People use labels to identify themselves all the time. Conservative. Liberal. Gay. Straight. Canadian. American. The list is endless. Every time we hear one of those labels, it evokes an image in our minds based on what we know (or think we know) of people who bear them. The image can be positive or negative, based on our opinion or experience. I wonder what comes to mind when someone labels themselves a Christian?
What do you think when you hear the term “Christian”? Do you think of someone who is “saved,” or “born again”? Maybe you think of someone who goes to church. The face of a relative may come to mind who you would think of as a Christian. You may even think of yourself! Regardless what comes to mind when you think of the word, an honest investigation will show that it has lost a good deal of its original meaning. For the sake of effective ministry in this post-Christendom era, we may need to change the label we wear.