I stopped off at a shopping plaza yesterday, one I had been too many times before, and was, for some reason, struck by the sign above this store front. So simple and to the point: Boxes. You know what the store sells. It must be the plaza's owners that have this sense of simplicity, for there was also a sign above a other store front that with simple eloquence said "Barber" and yet another with "Pizza". I love it, one knows exactly what they are getting when entering those shops. Put that in contrast to Best Buy or Target, the name does not really help us undertand what's going on inside, but rather rely on serious branding and marketing.
As someone who has grown up in a Presbyterian church, having a sign outside a place of worship that says "First Presbyterian Church" can seem just as simple, but the reality is that for the unchurched, they can be just as unknown as someone unfamiliar with Best Buy or Target's marketing (although I acknowledge the fantastiful nature of such an idea given both company's fairly global brand saturation).
Even those in the pews can't always easily define what Presbyterian means, or even what church means. Yes they can probably define it for themselves, but chances are there would be a lot of different definitions.
What if a church were to have a name a descriptively simple as "Boxes" what would it be?
How about Hospitality or Compassion or Love or Reconiciliation or Forgiveness.
Because it's that what church should really be about, I mean reformed theology affirms that God can be accessed anywhere, by anyone, so we'd be hard pressed to put God on the sign, also community exists In a lot of different shapes and forms, so that can't be claimed as a unique facet of church.
And although God's love is available everywhere, a church is ideally intentional about that, or reconciliation, that is something else churches can strive to offer that isn't promised in a whole lot of places.
So what would you pick for your simple sign to hang in front of your place of worship?