One of the most interesting things to keep up with over the past few years has been all the crazy changes in the music and book industries. I can still remember when CD’s first came out in the those huge cardboard boxes that were twice the size of the actual CD. Then there was Napster. You could download a song in 5-7 minutes! My mind was blown. But as music went digital, the very industry that was creating the music had no idea how to adapt with the changing culture. And it suffered huge losses.
Fast forward about 10 years and we find the book industry in the same position. This time, Amazon took a page out of Apple’s playbook and did their best to get ahead of the curve with the Kindle. It exploded.
This week, Amazon took another leap in its ability to adapt to cultural change. They announced the Kindle Zero. This is a FREE Kindle for its Prime members. An excellent piece of hardware… free. Traditional strategy says this is crazy. But these days, traditional strategies are constantly being challenged. Or blown up completely.
The Church can learn a lot from Apple and Amazon.
Why does it seem like the Church is the slowest moving organism on the planet?
I love the Church. I really do. I think there is boundless potential found in the heart of the Church. It is both organism and organization. It is the method in which God still chooses to operate in the world.
But the Church has trouble adapting.
The Church is an interesting study. While America is less than 250 years old, the Church has 2,000 years of history and tradition. I don’t think there is another organization in America that would share this trait. Actually, the book industry would probably be one of the better examples. Publishing dates back much longer than the history of America. So, in many ways, both the print industry and the Church must learn to look to tradition while at the same time be willing to look to the future.
So, like Amazon, the Church must adapt.
Will the church end? No. But it can lose its relevance and effectiveness in American, for sure!
The Times They Are A-Changin’ -Bob Dylan
This has never been more true!
Did you see the picture from NBC News from St. Peter’s Square before the recent announcement of the new pope?
The world is changing! Are we?
One last example from the book/publishing industry:
As much as Amazon DID adapt, Border’s Books DID NOT. Remember them?
Borders.com is still active. But check this out and see where it goes… www.borders.com
Who will take over for the Church if we fail?