New or Better?

Jony Ive, the mastermind of design at Apple, had this to say about Apple’s competition and why they fail to make designs with the same kind of hook that Apple makes:

 Most of our competitors are interested in doing something different, or want to appear new — I think those are completely the wrong goals. A product has to be genuinely better. This requires real discipline, and that’s what drives us — a sincere, genuine appetite to do something that is better.

What stuck in my mind is the statement, “A product has to be genuinely better.”

I am somewhat known as a person who likes to change things. My friends in the congregation love to note that I change my office every 6-8 weeks. This is not simply because I like to mess with stuff. I am genuinely interesting in making things genuinely better.

Shouldn’t we be asking questions like, “How can I improve study habits? What kind of posture helps me think better? How can I take my spiritual disciplines deeper?”

And in the church, shouldn’t we be seeking what is genuinely better rather than that is just different or  has the appearance of novelty?

Being better than you were – doing something better than you have should be the objective, not being different or appearing new.

Often I think people want to do new things in the church because they confuse new with effective. Certainly novelty has its merits, but there is also something to be said for doing the old thing (even the ancient things, since we do after all follow a 2,000 year old religion) better – genuinely better.

 

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