What if?

What if?

One of the biggest questions right now, whether it be personal or business, is how to innovate and move past what has come before. In fact, whole companies have grown up around the idea of innovation and fostering it within staid organizations. But really it comes down to a single question.

What If?

Throughout the ages, innovation has been fostered by imagining what is possible instead of what you can do with your current resources. The key way to innovate is to question the status quo and “ask the right questions” – not what can we do now, but what is possible.

via How To Innovate By Asking The Right Questions.

What ‘What if’ questions should the church be asking these days?

What’s the last ‘what if’ question you asked in your ministry?


Innovational Culture

Innovational Culture

How do you develop a culture of innovation in your church? Rick Warren has some ideas for you:

  • You need a theology of innovation. We are the most like our creator when we’re creative. God wired us to be creative. Children are very creative. They are born creative. It’s normal. We get the creativity kicked out of us as time goes by. We learn to be afraid. But a theology of innovation always reminds us that God intends us to be creative.
  • You need a creative atmosphere. There are certain environments I can be very creative in, and certain environments where I can’t. We’ve never had a boardroom or a board table at Saddleback. We have recliners. Meetings don’t start at Saddleback until we kick our feet up. It’s when I get in a totally prone position that I can be the most creative and can discover what God would have us do.
  • Stay playful. Playfulness stimulates creativity. When you get people laughing, you get the endorphins going. Creativity is often putting together two exactly opposite ideas, which is often ludicrous or seemingly stupid. It just makes people laugh. When people start to laugh, I know creativity is coming. When they’re serious, we’re not going to get creative.
  • You need the freedom to fail. Innovation means not being afraid to fail. There’s no such thing as failure at Saddleback. We experiment. Sometimes we guess. It’s trial and error. But I give my staff the freedom and flexibility to fail. You’re never a failure at Saddleback until you stop trying. We’ve done more things that didn’t work than did. I want all of my staff members to make at least one mistake a week. If they aren’t making mistakes, they aren’t trying!
  • Think big! You foster innovation by setting goals that are so big that you’re bound to fail unless God bails you out. We did this before we started 40 Days of Purpose back in 2002. We had been planning to start 300 new small groups through the campaign. That would have been a big deal. But God told me, “Add a zero. Start 3,000 small groups.” But we didn’t have 3,000 small group leaders. So we innovated. We came up with a brand new way to do small groups, as we focused on finding hosts, not leaders.

Rick has three other ideas for you here…

via How To Create A Culture Of Innovation In Your Church –  Ministry Toolbox – Pastors.

The Five Stages of Innovation

The Five Stages of Innovation: Phil Cooke shares this recipe for innovation.  They are order specific…

Take a look and see if these five stages of innovation ring true with how you and your church implement new ideas and ministries:

1. People deny that the innovation is required.
2. People deny that the innovation is effective.
3. People deny that the innovation is important.
4. People deny that the innovation will justify the effort required to adopt it.
5. People accept and adopt the innovation, enjoy its benefits, attribute it to people other than the innovator, and deny the existence of stages 1 to 4.

How many times have you had to go through number 1-4?

In fact, many times… people never get to number 5, which is a shame.

What was the last great thing you were able to innovate at your church?  I’d love to hear about it!

// Read more here…



Innovation can happen anywhere…

… even with condoms.

Well… take a look here, and you’ll see.

The idea for a condom that can be opened with one hand wasn’t an innovation to make condoms more accessible to the masses, but rather to help people with people afflicted with Hemiplegia, a condition that leaves one side of the body paralyzed.

You see… most people what have control of both sides of their body never thought about having a condom that would open with one hand (although it’s a much better design for the product for reasons we won’t go into).

So… I begin to wonder…

What things are we not innovating in the church because we’ve always done it this way, or because we’ve not looked at it through a fresh set of eyes different from our own?

What bit of genius is out there that we’ve just not thought of yet?

And what will it take for this innovation to happen?



Innovative Church Idea

Innovative Church Idea

This is a novel idea.  I sense a marketing campaign coming on.

HT:  Ed Stetzer

Someone should do this

Someone should do this


I don’t know of another website like this in the US.

This is a creative ministry idea from the UK.

People tell local churches their specific needs and it gets posted to the internet.  Then people can give to specific needs.

Simple, innovative, and solves problems.

How many requests for help do you get at your church, especially around the holidays.  Most churches don’t know how to help (and can’t help everyone).  This seems like a great solution.

Maybe someone reading this would like to start something like this.

You start it… I’ll help promote it!


5 Ways to Kill a Brainstorming Session

5 Ways to Kill a Brainstorming Session

Inc. Magazine recently had a great article on brainstorming.  Here’s part of it…

Brainstorming is big at most creative organizations today, but in becoming ubiquitous it has lost something. The invitation “let’s brainstorm about that” typically leads to a gathering in a conference room where the convener asks for ideas then shoots them down as fast as they come up. And brainstorming sessions have come to resemble any other meeting—veering off topic, sucking up time, and causing impatience or boredom. That’s in part because brainstorming has been compressed and made more efficient—killing its real purpose in the process. The whole point of brainstorming is to let creativity emerge and shine. You need to be very careful not to let criticism stifle that creativity. The creative process must be supported, nurtured and embraced wholeheartedly. Want to make sure your team gets the most out of brainstorming in the future? Avoid these five behaviors.

1. Pass judgment or comment.

As ideas begin to flow, you must do everything in your power to let them flow. No one should be allowed to offer any judgment of any idea. The idea-generation phase is about generating ideas, not ranking them. Just let them run like the mighty Amazon. There will be plenty of time to evaluate them later.

2. Tidy up.

You might be the boss, but don’t let your inner editor join the session. When you’re brainstorming, it doesn’t matter where the comma goes in the sentence, or how best to word something. The font choice, color palette, and idea’s original name are irrelevant. Editing is a left-brain activity that is completely separate from idea generation. Keep it that way. First, let the ideas come out; sloppy and uninhibited. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to edit later.

3. Think ahead.

The second an idea hits the whiteboard, you can easily become distracted by thinking about execution. You’ll wonder how the idea would come to life. What would it cost? Who would run it? What would the project plan look like? What would the financial implications be? Where would the work take place? When would we begin? Those are great questions for later, but avoid them at this stage. They are your left-brain in all its glory sneaking in and vying for a seat at the table. As important as that kind of thinking may be, it will quickly crush your creativity. Keep it out of the room.

4. Worry.

Fear is the single biggest blocker of creativity. But social fear is pounded into us from childhood on. We learn in school that there is always one right answer and mistakes should be avoided at all cost. You need to release that fear to unshackle your true creative potential. If you’re leading the group, emphasize this before you begin.

5. Wander.

Idea sessions can easily dissolve into wandering and woolgathering. Don’t let it happen. An idea might remind someone of a story she just has to tell. Or it might lead to taking on a different creative challenge, or discussing a completely different topic. A right-brain creative state is so rare and so refreshing that its energy and excitement can cause a team to stray.

via 5 Ways to Kill a Brainstorming Session | Inc.com.

How well does your church leadership team brainstorm?  In fact, WHEN was the last time your team held a brainstorming session?

I’d love to hear:  does brainstorming come natural in your setting?  How do YOU do it?


Five Habits of Great Innovators

Five Habits of Great Innovators

Kaihan Krippendorff writes:  For more than a decade I’ve studied history’s most creative strategists–from Napoleon Bonaparte to John Boyd–and compared their thinking habits with those of their modern peers–Grameen Bank founder Mohammad Yunus or Tesla CEO Elon Musk. I have found five thinking habits that stand out:

1.  Mental time travel

2.  Seeing the interconnected system

3.  Frame-shifting

4.  Disruptive mindset

5.  Influence

It really makes for a fascinating read:

The Five Habits of Great Innovators

When are YOU at your most INNOVATIVE self?

How do you innovate? Charles Lee

How do you innovate?  Charles Lee

This week’s question at 30SecondLeadership.com is “How do You Innovate?” Here is the response of Charles Lee, the founder of Ideation and Idea Labs:

Check out 30SecondLeadership.com every weekday for another great question/answer that will help you ministry in just 30 seconds!



How do you innovate? Derek Bell

How do you innovate?  Derek Bell

This week’s question at 30SecondLeadership.com is “How do You Innovate?” Here is the response of Derek Bell from Fellowship Bible Church in Nashville:

Check out 30SecondLeadership.com every weekday for another great question/answer that will help you ministry in just 30 seconds!



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