Where there are churches, there are church signs. While commuting or visiting a town or a city, you’ll come across all kinds of signs that churches put up in front of their buildings. Over the years, the quality of church signs have evolved a lot. Today, you’ll see high resolution outdoor LED signs that have allowed churches to move beyond words and attract people visually.
These signs don’t only enable churches to communicate a message to visitors, but they also help them stand out.
The history of commercial signs goes back to the period of Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. The need for putting up signs became unavoidable as commerce began to expand. In the year 1389, King Richard III of England formulated a law according to which any business that sold ale must place a sign outside its establishment. Church signs too are at least as old as these.
During the mid 1800s, use of church signs was quite common. In those days, most church signs also included the pastor’s name.
It is believed that a church sign with its pastor’s name was quite effective at drawing in localized prospective following. People looked at the pastor as the go-to guy for guidance in both domestic and spiritual matters. This also indicates a high level of reverence for pastors.
Initially, church signs used only images. As years passed, images were coupled with text to make greater impact. In terms of materials too, churches have many more options at their disposal today than ever.
Importance (or Meaning)
Though different church signs convey different messages, the goal is to attract the attention of locals and passersby.
Church signs serve many purposes including:
- Inspiring people
- Encouraging participation and memberships
- Announcing services and timings
- Promoting other events
Churches too need to grow. They always invite soul-searching passersby to join in and improve their spiritual lives. Today’s church signs are more creative and meaningful. Many of these messages may even appear somewhat strange or alien to those who are not regular churchgoers.
Funny Church Signs
Many church signs are funnier than you can imagine. A church tour will bring you closer to the humorous world of church signs. The book Church Signs Across America (published by Overlook Press) presents a collections of images from around 50 states, many of which will make you laugh.
Forbidden fruit create many jams.
I kissed a girl and I liked it, and then I went to hell.
God expects spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
I hate this church. ~ Satan
Walmart isn’t the only saving place.
If you would shut up, you could hear God’s voice.
There’s no A/C in hell, either.
What happens in Vegas is forgiven here.
Our church is like fudge, sweet with a few nuts.
Every church seems to have come up with their own catch phrase to stand out. Sometimes, church signs aim to inspire people to join in. Other times, they just want you to have a good laugh.
Want to learn more about signs? Check out our post about construction signs.