Apps are easy. Find something you like, download it, use it. Simple. Maybe you pay for it, maybe you don’t - maybe you tango with the in-app purchase cycle in the process. But by and large, access to apps isn't all that complicated.
Operating systems can be a different story. You get the notification in your settings, or, if you’re super-keen, you read up on the latest version through the company press-release … and you make a plan. If you’re like some people I know, you may make a plan to avoid the download … or you make a plan by scheduling in some device-free time (horror of horrors!), plugging it into the charger, and letting the update loose on all your not-yet-compatible applications.
And, once it’s installed, the time has come to discover all the new features (and the features no longer available!)
Whatever you think of it, your operating system is the thing that enables all your cool applications - it might be inconvenient to update it once in a while, but unless you hit download, your device will soon be behind the game.
I remember a conversation along these lines with the National Director of the mission organisation I was a part of. Back in 2011 I was appointed as National Leader of the youth ministry arm of the organisation, and I received some sound advice: “Trav, you need to be clear on your applications and operating system.”
I’ve thought about this conversation - a lot. I was recruited into the mission organisation for the specific development and implementation of a new “ministry application” - and now I was faced with the responsibility of guarding the integrity of the “operating system.” But I carried a tension - from my perspective, the development of the application revealed the need/opportunity for an upgraded operating system - and not just in the organisation - this was something far bigger.
For over 30 years faith-based organisations across the globe have been extremely successful in delivering an excellent operating system. Building spiritual movements through principles based on the life of Jesus, in my opinion, has revolutionised the paradigm through which ministry practitioners operate in countless places around the world. These principles will continue to shape the practice of kingdom work for generations to come, but I’ve become convinced that for them to continue to take root in the emerging generation, the operating system needs to be upgraded.
It might sound a little pretentious, but as I reflect on the last few years, this is the reason why I stepped away from the larger organisation and founded AccessTheStory - to help others in their discovery or recognition of a new paradigm.
There will be a number of well-researched people who may articulate the dynamics of this new paradigm far better than me, but over the next couple of days, I’d like to suggest two features that we have discovered to be key in the delivery of our initiatives.