What Every Church Planter Can Learn From Steve Jobs

Church planters can learn a lot from highly successful innovators like Steve Jobs.

Though Steve Jobs was not a church planter, he will go down as one of history’s great innovators. And innovation is one thing church planters need a lot of.

Here are 20 things a church planter can learn from the unparalleled success of Steve Jobs, and other innovators like him:

1. Apple had a third partner, Ron Wayne, who got cold feet after 11 days. He was paid a buyout of $2,300. Had he stayed, his share would be worth $2.6 billion.

2. Picasso had a saying: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” We have been shameless about stealing great ideas.

3. Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs: “In the annals of innovation, new ideas are only part of the equation. Execution is just as important.”

4. The empowering force of naïveté. Jobs: “Because I didn’t know it couldn’t be done, I was enabled to do it.”

5. Jobs: “The goal was never to beat the competition or to make a lot of money. It was to do the greatest thing possible, or even a little greater.”

6. Jobs on recruiting Pepsi’s John Scully: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?”

7. Jobs responding to a question about how he did market research for the Mac: “Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?”

8. Walter Isaacson: “The best and most innovative products don’t always win.”

9. A colleague on how he dealt with Jobs’ abrasive personality: “I used to be an angry man myself. So I could recognize that in Steve.”

10. Walter Isaacson: “What prepared him for the success he would have in Act 3 was not his ouster from Act 1 at Apple, but his brilliant failures in Act 2.”

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Greg Surratt
Greg Surratt is the founding pastor of Seacoast Church, one of the earliest adopters of the multi-site model. Located in Mt. Pleasant, SC, Seacoast has been recognized by various media as an innovative and influential thought leader in future strategies for church growth and development. Greg is also a founding board member of the Association of Related Churches.