IN A WORLD of activity, change, and movement, particularly in the commercial world, much emphasis is put on advertising, and specifically on identifying a product or a place. This sort of thing is deemed most necessary by those who produce and distribute a commodity. It is also considered essential by those who desire a location or a facility to be identified. For example, as one drives across the country he finds that there is no mistaking a Holiday Inn for any other lodging place.
In spite of the counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy writings concerning the proper location and identification of our churches, for years past we have lagged far behind in this matter. There has been a reluctance on the part of the church to publicize widely the name Seventh-day Adventist. But this is not right. For example, we have the following counsel: "The name Seventh-day Adventist carries the true features of our faith in front, and will convict the inquiring mind. Like an arrow from the Lord's quiver, it will wound the transgressor of God's law, and will lead to repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ." --Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 224.
Our workers and church members in the Southern Union believe this applies to representative roadside, directional, and church building identification signs erected in strategic places. For some time we followed the plan of inviting the churches to purchase and erect signs. This worked only reasonably well. Many times we found that the signs had been purchased but never erected. They had been deposited in the back room of the church. We found also in cases where they had been erected an eventual deterioration of the signs for lack of care. This condition we felt needed to be corrected.
A New Plan
Through the Southern Union church development department a plan was formulated and promoted that far surpasses in success anything we have ever attempted. It has been wholeheartedly accepted and promoted in all the conferences in the union. As a result we see attractive signs erected on the freeways and highways leading into scores of our Southern cities where we have churches. All our churches now have representative identification signs installed in front of the building. There are also sufficient directional signs pointing to the location of the church.
We are pleased with the way the plan is working. O. L. Heinrich, the union church development secretary, is giving strong leadership to the program and is promoting it in cooperation with the local conference leaders throughout the field. His detailed outline of the plan accompanies this article, which has been specifically prepared for THE MINISTRY. I highly recommend the plan to our leaders and people throughout North America.