In church we’re taught about the power of the Holy Spirit when we share a message. In seminary we’re taught about the importance of theological integrity when we share a message. What we’re not taught, and what we desperately need, is a deeper understanding of the influence of our communication – our language, symbols, and signs – when we share a message.
How do churches grow? The best way to know this question may be to look very closely at churches that are growing the best. Learning from other good ideas, or what’s called “Small I” innovation, can help. But in my annual list of the top 25 fastest growing churches, most don’t just practice Small I – they pursue Big I innovation, which is something totally different.
There’s a spectrum of innovation that happens when we think creatively about our problems. Most of us aim for small innovations all the time. A better process for retaining guests. A more efficient way to track paper costs. A social media strategy that results in higher engagement. And so on. But while we spend most of our energy on Small I, it’s Big I that creates real growth. Further, Small I rarely leads to Big I. Big I is something else entirely.Further, Small I rarely leads to Big I. Big I is something else entirely.
On my 5-year blog anniversary, here are five key principles for what makes for compelling, original content. I have learned most of this the hard way, in years of posting. These keys to getting people to line up to read your stuff apply not only to writing a blog but to any regular process of creating something, for example a weekly sermon.