Most everyone who knows me understands that I highly value churches that employ marketing. Although I have a few friends who eschew the practice, I'm convinced they aren't thinking through it. First of all, everyone uses marketing. Whether it's word of mouth or a $40,000 marketing budget, we all use methods to communicate our message. Beyond that, marketing - in my opinion - is nothing more than using every means available to communicate an important message. In our case we have the greatest message possible, and I want to make it accessible to as many people as possible. While all of the above is true, I have a tremendous problem with church marketing gone bad. Churches are known almost universally for cheesy sayings, pithy comments and ripping off good marketing thoughts and slapping a "Jesus sticker" on it. The lack of originality and conscious effort on behalf of churches annoys me. We should not fear marketing, but we shouldn't do it poorly either. That is why I am such a big fans of those who have a handle on successful church marketing. Two guys that are friends of mine that do an especially effective job are Cory Miller and Chris Forbes.
That said, I will share with you that there is very little that annoys me any more than cheesy church signs. Churches are much better off to avoid signs altogether. They are almost always a mess waiting to happen.
Case in point is the message below that I recently saw on a local church sign. Not only is it a very weak attempt to drum up interest which it almost certainly will fail at doing, but beyond that it's a lie altogether. I guess we give churches permission to lie if it's for a good cause. The end always justifies the means, evidently.