8.19.2009

Church Signs


Of my many work-related responsibilities, one of my least favorite ones is being in charge of changing the message on the church sign we have out front. People who go to church where I do could probably guess that this is something I don’t like doing much, because it gets changed very irregularly.

It’s somewhat of a pain to drag the ladder outside, pull down the old letters, come up with something new to put up, make sure we have enough letters for the new message, pick out and arrange the new letters and put them back up on the sign (which is partially broken and therefore makes the process somewhat more difficult).

Really, though, it’s not that hard to do, and I would probably change it on a (more) regular basis if I was convicted at all that it was important—if changing the sign out front actually did any good or was worthwhile.

Instead, I tend to think that church signs do more harm than good—someone driving by is more likely to be turned off by a hokey saying than they are encouraged by a thoughtful one.

For example, one local church that I drive by regularly recently proclaimed the following message on their marquee:
PRAYING IS BETTER THAN TEXTING
While I agree with this message, I’m not really sure that I would include it in the thoughtful category.

On the other hand, maybe the person who put it up was having trouble coming up with new ideas and decided to embark on an ongoing series. If that’s the case, they may have discovered a gold mine. Just consider the possibilities:
PRAYING IS BETTER THAN FACEBOOK

PRAYING IS BETTER THAN BLOGGING

PRAYING IS BETTER THAN MYSPACE


PRAYING IS BETTER THAN TWEETING
You don’t even have to stay mired in the world of technology, because this is a very versatile theme:
PRAYING IS BETTER THAN VEGETABLES

PRAYING IS BETTER THAN TELEVISION


PRAYING IS BETTER THAN MCDONALD’S


PRAYING IS BETTER THAN READING CHURCH SIGNS
Well, you probably get the idea, and I’ve spent too much time on this anyway. There’s other stuff I need to be doing—like changing our church sign.

4 comments:

Will 8/20/09, 11:45 AM  

You should totally put up the last one, but I doubt that you could find enough letters.

Luke 8/20/09, 8:02 PM  

Will,

Probably not. Besides, considering that the original "Praying is better than…" was put up in close proximity to our building, they’d probably see it and think we were being jerks.

Alex 8/24/09, 4:02 PM  

Though probably a little too quickly, I judge any institution by the condition of its sign, particularly restaurants. [Using an upside-down M for a W is a huge vice.] The way I see it, if you are not considerate enough to create a pleasant, thoughtful sign, should I really consider supporting your institution?

In the case of church signs, hokey sayings are killer. I feel like a solid psalm or proverb is a safe, thoughtful choice.

Luke 8/28/09, 11:09 PM  

Alex,

I completely agree with you, and especially about the upside down Ms. I also hate it when the number 0 is substituted for the letter O, which you can always tell because the numbers are red.

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