This morning, as I opened up my Firefox browser when I got to work, I saw a very interesting tidbit of info that popped up on the Yahoo newswire. How'd you like to earn six figures for lounging around a tropical Australian paradise for six months?
This is a real job being offered to the right applicant. If chosen, you get to spend six months, starting July 1st, beach bumming, snorkeling the beautiful Great Barrier Reef, among a few "mionor tasks" on Hamilton Island, in the south Pacific. The person is expected to blog about the experience on the island, keep photo diaries, and post video updates. They put you (and family, if applicable) up in a three bedroom beach home, complete with a pool and a golf cart. And that six-figure income? $150,000 Australian, about $105,000 in US cash!
What would make the state of Queensland go to this extreme to promote tourism? They say that in these rough economic times, traditional tourism advertising doesn't always cut it. They are "thinking outside the box" by going this route.
I gotta say, I like what they are doing. (What's that? Is that the call of God to go to Hamilton and spend six months doing missionary work?) The reason I like it isn't because I want to go, but I see merit in the "outside the box" approach the Queensland govenment is taking. They recognize that the way it has always been done simply isn't cutting it anymore. They see the need to try something different, something imaginative. It actually reminds of what I believe is the Biblical ministry model.
When Jesus came, He did't come in the robed, pious and pompous fashion of the religious leaders of that day. They were masters of the status quo. Jesus was the Master Innovator. The Pharisees and other leaders of Judaism did ministry and religious activity from memory. Jesus did ministry from innovation. The Pharisees looked behind them to what once happened. Jesus looked ahead to what lied down the road. The Jews of the day would meet weekly in a synagoge, and listen to what God did in the past. And, think it's good and right to praise God for His blessings and for what He's done. But if all we do is talk about what He's done, and fail to see thta there are things that He wants to do now, we are missing something vital. Jesus, in contrast, surrounded Himself with disciples that didn't just listen to a sermon and go home. They listened, and then He sent them out do His work. He had a plan for things yet to come.
I am reminded about what I read from the pen (keyboard, more accurately!) of a young church planter in Detroit. On his blog, he wrote of the need to do ministry from imagination, not from memory. Times have changed, and while the message is timeless, methods aren't. In these times, we need to think outside the box. Economic times are tough. Worldviews are changing. Technologies are evolving. We need to recognize the change and capitalize on it.
I don't know just how. I'm not sure how it will look. But when I see young men and women out there in the world breaking boxes of perception, and yes, even tradition, I'm inspired.