While not all growing churches are healthy churches, healthy churches grow, because growth isn’t the goal; it’s the outcome. Here are 25 of the most innovative churches in the United Methodist Church today. What can we learn about creativity and innovation from these impressive congregations?
Eureka moments don’t happen to the madcap lone genius in his studio. The myth of the blinding flash isn’t helpful because it persuades us to not do the daily work. The way to overcome this myth is through Input. Make daily exposure to new ideas part of your creative routine. Your mind cannot sift and recombine ideas—a process known as “Incubation”—if you don’t first put in the hard work of giving it new material to work with.
Story isn’t a flight from reality but a vehicle that carries us on our search for reality. That’s just one of eight truths from chapter 1 of Story, by Robert McKee. No other book about story should take precedence over this bible of narrative. The credentials that trail it around, while impressive, don’t begin to do justice to its inspiration.
The myth of the right brained thinker isn’t helpful because it suggests that we’re either hard wired for creativity or we’re not, and also because it suggests that the only kind of creativity is that which is related to artistic expression. Creativity is just as possible in electrical engineering as it is in songwriting or the culinary arts. Every one of us is capable of creative ideas.
When I started as Creative and Communication Director at Peachtree, the church was producing 24-page bulletins in weekly worship. How could I get rid of this old albatross? The problem was, I couldn’t kill it right away, because the congregation was dependent: it was the main way the church communicated. If I killed it, people would have no way of knowing what was going on. So here’s what I did.
Change that works isn’t a trend to adopt or a technique to add or a committee or staff person to acquire. Innovation comes from within, from our inherent creativity. When our focus is on making something new, innovation is what happens. To be creative, to innovate, is to be a change agent. The result is change and growth.