I want to talk about two kinds of different.
The first is a business kind of different.
In business they say,
We’re faster, we’re cheaper or we’re better.
According to a Forbes magazine article, you should pick two.
In fact, if you try to be all three, you’re just like everyone else.
Dell is cheaper and faster, but not better. Uber is faster and better, but not cheaper. Ikea is cheap and fast. My tailor is better (good quality) and cheap, but slow.
Example, let’s take me as a writer. I would be cheaper and better quality. If you asked me to write a custom curriculum you would get a great series for less than you might pay for someone else, but I’m slower, because I care about what I am writing.
The same is true for youth groups or churches, the three for religious organizations may look like,
Authentic (Sincere), Relevant, Intentional (organized, evangelism, calendar)
You, as a church or youth group, may have to choose two because if you say “we’re all of those” you’re really saying there is nothing distinctive about us in terms of service or structure. The reply to you might be,
“If you’re the same as everyone else, why shouldn’t someone go there?”
As youth pastors, we have to ask “Why would a kid want to come here and stay here versus somewhere else?”
Do you do discipleship differently?
Is evangelism a priority?
Are your small groups a big deal?
Are your services off the chain?
The second kind of different is about us as individuals.
Some times, we think what makes us different, puts us out of the running and we don’t even try. I say, what makes you different makes you strong and you stand out for all the best reasons.
I think of actors like Fran Drescher from the Nanny. Her voice and laugh are distinctive. They may have kept out of certain circles for a time, but when it came to what someone as looking for, she stood out.
I think of actors like Steve Buscemi. He does not have what Hollywood might call learning man look but he’s in a lot of movies.
Even Jesus separated himself from other Rabbis
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. Matthew 7:29
Have you ever heard these interview questions?
Tell me why you are the best person for this job?
How do you compare yourself to others who might be interested in this role?
What makes you special?
How do you differentiate yourself from other candidates?
These questions should put you off to a good start as to why a church would want you or why a parent would put their student under your care.If you can’t answer them, you have some work to do.
Make a list of what makes you different
I’m into jazz
I rock at Fortnite
I like to hand craft furniture
I like to organize
and then ask, “How is this an asset to the ministry I serve?”
Sometimes, being different feels a lot like being alone. But with that being said, being true to that and being true to my standards and my way of doing things in my art and my music, everything that has made me feel very different… in the end, it has made me the happiest. – Lindsey Stirling (violinist)
Here’s the video I did, you may find some more goodies I missed.