Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In Praise of (Readable) Church Signs

So there's this church that shall remain nameless. Said church sits on a rise in a semi-rural area that has seen a whole lot of growth in the past decade. Before then, all the area needed was a two-lane, 45 mph highway. And all the church needed was a weathered, barely readable sign. Shoot, it hardly needed that. Anyone who cared knew the name of the church and the time of the service, because there was only one church of its kind and only one service.

Alas, times change. The two-lane, 45 mph highway became a four-lane plus turn-lane, 55 mph highway, which we all know means it's really a 65 mph highway. But the unreadable-at-any-speed, weathered sign remained in place, forcing someone who was new to the area to search the Internet and the local newspaper and ask everyone she encountered trying to find out when the heck the Sunday service was held. No one seemed to know. So this someone got in her car, drove to the church, turned around after overshooting it because 1) the sign was unreadable and 2) she mistook the church for a doublewide, and pulled in the driveway, magnifying glass in hand, determined to find out the service time. Mission accomplished, but really, it shouldn't have become a mission in the first place.

Unbeknownst to her, since she hadn't been able to attend the church previously, a bitter dispute had been brewing over the very sign that had caused her and other would-be worshippers such anguish. We need a new sign! one faction insisted. But we've always had that sign! another faction protested. This went on for months, as disputes of that nature are wont to do in churches across the land.

And then, the breakthrough. The one incident that settled the argument forever. What was the situation that broke the nearly year-long stalemate? The denomination's regional bishop had been invited to speak at the church, and the bishop could not find the church. Like someone, he overshot it.

Within two weeks, the church sported a wonderfully readable sign.

Someone simply must thank the bishop.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

pretty sad for the leaders of that church to be more concerned about making sure the bishop finds his way more than the lost souls looking for a home. isn't there something in the bile about pride??