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What Could Christians Do To Change Their Perception?

What you believe matters, but branding and marketing experts tell us that it all starts with “perception.” No matter how great a product may be, I’ll never try it until I have a favorable perception. Once that happens, I’ll consider giving it a shot. In a similar way, for centuries, Christians have tried to share their faith with the culture, but today are losing enormous ground when it comes to perception.

Society is experiencing one of the most dramatic shifts in history on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, religious freedom, personal privacy, sexuality, and more. Many of those issues bump up against historic positions of the Church, which in a media driven world, generates enormous (and usually negative) publicity. Because of those negative perceptions, many people turn away without even considering the positive aspects of faith.

That’s why I’m wondering if it’s time to re-think how the Christian community engages the world.  So here’s the question:

Without the Christian community altering historic principles, or tossing them out altogether, what do you think are the 5 most important things Christians could do today that would start to change the secular culture’s perception? In other words, what changes or actions could Christians do publicly that would be so compelling, they would cause nonbelievers to give another look at what it means to follow the teachings of Jesus?

Seriously, what would you list?

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  1. Perhaps we could start by focusing on what we’re ‘for’ instead of what we’re against?

    Instead of spending resources on protesting gay marriage or abortion, why not focus on feeding the poor and caring for those society often overlooks?

  2. Stop arguing with people. Realize that it is not our job to judge people outside the church. We need to listen to them instead. Many of them have been hurt by the actions of people in the church. Show them that not all church people are jerks.

  3. 1. Know Your Theology. So many people I know who grow up in the church don’t know their facts and figures when it comes to both Bible knowledge; nor a basic understanding of why we believe what we believe. – If you don’t know what you believe how can you convince someone else?

    2. Be Non-Awkward towards Non-Christians. Just chillax dude. Get rid of your Christian facade and simply be yourself when you speak to people. Forget that you’re a ‘Christian’. Be a person first. A person who has a relationship with God.

    3. Be United. Although there are a few different ‘denominations’ amongst Islam, Buddism etc, but there are hundreds of Christian church denominations. If we can’t agree amongst ourselves we appear broken from the outside.

    4. Engage with Media. Movies, TV & Music are the new philosophers of our time. They are incredibly powerful when it comes to influencing society’s thinking.

    5. Choose Your Moments. Stop thinking that you have to evangelize EVERYBODY that you have
    contact with. If you are alone in an elevator with just one other person it is NOT a divine appointment for you to evangelize their brains out. You’re just in an elevator – that’s all.

  4. 1. Realize we live in a post Christian society. Christain’s no longer set the rules. This means stop judging Non-Christian’s behavior. No reason that they should play by “our” rules.

    2. Be more intentional in relationships. Stop “friendship evangelism” and just be friends with someone that needs a friend. NO motive other than they were created in the image of God and are worth getting to know and love. God will take care of the rest.

    3. Be shrewd and generous with your cash. Use your money to gain influence. Examples would be to be known as a generous “tipper” at eating establishments and budget so you can give to someone or something in need at a moment’s notice.

    4. Be the first group to “pick up the peices” after a mess occurs. Without expectation of anything in return.

  5. I think the statistics show Christianity is actually gaining enormous ground worldwide, although this country has gone the way of what’s known as “post-Christian.” We in the U.S. and the West in general don’t want to abide by God’s rules, period, so Christians are perceived as out of touch. There’s only so much marketing that can fix that. Ultimately (actually, completely, not just ultimately) it’s all up to God. I think He’s doing what He promised to do: let us have our way. The chickens just haven’t come all the way home to roost yet.

  6. 1. Love one another as Christ has loved us
    2. Love The Lord with our all
    3. Love our neighbors selflessly
    4. Stop fighting for our “rights”
    5. Pray for God to change hearts (starting w mine)

  7. Test everything we do and say as it would be seen through outsiders’ eyes. Understand how tone affects perception. The new Pope may well believe much the same as his predecessor, but the tone of what he says is lightyears away.

    Stop creeping people out by being weird.

  8. Listen.
    Admit when we don’t know the answer.
    Don’t impose our values on people who do not know our God.
    Love them so they feel it.
    Help dignify people with sustainable work.

  9. “Seek unity, not uniformity” would be the slogan and goal. Monolithic groupthink is bad for the church and unappealing to those outside of it, yet that’s the current state of things.

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