Pastor Kent Simmons

Have you seen them? I certainly have and I like the idea.

I am not talking about the latest trend in cars, fashion, or model homes. This isn’t the newest place to travel, the restaurant with the most delicious steaks, or the must-see movie for the summer.

The best part is it is right here in our own hometown.

Have I teased this enough?

I am talking about the ground-set, electronic reader boards that have sprung up all over Kingman.

If you are feeling let down by my observation, consider venturing further with me.

I have no idea the genesis of these signs, but they do offer a few unique things to think about.

First, it is a great way to keep us informed about happenings in and around Kingman. Whether it is an event, a traffic warning, a clock, a temperature gauge, or just a positive note, it is something we all share together.

Second, it tells our community guests what to expect as well. Visitors can quickly get a message just like us. It says we love our community, and we welcome you.

But perhaps most importantly, strange as it may sound, I think these signs bring us together and make us proud to be Kingman residents. Everyone is invited to our city to be a part of the fabric, the buzz, the vibe, and the energy.

Okay, so you may be asking yourself, “I thought this was an article about religion and faith.” Well, it is.

There is a lesson in the simple strategy for informing us through these signs. We are so universally divided and beholden to ideas and practices which we have scarcely thought through the implications. But we see the divide. We need to get together by almost any means as soon as possible. Something communal like these signs brings us closer to one another in a secular way, but what about a strategy for the spiritual?

Even churches have staked out their respective claims. While many pastors meet regularly to discuss matters of faith and custom, there is still a sense that one “belongs” to this church or that church among most congregants. In other words, a mini version of the larger societal divide is often at play in the landscape of religion.

What if anything can be done to emphasize the shared universal and corporate beliefs of the faithful at large? Perhaps we need a, “Here’s your sign,” moment a la Bill Engvall. We need the obvious.

Of the many reasons I write for The Standard Newspaper, one is a desire for unity, especially between people already practicing their faith. We are not so different, and we should be excited about being more alike.

Frankly, I am not so much concerned about the individual dogmas, liturgical practices, or specific programs each congregation engages in; I want us to wrestle for one another rather than wrestle with one another. Will there be points of disagreement—yes. But like the street signs, there is much we can be proud of.

So, the next time you pass a Kingman reader board, be reminded that these signs bring us together. And the next time you’re in church, remember that the message on the figurative sign of our hearts is simple, “Love one another.” This seems like a good idea, too!

Kent Simmons is the pastor of Canyon Community Church in Kingman, AZ.