Signs minister to public

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Signs are everywhere and come in all shapes and sizes serving as an important visual communication tool to create a message for a specific audience. 

They are so ubiquitous even the group Five Man Electrical Band debuted the song “Signs, Signs Everywhere A Sign” in the 1970 album “Good-byes and Butterflies.” Comedian Bill Engvall is noted for his tagline of “Here’s Your Sign” and released an album using the phrase as a title.

Signs can be as small as a street sign or as large as a mural and styles range from banners, billboards, sandwich boards, yard signs and even automobile window decals. They may be printed or electronic with digital display to get out a message.

Church signs are used in various different ways to teach about the Bible, remind the readers about God or simply to invite the general population to church services.

Ray Schollenbruch, assistant pastor at the Martinsville Bible Church, oversees changing the sign located in front of the large church.

“Really, I just pick Bible verses and different scriptures that pertain to the season or what the congregation is focusing on,” said Schollenbruch. The sign currently has two verses, one on each side, that are significant to the congregation’s lessons.

“I chose these particular two because this month Pastor Dave (Wilson) is preaching the message about what the cross means for Christ, for Jesus and for us leading up to Easter Sunday,” he said. 

One side of the sign reads, “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient,” while the other side reads, “To the point of death, even death on a cross.”

He said he changes the sign often and has received help from members of the congregation in the past to display messages. He noted last year when the congregation was practicing memorizing verses he displayed the specific verses on the sign as another review and reminder.

“Some churches do catchy sayings and phrases, but I prefer verses,” Schollenbruch stated. 

The sign at the First Baptist Church in Ashmore shows the Bible verse John 19:19-20. It reads, “Religion says ‘do.’ Jesus said ‘Done.’

However, secretary Amy Perie of the First Christian Church in Casey prefers light-hearted sayings she finds on the Internet.

“I often use Pinterest or Google certain topics,” said Perie, noting the sign messages are usually related to the season or upcoming events. 

She explained she has a Pinterest board specifically for signs that she likes. 

Pinterest is a mobile application company that operates a software system designed to discover information on the web, mainly using images and on a shorter scale, GIFs and videos. Users can pin information to boards specifically designed by the user.

Perie said at back-to-school time she displayed a message about kindness. Currently, the sign’s message is based on her search for a catching Easter-themed message. It reads, “The Shape of true love isn’t a heart. It is a cross.” She said her next sign message will more than likely be based around spring.

A catching phrase is displayed at the Kansas United Methodist Church. The signs says, “Reach out in love, blessings from above.” 

While the Bell Ridge Christian Church current sign message focuses on marriage. It reads, “Marriage combine your hearts into one.” 

A simple sign at the Ashmore United Presbyterian Church simply invites people to worship service, “All are welcome,” reads the white sign with dark letters. 

The straightforward sign at the Clarksville Baptist Church provides the Sunday and Wednesday church service information.

Both Schollenbruch and Perie agree the signs are significant in reaching out to the congregation and the general public, while spreading important faith-based messages. 

“The sign does have importance,” said Schollenbruch. “I do believe the word of God is powerful, alive and active. The sign displays more than the word in an actual book, and I believe the sign is effective to change hearts and minds of some.”

He regards the sign as a useful tool for arousing people’s curiosity about the Bible and hopefully brings them into the church.  

Echoing his sentiments, Perie said, “I do believe the church sign has an important function. I feel like it is something where if passerbys or the public don’t attend a church, the sign is something for them to think about that is inspirational or based on the Bible. Even if they don’t come to church by reading our sign, they pick something that is church based and inspirational.”

“Hopefully, our sign has the capabilities to bring some people in the church and more importantly to the word of God,” Schollenbruch concluded.