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random poll

So what do you think about random cheesy church signs?

For example... these.

I for one, think they are tacky. I also think that they do very little as far as evangelism goes. They are often fairly offensive to non-Christians. I think that most of the time they are so cheesy that they aren't even funny.

I ask this question because it was a heated debate in staff meeting this morning that I stuck my foot into. For the most part, I keep my mouth shut when I'm upset about decisions the rest of the staff make because technically I'm not church staff (this issue is strange and debateable). So we're talking about new signs, a marquee maybe... fine. I was squirming a bit, Tracy told me I should speak up, but my only concern with that is that they are expensive, somewhat tacky and we really aren't in a prime location for one.

Then it began... should we put witty (*ahem* cheesy) phrases on our church sign we have now? Something like "If you think its hot here...." And I busted in. I have been in plenty of situations with friends in cars that pass churches like that and are utterly disgusted. Non-Christians don't get it and probably won't set foot in the church if you throw one of those up there. I got some "But all I've ever heard is positive things about signs like that." kind of answers. What did I want to retort? "ARE YOU EVEN FRIENDS WITH ANY NON-CHRISTIANS?" or something like, "Do you know anyone under the age of 30 that isn't me?"

I was boiling by that point. I took some time to share those concerns with my boss and our Christian Ed director because I was really at an all time high for being upset after staff. I guess in a lot of ways I feel like I wasn't heard in the setting at all. I've already had other feedback in the same setting that pretty much indicated to me that people under 30 who are maybe not in a place to give exorbitant amounts financially don't really matter. It frustrates me to no end. I am so dedicated to the UMC and so dedicated to what I do and what I believe but these frustrations are really getting the better of me.

I'm in this place where I'm really trying to discern my call to ministry and what I want to be and what I want to stand for, and having interactions like this makes me want to run from ministry altogether. Evangelism cannot be done effectively by putting a clever (*ahem* cheesy) sign up. Evangelism cannot (normally) be done by witnessing to someone unsuspectingly in the philosophy aisle of your local bookstore. Evangelism is something that I see done by engaging in friendships. By showing people that Christ is alive and good and doing amazing things. I don't want evangelism to be a "dirty" word anymore. I want to reclaim it and truly share what it is that I am all about. But in times like these, it becomes difficult. I don't want to be a part of a community that can be condemning, even when it is done in humor.

I've gone through application after application this week. We've had all sorts of interesting people apply to our program this time around. People who are broken, people who have situations that are completely out of their control. People who struggle to live day to day, who struggle to feed their children. We're missing the point when all we want to do to engage people and bring them in the door is to put some snarky (*ahem* cheestastic) saying on our sign. We need to be engaging the least and the lost, and more importantly loving them. Isn't that what life is all about? Isn't that what Jesus called us to?
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3 Comments:

What a post! You are so right and i do understand your frustration which is all the more to reason to help us older people to understand!

By Anonymous Dad, at 6:27 AM  

*shudder* I hate those church signs!

Now if they were actually snarky, i might like them ;-)

By Blogger CSDL, at 9:37 AM  

YOU KNOW I'm proud of you. Shake 'em up! This was really the point of my earlier email---I understand the importance of the weeding out program and the need to earn your stripes, but it seems that the slow ordination process also fosters a disconnect with the under thirty crowd. Hang in there, Jesus did some of His best work when He was pissed.

By Blogger Kel aka Daddyo, at 7:38 PM  

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