What I Learned From The Apple Announcement

I’m the guy who has the latest tech gadget. I actually had, and used, an Apple Newton back before there was such a thing as a Palm Pilot. I guess that qualifies me as an “early adopter.”

I’m the guy who can help you make your iPhone or Macintosh work for you. Because I don’t have a secretary or executive assistant, I’ve had to learn how to get the most from my personal digital assistants. As a result, I seem to be the person that people call when they need help with their Apple gear or software.

Yeah, I’m that guy. (I might be a geek, but I’m positively not a nerd!) So I, along with bazillions of others, was glued to my computer screen during this week’s Apple keynote address. I was dying to find out if they would announce the rumored “iWatch” device.

They did. And while I want one NOW, what they presented made sense for me as a youth leader. Here’s why:

It’s Designed To Be What It Is
The Apple Watch isn’t a tiny version of an iPhone. It’s a watch, designed to be very personal and helpful at a glance. People don’t stare at their watch—they glance at it. The same should be true of the various programs we run in our youth ministries; they should be designed to be what they are. Outreaches shouldn’t be worship experiences, which shouldn’t be discussion groups, which shouldn’t be… you get the idea. Check out the Create a Youth Ministry Environment article by Denny Miller in the current YLO97 for a deep dive into this subject.

It Works With The Whole Apple System
The information that the Apple Watch displays isn’t supposed to replace what you can get from your iPhone or computer, but to supplement it. An iPhone with an Apple Watch is more effective than either alone. Add a Mac into the system and everything works together seamlessly. So often I observe youth ministries that seem to be working at odds with themselves—or even with their church. We need to work toward a “system” that allows each program to function to its best and support the rest.

It’s Not Everything The Media Was Hoping For
Reading the stories leading up to the announcement, you’d think that Apple had a magic ability to create a wrist device that did everything imaginable. I’m sure that Apple tried and threw out ten times—maybe a hundred times—as many ideas as anyone else tried with their so-called smartwatches. Very few organizations know how to say “No” like they do. In our youth ministries, we too have to say “No” to many ideas, no matter how good, valuable, godly, or exciting they might be. We can’t do everything. We can’t please everyone. We have to decide what we want to accomplish, and then do only what we can (and should) do to accomplish that goal.

Yeah, I want an Apple Watch. Until I get one, I’ll have to keep focused on doing the best work I can to create the best ministry possible. You too?

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090214_cindyengoy_blogYouth Leader. Musician. Missionary. Writer. Team interlínc WriteGroup member. Wife. Mother. Friend.

Cindy Engøy is all that. And more. And now, she’s laughing with Jesus and enjoying Paradise. And I’m weeping. Not for her, but for us — for our loss and because of my own sorrow.

The cancer in her that was discovered just a few months ago finally prevailed over her body, but it couldn’t overcome her spirit. Cindy’s love for others, her willingness to serve, her talent and creativity continue on.

I just wish she didn’t have to go.

My sorrow reminds me of something very important about this Youth Leaders Only thing that I’ve been a part of for so many years: this isn’t a job, or a program, or a product — this is a “family” of likeminded people who care for each other, who celebrates in our creativity together, and who are elbows-deep in youth ministry together.

interlínc isn’t the only “family” that Cindy leaves behind. She has been heavily involved in multi-cultural ministry from her home base in Long Beach, California. She helped to plant Light & Life Church, and then served with the Seventh Street Church. She and her husband formed YesWeServe, a mission organization that works with kids in Ghana, India, and Mexico. (She wrote an article called “My Ghana Girls” less than a year ago in YLO94.) And, Cindy was an accomplished musician who sang jazz vocals and praise music with various bands in southern California. Her musical sensibilities shone through the many music-based Bible studies she wrote for Youth Leaders Only over the years.

I’m going to miss her.

I can hardly wait to play guitar in a band that has her on vocals.

Godspeed, Cindy. I’ll see you again.

-Ken McCoy, interlinc’s Editor

P.S. As I finished writing this article, I looked at the “daily verse” thing that sits on my table. Today’s verse reads:

He heals the heartbroken, and bandages their wounds.

He counts the stars, and assigns each a name.

Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what He knows and does.

(Psalm 147:3-5, The Message paraphrase)

I needed that!


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Did you catch Seth Green on the Today Show Tuesday morning talking about “The Identical”?

Check out this fun music/promo video for “The Identical” from Zaxby’s

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Pop band One Direction recently played a show in Nashville. Traffic around the stadium was a nightmare, our downtown population’s average age for the night dropped by about 20 years, and our local weekly published an amazing series of shots from the show. Take a few minutes and enjoy “Sad Dads at One Direction”.

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Beastie Boys + The Muppets. It’s a mashup for the ages …