Devotional: October 20th
Remember Pong? Hmmm. C'mon now, the goofy video game that basically played ping pong with a light square and two little flat light lines? It was produced by a company called Atari. It was the beginning of the video game craze and almost the end. When the video game market collapsed in 1983 Warner Communications sold Atari as did Mattel with its Intellivision line. Enter Nintendo. Ironically, right before the American video game market collapse, Nintendo had offered its Famicon game system to Atari for a licensing agreement. Atari said no go.
In 1985 Nintendo dressed the system up and marketed it in the U S as the Advanced Video System at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Nobody bit. The problem was that a home computer system was being marketed called the Commodore 64 that was a computer and gaming system and all for the handsome price of $200.Why buy an AVS when you could have an entire computer and game system, too? Nintendo dressed up its system and tried a direct marketing ploy in New York City. It worked.
In 1986 they sold more than 1.8 million game consoles in the U S. By 1988 that figure soared to 9.3 million. The next year Sega introduced the Genesis which swept the Nintendo market away. In 1991 Nintendo came out with SuperNintendo, but it was too late. They were falling behind. Then came the Sony Play Station in 1995. Sales grew rapidly. Nintendo countered with the Nintendo 64. It bombed. By 1997 the Play Station had bolted past both Nintendo and Sega. By 2001 Sega got out of the hardware business and now make only software; the games.
Today with DVD technology firmly entrenched the game market belongs to the electronics giants like Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo is still trying but struggling. So what have we learned, Dorothy? We have learned that the customer is always right. Meet their perceived needs and they will flock to your door. We are trying that today with the church, but in the wrong way. We are trying to titillate and satisfy. Meanwhile, the average person is still being crushed by life and has nowhere to turn for the answers except drugs, pornography and alcohol. We have the answer but we are trying to give it to them in a worship service.
Jesus is never recorded to have led a praise service, or even a traditional service for that matter. Jesus was all about meeting people where they were. That's where discipleship and revival happen. Jesus met the Samaritan women at Jacob's well near Sychar. His message was simple. "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14 Hope. It is still what moves people to seek Christ. It is what should move us to seek people.
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