I just finished listening to the 20+ hour biography of Steve Jobs, written by Walter Isaacson.
I listened to it each morning for the past 8 weeks or so as I drove my daughter to and from school, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
Although Jobs was never a youth ministry leader, his life and legacy can teach us something.
So, what’s the #1 thing Steve Jobs teaches us about youth ministry?
Steve had a way of distorting reality to fit the vision he had of the future.
He had an uncompromising vision that elegantly designed technology could improve people’s lives.
When obstacles arose, he figured out a way around them.
When the engineering team said it couldn’t be done, he said that it could and challenged them to find a way.
Over the years, he pretty much bet the company on the next big thing, and it paid off year after year.
Think about it.
In the late 70’s, Jobs and his partner Wozniak created the Apple II, which was the world’s first highly successful mass-produced personal computer.
In the 80’s, Apple launched the Macintosh, which was the first successful mass-market all-in-one desktop personal computer to have featured a graphical user interface, built-in screen, and mouse.
The Apple II and Macintosh were revolutionary in the early days of computers.
From the time he returned to Apple in 1997 till his death in 2011 (just 14 years), Jobs and the team at Apple brought us the:
- App Store
- And more!
During that time, Jobs also brought into existence computer animated films with Pixar.
Remember Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, and Monsters Inc?
Those were all early Pixar movies that revolutionized the animation industry!
Before Jobs came to Pixar, the company was selling computer software and hardware. He soon discovered a small animation department that he thought had a lot of potential. The rest is history.
Jobs did all of this in just 14 years!
How? In large part due to his distortion of reality.
Because he was able to see what could be, he brought out the best in people and was often able to inspire others to do the impossible.
Yes, Jobs was a bit rough around the edges and didn’t have the best people skills. He often yelled and screamed at others, especially when they didn’t live up to his high expectations.
But he believed the impossible could be done, and inspired others to greatness.
So, what does reality distortion have to do with youth ministry?
Think about it.
As a yourh ministry leader, you have a distorted view of reality.
- Want to create a community of students who love Jesus and selflessly serve others around them.
- Know students aren’t the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today.
- Believe teenagers can change the world.
- Know that Jesus transforms people’s lives and there is no limit to what he can do.
- See students who are hurting and know that God heals.
- Love and accept everyone as-is.
- Bring out the best in others, and help people find their God-given gifts.
For many, your vision of reality is distorted. But you view the world with clarity because you see it the way God does.
The world needs more people like you.
– Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth