- When most folks were “eye for an eye” people, he said we should turn the other cheek.
- When the generous gave their coat, he said we should also give our cloak.
- He told parables about people like the father who risked his dignity by running to welcome his prodigal child home and the Samaritan who showed more compassion than two spiritual leaders who should have known better.
- He invited himself to a loathed tax collector’s house for dinner.
So why aren’t we who seek to follow Jesus positive deviants too? Maybe some of us are, but most of us lead by conventional ecclesiastical wisdom (i.e. what we learned in seminary.)
One example: An urban pastor’s church serves lunch every Thursday but his staff is concerned that the diners steal all the toilet paper out of the bathroom. So, what are the options?
A) Do not allow guests to use the church bathrooms.
B) Post a church person at the bathroom to be sure no one tries to take the TP.
C) Give each guest a roll of toilet paper as a parting gift after lunch.
Note: C is the ingenious idea of this pastor.
What deviant behavior is proving to bring positive results to your church or other faith community? Do you have good examples of outliers who find success in their ministry because they do the opposite of conventional wisdom? I would love to hear about them.