The Associated Press ran a story once about how “Christian products” and spoofing commercial brands and logos. You’ve seen them – the cheesy Christian t-shirts that someone, somewhere thought was creative or witty. The article shares some good (bad) examples:
- The Facebook spoof t-shirt: “Jesus Christ wants to be your friend”
- The Abercrombie & Fitch logo transformed into “Abreadcrumb & Fish”
- iPray, instead of iPod.
- A myriad of rip-offs of the “got milk” campaign
- The Obama “Hope” image was transformed from Obama to Jesus
I agree with my friend Brad Abare, who heads the Center for Church Communications when he calls all this stuff “Jesus Junk”. Brad comments that he thinks this type of thing is just dumb: “It’s not a true reflection of creativitiy.”
In fact, what would our churches look like in 2016 if we really tried to be creative, rather than ripping off other people’s ideas?What would our churches look like if we really tried to be creative?Click To Tweet
What if we came up with our own unique sermon series titles rather than taking the low hanging fruit of a series based on the movie 50 Shades of Gray or the latest Star Wars movie?
What if we came up with our own ideas to reach our community, rather than buying a curriculum or copying some program from a church 3,000 miles away with 15,000 move attendees than our church has?
My guess is that the church would be actually much MORE creative and much MORE effective.
As church leaders, we must, of course, glean the best ideas from other leaders all around the country. We should constantly be on the lookout for trends and things we can use to reach our community. But our community is OUR community. There are ways to reach our own local community that Andy Stanley and Perry Noble haven’t thought of for one major reason: they don’t live in our community.There are ways to reach our own local community that Andy Stanley & Perry Noble haven't thought of!Click To Tweet
I firmly believe that the local church is one of the greatest incubators for innovation that exists. But in order for innovation to thrive in your church, you have to champion it. You have to empower people to be creative, take risks, and see what happens.
If and when you do this in 2016, you’ll find that you have a large number of failures. But you’ll find one or two jewels that will work like a charm in your local setting.
Let’s make 2016 a year of originality and innovation in our local churches. Are you in?
Have a great week!