“Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keepthe commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked and Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions!” Matthew 19:16-22
As the church, we are in a position to change our communities around us. Unfortunately, we have allowed our culture to compose our narrative in a way that, to many, isn’t that appealing. We must rebrand who we are and what we are for to bring others into the life of following Jesus.
Several years ago, I started researching the greatest rebrands in U.S. history of products we use all the time or are aware of. I found 4 of the greatest rebranding strategies I will share with you over the next few weeks.
Most people are familiar with the story of Apple and its creation in 1976. It kicked off the boom of personal computers around the world. However, its visionary leader Steve Jobs was fired from the company in 1985 because he refused to compromise the quality of their product by lowering the price to compete with new computer developers.
The company floundered without his leadership, stock prices fell, and the company shifted to cheaper products that either flopped or failed. In 1997, he was renamed the company’s CEO, bringing the one thing Apple had been missing. What was it? A new vision.
Steve Jobs broke every rule of branding. He knew that someone else’s success wouldn’t be his own, not because of his ego, but because it’s a fact that imitating others has never resulted in great success. He left it to Apple’s competitors to produce lame, unsold computers with colorful lids and knockoff ads that inadvertently made Apple look better. The world of smartphones and tablets was born. Steve Jobs believed so much in Apple he gave it everything he had.
Jesus told the rich young ruler that he, even though he was good in the eyes of the law of Moses, had no idea of the vision Jesus had for him. He told him you had allowed something to distort your view of yourself and everything else in his life. Jesus said you have to have a new vision, but you must eliminate what is hindering you for that to happen. The rich young ruler’s stumbling block was his wealth, and he didn’t want to give it up.
Most people miss out on the vision that God has for them because of one thing. If we are not careful, we will cut corners following Jesus, and our culture will notice. We will desire to be served instead of serving. Compassion, generosity, and service are traits that Jesus envisioned us showing the world. These traits are costly because they don’t match our cultural philosophies of life, but they are worth keeping because we believe in the one that has sent us.
Steve Jobs was brilliant, and he single-handedly rebranded Apple and made it what it is today. He had a vision for his company that drove them into the future. It’s time we rebranded our image to the world and each other.
By the way, if you had bought stock in Apple in 1997, it was priced at 6 dollars a share. As I write this reflection, its value is 152 dollars a share. Vision produces results.