Last night Laura and I hung out with some friends who live several miles outside of Raleigh. We were hoping to find a grocery store to bring some food, and while we drove for 45 minutes before finding one, we did come across several rural churches. Most of those churches had a sign out front - the type of sign that allows one to spell out a custom message.
I kid you not, we honestly saw the following 3 church signs, right in a row.
1. SOULED OUT - What does this mean? If it is referring to being sold out, does that mean the church has no more room for souls? If you take it literally, does it mean that the church's souls are out, that they have no more soul? I think the church probably meant they are souled out for Jesus, but it did not say that and I am not sure what that means either.
2. BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR: GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS - This is a terrible attempt to be witty. If I passed that sign and was in desperate need of a lung or other organ transplant, I would be extremely offended.
3. ALL IS WELCOME - On the one hand, this could just be a poor use of English grammar. If this is the case, you should never be in charge of a church sign if you do not have a basic grasp of the English language. On the other hand, "all" can be used in the singular sense if it is referring to a specific group. In this case, the church is communicating: "Everyone is not welcome, only all of one specific group (which we are not identifying) is welcome." Either way, it is a bad sign.
What compels churches to have these signs? Who takes the time to come up with the "clever" sayings? Has this ever been an effective means of doing anything positive? I think that all these cheesy church signs manage to accomplish is provide people with reasons for avoiding church.
Before I add this to my list, I found this cool website where you can make your own church sign. Check it out here. You can have a lot of fun with this website!
Here is the current list:
1. Wearing a cell phone on your hip
2. The idea that a nice smile is the "normal" way to pose for a photograph
3. People who cut to the front of a traffic back-up when they know they need to get over
4. Local TV Newspeople
5. Confirmational Reactionist
6. Wearing a blue tooth headset as a fashion accessory
7. Putting Bullethole stickers on your car
8. Placing a fake baseball on your car that gives the allusion that it has shattered your window
9. People who litter
11. Bumper stickers
12. Cheesy Church Signs