I was driving down the main business district of my city yesterday. It was noontime, and it was snowing softly. My eyes were drawn to the sidewalk, where standing outside of a tax preparer’s office was someone dressed as the Statue of Liberty. Ol’ Lady Liberty was holding a sign, promoting the tax preparation services and offering a discounted price if you stop in right away.
This is not the first time I’ve encountered costumed characters promoting businesses. Sometimes the costume is simply a worker in employee uniform twirling a sign promoting pizza. Around community events where I live, it is very common to see an owl, a wolverine, a cougar, and/or a bear, there to promote a college or a professional sports team. They do flips, sign autographs, or give away swag to draw more attention to themselves.
I started to wonder if maybe we should have a mascot for our church? A member of the congregation could be assigned to stand outside and wave down motorists, encouraging them to come inside and participate in the services. I just wasn’t sure what the costume should look like?
Although it would be best recognized by the public, it would probably be sacrilege to make a costumed character of Jesus Christ. Once at a Latter-day Saint historical site I interacted with a man playing the part of Brigham Young – could this be duplicated for every congregation? What about the golden Angel Moroni?
Or maybe the mascot should be more subtle, like the pizza store employee in uniform. Maybe the mascot for our church should look just like you and me. Jesus Christ once declared to His followers, “Ye are the light of the world. … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). To another congregation, he removed any ambiguity by clarifying, “Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do” (3 Nephi 18:24).
Perhaps this is the best choice for a mascot – us. The best way to attract others to the faith is to show our example: our broken hearts, our contrite spirits, and how we manifest by our works that we have received of the Spirit of Christ (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:37).
Twirling signs, gymnastics, or other gimmicks might not be necessary.