Thursday, May 8, 2014

What Church Planters Can Learn from a 3-D Printing Plan

Grace Choi is about to change the way you buy make up forever. Church planters can learn a few things from her. She is a self-proclaimed serial inventor and her 3-D printer, Mink, is about to make Mary Kaye consultants hurry to get the last mile out of their Cadillacs while they can. When I saw her presentation about her printer, I was struck with her poise, attention to detail, understanding of her field of knowledge as well as her awareness and acceptance of her weaknesses. Not to be deterred by past failures, she actually said that she will succeed because of so many failures.

The men on the panel who critiqued her presentation showed their ignorance a couple of times. She was unfazed by their ignorance and went on to tell them how this printer will need very little marketing because she is acutely aware of the high demand for it in the make up industry. She's touting high demand for something that her target buyers don't yet know exists! Yet, she knows them because she knows herself and she knows they will buy her product and price is not an issue.

The lipstick tube was one man's tripping point. He expressed concern that lipstick would have a hard time printing into a tube. How will it print into a tube? Silly man. Much of lip color in today's world does not even come in a tube. Grace Choi already knows this. Women know this.

Another man (or was it the same man?) questioned the price, saying it was too much. That man does not know the modern teen. These are kids with iPhones and college promises. $300 is nothing to Grace's target market. She already knows what these girls are spending, what they will spend and how they will get their parents to spend the money on this printer. Think of the savings, alone, if a girl can print her own make up and not have to make a trip to the cosmetics counter at the department store, where there is so much temptation to buy even more.

What can a church planter learn from Grace Choi? Plenty. As my husband and I, now church planters, look to continue this work, I see many parallels between what we desire to do and what Grace is doing/has done.

1. Grace saw a need. The need was manifold. She saw how girls needed more options in an affordable venue. She saw that girls needed to be in control of their make-up and not victims of the big corporations' high mark-ups. She saw that there was a way they could experiment with make-up in a more financially safe way by being able to try it out without spending huge amounts on things that could end up in the bottom of a drawer.

1. Church planters see a need: the need for people to know Christ. They see the need for Christ to be in every life, not just ones who go to church or grew up in church. They see that they have something to offer that the world cannot even come close to.

2. Grace saw herself as the solution to the need. She took her knowledge and expertise and put it to work creating something that could meet the needs she saw.

2. Church planters must see themselves as the solution for a world without Christ. Jesus, Himself, told us to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers. We, as church planters, are those laborers. We have to see ourselves as the solution to the vast need.

3. Grace did not wait for anyone else, she simply went to work creating what she knew was the solution to the needs she saw.

3. We church planters cannot afford wait. We can't afford to get caught up in the red tape that often accompanies modern day church planting efforts. We simply need to get it done. It starts with prayer, and lots of it. It does not start with meetings with interested parties. I know some church planters who are hung up on the meetings, spending time meeting with one person or committee after another, all while people are going into a Christ-less eternity. When you pray about the lost people around you, the Lord of the Harvest answers that prayer, usually by commissioning you. The Great Commission is highly personal.

4. Grace did not fear failure. She has already failed many times, so she knows that failure was inevitable. She also knows that failure is not the end. Each failure was a learning experience; she used them to her advantage.

4. We cannot fear failure. Are we going to make mistakes? Yes. Are we going to fail at times? Yes. But, the Lord of the Harvest has already conquered all our failures and short comings. We have nothing left to fear. We have a lot of work to do.

We can learn a lot from Grace. Much more than I listed here.


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