How Steve Jobs Helped Me to get God’s Word Out “unto all the nations…”

Drew Haninger, President, Olive Tree Bible Software:

By the Lord’s leading, I’ve used my abilities as a software designer to make God’s Word accessible to computer users since 1984.  There was a lot going on in 1984.  January of that year Hitachi announced it had developed the first memory chip capable of holding 1 MB!  Also in that year about 25-percent of workers used a computer at their jobs.

And, in 1984, Steve Jobs’ now famous Super Bowl ad ran, introducing the Apple Macintosh.

Mobile Technology was still in its infancy.  Today, the industry is growing so fast the stats can’t keep up.  Cell phone subscribers worldwide have reached over 5 billion—and Smartphones have become an ever larger and more important part of that figure.  That’s billions of souls with the potential of carrying around a Bible or Olive Tree’s whole Bible study library in their hand.  Talk about the potential of following Christ’s command to get the Word out!

Steve Jobs was in many ways at the center of Smartphone development as we know it today.  Whether he knew it or not, the technology he helped develop has been used by God to enable us to preach the good news of Christ’s redeeming love.  People download worship music on their iPods, they read the Bible on their iPhones, and can even lead a Bible Study in the middle of the Sudan using their iPads.  Apple technology is a beautiful thing that we hope and pray it is being used in God’s cause to make all things beautiful in His time.

The business principles Steve applied have inspired an industry.  His encouragement was to keep innovating. He said, “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle,” which echo our Lord’s encouragement to, “ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

He instructed his company members to, “Be passionate about every product you work on.”  And we, as Christians in the business community, are held to no less a standard, for, “if anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 4:11).”  Of course the highest standard we must follow is always to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, all our souls, and all our minds.

Our hearts go out to the family members of an industry pioneer. His vision created platforms that help enable us to “strain toward what lies ahead and press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call.”