Purple Cow

I am growing to love Seth Godin more and more. He's a marketing guru with a widely-read blog. He's written several best-sellers, including a book I reviewed not to long ago, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, which I loved. I finally got around to reading his most popular book, Purple Cow. I completely understand why it's so popular. It's a tremendous little book!

The basic concept is that if you're driving through the country-side and see thousands of cows, eventually you don't even notice their presence. But if while driving you see a purple cow...well, that's worth stopping for. In other words, to thrive in today's world, it's not enough to be good, you need to be remarkable!

Purple Cow really got me to thinking about what sets our church apart from any other church in town. Is there something about us that is remarkable enough to make people stop and notice? I know skeptics will say, "Jesus' gospel message is pretty remarkable. That should be enough." But I will risk being called a heretic and say, that's not necessarily true.

I think churches have done a masterful job over the last howevermany years of taking the the truly remarkable 'good news' and transforming it into the boring news. Few are surprised by this message, because few churches are passionate about it. The sad (and exciting) news is that a 'purple cow' in the church world is a church that is actually Christ-like. So what are some counter-church-cultural ways we can be Jesus to our communities that would make them do a double-take? It's got me thinking...

The purple cow principle is so true, too. While Jamie and I were in Scotland, we spent a lot of time driving through the 
countryside. It was beautiful and I guarantee you we saw at least a million sheep during our week there. At first it was quaint, but by the end of the week it was hardly worth noticing. However halfway through the trip I spotted something out of the corner of my eye that made me pull over and take pictures. Pink sheep! We asked several people during the week and showed them the picture, but nobody could give us a good reason. Maybe I should knock-off Godin's idea and write a church version called Pink Sheep! Hmm...

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