Tuesday, July 3, 2007

SOME THOUGHTS ON INNOVATION

I’ve grown to love the ministry and writings of Craig Groeschel. Craig is pastor of one of the most innovative churches in America. LifeChurch.tv is the name of his church. The church worships in eleven locations across the United States with around 20,000 people in worship each Sunday.

Each location receives the same message via satellite feed from one of the locations. Each location has its own live worship and then the satellite fed message. What a unique way to do church. And God’s hand of blessing is evident.

Recently, Craig spoke at the Buzz conference in Washington, D.C. A number of guys whose blogs I read regular and who attended the conference gave Craig’s talk very high remarks. I’ve pasted below some bullets that summarize his message. I want to pass them on to you. They are gems loaded with great insight. They come from Tony Morgan who is on staff at Newspring Church in Anderson. Here you go.

Limited Resources + Increasing Passion = Exponential Innovation
He then went on to talk about four characteristics of innovative leaders.

They heal the sick. Not just physical healing. “In order to reach those that no one else is reaching, we will have to do things that no one else is doing.” We have to be driven to bring people to Jesus. We have to be passionate about that. “When is the last time you had a non-believer in your home?” We need to lead our people to love those that don’t know Christ. They need to be real people with names that people know. That type of ministry looks very different than the typical church ministry looks today. “Who is God calling you to reach that no around you is reaching?”

They break rules. We don’t break away from the Truth of Jesus Christ. We need to do less “preaching” and more “listening.” Jesus healed people on the Sabbath. Martin Luther put the Bible in the hands of the common man. John Wesley preached outside the church walls. Bill Hybels combined the passion of parachurch with the power of the local church. “We have to care more about reaching people than following man’s rules.” Sometimes you have to stop watching what others are doing to hear from God. It’s your turn. Break some rules. “What is God calling you to try that hasn’t been done before?”

They offend Pharisees. “When you do something new, the Pharisees will attack you like you never dreamed possible.” The things that are accepted today in the Church world, were hated ten years ago. When they do criticize, you must handle their criticism with grace. A lot of you are angry, and you have to get over your anger. Don’t shoot back. “What new thing is God calling you to create that will be hated today and embraced tomorrow?”

They redefine success. John 3:30. Less of me and more of God. We have to do that…in everything we do. For example, a 2,000-person church in a metro area like Washington, D.C. is a “microchurch.” We can’t be impressed with ourselves. Craig explained for him: Success is going to be if my children know Jesus. Success is going to be when my wife gets the best of me and not the leftovers. Success is going to be spending time with God…just me and God. Success is getting people out of our building and out impacting the world. Instead of counting the number of people that are showing up, what if we started counting the number of people who we lost?

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