What may be emerging is a new role in the church: pastor of innovation. (Granted this may not become mainstream where every church would have one, since most churches have more pressing operational day-to-day needs.) I’ll do my part to keep this list updated. (Please do add to this list.)
- Bobby Gruenwald, Pastor, Innovation Leader of LifeChurch.tv
- Kenny Jahng, Pastor of Media & Innovation of Liquid Church
- Shamichael Hallman, Collierville Campus Pastor/Pastor of Innovation at New Direction Christian Church
- Edward H. Stephens III, Pastor of Innovation at Golden Gate Catherdral
- Stan Durham, Creative Innovation Pastor at Grace Fellowship
- Amanda Weaver, Innovation Pastor at Remedy Church
- Stephen Parris, Arts & Innovation Pastor of River Church [cf. prospectus]
- Chris Ryan, Executive Pastor of Innovation at Fellowship of the Woodlands [cf. Linkedin]
- Matt Arnold, Worship & Creative Pastor aka Worship & Innovation Pastor at Momentum Church
- Josh Lazar, Creative Arts Pastor aka Experience & Innovation Pastor at LifePoint Church [cf. Linkedin]
- Lucy Arellano, Director of Innovation & Creativity at Courageous Church
- Nils Smith, Innovation & Web Pastor at Community Bible Church (San Antonio, TX)
- Jason Morris, Pastor of Technology and Innovation at Westside Family Church (Kansas City, KS)
Kevin Kim, Director of Innovation at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
How much of their job is pure innovation and experimentation? Would you like to know? Me too!
There are over 30+ definitions of innovation and over 6000+ definitions of leadership. Organizations, especially organized churches in the 21st century, need more innovation and more leadership, not less. What’s worked in the past is not working as well as it used to, so we as the Church capital-C must make room to develop new ways of doing things.
Peter Drucker has said, “Any time an organization fails to change at the rate of the world around it, that organization is doomed to failure.” and ”innovation is change that creates a new level of performance” and ”All organizations require one core competency: Innovation.”
The chart to the right (from Leadership Network) illustrates how church innovations get adopted over time. As an experimenter, I’ve had very limited resources to experiment in developing innovations; I’m praying for more resources to do more. [disclosure: I do contract work with Leadership Network]
Rob Rynders makes a case for innovation in his denomination - Why The UMC Needs an Era of Innovation -
We need an intentional, grassroots, movement of innovators willing to put new ideas into action, fully realizing that many of those ideas will fail, but some will be successful. Even the failures will allow for immense learning, evaluation, further experimentation and adaption, ultimately leading to success. As successes and failures build, over time, we must apply those learnings from those models to other contexts and allow easy ways for others to learn, model, and adapt.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, there are 4 levels of innovation, so not all innovation has to be risky and be revolutionary game-changers. Pastor Karl Vaters provides a helpful list for key questions to consider when preparing a church for change (and innovation) @ 10 Questions Every Innovative Small Church Pastor Needs to Ask.