There’s a sad story in the music industry. It goes like this: (1) An unknown commoner making straight-from-the-heart music in his/her spare time gets noticed. (2) He/she is thrust into the spotlight and immediately beloved for music and lyrics that resonate with the common person because, of course, they were indeed written by a common person. (3) The formerly unknown but now famous artist eventually begins working on a second wave of music. However, the place from which he/she is writing songs is very different: anonymity is replaced with fame, a part-time salary is replaced with a million-dollar recording deal, the mundane of working just to get by is replaced with touring and concerts. (4) As a result, the artist’s music and lyrics are suddenly not so relatable – we’re living in a different world and struggling with different problems; this artist doesn’t (and maybe can’t?) speak to us anymore. (5) Labels like “sold out” are thrown about amongst former fans and the artist begins to develop, ironically, a victimized mentality: “My fans have turned on me! Woe is me!”
To me, Blue Ocean faith is an alternative to something like this happening with the church and the secular world. The church, when in touch with what every common person goes through, when in touch with the human condition, has an incredible power to resonate in people’s lives. However, there is always the temptation to interpret finding faith as “hitting it big.” And, unfortunately, the end results of that interpretation are distance from those who used to trust you and a victimized mentality. This victimized mentality then becomes the topic of every message in churches that fall into this cycle. They no longer speak to the human condition; they speak to the Christian condition: “We have to protect ourselves from all this persecution! We’re trying to help these people, but they don’t understand us because they don’t know what it’s like to have 'hit it big.'”
The Blue Ocean alternative of never interpreting finding faith as “hitting it big” seems a much more attractive, in-touch-with-reality, and enjoyable option. How do you, in your spheres of influence, help people to interpret their faith with humility and to identify themselves alongside the rest of the world rather than as distanced from or victimized by the rest of the world?