The value of Imputation

How I interact with a product or service, tells me the value I should place on it. If you read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, you see early on in the book the three-pronged approach to apples marketing and you can still see these things played out in there business today. 

Empathy – An accurate understanding of the needs of the customer. This is not drawn from a survey or a focus group, but a combination of feedback and some would say prophesy. Steve was quoted as saying “the customer doesn’t know what they want until you show it to them.” And there is some truth to that….if the iPhone was designed by focus groups, it would resemble at TV remote more than a phone with any number of options available. 

Focus- a search to establish what you can bring to a product or market and say no to everything else. This is more difficult to do than you think. 

Imputation – a customers interaction with not just a product, but everything that has to do with that product tells them the value they should attach to that product. That’s why there’s such detail that goes into even the packaging of apples products….and more times than not, people keep that packaging, it seems to have too much value to throw away. 

It’s the third one that seems to be the most difficult to consistently perform in church work…imputation.

We work hard many times at the product, hours and hours and then the effort to which we create an environment for that product is minimal. A quick example…..it does no good to start a new program, if the information about that program is ran off on the copier on Friday afternoon. The usual response is a something like “they’re just going to throw it in the trash anyway, don’t put any effort into it.” And at face value, that sounds right. I’ve even caught myself saying things like that, but the reality is, they will throw it in the trash because you didn’t put the care into the presentation of the program that you put into the creation of the program. The best initiatives have both a high value on the product itself, as well as the presentation of the product. When you create something, as you create you must be thinking of the “packaging” that accompanies it in a parallel fashion to the product or program itself.

In church work, the greeters and parking lot team tell me how I am to feel about this place. The brochure or bulletin and hand outs tell me the value I should attach to whatever they are telling me about. The quality of the presentation, regardless of style, will communicate a value. That doesn’t mean everything should be overly polished and produced. Above all, be yourself, be authentic, but be the best version of yourself that you can be…it speaks volumes…and values!

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Stones of Rememberance and Basement Smells

Natural Stone Retaining Block

 I can’t claim this thought at all… I can’t even claim the lesson from this…it was taught to me. Therefore, its just my job to pass it on.

 

In Joshua 4, the children of Israel are crossing the Jordan River (on dry land!), and the Lord tells Joshua to pick 12 men, one from each tribe to gather a stone out of the river to be placed on the other side of the Jordan. In summary, God wants them placed there so that when their sons and daughters ask, “why are these stones here”, they can speak of the work of the Lord on the day He stopped the Jordan so His children could walk across on dry land. This is BIG. God WANTS us to remember the works He does in our lives…and to do that, we need reminders! In the same way that the children of Israel forgot time and time again how God had rescued them from the Egyptians, we for get how God delivers, protects, and provides for us. He wants us to remember, not only as individuals, but as congregations too.

 

 

Many people can remember a time when God moved in their church and did amazing work. And we have a proclivity to want to stay there so that God can do the work again…but that’s not how God works. He didn’t part the Jordan again. He didn’t part the Red Sea again…He moves as we move. We should have stones and altars of remembrance! We should have times where we look back and see what God has done and embrace our heritage. But it can only become our heritage if we move past it. In the chapters that follow (you have to skip over the re-circumcision of Israel), you see that the children of Israel did not stay at the stones of remembrance….they moved on, to conquer Jericho. Likewise we should not forsake our past, but we must move forward while taking moments to look back at what God has done.

 

 

Its like the basement in my parents house. My parents still live in the house I grew up in. Now, whenever my family and my 3 kids go visit them, I walk into the downstairs and am hit with a smell that brings a smile to my face and flashes images of yesteryear in my mind. But….I don’t want to live there again. My wife and I have created our own lives. I love to think of those times in that house, but I’ve moved on. Not to mention, if I lived there again….the smell wouldn’t mean anything.

 

 

So if we never move past our stones of remembrance….they will lose their significance. What Jericho might you not be conquering because you’re too attached to your altar?