Church planters should make a firm distinction between change and intentional innovation. Change is looking for something fresh, intentional innovation is all about finding the right fit.

I was gifted the biography of Steve Jobs - it is quite a comprehensive account of his life. The author pulls no punches, so you really do question whether you would last a few rounds with Steve. Known for his outbursts, ready to devour and ridicule what he determined second rate design or engineering, many co-workers simply chose to avoid his company, knowing that it was only a matter of time before you became a target.

Here are a few take-aways from the book:

Excellence is a way of life. Jobs had perspective that simply would not accept second rate or mediocre products. He would rather sit on the floor of his naked living room than own what he declared ugly or improperly designed furniture.

People will always lower the standard to fit known patterns or comfort zones. Let's face it, people seek the easier path, not the difficult one. That is our nature. To discover those techniques, creative approaches, custom-fit concepts that have impact, that requires hard, hard work. Here is where Jobs was a task-master.

Perception. This one is going to cause you to chaff somewhat. Let's face it, Jobs had the audacity to lie, distort the truth, exaggerate. That is a character flaw. No doubt about it. Here is something to consider in light of his tendencies: Reality is in some ways a matter of perspective. That is the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this: The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Jobs exemplified this.

Rejection. Steve Jobs was conceived by a couple unable to deal with a pregnancy and put up for adoption - something that would be repeated in his own life. That rejection shaped his life, something that he fought his entire life to subdue. Rejection is a powerful emotion, and has the potential to drive a person towards unhealthy patterns.

Although the book is 650+ pages, it is a book that is well researched and written. The dialogue is street salty, so be aware.

If you desire to be a better, more creative person, you should read front the life of Steve Jobs. No one better epitomizes innovation in our generation better than Jobs. No one has impacted pop culture more than him. If you desire to impact your generation, you will be well served to read this biography.

Keith Gandy - GermanyKeith Gandy - Germany

Keith, originally from the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, has been planting a church in Aschaffenburg, Germany for over thirty years. Daughter churches have also been started and missionaries have been sent out of the congregation. Annually, he participates in encouraging other European church-planters and frequently travels to visit them in their respective field of service.

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