The Envisioning Lab

One of the most interesting things I have watch recently is Secrets of the Superbrands – Technology.  I blogged about it briefly when it came out as the view of Apple as a religious phenomenon was fascinating.  However, the programme raised a different question with me related to the other guys.  The uncool guys.  The geeky guys.  Microsoft.

Microsoft is investing large quantities of its time and its money not on the here and now but on the future.  Microsoft have realised that they are going to disappear if they do not address the disconnect between their brand image and their products.  They are contemplating the “cool stuff” of the future.

Let’s put aside the many prejudices that those who inhabit the internet seem to exhibit whenever Microsoft are mentioned.  Let’s not have the boring “Apple vs Windows” as it isn’t relevant [sorry Linux guys, I don’t have the cognitive capacity to work out how to integrate you into this rumble in cyberspace].  I’m not asking about the issues around marketing that are brought up.  I’m not concerned about the “hipness” of a brand.  I want to know this:

What are the church doing to facilitate their “Envisioning Lab”?  Who is investing in the creative possibilities?  Who is being given the space to push the envelope?  Who is being allowed to think those thoughts?  How is the church investing in “the church of the future”?

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4 Responses

  1. The parallel has long been drawn between apple/Catholicism and ms/CofE.

    It’s all about vertical and horizontal business models. I tend to go to sleep after that point in the argument.

    To quote richard o’brien (rocky horror / crystal maze) “don’t dream it – be it”

    Selling an idea through advertising is always difficult – we don’t believe the hype.

    What it needs is someone to get hands on and actually lead by example – show people just how awesome the product is.

  2. I’m not really asking about advertising or marketing as mixing that up with faith is a theological dead end with a bear trap half way down it.

    I’m wondering not about the marketing comparison but about the investment. What space are we making for this sort of creative space. We talk about “fresh expressions” as an abstract concept. There isn’t often the investment in the inspiration and pure…. dreaming…… to envisage where this journey is taking us.

  3. Rather typically I read an article by Jonny Baker about 2 hours after I had written this that said something similar but with a more erudite turn of phrase than myself.

    “At a time when there is so much challenge and change in the church and culture, we most definitely need people who see and call us to live differently, who operate out of a prophetic imagination to call us into an alternative future.”

  4. […] One of the key things about the alt:worship movement is that it has allowed the ideas that people have to develop, to flourish, to mutate and to be explored. Historically, the church has been the hub of the arts and provided funding, space and time for much of our cultural heritage in the United Kingdom. Music, painting, sculpture and writing, in fact most of the “high culture” of the past millennium was not just inspired by but funded by the church. It strikes me that the current pattern for is becoming geared towards creating management structures within our churches rather than spaces for ideas. Phil Ritchie spotted something similar and asked the question “where are the poet priests?” a few months ago. I also posted about the “envisioning lab“. […]

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