"Flattery will get you anywhere..." ... Always worth trying I guess.
"A smile that could light up the whole town..." ... Why thank you!
"He could sell water to a drowning man..." ... It's all about the patter.
But it wasn't my flattery, gorgeous smile or patter that worked today...
Today it was excitement and passion.
I won't go into it all just now, but it's a good reminder of the power of our excitement and involvement in what we stand for and believe, in what we want to convey and what we want to share.
Passion is contagious. It really doesn't take long to spread. And it even spreads to people who aren't naturally excited by your topic of choice, those who are sceptical, and those who have absolutely no interest.
Down the years I've found myself engrossed in listening to all sorts of people talk about all sorts of things purely because of the enjoyment and life that comes form the person telling me. You know those moments where you look into someone's eyes and in return you get a sparkle that tells you how important the topic is? They're the moments that really make a difference.
Even the most boring people come alive when you find their niche. It might be that you have no interest in superheroes, but get me started on Batman, and you'll be gripped not necessarily by the topic (though you should) but more than likely by the fever and excitement that comes in my sharing my passion.
A couple of months ago I took the family, and particularly the Boy (3 and a half) to Derby, to the model railway centre in Markeaton Park. I'll be honest, it was for him, and it was indoors, and it was cheap... winning all round! The place itself isn't huge, and while i can appreciate the effort that goes into such a hobby as electric trains, I'm not a fan and not particularly interested in the tiny details behind it. But this place was a haven for some very excitable men (and they were all men on that day... I'm sure similarly impassioned women would be welcomed). One such gentleman decided it was his responsibility to share his love of his trains with me, and he spent 45 minutes just talking to me passionately about what he'd accomplished, about the techniques to making different grasses in the scenery, about the types of trains they had running and what they were models of.
His passion didn't turn me into a model train enthusiast, but I appreciated his art, and encouraged his using his gifts. I saw the benefit in his sharing his gifts and passion with all his contemporaries. What they have built in Markeaton is apparently record-breaking, regarded as exceptional and makes a difference.
My passion today primarily made myself more work. I didn't convince others to do more, but they got where my heart lies and want to release me to find like-minded people, and to build my dreams and share my excitement with others. I think I left them appreciating deeper the value in the things I'm passionate about, and with the promise of support and prayer as I seek to action it.
With the right people sharing the dream and the passion this endeavour could easily become something exemplary, respectable, and life-changing for others. It should provide people with safe places to grow, to become all the could be, and to achieve great things.
What would it look like if the church were as passionate about the Gospel as they are about meetings, organs and quiche?
I wonder whether the church would have more success in its mission and Kingdom building if there was a little more excitement and passion involved?
Scrap that wonder... I know that the church would have more success in its mission and Kingdom building if there was a little more excitement and passion involved.
Because it's contagious... People are gripped by the sparkle in the eyes of the Christian who is excited about their God and their church and their calling into faith.
The real challenge is to find the way to cultivate an excitement in the first place. There are sparks out there, but they need kindling and releasing within the church so they in turn can begin to infect the rest of the world.
What about the Christian life is exciting you right now?
Remarcable is one man blogging about Youth Work, Theology, Family, Life and those other random things that come to mind.