Remarkable: notably or conspicuously unusual; extraordinary
I’ve had this idea burned into my mind by Seth Godin. Godin writes a blog and is a marketing guru. He writes about spreading ideas, hitting your target audience, and building an identity. Though his writing is targeted towards the business world (specifically, small businesses), there is so much overlap with church work.
Personally, i’ve taken this challenge to my whole life. I’m working hard at doing a few things, and doing those few things in a remarkable way. Being different. It is easy to come up with a good idea, but if that good idea is already being done, then it isn’t remarkable and no one will notice it.
For example, I am a member of PaperBackSwap. I have a listing of my books and if another member would like one, they notify me and I send it to them. I pay for shipping and they get a “free” book. It is a great way to save money on books (i’ve ordered 6 books for free) and builds good “karma” and allows me to be a bit less materialistic. Anyways…. When i mail a book, I mail it priority (costing me a dollar more vs. media mail) and I send a personal letter with my business card. I’m not going to make any money this way, but my hope is that the personal touch and sacrifice makes people notice. They stop and think, “Wow, this person was totally self-less in this interaction.”
Amy Palko wrote a great article about living life less ordinary.
And this is where our faith comes into play. Willow Creek was remarkable because they were all about “seekers.” But new churches that follow the Willow Creek model aren’t so remarkable.
I’m the director of a student ministry and I work really really hard at allowing students to have a voice in our times together. This isn’t because I think they know more about the Bible than me (I went to a Christian college, so I hope I have a lot of Bible knowledge), but it is because there is no place in a students life where they are given a voice amongst adults. For a student to come to our gathering on Sunday night and be listened to is remarkable.
Jesus was incredibly remarkable. People are still “remarking” about his life today. He lived in this incredibly love-filled way in a time when the “way of the world” was anything but love. We live in a time and place where living out our faith will be nothing short of remarkable. Living out Christ’s love, turning the other cheek, loving others as yourself, giving away money. These things are remarkable. These things will cause the “idea” of Christianity to spread. People will take notice.