What I Learned From The Apple Announcement
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?