Word of the Week

Church Signs

On my drive to work each day if I take a particular route, I pass by two unique church signs. Both churches are a part  prominent Mainline denominations. Both churches are in a part of town that commuters pass regularly and next to a Metro stop. The location of both signs speak loudly about what could be done by way of Christian witness in the DC area. But . . .

The first one reads:

"Come to worship on Sundays. Free Coffee. Free Eternal Life. Membership has its benefits."

Though coffee is a very good part of life, putting it in the same sentence as eternal life seems sacrilegious. And, I wonder if I was a non-churchy person, would I come to church just for free coffee? Maybe if I was homeless?  But most working Americans can afford a cup of coffee every now and then (if not everyday), so telling me to come to church for coffee sounds unappealing.

Also, while I am a fan of church membership, equating church membership with my eternal home is not a direct correlation. First of all, I believe that truly only God knows what happens to an individual after death. (It is not my job as a pastor to judge this, sorry if this bothers you). But, even more so, I've known people who attended church for years and have not considered themself a person of faith.

So, free coffee and eternal life and church membership= three words not to be used together on a church sign.

Then, there is the other church I pass. It reads:

"If you are reading this sign, you are not in church. Come in."

While, yes, what this church sign reads is true. If I am reading the sign, I am not in church. (Seems to insult one's intelligence). 

What if I am on my way to church as I drive by (as I usually am)?

What about those who have to work to feed their families during the times that church is traditionally offered?

What about those who have had negative experiences with the institution of church and feel interested in coming back, but feel safer seeking God elsewhere?

Overall, this sign might lead me to believe that this church is not growing (though I am just assuming) so they are using a passive aggressive approach in an effort to increase their visitor traffic.

Though my church could always increase our visitor traffic . . . .

The big news around Washington Plaza this week is that we are getting a new sign board for the front of our church. Just last night, the Reston Association approved our new, updated look of our church sign thanks to the determined efforts of Outreach committee!  (Finally the issue about our color of lettering was solved. Gotta love Reston's rules).

Once it is installed in a couple of weeks, we look forward to using it in ways that encourage our neighbors and publicize our events, but not to spread off-base theology or sayings like "you come or else."

In everything we do, our church hopes to be welcoming and kind to any God brings to our doorstep no matter if they come in our building or not.

If you past by our building and see our sign, let us know how we are doing.