A couple of days ago my neighbor asked me, â€œwhat does it mean to be an â€˜image bearerâ€™? So not satisfied with the answer that I gave him, I wrote this blog entry. David I hope this helps.
Genesis 1:26 says â€œLet us make man in our own image, after our likeness.â€ Being made in the image of God, or bearing His image makes mankind distinctly different from the rest of creation, since mankind is the only being to be made in the image of God.
The rest of creation points to a Creator because it is so wonderfully complex and orderly that it must have a Creator (as a man who finds an ipod in the forest knows someone at one point made it). While mankind also points to God as having a creator because of the complexity and beauty the human body holds, it also plays a far more important role. The role of â€œbearing the image of God.â€
So what does this mean, to be made in the image of God? The word â€œimageâ€ in the Hebrew is where the word â€œidolâ€ comes from. You donâ€™t have to read vey much of the Old Testament to see that idols were forbidden, and caused much trouble for the people of God. Godâ€™s people, the Israelites, would follow a false god, and create an idol (or representation) of the god, that they would then bow down to and worship it as the one true God. The representatives made of stone, metal, straw, etc. represented the god. These images angered God because they did not accurately represent Him and His character, and it was not the way that God had directed that he was to be worshipped. 
There are certain attributes that God posses as part of his nature that we also posses (holiness, love, truth, righteousness, beauty, etcâ€¦ ) and attributes that we do not posses (omnipresence, omnipotence, eternality, etcâ€¦)  Mankind can show love; dads love their daughters. This is true if a person knows Jesus or not. But it is through a relationship with Christ, that the father is able to point his daughter to God in love.
Think of being an image bearer where the human is a mirror. He was created to reflect; specifically he was created to reflect God. It is in reflecting, that God receives glory and the person does what he was created to do. Idols are forbidden because they do not accurately represent God as he truly is â€“ In fact it is only mankind that can â€œbear His image.â€ But we bear His image in order to reflect the glory to God our Creator. This does not make us gods, anymore than the mirror is itsâ€™ maker.
But because mankind is sinful the mirror is covered with mud. It reflects nothing. This is mankind apart from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. We do not bring God glory and we do not live a life of reflecting the image of God. God saves us; we then reflect our Creator (Jesus) and He receives honor, worship, praise, and glory. We have a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction because we finally are doing what mankind was created to do (Genesis 1:26).
There is also another problem. Once a person receives Jesusâ€™ free gift of salvation the reflection that he gives is not a perfect reflection. Yes, Christians still make mistakes! In fact itâ€™s much like a House of Mirrors at the local county fair. The image is distorted, warped, and weird. Thus begins a lifelong process of making the image more and more accurate (theologians call this Sanctification). It is only in eternity when we will as the image bearers of Christ accurately reflect Him as we should. Also, because we are all created different and unique we have been designed to reflect that light differently. One person will reflect the attribute of love differently, but they both reflect love.
Therefore the Church (the body of believers) is like a chandelier. Many pieces of cut glass or crystal, grouped together to create a magnificent display as the light shines through it. Light is reflected, and it bounces and shines all throughout the room (or the world).
 Romans 1:18 ff.
 Exodus 20:3, 4
 Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears. Doctrine (Crossroads; Wheaton, Illinois, 2007) 121.