Apple's "Genius Bar" - The Church Equivalent?

Kara Powell | Jan 20, 2012

So I am just starting to use more Apple products. I’m not exactly a tech early adapted (as anyone on our FYI team will readily tell you) and I have never visited an Apple Genius Bar.

But even I, a rookie Apple user and a non-early adapter, have heard lots of praise for the Apple Genius Bar.

I was intrigued by this Harvard Business Review blog about the branding of the Apple Genius Bar and how it was established more to build relationships than it was to sell product (the former leading to better long-term results).

It made me think about the “brand” of churches across the U.S. I was intrigued several months ago when a 40 year-old youth leader commented to me that while she grew up in a non-Christian and very dysfunctional family, as a teenager she “knew that the church was there for her. If she had a problem, she could go to the church.”

When is the last time you’ve heard someone who wasn’t a Christian (or even a Christian for that matter) say that if they had a problem, they know that a local church would be there for them?

Wouldn’t it be great if the “brand” of churches was that they were there for people - that they would walk with someone in need? Our churches (and those of us who comprise the church) are so often known for what we are against than what we are for. While we certainly need to take stands against certain wrongs, I long for the day when the church is known as a place of refuge and support.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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