I believe we have a significant challenge with the “brand” we call Christianity.
What is a brand? If you look it up in the dictionary, “brand” is described as a physical logo—the “stamp” that captures the unique picture of the organization, business, product, etc.
Scott Bedbury, in his book The New Brand World, takes a different and much more powerful look at what is involved in a brand. He writes that a brand is, “the result of a synaptic process in the brain.” According to Bedbury, rather than being merely a physical image, a brand is an experience.
What an individual thinks and feels when they encounter a brand is what makes all the difference. For instance, what a customer actually feels and experiences when they go into a Starbucks, or buys and wears a Nike product, is what drives people to connect. Likewise, what a person actually sees and feels when they encounter anyone who claims to follow Christ will influence their perceptions and feelings about what it means to be a Christian.
I believe that we have a significant challenge with the brand called “Christianity”. I think this challenge is encapsulated in this quote from Mark Twain: “If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be… a Christian.”
When I encounter and get into honest conversation with friends who do not consider themselves Christian, here are some of the things I hear them say about Christians:
- They are some of the most judgmental people I know!
- They don’t drink, smoke, dance, or have any fun!
- They are narrow-minded!
- Church really doesn’t do it for me— I just don’t get it!
My hope is that we would instead live lives so that people would say things like:
- I want to be around them, they are quality people.
- What do they have that I don’t?
- They serve the poor, oppressed, needy next door and around the world.
- They are generous with their love and resources.
- They are on the cutting-edge of business, art, and music.
- They live life with no fear.
Many of you originally came to Christ through meeting people like this!
I want CRISTA to be a light leading to the latter list. We have a clear opportunity to create a model of serving people through exceptional professional performance and delivering those services as passionate believers who actually live out the fruit of God’s Spirit in their professional and personal calling.
We have potential to make a significant impact in the community by being the brand. Let’s be on a journey to grow in this together.
I’ll leave you with this verse that so clearly exemplifies this call on our lives as Christians.
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14
President & CEO