Sunday, January 28, 2007

CH CH - what's missing?

In a quest to be more relevant, the church has become cute. If you’re like me, you’ve noticed this firsthand every time you drive by a church marquee. I’m not really a marketing expert (but I do play one on TV) so I am not sure what right I have to take this stance. In fact, I don’t even work in a church, which is strike two against me.

But if I, as a Christian, am turned off when I read a “clever” marquee, how do non-Christians view these attempts to bring more sheep into the fold? I mean, just this evening I drove by a glowing church sign that read, “Let’s Start the New Year Together – God”. As if the limitless Lord of the Universe, who holds all knowledge in his fingertips, and cannot be bound by our microscopic understanding of linear time, is making a new year’s resolution. I understand what they’re saying, I just get the idea from that statement that God has to go out and get a new Far Side desk calendar and promise himself to give up cheesecake. I also struggle putting cute words in God’s mouth. No matter what they are. Some of my other favorite “evangelistic tools” include “Kneel or No Deal” and “Call 911 – this Church is on Fire!”

Again, I don’t think I know exactly what to do with the marquee problem, but I do have a few recommendations:
1. Put your service times on the marquee. It is practical.
2. List current gas prices.
3. “Free Wi-Fi.” Digeratis love free wi-fi.
4. “2nd Avenue Church: we proudly brew Starbucks”. Who doesn’t love coffee? And as long as it is in a Starbucks cup, no one will know that it is Folgers.
5. Leave it blank and simply try loving people.
6. If all else fails, go with a classic. “Sign Broken, Come Inside for Message”.

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