One of the best and worst tools a church has is a sign that can regularly be changed. The reason I say the best and the worst is because of the way that churches choose to use the sign. Ed Stetzer is famous for the various pictures he shares on a blog of church signs and the different sayings that people put on them. When doing a message for the church sign, the question should always be asked, “How does this communicate with someone who does not go to church?”
One of the signs Stetzer shares is “Cross Eyed People have the Best Vision.” As believers we understand what that means, for it is a cute, pithy statement. Most unchurched people, however, will likely have no idea what that means, which can be off-putting for them. Though titles of messages can be very helpful, sometimes sermon titles are not friendly to the outside community.
When you put something on the church sign, think in terms of what would make an impact in someone’s life. Something like, “We love (the name of your community),” or “Jesus/God Loves (Name of your Community),” or even “God loves you.” Furthermore, think of putting events coming in the life of your church. One way to re-engage with the neighborhood is to always have some simple events coming up that will engage the surrounding community. You can also use your church sign to advertise for major community events that would be helpful to people.
For instance, there might be a health fair coming up which will provide some needed free health screenings for people. If you put that on your church sign, think of the positive impact that would make for your church if someone saw that on your sign and got the help they needed.
Humor can also be good but make sure it is humor that makes sense to the outside world. When the Texas Rangers played in the World Series, saying something like, “God does not have a favorite team but the sign guy does, Go Rangers” would communicate that your church has a sense of humor and is keeping up with the events of the world.
If you are blessed to have a digital sign, make sure you do not overload it with too much content, or change it so often that people miss what might be on it. On the other hand, make sure you do change your sign at least every other week or so. This way, people, even in small way, will be reconnecting with your church every time they read what is new on the sign.
The key is to remember your church sign is outside of your building, not on the inside where everyone knows what is going on. Thus, think in terms of what an outsider will think when reading it.