I am weary of conferences, conversations, and forums for the church on the “big next thing”. Regardless of my preconceived notions, I showed up for a gathering with Gary Hamel on how to spark innovation within the church. I did so with a fair amount of skepticism and a basic commitment to catch up on my emails as I “participated” in the conversation.
I find myself tired of trying to grow our church. I am weary of what is necessary to reach that next individual and exhausted at the thought that I may have to do this till I die (which may be sooner than later if I am not careful).
The team from my church lovingly challenged me and pushed me to look beyond the constructs of consumerism at play in the church and begin to dream about why we do church. It occurred to me that perhaps innovation can be about empowering our people see themselves clearly and to do the work of the church. Marvel idea...I know.
After two days of dreaming about what could be, our team constructed an idea that (we hope and pray) will unleash that natural innovation born into each and every believer. We hope the focus is not on our church, but on those who do not attend our church and to be clear do not care one bit about our visions, missions, or strategies. I even put my iphone in my bag and began to learn and watch the people around me innovate- not in regards to better worship environments but on the actual church- the people of God.
Missional Innovation is what I call it, for now. It’s the application of that basic human ability to create and make things that proclaim the Gospel in a contextual and creative manner so that a person’s life actually makes others pay attention to God. So I remain the skeptic I once was, only now I am a little more sanctified and entirely encouraged that conversations like this exist to press on people like me and churches like ours to make us dream and create once more.
I challenge the skeptic in you to dream about and create true innovation for the Church, not just for consumers.
JR Kerr (@jrkerr)
Teaching Pastor, Park Community Church