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Faith Leaders Resources 4min read

What Pastors Can Learn From Apple

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Recently Apple had another one of their conferences where they outlined the new products to come and outlined how they would improve on the current products many of us already owned. And I must admit I am one of the millions of people around the world who have several Apple products and who watch this conference to see if there is anything new that they have created that I don’t need, but I want.

Many people love Apple, and while others don’t, whatever the case, you have to give them credit for how they do what they do. Here are a few lessons I think we can learn from Apple.

They Plan Well

They Plan Well, They Wait Well, They Focus WellApple does one of the best jobs as a company to plan what the next device will be and hold that information until they’re ready for you to buy it. Apple released several products and software updates during this conference, building on the previous device or the system we’re currently using.

The thought comes to mind here about the Church and how we sometimes are so focused on the following Sunday that we miss the importance of planning weeks or months ahead and see how we can link programs and ministries together. Sermon series are key for a congregation to stay focused and on track. Furthermore, what if we used a sermon series to build on a service project or significant Church focus. Our Pastor, Matthew Watley, does an incredible job with his yearly sermon series making sure that they are built on each other to help walk our congregation through certain truths of the Bible and the Christian faith. Whatever you do, planning well is vital.

They Wait Well

One of the things that I love about Apple and their conferences is that I know that whatever they spoke about will be on the Apple homepage once their conference is over. The entire website is going to look different based on what they shared. This is a lesson for us on waiting; they have everything from the images to the videos to the designs, but they don’t release what they have until it is all ready to go.

In the Church, we want to release one project after another without fully thinking through or waiting until all pieces are aligned. Now I know Apple has a staff of thousands, but you don’t need thousands of people to plan out what you will do and then wait to release it until everything is a go. I think there is a level of patience that we can learn from Apple that will help us as a Church.

They Focus Well

There are others, but the last one for this article is critical FOCUS. Apple has enough money, staff, and creativity to be in almost every business or product they want. However, Apple continues to stay focused on the goal and the products that they have. Don’t get me wrong, every few years, they might come out with a breakthrough product that is different from their usual list of products (Apple Watch). These do happen, but they often make the following product from the one they recently released. This focus allows them not to compete with every new company but focus on their lane.

As the Church, I think sometimes we need to concentrate our priority, and while there are several things we can do, we should focus on those things that we can do well. I would even say that we can help others with food outreach, overseas missions, or youth ministry programs. While we can do any of these, God has graced particular Churches to do these on a high level, and those Churches should lead while other Churches partner with them to make a significant impact. Yes, we’re all called to serve, but we are also called to steward the resources God gives, and focus can help us do this. What is your Church really good at doing, and how can you focus on that area?

As we glean from Apple, how are you planning well; how are you being patient for the pieces to come together; and how are you focusing on the resources God has given you and your ministry?

About the Author

Russell St. Bernard is the director for ministry operations at Kingdom Fellowship AME Church in Maryland, and the founder of After the Music Stops, a full-service youth ministry company as well as founder of Ministry Pivot, a company dedicated to assisting leaders and churches seize opportunities for growth.

Russell St. Bernard