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We Have an Image Problem

Img_5404 I spent yesterday afternoon at home with a crew from Global TV.  They were doing some of their final shooting for a documentary to be broadcast this fall (October is the tentative broadcast month). They’re calling the documentary "Hip to be Holy" (quirkily neat title).  They interviewed a bunch of churches doing innovative stuff, but are using Connexus as the focal point.

Spent two hours being interviewed.  They’re a great crew so it was a lot of fun, but the questions intrigued me.  A lot of the interview focused on the way we do church v. "normal" which was cool.

But about a third of the interview had to do with hot button issues in the culture.  What was my view on abortion…gay marriage…would I baptize a practicing homosexual…should Canada become a Christian nation…what about a political agenda for new kinds of churches…what do I think of the televangelists (I’m not telling my answers, you’ll have to tune in, if they even make the edit).

Yesterday drove home the fact that so many of us Jesus-followers are known for what we are against. They asked me what a stereotypical image of an evangelical Christian might be that a non-Christian would have.  I had two answers:

  1. I’m not sure non-churched people think about us that much.
  2. When they do, it’s not good.  We’re seen as judgmental, hypocritical, agenda-driven and even angry.

Even with the progress that we and numerous other churches have made (thank you, God!) in terms of redefining Sundays, ministry and community, we still have this HUGE image problem.  I know if people could just get to Jesus, they’d love Him (or at least many would).  But so often I stand in the way still.  Our image stands in the way.

How do we tackle this?  How can our lives, our communities of Jesus-followers, better show Christ’s love?  What can we do?  How can I live differently?

Just some questions as the sinking-realization of the enormity of the task sets in once again.

Maybe this documentary will help reverse some of that stereotype.  Maybe this weekend at Connexus or your church do to turn the tide?  But what can all of us do to turn the tide?


  1. diamondinruff on February 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    wonder why Shane’s question was not answered?

  2. Shane on December 5, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Carey, I would love to get your insights on should the church allow those who proclaim to be homosexual be allowed to serve at any capacity in the church on any level? We have layers in our church for anyone to serve even if they are not Christians but as you can know this a very controversial issue. Our church is definitely a loving and welcoming church that I believe preaches the biblical truths of the bible…repentance of sin whether it be glutony, murder, greed, stealing, homosexuality, pride, etc.
    I love your blogs and share them frequently with those whom I serve next to at out church! Thanks

  3. Chad Hoffman on February 24, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Did this ever air? Do you have a link? Would love to check it out. Love to hear how media sees churches across different parts of North America.

  4. Chris Brown on July 2, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Wow! What a cool opportunity. Those are difficult questions to address with a close friend let alone the general public while the video camera is rolling. I'm sure it will be a great interview. Keep being a genuine reflection of Jesus to your community –I know you are doing that very well already.

  5. Shawn Smith on June 29, 2008 at 8:31 am

    I think Paul speaks to this in Romans 14. This excerpt is taken from the Message.

    So let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't drag them down by finding fault. You're certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God's work among you, are you? I said it before and I'll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don't eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.

    Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don't impose it on others. You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you're not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong.

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