Steve Jobs resigned recently after 14 years as Apple's CEO. Jobs literally changed the world of computers, technology, and communication by introducing us to the iMac desktop computer in 1998, the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010. The iTunes Music Store came along in 2003 and has become the top music retailer in the USA. Under his leadership, Apple rallied from a company in ruins in 1997 to now sitting on a cash reserve of more than $76 billion (MacWorld).

His commitment to creative innovation and marketing is as much a trademark as the apple logo prominently displayed on their products. Their commitment to think differently, to "think different" as the Cuppertino mantra goes. This mindset is evident in this early "Think Different" commercial ( on YouTube).

This commitment to think differently is one of the things I appreciate most about the legacy Jobs left. He thought differently, and encouraged others to think differently. Because of the willingness to think differently and act on those thoughts, Jobs and Apple helped change the world.

Although Jobs will be remembered for his technical and marketing genius, he was not the first to suggest that we "Think Different."

Two thousand years earlier as Jesus trained His disciples to change their world, He told them that they, too, must think differently.

Once, after a dispute among his disciples over who would get the seats of honor in the new kingdom, Jesus told them:

"You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:42-45 NIV 1984).

Did you get it? "Not so with you." It's as if Jesus is saying, "You will have to 'Think Different' if you are going to be my disciples."

He also used phrases like: "You must become like little children" (Matthew 18:3), and, "The first will be last and the last will be first" (Matthew 20:16). Jesus is teaching us to think differently! Then there is that word repent that calls us to both think and act differently! This was Jesus' message from the very beginning of his preaching ministry:

"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15 NIV).

So what if we applied this think differently mindset to church and ministry? If we are to truly "think different," then ...

  • Our ministries will be more about helping people who have nothing to offer us and less about how to satisfy our own desires.
  • Our worship assemblies will be more focused on the God who really is instead of the God we want Him to be.
  • So what if we applied this think differently mindset to church and ministry?
  • Our money will be spent in ways that will help get us into the community and less on how to get the community to come to us.
  • We do not have to have things our way all the time.
  • We will not be concerned about getting the credit for a good work, but instead will simply find joy in doing the good work.
  • We will remember that a little child is our model for what it means to be in the Kingdom of God.
  • We will realize that giving really is better than receiving.
  • We will understand that forgiveness is not optional.
  • We remember that vengeance is God's business, not ours.
  • We know that pleasing God is more important than being popular, famous, or important.

If we allow Jesus to teach us to think differently, we might not change the whole world, but we will likely change the world for at least one!