TRAVIS WALTERS News Editor
I commute to class and therefore spend quite a bit of time on the road. The scenery changes just as often as the days pass, making no two trips to Savannah the same. Nothing changes more frequently than the signs for businesses, and I find churches, in particular, change their signs most frequently.
“Become an organ donor. Give your heart to the Lord,” read one sign. Another bore the message, “Free trip to heaven. Details inside.” I briefly thought that perhaps the first church removing my heart necessitated the detailed plan to get to heaven from the second church, and that they had a soul-sharing agreement in place. However, I think the most likely answer is that they have the same witty marketing manager, or the second church is a brand of the first.
I suppose we’re past the good old days when signs simply quoted doom-laden scripture aimed at the unbeliever. Church marketing has become quite trendy and often gears itself to a younger, more hip crowd. This past weekend I spent some time at a sky diving center. “Jump for Jesus,” read their sign. The preacher, who had no name and went only by preacher, ran the show. And my, what a spectacle, but the best part sat out back. A tiny old trailer known as the Jumping for Jesus Café sold the “Baby Jesus Burger,” the “Resurrection Jesus Burger,” and some of the spicy foods were “hot as hell.”
I know from my own experiences with church, that you eat a wafer and drink wine to symbolize the body and blood of Christ. It simply never crossed my mind that the priest would ask if I’d like cheese on it. Perhaps I would have paid attention to the sermons if I knew I’d be getting a Coke and fries at the end. I can’t wait for drive-through church. “Number 9, please. My mother. I told her I was studying but I went out drinking. Yes. Bless you father.”
The idea of drive-through church appeals to me for a variety of reasons. Churches could become omnipresent, streamlined and efficient, like Starbucks. One on every street corner makes them much more available to casual believers, thus allowing quick access to repentance services. An entire day devoted to one thing is too much time wasted in today’s economy. A “Jespresso” is the way to go. When churches move to their new locations they’ll have to sell their old buildings, possibly the most important reason of all. The buildings, especially here in Savannah, tend to be quite old and beautifully constructed. I’d love to buy an old church to use as a home. It’d be the only home on the block with a built-in alarm clock.
“Travis. I don’t know if that’s what Jesus would want,” I can hear some of you saying. Well, I can’t say that I think Jesus would want cheese on a burger named after Him either, but there it is anyway.