Archives for posts with tag: church signage

We have officially launched our new community here in San Diego: United Presbyterian Church!

Personally, it has been a tumultuous past several months — lots of soul searching, seeking after God and wrestling with some tough questions. In many ways, the struggle still continues — but I’m hoping that just as art is often born of pain, something beautiful could arise from this difficult season.

While we embrace our roots as the English Ministry of Korean United Presbyterian Church, we dream of becoming a missional people who are united with Jesus as individuals and as a diverse community, and to God’s purposes in the world.

If you are in the San Diego area, we invite you to come join what God is doing here at United!

Our website is still in a sort of beta-ish mode, but you can take a peek over at sdunited.org. Below is a graphic I designed to capture the heart of where we think God is leading us.

Today I saw what looked like a father-and-son duo standing on a street corner holding up large signs that said, “Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life” and “Believe in Jesus.” They weren’t yelling or screaming, just holding up their signs for drivers to see. In fact, the teenager looked like he was kind of trying to hide behind the sign. No heavy-duty “turn or burn” messages… and certainly no mixing of gospel and empire, as depicted to the left. It takes some seriously willful ignorance not to realize the crazy ridiculousness of holding up a sign that says “Trust Jesus” along with clipart (or is it some crazy fundie dingbat that I haven’t seen yet?) of a handgun, tank, and anti-aircraft missiles. And is that a dude high-kicking in the upper left-hand corner?

Other than their theology, missiology, and methodology, the thing that drives me nuts about these kinds of signs are the fonts people use to promote their message — usually something clunky like Impact or Varsity (for that eschatological rah-rah flair). While I might not be as upset as some people are about certain fonts (Comic Sans, in particular), I believe that fonts matter. And not only to us font-nerds, but for legibility, to convey a particular ethos or vibe, and maybe even to get better grades.

It’s time to upgrade to “Repent 2.0” signs.

I can just see the people who put together this billboard hi-fiving each other for thinking so far outside the box.  I don’t know if all church marketing sucks (actually, it’s a pretty great site), but it is certainly responsible for more than its share of groaners like this one.

Sometimes I will watch the late-night music video shows on the Christian television stations — partly because I am mean and snarky, but partly out of sheer fascination.  The hosts, who are tirelessly sincere, will often roll out a video with phrases like, “Check out these fresh tunes from hip-hopper John Reuben.”  Sometimes I worry about coming across as an over-eager dorky poseur to my youth group students.  Actually, I don’t worry that much about being dorky (it’s kind of a given), but there’s nothing creepier than some old dude trying to be “down,” usually using phrases that are at least five or ten years behind the times.  Despite the fact that I am inordinately slangy, I purposely try not to come off in this way when I relate to members of my youth group.  In the end, I think most students would rather have a reliable dork in their lives than some flaky hipster.

there’s a church down the street that has displayed the following message on their placard for the past couple of months: “new sermon series – the book of revelation: your future” … now, i know i’m picking a couple of easy targets here (i.e., church signs and “left behind” eschatology) but i see the sign all the time, and i always think the same thing:

first, i think, “how can it still be a new series after all this time?” which is then followed by a mild depression. it’s like when i rented the omega code from blockbuster because i was feeling smarmy and ironic. after watching it, though, i felt guilty and sad. guilty, because i was mocking other believers and sad, because of how so many people treat the bible as if it were some kind of sudoku puzzle that, upon being solved, would magically lay out the blueprint for the future…

i know how hard it can be to discern God’s will. our family is right in the middle of a huge transition, and things are very muddled. our church has gone through some outrageous things over the last couple of years, we’ve struggled with our sense of calling, and we’re moving on to where we believe (hope) God is leading us. but i think things would be a whole lot worse if God hid His plans for us in a cosmic game of hide and seek. when i’m being honest, it’s me who plays games with God, not the other way around. rationalizing, hiding, venting, pouting… that’s on me, not on Him.

i want to have confidence in God, even when i can’t see clearly. i’m not there yet, but that’s where i want to be – relying on our God of hope who redeems.