This may be one of my favorite church signs I have ever collected. I found this one on the internet a few years back and it reads, “Baptism by Fire! Enroll in Preschool.”

It doesn’t take too long to see why this one is so fantastic. First off, the whole concept behind fire baptism is scriptural. In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist is telling about Jesus, the coming Messiah, and says,

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

What the original Baptist was saying was that his religious act of baptizing people on the outside was going to pale in comparison to the baptism that Jesus would bring which would truly change lives. So it is a biblical message. Now, I don’t know who it is speaking to. Are you using your marquee to speak to non-believers? Because if they are, they don’t understand that and it actually probably freaks them out. “Hey, come to our church and we will baptize you (the unchurched not aware of what baptism actually is), but we will do it really good, we’ll baptize you through fire!”

I’m sure that message sent thousands of people to the doors of their church.

But what makes this message even better is after threatening to rain down fire upon anyone brave enough to darken the doors of their church, they encourage you to enroll your precious child into their blazing preschool. Come, experience the purifying ministry of our preschool as you watch your kids flee in horror from the flames.

OK, maybe I’m getting a little carried away, but the point is still the same: churches – be careful of the message you are sending the unchurched.

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.