>What Can Apple Teach Us About a Post-Church World?

>Steve & Apple Inc.Image by marcopako  via FlickrI’m sort of an Apple fanboy.  I admit it.  I type this on my MacBook Pro.  I have my iPod in my pocket.  I’m a new user of an iPad.  We have a PC, too.  I’m comfortable on Microsoft products.  But, I really like the Mac stuff.  It just seems to make sense to me.  I know others have different experiences, but this is mine.  I switched to Mac about 8 years ago after a Dell laptop went dead with a motherboard problem and I was struggling with Windows ME — which was a waste of an operating system.  I thought I’d give Apple “a fair shake” and haven’t looked back.

One of the things I’ve bee interested in is the very different business model that Apple plays by.  I’m sure they’ve wanted a bigger piece of the PC pie.  But, even at 5-7% or whatever it is, they’ve made their money and they’ve made their fans.

But I’ve been amazed at how they’ve functioned.  In my PC days it was always a matter of getting faster, bigger, more powerful hardware.  And it was cool.  And, while it’s still cool to get faster, bigger, more powerful hardware on the Mac, they’ve been much more holistic in their approach, looking at the total experience.  Perhaps it can be analogous to bigger, more powerful churches not necessarily providing the best experiences.

I read an article yesterday that furthered my thinking on this.  It’s from Eric Jackson from Forbes Magazine.  It’s called “Apple Doesn’t Have an iPad Strategy, It Has A Post-PC Strategy.”

Here are some select quotes:

We are looking at the forest instead of the trees when it comes to the current tablet wars between Apple, Google’s Android platforms like Motorola Xoom and Samsung’s Galaxy and Research in Motion’s soon-to-ship PlayBook.

Apple doesn’t look at their businesses through separate product groups.  They don’t have an iPhone strategy conceived of by people who never talk to the iPad corporate strategy people.  Take a step back and look at the forest: Apple is following a Post-PC Strategy.

Apple used the term “Post-PC” at least a dozen times in its most recent iPad keynote last month.  Apple doesn’t just slip words and phrases in its corporate messaging at random.  They are always deliberate.

So what is their Post-PC Strategy?  It is an iOS strategy.  They want to be the dominant operating system through your life – at home and on the move.  That sounds a little geeky but it means that they want you to be so delighted with your experience on the iPhone’s operating system that you want that same experience on your tablet.  After you are satisfied with that experience, you start to wonder why you are still using a PC versus a Mac or MacBook Air as your “desktop computer.”  And then that will extend to your television.

So, could this be telling us something about a “POST-CHURCH” World?  Are we, perhaps, putting too much energy on failed systems or, perhaps, missing out on the holistic view of faith?

Maybe….

So…I sat with that for a while.

And then here comes a video by George Bullard of the North American Baptist Fellowship with a very solemn look at the decline of denominations.  I thought this was really good and made me scared and excited at the same time.

Well…

So….

Are we looking towards a post-church, post-denominational world out there?

If so, what can we learn and do?

Looking at Apple, what is the iOS, the operating system, the building blocks of faith that we need to be building across platforms?

What does a missional outlook on ministry mean to this?

(I realize I say this as pastor of a church with a new building, within a denomination that has been declining in the US.)

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