Dare to Be Different, Steal My Thunder

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Walking across the church parking lot Sunday, a couple pulled in and the driver rolled down his window to say, “I’ve got something to talk to you about.” Pastors know this is not always a good sign. This one turned out to be great. Getting out of their vehicle, he handed me a piece of paper and said, “We didn’t want to steal your thunder, but let me show you what I did.”

He proceeded to show me that he had taken the Easter card our church was handing out, to a local advertising company and had them separate it into four specific events to create an electric billboard ad for each event we had scheduled for Easter.

He and his wife both repeated the statement, “We didn’t want to steal your thunder…” Steal my thunder? That’s not stealing anyone’s thunder. That is taking what God had given me as a business card idea and putting to use their God-given abilities to shine His light on a much bigger scale – billboard sized. I was thrilled and filled with joy!

If you’ve been around me much, or you have heard me speak, you have likely read or heard the statement, “Don’t copy models, capture principles.” I could also say, “Don’t be a copycat, be an innovator.” God is a creator, an innovator. When God created you, He created an innovator.

History repeats itself time and again revealing that spiritual innovators did not follow the rules of the day. We see it in fruitful churches today and we see it throughout history. Billy Graham filling stadiums worldwide, Jonathan Edwards regional revival, John Wesley outdoor preaching, Martin Luther getting the Word of God to the public, stating the common man was spiritually mature enough to read and discern the Word.

We see these innovators throughout history. Yet, none was quite as innovative as Jesus Christ. By the standards of the religious leaders, Jesus was a failure, because He failed to do things their way. Yet, this is exactly what made Jesus a fruitful innovator. According to the religious leaders, Jesus failed. According to God, Jesus became the Savior of the world.

The world does not need another savior, we have one. What is needed is for you and me to become the innovators for which we were created. How do you become a spiritual innovator? Dare to be different. Follow God’s will for you and you will become an innovator.

God has given you gifts, talents and abilities to use for His glory. We are to develop and understand how to use those under the guidance and influence of His Word and His Holy Spirit. Not to fly off on our own, but to use His giftings to align with what He is doing around us. For some, it might be a journey around the globe or across the street to share of God’s love. For others, it might be something like a billboard. We are all called to be His billboard somewhere to all nations. Dare to be different, be God’s innovator.

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