I have this weird fascination with church marquees - those interchangeable signs strategically placed in front of church buildings. In one sense I'm attracted to them, the same way that I can't look away from the car wreck on the other side of the interstate as I drive by. Like a moth to the flame, I'm helpless to their lure.
On the other hand, I find myself doing a lot of face-palming, either figuratively or literally. And not only because some of them - and you know the ones I'm talking about - express a theology and biblical understanding that has little or nothing to do with the God I know. It's also, in my opinion, the worst kind of advertising.
Because that's what these marquees are, functionally if not intentionally - advertising. A form of outreach and evangelism. I mean, they're right there outside the church's main entrance, in some cases larger than the sign with the church's name on it. Every so often the message changes, thus catching our attention. Everything about them practically screams, "Look at me! This is who we are!" And like it or not, they tell a story about what kind of church lies on the other side.
And I don't get it, honestly, what possesses some churches to tell the stories they do. Maybe they're not intended for public consumption and are meant more for the people inside - in which case perhaps that's where the signs should be. That's they only way I can make sense of it. I mean, who is going to drive past a church with a marquee that essentially tells them they're going to hell and think, Hey, sounds like the place for me!
Like the saying goes: "First impressions are lasting impressions. And frankly, I'm rarely impressed.
My church doesn't have a marquee - a blessing, as I see it. Every now and then, though, I daydream about what it might say if we did. What kind of "advertising," what kind of story would it share? To that end, I've created a few of my own, void of cheesy wordplays and ghastly theology. You can do the same, by the way, HERE if you want. Knock yourselves out. Feel free to add your own marquee slogan in the comments below!
(Note: the following are my own messages and don't necessarily reflect the church I gratefully serve. Don't want anyone to think one person is trying to speak for everyone - the issue with church marquees to begin with).