What Do You Call Us?

We are going to take a break from the sermon debate today while Brady prepares his response.  He’s getting married soon so he is appropriately distracted.  We’ll get back at it soon.  Now its time for something completely different..

I’ve met a lot of Christians over the last three years that are like me.  We are disenfranchised with the institution of church.  We don’t like the social and political positions the title “Christian” is assumed to carry. We live missionally/incarnationally.  Although we might attend worship services, we struggle to find life in them.  More often than not we are seeking community outside the institution.  We are uncomfortable with ambition for church growth.  We are wary of systems of authority.  We have a passion to see things change.  And we don’t like labels (which makes what is about to follow highly ironic).

I don’t know enough about church history to know if people like us are new on the scene or if we are always hanging around.  But I feel like we are growing in number…in Baltimore anyway.

A few weeks ago I was trying to describe this group to someone and I was at lost for a label.  So I sent an email to a bunch of people I know that fit this description and asked them what a good name was for believers like us.  Here are some of the names they came up with:

  • Misfits
  • Outsiders
  • Trailblazers
  • Pioneers
  • Refugees
  • Liberators or Free
  • Orphans or Reluctant Orphans
  • Heretics

I don’t plan to ever use any of these.  I don’t know that labels are helpful.  But I think the exercise was interesting because it reveals how we think about ourselves.

What would you call us?

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What Do You Call Us?

4 thoughts on “What Do You Call Us?

  1. edith higgs says:

    Something interesting just happened – I answered your post very honestly and it got lost before it could get sent. Very funny-so here goes again. I also do not find church very uplifting so I recall the wonderful days of the past. I wrote that you are either Too Late or The New Wave. Church usesd to be so exciting with the presence of the Holy Spirit and the focus on Jesus that we could hardly wait to get there and be with a diverse group of folks of all ages and stages in life and economic settings. This page is doing something weird again so I guess I will log off satan is so lame. Tjhis 80 year old was blessed to be in the right time and I pray it will come again.

  2. Laurie says:

    Though I can’t offer any intelligent arguments about sermons (having not heard one in several years) I can participate in this conversation, so here goes. I was raised Catholic, and brought up through Catholic schools, so the “church as institution” is pretty firmly ingrained in my subconscious. Somewhere in my teenage years I started to get that disenfranchised feeling you refer to. I shirked the label of Catholic, and eventually the label of Christian, because I didn’t, and don’t like the dogma and prejudices that folks automatically assumed I held if I identified as such. Now a parent and in my 30’s (yikes), I’ve been thinking much more about faith, my faith, my feelings about faith, and starting to carve out a place for faith in my life again. That place is starting to look more and more like it’s going to fall into one of your un-nameable categories. And I’m really cool with that. 🙂

    1. jeffandwendy says:

      Welcome to the category. Make yourself at home. “Consider yourself part of the furniture.” (from Oliver)

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