My wife and I have noted the pithy sayings on church signs with rolling eyes or winces of pain.
Who is the target audience?
The passage or phrase used is almost always a biblical quote or a 'universal' truth that all 'Christians' know. They seem to think that there will be an unchurched person driving by, read the sign and BAMM! a conversion experience.
I don't think so. If the audiences are non-christians then WHY are they quoting the Bible at them? Why are they beating them over the head with it? I would like to theorize that the church signs are there to impress other Christians with how witty or wise they are and try to get THEM to come join this church. Think about it, usually the sayings will mean little to a non-believer or is insulting to them, therefore, they cannot be the target audience.
Another example; the fish symbols on the back of cars. Who are they talking to?
Are they trying to say, "Hey, we are on the Jesus team and here is the logo to prove it?" Are they trying to say, "HEY, look at my fish, don't you wish you had one too?"
Recently, I have seen several cars sporting multiple fish. Two big ones and two or three little ones, proclaiming to all that there are "Christians on Board". Once again I think they are showing all their friends and other church members just how well they have indoctrinated their own children and are setting themselves up as measuring sticks, convenient for the rest of us to measure against.
I find the practice a little insulting and disingenuous. The truth is probably not displayed there. In fact, if the fourth sibling has not made the long walk down to the front of the church do they put a little black sheep up?
Too often we have attitudes or motivations that are going to do more harm than good in our effort to share our faith. We try to pull folks in off the street or have them follow us to OUR place. We want them to meet us on our home turf, the place where we have all the answers and all the advantages.
We have to change this.
Let's quit putting fish on our cars or witty sayings on our churches. Walk, run or drive to THEIR places and HELP. Listen to the problems, not to fix them, but to just let them know we care. Join with community groups that have no affiliation with church and help them succeed. Be ready to pull over and change that lady's tire, even in a nice suit on the way to an appointment. Help the neighbor baby that dead tree in his yard, not because you think there is any chance the tree will come back, but because you want him or her to know that someone cares and to let them know you will walk with them.