How We Started Preaching With Signs
More than 15 years ago David Keeling began using foam-boards with messages printed on them to preach with. He found these signs were able to convey a single, simple message to a large crowd better than any other medium. They were more effective than tracts, because these are often disregarded. Preaching audibly is beneficial, but it has limitations in a noisy crowd. However, a preacher standing in the middle of a crowd with a sign at eye level is something not easily ignored. The signs are always read.
The purpose behind the signs...
In the accounts of the Gospels we read of Jesus and the Apostles taking the opportunity whenever possible to preach. Their message was always very direct, and relevant to their audience. For instance: Peter told the Jews on the steps of the temple: "You killed the Just One, Repent!". Jesus told the woman at the well: "You have been married five times and the man you are with is not your husband". He told the rich young ruler that his riches ruled his heart rather than God.
Another example of Jesus preaching to the hearts of men can be found in the account of the woman taken in adultery. Oftentimes we look at this story, and think of a non-abrasive Jesus trying not to offend anyone. However, if we look at similar encounters between Jesus and the Pharisees we see the Lord reproving the Jews for their "certificate of divorce". This certificate basically allowed a man to remarry an indefinite number of times and Jesus said this was equivalent to adultery. Why is this mentionable? Because this is a perfect example of Jesus preaching. Jesus wasn't letting anybody off the hook in this account, but rather, he was reminding them that they were no different than the woman - they were adulterers themselves. The Lord used this opportunity to preach.
Jesus and His Apostles weren't limited to the synagogue only; different times we see them preaching in town squares, at the well, on mounatains, in prisons, at funerals, and even in a boat. Their preaching wasn't limited to a sunday pulpit, they did it anywhere there was opportunity.
What is a preacher?
When you think of a preacher what comes to mind? A stadium evangelist coaxing crowds of ten thousands to say a sinner's prayer? Perhaps a televangelist with a plastic smile, and a fist-full of gold rings clutching a microphone pleading for just one more donation? Or perhaps your imagination takes you to the shock-evangelism of Fred Phelps brandishing a picture of two homosexuals. Sadly, these religious hucksters and shock evangelists create a fog serving to cloud the true man of God who preaches against sin, provokes others to live righteously, and warns a wicked world of judgment to come.