i'm doing a talk in a couple of weeks on moving forward with, i'm curious...

what are your thoughts on the "role" of innovation in ministry?
does it have a place?
does it have limits?
how, who, what, when, where, and why determines those limits (if there are any)
do you think our God is innovative?
do you think Jesus was innovative?
what do you think innovation is exactly?

just curious about the thoughts of my readers - i have mine pretty settled, and i have most of my talk complete (in my head at least...)

chime in...please!


Anonymous said...

webster - innovation - the introduction of something new; change.
Jesus was innovation. As the old chysler dodge commericial used to say "this changes everything!"
There is a sense in which God is innovative, yet there is a sense in which "God changes not."
ministry without innovation (change) is stagnet.
But you knew all that didn't ya.

Debbie C. said...

Yes, Jesus was definitely innovative. That's why the Pharisees didn't like Him, He blew away all the cultural norms regarding "religion". But, I love what "anonymous" said, too, God is innovative yet "He changes, not". So, there's a key truth there that I really like...innovation without changing the focus, motivation or intent of what and why we're doing what we're doing.

Anonymous said...

Innovation is necessary. Its like growth of any klnd. Directed it brings life and vigor.

As for innovation in church (or any other group) as long as innovation serves the vision and not the other way around, it can and probably is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Being the music freak that I am, that's the first thing I think of when I read the word innovation. I think of how we have this limited number of musical notes and a gazillion times a day around the world people make brand new songs from them....sure they may sound similar to already created songs, but never exactly the same. To me innovation doesn't always mean introducing some totally foreign element, it can just mean taking what you already have and doing something different with it.
As for God, Jesus, the church....It blows my mind to think of all the people that have ever been and will ever be and that we all have technically the exact same parts (barring the male and female distinction of course)and yet we are completely different from one another...every time a new person is created God is being pretty innovative.
As for ministry, I think innovation is necessary to avoid apathy and indifference and the Word should be the test for the limits of innovation--not just that someone in the church was uncomfortable with or didn't like the change or that those outside the church are gossiping about it. If it's not unbiblical then go for it! If it doesn't work like you thought it would, don't do it again! Ok, I will hush now.....

Unknown said...

here's my two cents worth. The two questions I generally ask myself when it comes to doing something "new and cool" in the service is this. Will this help people see God, or will it point their focus to a person. True, it's arguable that most anything can go either way, but here's two examples to think about from both ends.
1. We just added a new lighting system to the felloship hall where we hold our two comtemporary services. Within a Sunday or two Thad was setting up lighting scenes and had set up one scene that highlighted a particular member of the band. (i.e. all other lights were dimmer.) This bothered me. He argued that it was for solos. The problem is, even our solos in church should point to Him, not to ourselves. We don't use those presets now, btw.

2. We have a college handbell group that performed in our contemporary service a few weeks ago. They did two solos, then joined the praise band for a song. It was really cool. BUT, Thad and I have an ongoing ...we'll say discussion! about whether they serve a point. I believe that beautiful music (with or without words) can definately point to God, and glorify Him. Especially when the composer is a Christian. Thad argues that he sees no point when you don't have words to prompt you to reflect on God, b/c you could be thinking about anything and everything. (He's usually not that narrow!) Because he wasn't moved by the bell music, he has trouble seeing how it can functionally move us into God's presence. While I, being a music lover had no problem hearing God in the swells and fury of the bells. I tried to encourage him that if he was willing, and asked, God could use music without words to speak to him. He doesn't believe me.

I guess my point is this: when it comes to innovation or new, cool stuff, does is point directly to God, man or does it even have a point. When you figure out where your innovation falls in that mix, you can weigh the value of it.