Steve Jobs was the noted visionary, co-founder, and CEO of Apple Inc. until his death in 2011. In May 1997, Apple held its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California.
At that conference Jobs said: “One of the things I’ve always found is that you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it. And I’ve made this mistake more than probably anybody else in this room, and I’ve got the scar tissue to prove it. And as we have tried to come up with a strategy and a vision for Apple, it started with, “What incredible benefits can we give to the customer? Where can we take the customer?” Not starting with “Let’s sit down with the engineers and figure out what awesome technology we have, and then how are we going to market that?”
Jobs recalled being excited about the first laser printer. He said, “I remember seeing the first printout come out of it. Just picking it up and looking at it and saying, ‘We can sell this.’ All you have to do is hold it up and say, ‘Do you want this?’ People went ‘Wow … Yes!’”
Essentially what Jobs was saying at the WWDC conference was that when people see the product you are selling, you don’t want them to be wowed merely by how fancy it is or how well it looks, but rather to experience the wow factor by what the product can practically do for them.
You know what? The same is true as it relates to our Christian lives. As Christians we are not selling a technological product, or any product for that matter, but we are trying to market the Gospel of Jesus, so to speak, i.e., to give the Gospel, free of charge, to any who will receive it.
But how do we do that effectively?
Like Jobs, we must “hold up” our product of a Christian lifestyle that is not flashy or superficial, but Jesus-focused and sincere (1 Pet. 2:15, 17). We must hold up genuine, unselfish love for fellow Christ-followers as well as for those in need of following Him (Matt. 22:39). We must hold up the daily, ongoing hope we have in Christ while facing difficult circumstances and an uncertain future (Rom. 12:12). We must hold up the answer we have in Jesus to the nagging guilt that comes from bad, sinful choices and accompanying, painful consequences (Heb. 10:22). We must hold up the only source of eternal life to a world that offers only a temporary, earthly existence and a shadowy, afterlife destiny (John 3:16-18). Then, people may be wowed, made thirsty, when they see the thing for which they have been so desperately looking for in and through our lives, and unreservedly join us in quenching their thirst through faith in Jesus!
To accomplish this wow factor as Christians, we must stay motivated in holding up, i.e., in demonstrating our Christian product, just as Steve Jobs did at Apple in rolling out new products and staying true to his company vision, mission, and purpose at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference. We do so at Main Street Baptist Church by pursuing our vision “to be an enthusiastic, encouraging, & multiplying church family that attracts the unchristian and unchurched and equips all to become life-transformational servant leaders for the Kingdom of God.” We do this as we pursue our mission to touch God (through worship & love), to transform our lives (through discipleship in God’s Word, fellowship/relationship with other Christians, and using our spiritual gifts in serving others) and to take risks (through evangelism and mission endeavors). As we do these things, we will fulfill our God-given purpose as individuals and as a church family “to become 3C3s (Completely Committed Christ-followers) who love, enjoy, and glorify God.”
Essentially then, stay thirsty and salty for Christ, my friends, so you can create thirst for Him in the unbelieving around you, so they in turn can be made salty and create thirst for Jesus in others.
That’s what it is all about.