Church Signs that Wow

There are a ton of images on the Internet filed under the heading, “funny church signs.” Sometimes they are intentionally humorous, and sometimes unintentionally. Generally they are snappy one-liners meant to arrest the attention of passing motorists—preferably not causing a wreck.

Some years back, I decided to reject the whole concept of funny church signs. You may have noticed that we always use scripture verses or portions of verses on our sign.

We’re not trying to be “holier than thou,” but I feel that if we want to communicate in short sentences, it makes more sense to use God’s own words rather than some sentence pulled from 500 Church Sign Messages that Wow.  God’s word is quick and powerful. Why go elsewhere?

What will have a greater impact, the words “Come unto me, all you who are weary” or “Will you be in smoking or non-smoking section of eternity”?  I know that some churches are using pithy portions of the book Jesus Calling, but those are not the words of Jesus. I feel uneasy replacing scripture with even really good, scripture-like thoughts that sound like Jesus might have said them if he’d had the chance.

It hit me as I drove into work today and read the sign for this week. I’m glad that we do that. Someone who drives by our church week after week is getting a steady diet of the Word of God. It may not make for the most rigorous quiet time regimen, but it is powerful and may be the word that pierces the heart for grace to find its mark.

Conquering Our Fears

Pastor Jon Kelly shares a message this week, “Conquering Our Fears,” from Psalm 91:1-4.

Psalm 91:1-4 (ESV)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

God offers protection in fearful times, not a life free from fear.

  • Some fears are from the world.
  • Some fears are from us.
  • Our job is to seek proper refuge.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • What was the scariest movie you’ve seen? What made it scary?
  • When you’re scared, what do you do?
  • Who is the best person to run to when you’re afraid?
  • Write out Psalm 91:1-4 on a paper and put it in your room to remind you who is protecting you.

Gospel Messengers: Getting Personal

Pastor Jay continues the sermon series, Be Encouraged, Brothers. This week’s message is “Gospel Messengers: Getting Personal,” from 1 Thessalonians 2:7-10.

1 Thessalonians 2:7-10 (ESV)

But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers.

Gospel messengers love the people of God.

  • They have gentle concern for God’s people.
  • They are affectionate toward God’s people.
  • They should be hardworking for God’s people and God’s Gospel
  • They should be exemplary to God’s people.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • How would you describe love? Name five things you “love.”
  • Besides family, name a few people you love.
  • Besides Jesus himself, who does he tell us our love should be really obvious towards?
  • Why is it so important we show love for other Christians?

Vetted Messengers: Some Further Expectations

Pastor Jay continues the sermon series, Be Encouraged, Brothers. This week’s message is “Vetted Messengers: Some Further Expectations,” from 1 Thessalonians 2:4-6.

1 Thessalonians 2:4-6 (ESV)

but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.

A gospel messenger ought to be vetted.

  • He will serve as one who knows he will give an account to God.
  • He will serve without ulterior motives.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Think about your best friend. What qualities make a good friend?
  • What could a person do to show they are a friend?
  • As we tell people about Jesus, what qualities to we need to have to show others what we have to say is worth listening to?
  • What’s one thing you could work on this week which would make your good qualities stand out?

Living with Enemies

Pastor Jon Kelly shares a message this week, “Living with Enemies,” from John 15:18-21.

John 15:18-21 (ESV)

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”

Part of following Christ is making enemies.

  • You’re not alone.
  • Don’t compromise.
  • Don’t stop learning.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • When was a time you really embarrassed yourself?
  • Were you ever noticed because you did something you knew was right but others didn’t like?
  • Can you think of a famous Bible character who was made fun of because he/she did what was right?
  • Christ was hated by people though he never sinned. What is one way you could be Christ-like this week, even though it might not be the “cool” thing to do?