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Think Different

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On December 20, 1996, Steve Jobs made a dramatic return to Apple, Inc., the company he had co-founded on April 1, 1976 and was subsequently fired from on September 13, 1985. During this ~11 year stretch of time in Steve’s absence, to put it lightly Apple had lost its way and was languishing in the face of its competition. I remember this distinctively as I was a student at the University of Illinois at the time and experienced first hand (on many occasions) waiting in line at the computer lab for a PC while rows of Macintosh computers sat idle. In short, nobody wanted to use Macintosh computers for a host of reasons, myself included. Among other changes made upon the return of Steve Jobs, Apple wanted to shake-up the public’s negative perception of its products and re-position the company and its employees for the future. The result of this initiative is widely considered one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time. Apple’s “Think Different” campaign debuted on September 28, 1997 and was designed around challenging the status quo. In television advertisements the voice of Richard Dreyfus read:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Today I went back and found that on September 26, 1997 (the Friday before the advertisement first launched), Apple’s stock price closed at $5.28/ share. Yesterday, on February 25th, 2013, Apple’s stock closed at $442.80/ share. I think that it is safe to say that Apple, its employees and customers have "thought differently" during this time.

On October 2, 2011, almost 14 years to the day following the launch of the “Think Different” campaign, a radical dream was born at Mission Church. Our pastor, Jon Peacock, shared Mission Church’s vision on that day of transforming The Ten, a “city” of nearly 262,000 people where a spiritual awakening needed to happen. On that day a dream was born of helping each and every one of those 262,000 people find and follow Christ.

Why The Ten? First and foremost, because that is where God has called us to serve. In addition, because in many ways what we see in The Ten is a modern day Galatia, a place where religious apathy has taken place of spiritual enrichment and relationships with a living God. Further, we see many people that have never known God, or at least not a loving one. Lastly, we see people in need of assistance and inspiration. In all these things we aspire to restore The Ten into a place more closely resembling God’s vision for this community.

Some people have told us that these seeds have been planted on infertile soil. Those same people are astounded at the growth that has taken place at Mission Church in the 17 months since our opening. God’s hands are all over this mission. Years from now there will be two groups of people: Group A represents those that believed us now and Group B represents those that will believe us then.

Therefore, I will end with this question. Which group are you in? Are you a believer in this radical dream Mission Church has of creating a revival in The Ten? Of reaching and restoring 262,000 people spiritually and serving and assisting all those in need among them?

We are at the starting line of something outstanding that God is doing in The Ten. I hope you are along for the ride. After all, “the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.”

We are not done!

This post was written and submitted by John Frank