Sunday, October 5, 2008

Discipleship and Volvo

This is a 4th post on a series on discipleship and cars.

The first Volvos were built as far back as 1927. In Europe, however Volvos were not taken seriously by would be car owners.

There are several reasons why, for one Volvos were made in Sweden. And in those early years Sweden was not a country known for cars. Considering the competition – England (Rolls Royce, Jaguar among others), Germany (Mercedes Benz, BMW among others) Italy (Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and others) and even the French had their fair share (Renault, Peugeot and Citroen) Swedish cars were no where near being a contender.

Today Volvos are not only popular but is as respected as it's other European counterparts. What did they do that allowed them to inch closer to their counterparts? For years Volvo focused on just one thing, safety. Here is a short list of Volvo’s string of significant developments to ensure that it is the car of choice when it comes to safety:

Laminated Glass Windshield (1944) to prevent broken glass from injuring passengers.
Padded Dashboards (1956) the first time ever done to cushion the impact in case of collision.
Patented Three-Point Safety Belt (1958) which is today the standard seat belt used by most cars.
Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) (1995) which channeled the force of a side impact away from the doors and into the safety cage.
The Head Protecting Airbag (1998) today a standard in most cars.

These form a short list of Volvo’s attention and commitment to one thing: Safety. Needless to say when someone considers buying a car and safety is a concern – they’ll be looking at Volvos. These small initiatives have not only been approved by regulators but have become the standard for most cars.

Here’s where the discipleship relationship interface is: there is so much detail to deliver the one thing that people expect from us as Jesus' Church. If Volvo’s focus is safety, the Christian Church is called upon to deliver one thing, that is discipleship. The task of teaching people how to be life long followers of Christ.

So the next time you consider doing something new and running around doing new activities, take a seat and write down the many little things that you need to do in order to make disciples. You’ll be amazed at how many things need your attention.

On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. 1Thessalonians 2:4


Mike Watkins said...

Hi Joey,

Another thing about Volvos is that most of their motors make it to the half million mile mark, and some have made it to one million.

Attention to what really makes a church run (strong disciples of Jesus) will assure that we build churches that last and last and last…

Joey Bonifacio said...

Hi Mike:

Loved your insight on Volvos - that's pretty interesting that they last that long.