What are We Good At, What are We Not?

design-48Definitions for this article:

  1. Product: The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  2. Promotion: Marketing or advertising the Gospel.
  3. Presentation: The method utilized to deliver the Gospel.
  4. Productivity: The positive results of the Gospel of Jesus.

We don’t have a product problem. We don’t have a promotion problem.

We have a presentation problem. Because of this, we have a productivity problem.

While visiting a large suburban mall, I noticed that the Apple store had relocated. They had outgrown their space and moved to a larger spot in the same mall. In a few moments, we walked by their new location. But here was my surprise: they had yet to put up their sign. There was no indication anywhere on the outside that this was the Apple store. I wondered about their decision to open the new location without first putting up the sign. But, as you can see, everyone knew exactly what store it was – the place was full; business as usual.

Apple has great products. They’ve done their promotions. Their presentation is unquestionably effective. Of course their productivity is unparalleled. They have been so good at what they do, the temporary lack of a sign had no negative effect whatsoever.

I don’t work for Apple; I work for the Church.

Let me say, church signage is very important. Like it or not, we must brand our churches. We must market the ministry. In our culture, if people don’t know about us, they aren’t coming. But I don’t believe our biggest issue (why more people don’t come) is promotion.

I know for sure that our product (the Gospel of Jesus) is the most valuable and important product ever.

I believe we have two problems that we should address and solve:

  • Our presentation suffers sometimes. The way we communicate the most important product is sometimes subpar. A lack of quality, ill prepared sermons and worship services, and ignoring the needs of our “potential audience” can really hurt our efforts. Our “potential audience” is our unsaved community. Churches that operate in ways that disconnect them from their unsaved community will suffer.
  • Our productivity is stifled. In many churches, very few people are coming to salvation in Christ. The harvest is sitting in the fields. This is a major problem.

I would remind you that the product needs no adjustment. The Biblical Gospel can stand for itself. I would also suggest that better promotion might not be the answer. If our presentation is poor, the best promotion in the world won’t help. The fact that our productivity is suffering is enough to cause us to evaluate and adjust our presentation.

Pastor, don’t change the product. Go ahead and improve your promotion. But if your productivity is less than you desire, invest in changing your presentation.

We’re not Apple. But wouldn’t it be cool if our presentation of the product was so amazing that promotion wasn’t necessary? It’s possible!

We don’t have a product problem. We don’t have a promotion problem.

We have a presentation problem. Because of this, we have a productivity problem.

Focus on your presentation of the most amazing product ever, and productivity will take care of itself.

don’t believe the mac hype

Less than a year ago, I “upgraded” from a PC to a MacBook Pro. Based on everything I had read and heard, I expected superior performance, excellent costumer service and longevity unparalleled by a PC. My buddies told me the operating system was more intuitive. I assumed my nerd friends knew what they were talking about. I was wrong.

My experience has been that the much more expensive MAC is not an improvement over the old laptops I owned. My Mac is already bogging down to the point that I have to reboot in the middle of operations at least once a day. The little spinning color wheel has become a nearly constant companion.  It’s a blast watching my typing appear slowly, one-letter-at-a-time, minutes after I have actually typed them.

One of the worst parts is the geniuses at the Apple store in the mall are an arrogant lot. My first experience after the big promises were made (at the time of purchase) was a bit humiliating. The little guy basically scolded me for making an appointment to come in to learn more about my Mac. He said (in a condescending tone and squeaky voice), “only come in if you have a problem. And to save us time, make a list BEFORE you come in.” Well, excuse me Apple Boy! I assumed that when I paid $2,000 for a machine, the seller may be willing to offer some assistance (as promised). I was wrong. Regarding current service: the fact that I should even need to go in this early in the game is a red flag. I don’t plan to go back unless it quits altogether – which seems to be a real possibility. And yes, I paid extra for the AppleCare service program. Got me again!

I guess the TV commercials weren’t legit. I am no cooler now than when I was a loser PC user. I got suckered. Shame on me for believers the marketers.

My advice: If you’re working on a PC, stick with it. If you’re a Mac user and interested in buying a slightly used and somewhat dysfunctional MacBook Pro, hit me up.

My new motto: Once you go Mac, you’ll want to go back.