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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.

This is so true. This week as you prepare for your weekend services… which library will you read from? As you deal with your staff and your congregation… which library will you read from? Theological debates are fun.  I love them.  But when they begin to define your ministry or your personality, they’re all of a sudden not so fun. Can you debate without getting angry? Can you have a theological discussion and come away feeling ok with sometimes disagreeing on the non-essentials? HT:  NakedPastor  

Stop arguing theology and lead people to Jesus. That’s Dan Reiland’s opening line of a great post about whether we should argue theology, or shut up and get to work leading people to Christ.  Dan writes: Is this dangerous theological minimalism or wise practical leadership? It’s easy to say that it’s possibly or probably both. But that doesn’t get at the real tension. I think the tension resides in why we argue and whether or not we lead people to Jesus. You can read Dan’s thoughts on both here: Arguing Theology | Dan Reiland. The question of the day is:  What do you think?  Do we argue theology too much?  I like a good throwdown as much as the next guy, but does it distract from our leading? (Personally, I think many times it does.  And other times it just produces in-fighting and a list of people we don’t want to fellowship with.  We need to disagree more graciously as church leaders… sticking to the essentials, and allowing the other things to take care of themselves.  At least that’s my take… what’s yours?) Todd