So I have been trying to figure out why I want a Mac so bad. My work provides me with a perfectly good PC to check my email, hop on the internet, and to post this article. In the creative world, Macs are simply better because of their processing power and operating system, but that doesn’t matter too much for me checking my email and posting this article. Besides, I have a Mac Pro for video editing and audio recording, but I don’t need a Powerbook to check my email or to post this article. So why is it that when I walk in to Starbucks, and pull out my Dell, I feel embarrassed?
I recently watched a Mac commercial. It was about how Mac is green. The battery lasts a long time and has a longer shelf life, etc., etc. I thought to myself, I need a Mac so that I can care about the environment more. How ridiculous is that? If I don’t have a Mac, I am the pudgy, dorky, slightly overweight guy who could never get a date, especially if you are standing next to Mac guy. Fortunately my wife loves me for my Dell!
So what does this say about us as consumers in America? How about all of my Mac friends out there? Why do you have a Mac? Is it for the processing power? Is it because it offers you more programs than a PC that you use for your business? Or do you have one because it’s more sexy than a PC? Or even more so, do you have one because you subconsciously believe the ads that the Mac itself makes you more sexy, green, artistic, relevant, and hip?
I think it would be a far more interesting discussion to think about how the Mac influence has worked its way into what we do in ministry. I only bring this up because as I look at myself in ministry, and even the motivation behind why I do what I do, I can see a lot of the same mentality creeping up in my drive and purpose. How can I become a more sexy Christian? What do I need to do to be more artistic, green, relevant, and hip? Is it possible that I have been influenced by a very effective marketing campaign whose book deals and growth techniques entice me? Or better yet, is it the crafty lies and deceit of an enemy set on destroying our intimacy with God? I have been convinced that there is a formula, product, or program that will make my ministry more attractive to others. It will make my band more attractive, my art more attractive, and the list goes on and on. How can I make my ministry more sexy? How can I be a more sexy Christian?
Paul warns against this kind of stuff. He warns of us being more influenced rather than being an influence. I am going to paraphrase here, and possibly take a bit of artistic license. He speaks of how he preaches the cross and Him (meaning Christ) crucified. He says that this is the only tool that he has to be an effective minister, but I really don’t think that we as believers today actually believe those words. I mean, it has to be the Gospel…and yes, we have the Gospel and a sweet multimedia presentation. We have the Gospel and a television ministry. We have the Gospel and a drum circle or a smokin’ worship band. I am certain that I don’t think that any of these things are bad, but my concern is that I have come to the conclusion that the Gospel isn’t sexy on its own.
My wife and I are involved in a ministry that goes into brothels to minister to prostitutes. For the last year, they have tried everything to gain entry into these people’s lives. They tried serving them, gift baskets, even being covert. None of those methods worked. One day one of the team members got a really dumb idea. She suggested that they go in and wash the feet of these women of the night! I can’t think of anything more counter culture. Prostitutes are the most marginalized individuals in our society, by both believers and non.
So the ministry started doing just that. They started praying really hard and going in and sharing how Jesus came to serve and would wash his disciples feet. All of the sudden, they began to be invited into the brothels. They were asked to stay for dinner by the “House Mommas”. They were asked to pray with the girls, read scripture, and share about the life of Jesus. Low and behold, people started getting saved in the brothels! The Gospel worked! It really worked! It was sexy enough.
So, in the infamous words of Justin Timeberlake, “I’m bringing sexy back.” I am going to stop this nonsense that says that God needs my “anything” to reach the lost or impact the individuals in my congregation. He has already done so, and the greatest story that was ever told is my story to tell and it is the only thing that will be effective should I allow my gifting to tell it without the Mac pollution.