What Can the Church Learn from Apple?

The Lead from Episcopal Cafe posted an interesting set of videos from Apple and posed the question, “What can the church learn from these Apple ads?”  It is a very thought provoking question that has caused me to comment on it.

One of the things that struck me about the ads was the attention to detail. I have a very dear friend who used to work for Apple and he would tell stories of how obsessed the engineers could be about getting the interface just right.  “Slap and Dash” was not their philosophy.  They worked very hard to make sure that the user experience was just right.  You don’t have to be technically savvy to use their devices or products.  Many non-technical people have talked about how they like Apple products because they are so intuitive, so user friendly.  So how does this relate to the church?

Churches seem to put things in the way to confuse and confound its “users”.   We have bulletins, inserts, prayer books, one or two hymnals and maybe a Bible all in a pew rack with no “quick start guide” or instruction manual.  You walk in the door and you are pretty much on your own, no tech support, no help desk.   We put up websites with unruly navigation and content that does not help our mission.  We “know” how these are supposed to work, but we don’t consider who our overall audience is.

How do we fix this?  Like Apple, we need to pay more attention to detail.  View what you present through the lens of someone who has never before been at your church.  Look at your website.  If I have never been here before how would I find the service times?  How about contact information?  Directions to the church?  Is there child care and do they have a Christian ed program?  If I come to your church on Sunday will I be able to find my way around?  Will I be able to navigate my way around the service?  If I want to give an offering and do not have cash or a checkbook, how can I do it?

None of this is particularly hard, but you have to be intentional it doing it.  No pun intended, but “God is in the detail.”