Have you ever stopped to consider how God can use the most unassuming things to make the biggest difference?
He used a willing lad’s five loaves and two fishes to feed thousands.
He used a shepherd boy with a small stone and a sling to slay a giant.
He used a wooden staff and a man who stuttered to part the Red Sea.
“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:”
–I Corinthians 1:27-28
In 2001, my family was facing a spiritual crossroads. We had been attending an Assembly of God church for several years, but something about the growing emphasis on speaking in tongues didn’t feel right to my dad (I now believe that to be the leading of the Holy Spirit). So, like so many others before us, we embarked on the dreaded “church hunt.” My parents had searched through the Yellow Pages, and we tried a few different churches over the course of several weeks, but none of them seemed to be what we were looking for.
One Sunday morning, we were headed to yet another church. We crossed over a major intersection on a street bordering a more residential neighborhood; and as we followed the curve of the street, my dad noticed a simple, white wooden sandwich-board sign on the sidewalk at a street corner. From what I remember, the only information on it was the church name, possibly a phone number or the street address, and an arrow pointing left down a side street. We didn’t end up going to the church my parents had set out to visit that day—we went to the Baptist church instead because my dad saw that sign on the sidewalk.
While visiting the church that morning, someone talked to my parents about Vacation Bible School, which was starting the next evening. My parents were told that, since I was about to begin Kindergarten in the fall, I was now old enough to go to VBS. I ended up attending all of the services that week, and the rest is history!
It was that simple sign which started a ripple effect in our family, the effects of which eventually changed my eternal destiny when I received Christ as my personal Savior. Had that sign not been there, I don’t know if we would have ended up ever going to a Baptist church, and I don’t know if I would have heard a clear presentation of the Gospel at other churches we would have visited.
Looking back, it’s clear that that simple sign on the sidewalk was more than just a marketing tool—it was an unassuming tool that God used to make a difference in my family and ultimately lead us to the spiritual home we had been searching for. I also realize some of the “little” miracles that God had been orchestrating that day:
- Someone (perhaps months or even years before) gave money through the offering plate so that sign could be purchased.
- Someone took time out of his Sunday to walk or drive a quarter mile down the road to set that sign up; not just that day but faithfully every week.
May I encourage you, reader, to consider putting up your own version of a “sandwich-board sign” for your church, not only on your street but also in the surrounding neighborhood?
Perhaps your church has something like this in place already. That’s wonderful! But if not, maybe you can donate toward the purchase of new signage, volunteer to set them up every week, or simply suggest it to your pastor. You never know how many lives you may impact for eternity.
Note: Our team at North Valley Publications can help you with a wide variety of custom print materials, including some simple signage options. Visit us at nvpublications.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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Melissa grew up in Newark, CA, until her family moved closer to NVBC in 2011. She attended NVBS from 5th grade through graduation. In 2017, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree from GSBC and joined the staff at North Valley Publications. She received her master’s degree in music from GSBC in 2018.