I was browsing some books in the thrift store not too long ago and one of them was called The Golden Sayings of Epictetus and this quote caught my eye:
Because you think yourself but one among the many threads which makes up the texture of the doublet. You should aim at being like men in general- just as your thread has no ambition either to be anything distinguished compared with other threads. But I desire to be the purple- that small and shining part which makes the rest seem fair and beautiful. Why then do you bid me become even as the multitude. Then were I no longer the purple.
This reminded me of the first Seth Godin book I bought called Purple Cow. The book is all about standing out from among the rest of the crowd. It made an impact on me as I was already one who did not like to follow the crowd anyway. The book offered me a track to ride on versus the chaotic path I had been trying to clear with my dull machete . Ten plus years later I’m still trying to stand out as a believer, a husband and father, a youth pastor, and a friend.
I want our youth ministry to be the purple strand in a culture of beige. I want kids to walk into our youth ministry and say, “This is church?”; not because of video games or cool events but because of the way we care and love others. There’s enough “me too’ going on in youth ministry, and if I am going to be the purple strand that captures the minds and hearts of kids for Christ, then I must being willing to say, ” not me” , “we don’t do that”, and “I don’t care what they do down the street.”. That’s not meant to be arrogant but a rally cry to be led by the Spirit rather than what youth ministry culture says we should do or need.
“The opposite of remarkable is very good” – Seth Godin
Jesus did not die and rise from the dead so His church could be very good.
Stay purple my friends
How could we do a better job of reflecting God’s remarkableness?
Where could your youth ministry stand out rather than blend in?