Purple Cow

How’s that for a title of a first post on my new blog?  For some time I’ve been wanting to get back into blogging and finishing Seth Godin’s book of the same title pushed me over the edge.  Godin begins Purple Cow with a metaphor that drives the whole book.  

When my family and I were driving through France a few years ago, we were enchanted by the hundreds of storybook cows grazing on picturesque pastures right next to the highway.  For dozens of kilometers, we all gazed out the window, marveling about how beautiful everything was. 

Then, within twenty minutes, we started ignoring the cows.  The new cows were just liket he old cows, and what once was amazing was now common.  Worse than common.  It was boring.

Cows, after you’ve seen them for a while, are boring.  They may be perfect cows, attractive cows, cows with great personalities, cows lit by beautiful light, but they’re still boring.

A Purple Cow, though.  Not that would be interesting. (For a while.) – Godin, p. 2.

Great word picture, isn’t it? Imagine wandering past a field of cows when there, in the middle of the field, was a purple cow.  I would stop and look at it.  Wouldn’t you?  For Godin, this is a call to be remarkable.  So often we find something that works pretty well and stop looking for the chance to be remarkable.  

So what does this mean for the church?  That is what this blog is all about – seeking to be great and remarkable in the kingdom of God.  Most people in the U.S. have written off the Church as irrelevant.  The good news has ceased to be good news  in part, at least, because God’s people have stopped being remarkable.  Leading the church to greatness in the coming years will require us to become radical – holding to a radical orthodoxy with a radical methodology.  It will require us to rethink everything so that we reflect just how remarkable our God is.  Will you join me on this journey of searching for a purple cow for the church today?

Interact: With each post I want to pose a question with which to interact.  Today’s question: What ideas do you have that could make the church stand out like a purple cow?

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3 Responses

  1. I’d say believing the most exclusive truth while practicing the most non-exclusive love. The gospel is a narrow belief which leads to non-narrow love. If the church did this they’d hold more firmly to Scripture while at the same time practicing more sacrificial deeds of love and mercy for their communities. It’s a Keller idea.

  2. Isn’t it crazy that those of us who have the most exclusive truth hold it so tightly? I always go back to the following quote from Julian the Apostate, “Whilst the pagan priests neglect the poor, the hated Galileans devote themselves to works of charity, and by a display of false compassion have established and given effect to their pernicious errors. See their love-feasts, and their tables spread for the indigent. Such practice is common among them, and causes a contempt for our gods.” The biggest accusation he could bring against Christians was that they were too concerned for the poor! Oh, how I wish that could be said of us.

  3. Make the news in a positive way. So much dread in the news…so much horror. We should try something extreme…something drastic…something like a purple cow to get everyone’s attention. How about a breakfast mission at our church for a few impoverished neighborhoods…open the gym up, feed some people, and invite the media.

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