As someone who is not tech savvy, nor am I a product ambassador, but I am an observer of culture, systems and organizations. Kris Vallaton of Bethel Church in Redding, California, recently said prophetic people are not as concerned about the what, but they are very concerned about the why.
I guess there is some prophetic giftings in me, for I love to know why something works. My friends will tell you that I am constantly analyzing the church and seeking to understand why so many people are leaving the church, are done with the system, but are still lovers of God and people. This question, which resonates in my spirit and mind on a daily basis, was illuminated in a powerful way when I entered the Apple Store in my city.
I walked into this store, which is only identifiable by a symbol of an Apple with a bite taken out of it. This alone is genius, to be known for something as simple as a symbol and to have it represent so many different thoughts, emotions, ideas and opinions is fascinating to me. Then we walk through the door and the Apple experience begins, we are immediately greeted and ushered to the place we need to be for maximum service. Then once checked in, we are invited to explore the store, which is very hands on, you can touch anything, ask anything, engage with anything in the store. My son, is immediately drawn to the new iPhone while I sit down, and people watch in utter amazement.
Old and young, rich and poor, white, black, Asian and every other color is in this store. I immediately ask, how did they do this, how did they create a company that brings every race, every color, ever gender, every socioeconomic status and every age together under one roof, while keeping everyone engaged? I then want to know how they created something that people are willing to pay so much money for. I sat across from an older woman who was buying an upgrade as her phone was out of date, to my left there was an elderly couple getting educated by a young millennial man on the ins and outs of their new iPad, and right next to me was a middle aged business man transferring all his information from his iPad 2 to his iPad Pro.
There was a buzz in this store, people were laughing, information sharing, complaining, communicating and all under one roof. It was electric from start to finish. One of the things I noticed was the flow from the front door to the back wall, there was no hierarchy noticeable, but there was incredible organizational synergy and order. I sat there, watching all of this go on, and I thought, this is what the first-century church must have been like. It would have been electric with the excitement about the innovative teachings that Jesus brought about the kingdom of God. It would have been touching every race, age and gender. My experience in the Apple Store reminded me of what church is supposed to be like.
Here are some things I think Apple has that the church needs to rediscover:
- Innovative, forward thinking that keeps people excited and interested in what God is about to do next.
- A hands-on experience for everyone.
- A Person that evokes a willingness to sacrifice for because of the high value He carries.
- An organization that is not hierarchical, but synergistic, organized and highly effective in its execution.
- The simplicity of the kingdom of God and the message of the gospel.
If we are willing to open our eyes, ears and minds to the limitless world in which we live, we will be able to see, hear and sense the kingdom of God in operation in some of the seemingly most unlikely places, such as an Apple store in Leawood, Kansas. I sat there and imagined what the church could learn from Apple, and I got excited at the possibilities that are before us.
Lisa Great is an author, speaker and blogger with Mouthpiece Ministries International. She has been in ministry for over 25 years, she has a BA in Youth and Family Studies, a MA in Education. She can be reached at mouthpieceministries.net;
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