A Letter (if you will)

March 21, 2012

I live in the southeastern U.S. 

When you’re driving down the road you can really tell. Not only are we incredibly flat and chock full of pines/oaks/and scrub brush (I speak for Florida), but we have some common roadside attractions. You can’t really go by many major intersections where you don’t find somebody trying to sell something (beef jerky is very common). You also find a Publix grocery store on most corners. BBQ restaurants are a common (and delicious) site. One may also noticed that they will drive by a huge number of churches.

All the church denominations are represented, but Baptist/Southern Baptist/Church of God are usually the most common.

Many of them share something else in common.

The signs out front.

As a Christian I see what they’re trying to do. Reach out to anybody who just manages to pass by. If you see something funny written (or an attempt at humor) then maybe you’ll think they’re a church full of funny people who will make you feel welcome if you walk in through the doors on Sunday morning. Or maybe you’ll scare people into thinking that they need to consider where they’re going to go when they die.

This is advertising. And I have a problem with advertising church. Not because I think it’s a crime against what God wants for us to do. Advertising isn’t inherently a bad thing. I just think it’s so ineffective that it ends up hurting a church more times than not.

But we live in a culture where advertising is so common place it rarely fails to make any clear impact on people who view it.

Some churches have the mindset of “Let’s reach out to the non-Christians and show them the way.”

This is the group of people that will put up a sign that says, “Live this day as if it were your last.” or “The end is nigh.” (I’ve never seen that last one, but you get my point). This group believes that they will only reach out to people if they point out that they are sinners and should be inside this church getting saved. (Ironically enough there is nobody inside the church at the time you pass this place by because it’s not Sunday or Wednesday, so good luck getting help with that)

The people who put up this sign probably think they are making an impact in the world. They’re not. I think they have the same mindset as the soapbox preacher.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that churches that advertise like this are only reaching out in this way because they didn’t have a congregation member brave enough to stand on the street corner.

It all boils down to the idea of preaching hell fire and brimstone, of which I’m a staunch opponent.

I always thought that the bible tells us to share the gospel to those who don’t believe. The “good news”. Nobody wants to here that they’re going to die and then be tormented for eternity. And they especially don’t want to hear anything about this if they don’t believe it to be true anyway.

What’s the solution? Well I’ll tell you.

Try actually talking to people.

Getting to know them.

Advertising on a sign isn’t the way to spread the Word of God. Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get.

Do good things church. Just go out there and do good things. Lots of them. Not enough to stretch out everybody’s ability to do them. Do enough to make an impact.

Signs on churches should read: “Free dinner every weeknight from 5 – 7 p.m.” or “Food bank open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Everyday.” and maybe “Need somebody to talk to? Somebody is here from 1 – 3 p.m. every day.”

Somebody may actually read that and put themselves in hands and care of a church. Then the church can do exactly what it was ordained to do. Help those in need. Reach out and care.

Like I mentioned above, I have a problem with people advertising church. I don’t have a problem with people advertising what a church can do to help you out. It’s advertising a real service the church is providing for the community around it. Something anybody could be interested in, even if they don’t believe. Even if they’ve already been burned by a church before.

Now all we have to do is make sure churches are healthy enough on the inside so they can be capable of doing these things to edify the Church….

I’m done ranting,

D.A.

P.S. – I probably misspelled “churches” every time I tried spelling it. Today I learned that I have a problem of putting “r’s” before “u’s”.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “A Letter (if you will)”


  1. Can you imagine how world-changing it would be if churches took your advice? I can.

  2. Alba Says:

    You’re awesome. I completely agree with this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: