The Mac’s mystique is partly because of Steve Jobs whose force of personality elevated him to be its high priest. If Jobs was the high priest, someone had to be the evangelist. In the 1980s, Apple got Guy Kawasaki to be the Apple spokesman. He was the definitive “Mac Evangelist”. Although that title already existed before Kawasaki came on board Apple, his zeal for the Mac brought out its full meaning. He actually studied in Billy Graham’s school of evangelism to learn techniques on how to convert people. A professing Christian, Guy Kawasaki combined his knowledge of evangelism and marketing.
It’s an understatement to say that maybe that has to do with the cultic culture of the Mac community. The internet is full of other groups where there are varying degrees of brand worship but the level of organization and passion among Mac users has made it a little bit more obvious.
So is this simply a copycat of religion?
About 30 years earlier, Bill Bright—founder of Campus Crusades for Christ—would use marketing techniques to share the gospel by packaging it into what we know as “The Four Spiritual Laws.” Since then, a trend in evangelism has evolved packaging the gospel in presentations like the Navigator’s Bridge and Evangelism Explosion. The way the materials were designed and managed screams “franchising.” I should know. I went through training with Campus Crusades and was recruited into this encyclopedia selling outfit. I could not tell them apart.
It has gone a full circle—the courtship and marriage of religion and free enterprise has been consummated. This was what Richard Halverson (former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate) talked about:
“In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.”