Signs of the times: Churches trading tradition for catchy, clever messages to draw visitors

A Florida pastor recently used his church's marquee to put out a message: "Christmas — Easier to spell than Hanukkah."

Mike Butzberger of Lighthouse Baptist Church in North Palm Beach says he meant no offense. But he begrudgingly took it down after a woman complained and a local television station inquired.

Such is the challenge for pastors who are trying to update the age-old practice of luring worshippers with messages on marquees outside their churches. Long the place for Gospel quotes and Christmas Eve sermon hours, now the signs are often clever, catchy or funny.

But pastors are finding that joking about religion is serious business, and it's easy to cross a line.

Some say the messages help attract new members, others say they at least get people talking.