Cheesy Church Sign Sayings.
Churches were pros at tweeting before Twitter, or even the Internet, existed. Why? Because it’s pretty tough to fit more than 40 characters on a rectangular church sign with replaceable letters (they’re also called reader boards, but who actually calls them that?). You know the ones I’m talking about—they’re equal parts cheese and good intentions.
You’d think signs such as these would be on their way toward becoming a lost art. But they’re just as prevalent as ever—making people snort and groan all the way from New England to Florida, especially in front of the small, rural, still-has-a-pyramid-steeple church.
I’ve always wondered who came up with the bright idea to ditch announcements or straight Bible verses on church signs and include a little bit of snarky Solomonic wisdom instead. Whoever they were, their tradition lives—on church signs, billboards, and even Facebook statuses.
Several years ago, my home church took this concept to the extreme. When the Hustler Hollywood adult store bought a billboard on a road near the church, we countered with a billboard of our own.
Directly above the Hustler billboard, in 10 billion point font, ours read: “Don’t Get Hustled. Give Your Life to Jesus.”
That’s right. And there were T-shirts, too—bright yellow ones. I’m sure our warning hustled some hustlers right out of their hustlin’ ways.
Billboards aside, my friend and I used to drive past a church with some of the best sign quips of all. One night, the sign-keepers (that title will be engraved on their heavenly crowns) were putting up the letters as we passed, and the saying was particularly bizarre (we can’t remember what it was).
“What?” We said as we both did a double-take to see the other side of the sign, which contained a solitary word: “What” (causing us to exclaim “What?!” again).
Around that time, we started to keep each other posted on all the crazy church signs we saw. And we’ve noticed some pretty… clever ones.
These efforts have made me a church sign aficionado of sorts, so I’ve picked up on a few trends.
There are four main types of these church sign sayings, though some combine more than one of the following:
1. The Guilt Trip
“Go to church, or the devil will get you.”
I saw this lonely sign on the side of the road in Alabama probably ten years ago and still remember it vividly. It even had a cartoon devil—horns and trident included. Though theologically questionable, it sticks with you.
2. The PSA
“Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet Him.”
Because reading that sign while driving is keeping your attention on the road.
3. The Pop Culture Reference
“We were Tebowing before it was cool.”
“Bring your sin to the altar and drop it like it’s hot.”
4. The Just Downright Misleading
“We love hurting people.”
“Don’t let worries kill you. Let the church help.”
“Christmas: Easier to spell than Hanukkah.”
What church signs have grabbed your attention?
For more great writing from Laura, check out her blog at knownrenowned.com.