The Inspiration of Steve Jobs

The Inspiration of Steve Jobs

October 6, 2011 by

Yesterday Steve Jobs died. He was the founder of Apple and the man behind the iPod and iPhone. He brought simplicity, innovation and style to an industry dominated by complication, stagnation and beige.

While Steve Jobs wasn’t a Christian, his work has had wide-reaching application and impact as we church communicators seek to tell the greatest story ever told. Many of us use his creations in our daily work or seek to tell our stories on his machines. Many of us have found inspiration in his style and learned how to tell stories from his simple take on presentations (always clad in the familiar black turtleneck).

The commencement address Steve Jobs delivered at Stanford in 2005 is all over the place today, and for good reason:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

(Read the full text or watch the video.)

Whatever you think of Steve Jobs and Apple, it’s worth taking a moment to pause and reflect on the impact his work had on our world and specifically communications and marketing. The simple fact that so many are pausing to reflect says something about the depth of Jobs’ impact.

Death has now cleared away another visionary, but it’s made the way for someone new. That someone is you. What kind of impact will you have?

What’s your reaction to the death of Steve Jobs?

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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2 Responses to “The Inspiration of Steve Jobs”

  • Dan Hamann
    October 6, 2011

    I have been so inspired by Steve’s vision. He saw things that others missed. He believed that design was just as important as function. He was right. Now is the time for the church to embrace his lessons. We have to learn to communicate in ways that the culture can understand. We have to see the things that others are missing in delivering the most important message in the universe “Jesus”.

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  • Ps Terry Cunningham
    October 7, 2011

    Jobs and Jesus have some things in common. Both are inventive creators. Both were kicked out of their own organizations. Both created a storm with tablets. Jobs made his comeback from Pixar. Jesus is coming back with Power.

    “Death is very likely the single best invention of life,” Steve Jobs once said. “Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
    The original ‘Apple’ was an illicit Byte into the knowledge of good and evil (Bible, Genesis 2:17). It came with (1) an assumption that ‘humans know best’, and (2) the intention of being ‘god-like’. But we experienced the downside. Knowing good and evil can be a burden. And making decisions about good and evil inevitably involves failure at some level. Godlikeness is more than simply knowing good and evil.
    Like Jobs, one day each of us will have to decide what’s “truly important”. Jobs says death is a key issue. And he is right. Through death, God has limited the damage to this life; rather than letting it infect eternity. Through death, God has provided a final solution. Jesus died for us (Romans 5:6). In doing this, he puts right everyone humble enough to acknowledge him as Lord and Saviour (Master and Rescuer). All authority is now in his hands (John 3:35-36).
    This solution invites each of us to decide our future. It’s an offer motivated by generosity, and angled to our advantage (John 3:17-18, Romans 8:1-2, John 3:35-36). Jesus reminds us, “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:18).

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