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He hopes these billboards can nudge people to Christ

OCALA, Fla. (BP)–When looking for innovative ways to reach people with the gospel, Joe Kuzma encourages churches to think big — 14 x 48 feet to be exact.
That’s the size of two billboards Kuzma has placed in Ocala, Fla., to proclaim the name of Jesus.
Kuzma’s goal is to inspire churches and individuals across the nation to sponsor at least two “Bible Boards” in every county in the United States. The idea resulted from a Sunday school discussion at Kuzma’s church, First Baptist, Ocala, about the impact of media messages on society. The discussion was led by Jose Cardoso, who worked in advertising before being called into the ministry as a pastor and teacher.
In a city abounding with billboards, it wasn’t hard to come up with both positive and negative examples of media influences, said member Bob White, a retired computer specialist who designs the “Bible Board” graphics. One of the most troubling negative images involved billboards for a strip club advertising, “We Bare All.”
They decided to counter the enticement with a positive message — “He Will Bear All. Jesus: The Way, The Truth, The Life.”
“We noticed how much people are exposed to billboards and how they catch people’s attention, whether it’s in a good or bad way,” Kuzma said. “You start looking for them, you know where they are and know if some have changed. Usually, they don’t mean more than a way to pass the time, but maybe ours can have a value to you when you need them.
“We began to think about how many people who aren’t Christians drive by them, and how many Christians also drive by who need encouragement,” Kuzma recounted. “Maybe someone having a bad day could look up and find a little hope to help them make it through the day. Maybe these signs could bring someone back to Christ who has drifted away. Maybe the messages could open up the gospel to someone who has never stepped into a church.”
Cordoso said using billboards as a Christian outreach tool is a vastly undeveloped area.
“It’s hard to not look at a billboard if you’re coming right up on it,” he said. “But the message has to be brief and to the point so people will have time to read it.”
Members of the class and two other First Baptist Bible studies donated $800 to fund each billboard design and $200 a month to rent billboard space. Businesses also have contributed funds to rent the space and add their name to the board as a sponsor.
A retired mechanic shop owner, Kuzma put his home telephone number on the signs so people interested in the message could find out more about Christ or about how to get involved in a similar ministry.
“This is a way for me — a layman — to spread the Word, a person who doesn’t have the gift of gab and doesn’t like to get up in front of people. But I can speak to people through these signs and maybe make a little bit of difference.”

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  • Kristi Hodge