Instead, God gently moved in on me, seemed to sit beside me and softly spoke. Suddenly, I realized that he and I were in the same place at the same time. I learned, through relationship with others, that he had a genuine interest in my life and wanted in. I said yes to God and took those first wobbly steps of faith.
Are we really trying to reach out to those who are far from God? If the answer is "Yes," we need to speak the words that others understand and will respond to positively. Our audience is comprised of moms and dads, children and grandparents, friends and neighbors. They are overworked, tired and stretched to the limits emotionally, mentally and financially. They laugh too little and worry too much. They are searching for something meaningful in their lives and often look in the wrong places. And, once in a while, they timidly walk through the doors of our churches.
If we insist on using catch phrases to attract our community, perhaps we should run the quote-of-the-week by our unchurched friends before placing them on a sign. Ironically, we may need to have others tell us the truth about the Truth we're trying to share. Filtering language through those who will be honest with us might keep us from displaying critical or silly phrases about God to the community. And, it might result in an interesting one-on-one conversation about the most powerful words of all.
We have an incredible opportunity to invite people on a journey of faith. As for church marquee signs, perhaps we simply need to say, Sunday Services: 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. All Welcome!
With God's spirit, those words might be more than enough.