I read an excellent article by Patrick Scriven who works with the United Methodist Church. This is well worth the read. He relates Apple’s release of the Apple watch with the church. Or rather contrasts Apple with the church.
The big point that I applaud are the idea of innovation. Innovation seems to be absent in so much of the church. Read the rest of the article for the full argument.
My question is this – does it have to be that way? Can a church that is ancient also touch people’s lives today? I say yes. I wouldn’t be going into ministry if I didn’t think so. The message of the Gospel is one of hope. In a world that is dying for hope, this seems like it should be winning thing, yet the church struggles. Why? Are we afraid people are going to criticize us, or say we have our heads in the clouds? Really? Is that the worst thing in the world. In the West, people aren’t being killed for their faith. A little criticism is hardly something to be afraid of.
So how can we innovate? I don’t have one-size-fits-all answers for that. I do think that the way a church innovates will depend on that context of the church. That requires some difficult work. It requires a congregation to look inward and outward. It requires asking questions like – “Why does this congregation still exist?” It requires some study of what God wants for the congregation and the community. It requires starting new things and stopping old things. It requires empowering people. It requires a lot of things. Different things for different congregations.