Learning from Steven Jobs

I’m not an Apple guy, but I’m still struck by the life and death of Apple founder Steven Jobs. What a remarkable 56 years.

Since eveybody’s talking about Jobs today, I ask you: What can Christians and Christian ministries learn from his example? Chime in.

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15 Responses

  1. How NOT to treat people who don’t add up to your expectations.

  2. Well, he was certainly driven. He made sure people knew about his products. He was passionate about what he had to offer. He pretty much defined the world of technology. And the obvious question here is, “Am I as driven to promote my “product” (the Gospel) as Steve Jobs was? I sure wish he had heard the Gospel; maybe he did. I read that he was a Buddhist.
    I have a friend who is dying; everyone thought it would be yesterday. She invested her life in her students through over 25 years of teaching English at a Christian school. She was passionate about the Gospel. The contrast between Steve Jobs and Sandy is pretty dramatic. Hopefully, she’ll meet her Savior today. One thing is sure—Steve Jobs knows now that there is one God, and that a life lived for anything but Him doesn’t count for eternity.

  3. Life is a precious gift from God and God’s glory is its ultimate fulfillment. Nothing else can satisfy.

  4. Joshua Harris wrote a really good article (upon the release of the iPad) in which he graciously thanked Steve Jobs and reminded him that he was created in the image of God (http://bit.ly/pS0jRU). Much of his work reveals those “image bearing” characteristics. I want my life and work to “proclaim” the glories of God, but I also want to supplement that with the clear and verbal declaration of the glory of God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’d also like to be as committed to excellence and helping people (more spiritually and eternally than purely materially and physically) as Steve Jobs was. Before he died, Steve Jobs mentioned that the reality of impending death had become for him that one great reality that helped him make decisions, etc. I hope that the shortness of life and the greatness of the responsibility will compel me, too, to make decisions that will prove to be wise and fruitful for God and His kingdom.

  5. Fascinating man – given up for adoption by an unwed college graduate student whose only requirements for the adoptive parents were that they must have been college graduates. She found out later that the adoptive parents were not college graduates and she would only sign the final adoption paper work after assurances that the child would go to college. Of course, Steve Jobs did go to college but quickly dropped out and went on to change the world.

    Lessons I learn even from these brief facts:

    1. Adoption is a beautiful thing – temporally and eternally.
    2. God, even in His common grace, uses weak and foolish things to confound and amaze the strong and wise (I am reminded of Jobs’ famous ending to a speech at Stanford University – “stay hungry, stay foolish”)

  6. His whole slogan “Think Differently” is something that resonates with me. I hate status quo thinking! He made a demand for products that didn’t even exist. He was told by investors that nobody needed a personal computer, and today everyone NEEDS one and owns at least one. Even recently, some tried to tell him that nobody needed a touch screen tablet, and now it’s becoming a necessity!
    Spiritually, “thinking differently” is actually to think “biblically” in today’s evangelical climate. So, that’s something I can be inspired from.

    The recent movie “Moneyball” which is about Oakland A’s manager, Billy Beane is about a man who changed the way Baseball is managed by thinking differently about recruiting. Most people thought he was nuts, but he got the A’s to a winning season with the lowest budget in MLB. The Red Socks took his strategy and won the World Series with it against the Yankees, breaking the curse of the Bambino.

  7. I think that Jobs sums things up nicely here…

  8. I’ve always thought SJ was a fabulous example of gifting as we understand it in a Christian world view – here was a man who pursued with passion what he loved and was talented in. And did it apart from the established way of doing things. (College drop-out, fired from his own company, etc.)

    I often wonder what hidden dreams and potential lie dormant in our congregations because the individuals don’t fit the milieu that we’ve established. And yet, so much innovation, so much progress comes from people stepping away from the expected, coming to understand their unique gifting and pursuing their dreams. Imagine the possibilities when done in context of understanding God sovereignty in gifting the members of His body.

    Maybe we need to spend less time “training” the members of our churches and more time discovering what each is already gifted to do.

  9. My job for the past 7 years has been to support, sell, and troubleshoot Apple products. To me, Steve was a great example as a creative image-bearer. He was relentlessly creative and perfectionistic. God is these things too, yet without the much discussed sins Jobs was guilty of in forms of harshness, pride, and ego. Yet his creative spirit is there, and alone, it was an amazing good for humankind.

    Steve helped the world see a small glimpse of what it’s like to know a lot about everything from wherever you are, which is an almost God-like characteristic. These iPhones in our hands, in some ways like the tower of Babel, can fool us into thinking we can be like God.

    One more thing we’ve learned from Steve’s life. Like so many countless influential people: Steve was adopted into a family from an unwed couple who might have aborted him. His new family wasn’t rich, they were working class. Never underestimate the value of a single human life. Don’t prejudge children with bad circumstances and tell them they’ll never amount to anything. The same God that will one day turn us into radient sons of God, can take a poor little half-Arab kid and make him into the most influential technologist in history.

  10. When thinking about brilliant men who die young, it struck me this morning that both Steve Jobs and Jonathan Edwards lived about the same length. Edwards died at age 55, while Jobs died at age 56.

    I have often wondered about the possible legacy that Edwards might have left us if he would have lived another 40 years or so.

  11. How about this one. Under the leadership of Jobs, Apple’s modus operandi generally has not been to ask the market what they want and then give it to them. I think churches would do well to stop determining what the market wants and shaping their ministry accordingly. We proclaim a message people need, not a message they always want to hear.

  12. His was a most fascinating life and, being an Apple guy, I am sorry to see him leave this world.

    HOWEVER…..his earthly achievements for me have overshadowed his spiritual condition and I say this to my shame. Should I not grieve more that he likely died a Zen Buddhist and not a Believer?

    Only one life, ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.

  13. Sorry I’ve not been able to get back to this. Quick thoughts:

    * The value of work. He did a lot to fulfill the Creation Mandate. :)
    * Excellence and ingenuity within boundaries.
    * The vanity of life without Christ. His life, though immensely successful and influential, has “Ecclesiastes” written all over it.

    “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 ESV)

  14. Steve Jobs- creator of Apple, a brilliant mind, one of the most successful CEO’s in the last 100 years, but Steve Jobs was a Buddhist. He died from pancreatic cancer at the age of only 56.

    “Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.” -C.T Studd

    “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6

    Even the most brilliant minds will utterly miss it all if they don’t have Jesus Christ as the center of their life. For we are sinners worthy of Hell; and will be judged by a Holy and Just God.

    “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” -Matthew 3:2

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