That the world may see and believe
Another one of our pastors suggested that Christians have a "branding" problem. Kim observed how companies go to great lengths to brand themselves in ways that communicate not just a catchy slogan or a superficial tagline but their core identity, what they most want the public to think of when they hear their name. Good branding is powerful; just think of all the corporate jingles that you can't get out of your head even if you tried.These negative views of a faith that is about love and hope show all the more why Christians should be united in reaching out to our communities in love, even as we continue to worship in our own ways.
Kim then proposed an interesting thought experiment: "What do you think the average person on the street, in the grocery store, at the gas station would come up with if we went around and asked them to sum up in just a few words what the Christian church was all about? In many cases our branding tag line for the most part would be something like— 'We’re right. . . you’re wrong. Let us correct your behavior. Give us your money for something irrelevant to your life. Withdraw from normalcy and join our weird little subculture. Welcome to worship. . . and let us tell you how to vote.' Whether we like it or not, we have been branded in these ways by a culture that for the most part sees the church primarily outside of the mainstream of current life."
On Monday, we will get a chance to show how we Christians are united as we gather to pray alongside a dumpster at an apartment complex. With the approval of the management of The Pines Apartments, we will pray and sing hymns this coming Monday at 8 p.m. at the dumpter where a woman's murdered body was found earlier this week. We will be there a week after the woman died to stand alongside the residents and give hope in a place of fear and to shine the light of Christ's love in the darkness.