8 Nations of Innovation for Your Church

7. Illumination: How can we look at this in a new light?

When you’ve been working with something for a while, it’s hard to look at it with fresh eyes. I remember a number of years ago, our bathroom mirror cracked. Here was this big crack that went down the middle of the mirror, and it really bugged me at first. I told my wife, “We’ve got to change that.” Yet I didn’t. A couple of days later, I said, “That mirror really bugs me,” but again I didn’t change it. About six months later, it occurred to me I still hadn’t changed out the mirror because it no longer bugged me like it did at first.

We have an amazing adaptability. We just get used to stuff, and all of a sudden, we don’t see the problems anymore. We no longer see the critical issues like we should. So it takes some new eyes to come in and see what you need to do in a new and innovative way. Ask your congregation what they see. Ask them, “How could we do this in a different way?” Find out what innovations they suggest. And take a look at other churches and see how they do things differently from you.

8. Fascination: How could we make it more interesting?

Whatever you’re doing, try to figure out how you can make it more interesting or attractive. For instance, we wanted to create a sense of expectancy in our weekend services. We wanted our services to start with people sensing God in our midst and that lives were about to be changed. So we thought, “What would encourage this spirit of expectancy?”

We came up with several factors: having members praying for the services all week; having members praying during the services; having enthusiastic members bringing their unchurched friends to the service; having a history of life-changing services; music that celebrates the transformational nature of God; and a worship team that faithfully believes lives will be transformed during the service.

If you ask the right questions, they will lead you to the right answers. And the right answers will help you build a solid strategy for your ministry. Then believe that God will lead you to success.

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Rick Warren

Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
— Scott Michael Whitley

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