more approachable, but some clearly miss the mark.  I’ve seen signs that read, “Eternity; smoking or non-smoking?” or “You may party in hell, but you will be the barbeque.”

How about this one, “Stop, drop and roll doesn’t work in hell.”

Yeah.

Let’s make light of people’s eternal separation from God – brilliant idea.  That’s really bring ‘em in – the pews are packed.  Not.

Atheists Don’t Believe In Hell.  Duh.

I think the people who come up with some of this junk have always been believers – or at least church goers.  They have no idea how an atheist thinks.

But I do, because I was one.

Honestly, it produces a lot of eye rolling (come to think of it – even though I’m now a believer, I still do eye rolling at many of these signs).  Telling an atheist that they will be in hell means nothing, because they don’t believe such a place exists.

I didn’t become a believer because I thought about hell; I became a believer because I needed God in my life.

Here’s an idea.

How about using Scripture on these signs?  I know, I know… that means taking away the one fun thing that church secretaries everywhere get to do each week…but doesn’t it make sense to try and spread the gospel to the community with the gospel and not threats of roasting in hell on a rotisserie?

Why not let people who may not know any Scripture, get little glimpses of it on church signs?

God’s Word Can Be Funny

Scripture can be funny and quirky… how about Genesis 25:30, and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.”

Or Proverbs 21:19, “It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife.”

Try Deuteronomy 14:21, “Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to an alien living in any of your towns and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner…”

Jokes with Scripture…Did you know Alabama is mentioned in the book of Ezekiel?
Ezekiel 20:29 “Then I said to them: What is this high place you go to? It is called Bamah to this day.”

Do you know the disciples had to share a car?
Philippians 2:2 “Make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord…”

So, just an idea from a former atheist – ditch the threats of hell and lighten up with some humor from God’s word.

Yolanda DeLoach (@YolandaDeLoach) is a member of Wesley UMC and through her writing, tries to remind herself to keep life light.  Visit Yolanda at her site – come on over!

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