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Stacey Stone “To Sign or Not to Sign: That is the Question”

She walked up to me and asked me to sign her daughter’s autograph book. It was one of the precious ones that I remember having when I was her age with pink flowers on the outside and the signatures of everyone important in her life inside. Her grandmother, her kindergarten teacher, her pastor; I was joining a very honorable group of people that this precious child felt were important to her. So, I signed my page with a blessing and a Bible verse for her to look up later.

These moments speak to the great debate in Christian radio about autographs. What do they say about us as Christ-followers, what do they imply about our celebrity, and should we sign them at all? I have heard every opinion under the sun (well, almost) and still the answers remain elusive. And that may be because looking down into that sweet face, I could not simply say, “I’m sorry. I don’t sign autographs.” That has always struck me as demeaning to the person and implies that I am so much more important than them; the opposite of what our entire “lesser than” mission.

We have worked at stations where we had “personality pictures” to sign and to this day, I will receive a Facebook or IG post where someone has tagged me and there is the picture that I signed for them more than 10 years ago. They have ended up in scrapbooks, on desks and on refrigerators of wonderful listeners who have cherished them through the years. They will often say how much it meant to them and their children that I took the time to sign a note for them.

So, why is there still an internal debate for me on whether an autograph is a good idea? Personally, I have a very strong belief that Jesus is the only celebrity that is worth knowing and I do not want to be known for any form of fame. I fall into the camp with John the Baptist where there must be less of me and more of Him. (John 3:30) But there is still a connection that is found when someone asks you to sign something.

I turned to experts in the field, fellow women in radio, to ask how they handle the situation. And learned a great deal about how to graciously handle those who ask for an autograph.

“I always say something along the lines of “Wow! I’m honored you asked – Thank you! But, I have to tell you, I’m excited to meet YOU!!” I always sign whatever it is, and I do always put my same verse reference – which I hope they will look up later, because the verse truly is my prayer/hope for them. Romans 15:13.” – Theresa Mills

 

I’ve written a short note to them and then signed it with Jer. 33:3. It seems less like an “autograph.” What happens more these days is asking if we can take a picture together. I think because of technology there’s a shift and especially after Covid, wanting to see themselves connected. What a gift that we get to love on people in this way. – Kimberly Bindel

 

I say yes if I can get theirs in return. Kids especially love this! – Melony McKaye-Olson

 

The conclusion is that, whether you feel awkward or not, it is the feeling that the listener receives from your graciousness that matters. It may be the same connection that you receive from a handwritten letter or a beautiful card that you hold onto because it means something special. OR it may be that your attention is theirs for that short amount of time and they walk away with something to remember that by. Since we are chosen people who share the Good News of Jesus Christ, we are to be known by our love and you can offer that by taking the time to fulfill the request of a listener who is showing you love by listening.


Stacey Stone serves God by loving her husband, Johnny Stone, her family and friends, along with her little dogs and her listeners on WGTS 91.9, Washington DC. In addition to her 26 years in broadcasting, she is a licensed professional counselor with a private practice in Maryland, a public speaker, and the author of The Rescued Breed: When Jesus Shows Up And Transforms Your Pack. She can be reached HERE

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