If you didn’t already know, I’m a huge Apple fan and yesterday confirmed my commitment once again.
My Macbook has been giving me some trouble lately. Specifically, the headphone jack was crackling during moments of high treble tonnes. So, I went online and booked a Genius Bar appointment.
Later in the day, I checked in for my appointment and was seated at the bar with a Genius looking at my Macbook. It turned out that my headphone jack was in fact damaged. The worse news was that in my model, the jack was connected directly to the Logic Board and that this entire board would need replaced at a cost of $650!
Which, by the way, is half the price of a brand new equivalent to my Macbook.
This was not good. I use my headphone jack a lot! Not so much for listening to music, but for video editing. If you’re in an office or coffee shop with other people around, it’s not fair to make them listen to the same repetitive clips over and over again, while you crop and format. I needed that headphone jack to work!
It was at this point that Apple once again impressed me. Seeing that I was about to pull the trigger and fork over the $650 to get it fixed, he had an alternative solution. A fix that would get me through the next couple of years, until I was ready to buy a new laptop.
“You could just buy a set of USB headphones. We don’t sell them here, but you could find them elsewhere.“
Why didn’t I think of that? I should have thought of that, and I probably would have though of that two days later, after my Macbook was already shipped off for repair.
I shook his hand, thanked him and packed up my computer. I walked out thinking to myself, “Apple sure knows how to keep its customers!“
This morning, I started to wonder about the parallels between Apple and the church. The difference between evangelism (the product) and discipleship (the service).
I am all about sharing the Gospel with an unbeliever, in the hope that they give their lives (buy into) Jesus. But what about instruction? What about the warranty and maintenance package?
What if the person doesn’t really know what to do with Jesus once they have Him? Sure, there’s an instruction manual (the Bible), but is there a place for them to learn how to apply it?
Apple provides manuals and video tutorials on how to use their programs and products. Furthermore, they host a variety of classes and workshops in their stores. Apple understands that simply getting a product into a users hands isn’t good enough.
They need to show them how their products can assist them and impact their daily lives.
Though it will look very different, I believe churches need to increase their spectrum of discipleship methods and techniques. These areas of discipleship should be engaging, exciting and ongoing.
Lastly, like was my experience yesterday, sometimes Apple will send someone to a different store. They do this because it’s better for their situation at that moment, yet secure in the fact that they’ll likely return at a later time.
I can only think of once where a church has suggested someone attend another church.
The fact is that certain churches have discipleship programs designed to assist specific needs. (i.e. Elderly, Single Mom, Homeless, etc.) It is better for them at that moment, yet we struggle releasing them. We want to hold so tightly to our flock, that we would choose hindering their growth and care to keep them in our pew.
Surely this isn’t the best way.
How have you seen the church lack service and discipleship, in comparison to the marketplace?