This Post about the upcoming iPhone made me think.
Currently Apple is taking an incredible risk. the iPhone. They first risked big by being themselves and operating their own OS. they know they aren’t going to appeal to everyone, but they also know that they people who OSx will always love OSx.
Then they took a big risk when they jumped into the Music player market. There are many decent MP3 players out there, most of them have more features than the iPod but Apple didn’t want feature creep so they released a simple, elegant, easy to use product that became, in all honesty, the industry standard.
And now with the iPhone they are probably taking their biggest risk to date by entering the oversaturated phone market. But they are coming with the same elegance and seemingly easy user interface and they are going full force into the phone market with an incredible product. But what if the iPhone bombs. What if it’s too expensive, or the fact that there is only one carrier using it inhibits people from buying it at all. What if it fails? Itg’s going to be on incredible failure if it doesn’t work.
The important Question though is, “Is Apple worried about failure?” And the honest answer from everything I’ve read and everything that I’ve seen is no. It seems to mee that Apple is more concerned about playing it safe then they are about taking risks. Safe is easy, risk is down right terrifying. But in the midst of that risk, what valuable lessons can you learn? And what do you lose if you don’t risk it all? everything.
The church has a reputation for playing it safe, for not being willing to risk or change because there is to much uncertainty in change and risk, and that’s the way it’s always been done. That kind of thinking is completely detrimental to any organization, and for the church it shows a complete lack of faith in the God who called us to reach the world.
As a church what are we risking everyday? What are we risking every year? I’m not saying that we should be wreckless and live on the edge and constantly be doing stupid stunts or whatever. But we can’t do things the way they’ve always been done anymore. Every church needs their iPhone, the thing that they are willing to risk everything over, it’s that next big goal, it’s the hurdle, the building project, the outreach strategy.
Jesus said that he would build his church and the gates of hell can’t overcome it. Well we need to be risky enough to approach the gates of hell so that we can advance the Kingdom of God.
Seth Godin says, “Playing it safe is Risky.” Being Risky at least has the potential for forward progress.
So I love my Mac. I have been touting it’s incredible features, ease of use, and reliability for over a year now. There are so many things that I love about the software, the user interface, the actual store, the employees, the design and more.
The church can learn a lot about how to win people from Apple so I thought I might as well write a few ideas and see where they go. If other folks on the blogoverse have written this, I’m sorry I’m not trying to steal your ideas.
What the Church can learn from Apple
1. Simplify — From the store, to the design of the actual computers, to software installation, to what their employees where in the stores you can see that simplicity is important. Simplicity is not the same as dumbing it down or reducing your requirements. Apple has done a brilliant job of simplifying their product so that a 4 year old can use the same computer as a 45 year old executive. There are no catches, tricks or hidden components that you really have to figure out before you can really get the whole shebang.
The church (in general) has done a really great job of over complicating the message, the method, the programs, all kinds of things. If the discipleship process at your church is 17 steps that’s way to many. Do you know how many steps it takes to set up an Apple computer? 2! Step 1. take out of box. Step 2. Turn on and enjoy!.
Jesus didn’t overwhelm his disciples with steps and programs. He started his ministry among them by simply saying, “Follow Me.” And he ended it by saying two steps. Step 1. Go! Step 2. Make disciples! He didn’t spell out entirely what discipleship looked like. He didn’t draw them a baseball diamond diagram, he didn’t give them course schedules. He kept it delibaretly simple.
The Apple commercials have two people in them with a plain white background and some noticebly subtle music. That’s it. Nothing too complicated there. Each commercial has one specific message, i.e Apples are easy to use, Apples come with all the software you need, Apples are less prone to attack, Apples are compatible with just about everything. I saw a church promo that tried to reach everybody but didn’t actually say anything. The promo was uselessly complicated, because they didn’t know who they were reaching and hoped that by shooting at many targets they might hit one.
Simplify. What programs do we need to kill? What does the church need to avoid doing? What do we need to say no to? How many steps are in our discipleship process? How many events are on our calendar?
So this past weekend I had the opportunity to go Sturgeon fishing with a group of folks from our church. Now I’m the first to admit that I am no outdoorsman. I don’t fish a lot because well, there’s a lot of sitting around and waiting and I don’t really have the patience to do that.
But I admit that this past weekend was a lot of fun and I think the reason I had as much fun as I did was because I reeled in 3 fish, one of which was a keeper. Below are some pictures of my exploits on the Columbia River.
But even though I only reeled in one keeper, the other sturgeon know to watch out for me.
Reeling like a mad man
here’s the ugly mugg
I know, I know, impressive
When I got home Judah gave me a Thumbs up
His shirt says, my dad rocks. so that was thoughtful of him.
It’s Been A while but it’s back today, no gaurantees for next week.
I like to wear “Do-Not-Disturb” signs around my neck so that little kids can’t tell me knock-knock jokes. I’d say “Hey, how you doing, nephew?” “Knock-knock.” “Read the sign, punk!”
Well today is my second ever father’s day as a dad. It’s good times. Kathy made a delicious breakfast, and then I had a run to church. We had a really great time this morning, we hooked everyone up with Krispy Kreme Donuts. And we had a little competition to see which dads could get these little Gliders to fly the furthest. The winners got a Beef and Book.
The highlight of this father’s day so far was when Kathy and Judah got to church and she set him down and Judah came walking right to me, It was a heart warming little moment.
I just finished reading through Galatians. Man this is an incredible letter, that talks about the freedom that we have in Christ, and the ability to live redeemed lives that only comes through the Holy Spirit. Everytime I read this book I am reminded that it’s not about me being perfect, and it’s not about me making everyone around me perfect.
My job as a Spiritual Leader is really to facilitate the discussion for people to wrestle with the Bible and let the Spirit transform their hearts. And I am responsible to be a tour guide of sorts to show people the way to Jesus, the way to the cross.
Today though I had a bit of an epiphany, in Galatians 6:1-2 it says:
1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
I was struck with the question, what does it really mean to carry the burdens of people who are caught in a sin? How do we carry the spiritual, emotional, and relational weight for people who are struggling?
I think this is the messiness of our faith together, where we really begin to do the work of the gospel, where we literally begin to see people set free from their struggles and sins. And we need to do it gently.
And I don’t even have any answers to this question, but lately I have been diving into life with people a little more intentionally and I’ve been reminded that it’s not my job to make them perfect. or to make sure that they look the part of a good Christian Kid, but I need to be willing and able to bear the burdens with them.
And this is exhausting work, so that’s why we need a church family. The more people that we can get helping people carry their burdens the better we will be. I have been encouraging our leaders to do whatever we can to be with students. Because they need to know that we will help them carry their burdens.
I don’t know if effective ministry is just having tons and tons of people come to an event, as much as effective ministry is the church body, being the body we are called to be and the strong carrying the burdens of the weak, broken or hurting. I think this part of ministry is a lot harder, but it’s a lot more effective long term.
And you can’t program this, you can’t flow chart this kind of ministry, and I think that’s why it’s so frustrating, but it’s worth the frustration because it’s what Jesus has called us to do.
I love google!
this thursday we are having a ministry leaders meeting at our church I get to talk about the joys of google calendar.
Here is my walk thru if you are interested
This week we are switching our Monday morning staff meeting to Tuesday mornings. I really dug the monday morning because it got staff meeting done quickly, and then any assignments were given at the beginning of the week. So today I’m a little lost in the schedule change. It’s kinda weird.
This weekend was a busy one. We had a short but great staff retreat this weekend over at a Cabin that Kathy’s Aunt’s family owns. It’ right on the water on Whidbey Island. It’s incredible. It was a play and pray kind of weekend. When you are doing ministry with people it’s so important to take time to keep your relationships healthy and this weekend was intended to reinvigorate our good vibes.
So that was Friday to Saturday, then Sunday was a busy day. We had a guest speaker, Alan Johnson, who is incredible, great preacher, great man of God. Then lunch afterwards with Alan, then come home for two hours and turn right back around for our leaders meeting and cell groups. Then I got home and posted the sunday morning podcast and got that all squared away. So it was a busy, busy day.
Today Alan Johnson spoke in our morning service. He said something that completely rocked me.
“fear God or fear everything else.”
We are talking about being fearless this month at >>beyond>>. That qoute really helped put some perspective on fear.