The new nine inch Mac computer sat on a spotlit table. Steve Jobs appeared beside it on the stage of a packed auditorium. He stuck in a floppy disk and the little Mac came alive. People were immediately impressed by the array of fonts and the ease of drawing in Mac Draw and writing in Mac Write, but then the Mac read a page of text – aloud, over the PA system, in 1984, and the crowd jumped to their feet and cheered as Jobs enjoyed the accolades of his first Apple Keynote speech. We bought a Mac that year, I didn’t need a computer that talks, but that’s not the point. I’m a cutting edge guy and I had a computer that could talk before most people had any computer at all.
Simon Cinek explains how ‘why’ is what motivates me to do things – like buy a Mac. I buy into Apple’s ‘think different’. Owning a Mac enhances my conviction that I was made to think differently from normal run-of-the-mill people. I’m special! (along with over half of the world’s laptop owners)
A Bible college dean in Canada expressed his concern of an unfair advantage that our Thailand Bible college has in attracting Canadian students. He complained, “They ride elephants!” His concern is certainly valid because this perception of what is amazing and unique has the power to drive the decision of a young man or women – to come and train with us on the front lines of the great commission along with national leaders from the very countries they may be called to as missionaries. That might be bad for Canadian Bible college enrolment, but it’s good for the Great Commission.
THE INEXPLICABLE WHY
1. People buy into ‘why’ because they buy into their own significance. I’ll buy into your ‘why’ if it makes me a better me.
2. ‘Why’ is foundational to success in any market because people were made for significance.
3. ‘Why’ is caught, not taught. The inexplicable why is not the mission statement, but the passion behind the mission statement, and the logo, and the mandate. For us, our ‘why’ comes by revelation of scriptures like; “Today I have begotten You, ask of Me and I will give You the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession.” And, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.” We see our destiny and significance here.
Although people join and follow us because of our ‘why’, our engineering department, (our leadership team), also needs to know our ‘what’. Andy Stanley says, “People will bring the ‘what’ from somewhere else if we leave them in the dark about our ‘what’.” And of course, ‘how’ to do it will follow, once people know what we are trying to do.
What is it we do because of what we believe? Well, that would be to make disciples of every nation – that’s what we do. Once we know that, we can improve the real ‘whats’ and eliminate the ‘non-whats’. We make disciples.
To clarify the ‘what’, Andy Stanley asks four questions that all have one answer:
1. What is the problem our team has come together to solve?
2. What is the task we have set out to accomplish?
3. What is the opportunity we have come together to leverage?
4. What’s the ‘what’ around which everything should be organized?
We must be clearly convicted of that one answer.
So for Continuum Media, for example, our ‘why’ may be felt through “we’ll take you there.” People will buy into “we’ll take you there” because they believe their Christian destiny is connected to the Great Commission of Jesus. Continuum offers viewers some significance in the Great Commission. They know what’s going on and they can be involved. So what?
THE PLAIN WHAT
1. Continuum Media’s ‘what’ is to make disciples, among western viewers and on the mission field – that’s why we call it Continuum. Then the next step becomes obvious: to produce the best reality missions programming ever…
2. VBCI Asia’s ‘what’ is to make disciples, and our proof is in our fruit – men and women who are successfully reproducing our Thailand platform in their own cities and nations.
3. Every church and ministry department exists to make disciples.
Our ‘why’ is hard to articulate, but it’s the drive that got us all here, it’s the flavour of what we do, it’s the desire to reproduce what God has done in us, into others. It’s what makes us the best at what we do. Not the best Bible college, but the best destination for young Canadians who think like we think about the Great Commission, the best platform for national leaders who believe what we believe about servant, vision-driven, leadership, and the best family for our team of leaders and guest teachers who are living their dream of making disciples in the nations of Asia.
Jesus said, “make disciples.” Are we passionate about this word?
The Bible uses the word ‘conversion’ once.
Followers is used 2 times.
Christian is used 3 times.
Believer is used 4 times.
Sons of God is used 10 times.
Disciple is used 275 times! We have the right word and we have Jesus’ passion for making disciples!
This ministry is not just one-of-many choices – we are the choice for people who have our ‘why’ and want to do our ‘what’.
Seth Godwin says “every successful business is a monopoly.” Don’t just build another restaurant down the road, build something no one else has.
Who are we trying to copy? No one but Jesus. Who are we competing with? No one at all.
What is our monopoly? We serve on the front lines of the Great Commission so we make front line disciples. We are spiritual fathers of spiritual sons so we make committed disciples. We are a platform that receives and sends apostolic teams of disciple-making disciples into the nations. We raise ordinary Indians to become extraordinary leaders. We break generational poverty by discipling a new generation of children in Pakistan. In the Philippines you can find your destiny and run with it. And in Thailand, we ride elephants!