Fast Company has an online article about and ever increasing blurring of the line between product and customer. The article begins with the following quote:
“The boundary between where a product ends and where a customer begins is changing.” John J. Sviokla, Vice Chairman Diamond Clusters International, Inc.
The article discusses the growing reality that an increasing number of products have built in sensors to monitor customer usage habits and preferences in order to provide better service as well as data for future product development. It is inevitable that humans will become increasingly comfortable with sensors in products, appliances eventually leading to significant changes in health care products as well. For example, our cars have sensors that determine when service is needed, why wouldn’t the same technology, an internal monitor, be available to a diabetic? Business is realizing the need to enter into the culture and lives of the customer.
Isn’t this the idea of incarnational ministry…to enter into the culture and life of another? To cross a boundary that may have been previously unthinkable of crossing? I mean, who would have thought a mechanical pacemaker could cross the boundary of organic tissue? In similar fashion, we must cross the boundaries of age, race, socio-economic, gender, and cultural differences that so often keep us from entering into the life of others.
This is The Incarnation. This is the way of Jesus. This is the way of incarnational ministry… To enter into…to pitch our tent and dwell among, to get to know, to blur the lines…to surprise by inclusion and embrace…not with an agenda to bring others to our way of thinking, but to begin to hear and understand their way of thinking, of living, of being…and to engage and love them…giving and receiving in the way of Jesus.