It seems like I woke up one day about 6 months ago and realized that we had become an Apple family. I never had strong feelings one way or another in the Mac/PC debate but we were eventually won over by the products and we gradually made the switch. Once there I even read the Steve Jobs biography and like everyone else learned about the man, the brand and how they were one in the same.
I don’t have the direct quote but I remember reading that Jobs influenced the decision to market the products and the products alone. Starting with the iPod commercials with dancers in silhouette and the device and headphones in white to the product on black or white backgrounds with a hand interacting with the device. Even the initial Siri commercials only showed the actor’s mouths and not their entire faces. The product was the star.
Then I saw this during the Olympics.
A well made commercial, but it is a departure from the product focus. Apple has a great reputation for customer service and a genius has bailed me out of problems before, but the message is different.
Maybe this will work out fine for Apple and they are putting more emphasis on their retails stores. Whatever that doesn’t matter and after an observation I am out of my depth.
This has me thinking about the local church.
We try to do a lot of different things that I would consider secondary purposes. Allowing the community to use your space, affinity groups, youth and adult athletic leagues, education, social services, concerts, etc. None of these things are inherently bad and can be gateways into the primary purpose of the local church, that being the Gospel, but ultimately they are secondary.
It is so easy to for leaders to get focused on the secondary things and allow building use or activity to become the tail that wags the dog. When we don’t have a clear articulation of our primary purpose we can lose sight and can be bogged down with good things. Presenting the Gospel and living out the Kingdom is going to look different for each local church. It falls to leaders to seek this specific identity out.
Call it vision or purpose or mission or whatever leaders have to know it, understand it, and beat the drum for it.
No leader ever sets out to become distracted and dilute the message. It happens because of repeated small decisions that cause drift and distraction.
Figure out who you are and do whatever you have to do to keep that out front.