Disclaimer: I am not a technological expert. If you are looking for the opinion of someone who knows all the “ins” and “outs” of computers then you are reading the wrong blog. A week ago I purchased a brand new 11-inch MacBook Air. I have been a PC guy since college, but for the past two years I have been thinking about switching. Quite often I write these blogs in coffee shops. There is one particular coffee shop in Denver where all the” cool urban” pastors come to work. They write blogs, prepare sermons and network. All of them use the computer with the half-eaten apple. On June 24, 2013 I made the first step towards ministry coolness. I not only bought an Air, I purchased the upgraded version - a 512 hard drive with and 4th generation I7 Haswell chip. I must admit this was the most elegant computer I have ever owned. It looked good and worked even better. I am a car guy and compared to my old computer this MacBook was like upgrading from a 20 year old rusted Ford Bronco to a brand new 5 Series BMW.
So what was I thinking when on Thursday, June 27 I returned the MacBook Air to the Apple store for a full refund? It turns out I don’t need a BMW. What I really need is an off-road capable computer. For these purposes a PC just works better.
I cannot help but wonder if this is also true for ministry folks, especially those who feel the call to urban work. I want ministry to be elegant and cool. This isn’t a realistic expectation. Urban work requires leaders to be open to the unexpected and the different, which is rarely elegant. It demands that I admit when I am wrong, which happens on a regular basis. Working with different cultural, gender and orientation expectations can be frustrating and confusing. Urban work needs people with more of a blue collar mentality. In this context BMW’s and Macs just can’t cut it.