Every week I have the privilege of working with different churches and non-profit organizations, helping them find ways to raise awareness, increase effectiveness, and ultimately further the mission of their organization. I cannot tell you how many times our conversations begin with, 'I want to do what they are doing?' As a father of 4 kids under the age of 7, I am very familiar with this statement. My typical response is, 'Well Son, our family does things a little different, Bobby's parents may let him ride his bike in the middle of the street, but we'd rather you not die, so stay on the sidewalk.' Its sad to say, we never really outgrow the peer pressure, and we so often have short term memory loss and forget who God has called us to be.
One of my favorite consulting stories was with a very traditional First Baptist Church in South Texas. They hired our firm to help them in rebuilding their brand from the ground up. They had a new Pastor and felt like it was time to move out of the 70's and to reach the next generation in their community. So, our first task was to make a 'secret shopper' visit and analyze their current systems. The visit was a tremendous success, but I was reluctant to send the report because of our first recommendation.
The Choir should wear robes.
What? You where hired to bring this church out of the 70's, and your first recommendation is that the choir wear robes? Shouldn't you be recommending they get rid of their choir and get an electric guitarist or a smoke machine?
The reality is that this traditional 100 year old baptist church needs a smoke machine about like I need to be wearing skinny jeans and have a pony tail. I use this extreme example to bring home a point. Stop looking at what everyone else is doing, and even how they are succeeding. Ask yourself what you are good at and what God has uniquely created you to do. There is not a one size fits all solution, if so, you would all drive Toyota's and have a golden retriever like me.