I saw a commercial for a new Kenmore washing machine the other night and it brought back memories of some early days working the floor in the Hardware and Tools Dept at SEARS. In those days SEARS was beginning a downhill slide and I left right before a major shake up of management and corporate structure occurred. Working there taught me an appreciation for retail and coupled with other various jobs I held I can no longer enter any retail establishment without critiquing everything from store layout to cleanliness to customer service. One thing that I have noticed that sets stores that I love to stores that I hate is what I term as “the difference maker”. “The difference maker” is loosely defined as the ingenuity and motivation and innovation to do something that no one else is doing and to do it better than anyone else can. Which brings me back to the Kenmore commercial. It has only been recently that I have seen commercials for this brand that have been for products that seem innovative. I remember when I worked for SEARS Kenmore products had the reputation of being good but they were non-descript or bland. They were simply a copy cat. The other brands were more expensive but were offering new technology and were beating out the Kenmore products. That is, at least in my store. I don’t know facts and figures for that time or now so don’t come back at me with them I am giving testimony from where I was at. The point is now they are making it known that they are innovating new products and are trying to position themselves as a leader int he market.
I said all of that to make this point. How many churches simply blend into the background and are nothing special. They simply get by as a cheap imitation of someone else and because of that they are often passed over by the people who want the best. Let’s not fool ourselves, there is one body of Christ but there are enough choices for a person to make in where to worship and co-labor with that someone can be picky. If the church up the road is really reaching out and really making a difference why would I go over here to the inward focused do-it-the-same-as-always church. As church leaders we should be finding our “difference maker” the thing that sets us apart and makes us unique and valuable to the Kingdom and its work. When we find it we should pursue it and never look back only look ahead.