Creativity is thinking up new ideas.
Innovation is doing new ideas.
There is a difference.
I’ve been reading a great book, Lead Like It Matters by Craig Groeschel. It’s an updated and republished version of the author’s book from several years ago, It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It. The book has lots of great stuff for church leaders and I encourage you to purchase and read the updated version.
The distinction between innovation and creativity are worth thinking about if you are a pastor or church leader.
We may be tired of thinking of new things. In many ways, we’re probably doing the same things we have always done. But the author states, “If there is any group in the world that should be motivated to make improvements, reflecting God’s creative nature, it should be Christians.”
Instead of assuming something new will never work, try thinking, “What if it does work?”
Brainstorming is pretty standard these days. We sit around with the team from our church and think of “the sky is the limit” stuff to get us motivated and thinking big. But too often, we don’t take the next step and execute a new idea.
Innovation is messy. It’s about trying something you’ve never done. It takes a level of passion to step out, take a risk, and act on a new way of accomplishing the mission. For the church, this is a powerful step in continuing to reach people.
Don’t assume you don’t have creative people. You have people in your church who are able to dream up amazing and awesome things because of their God-given gifts and unique perspectives. Seek them out and encourage them. You also have people on your team and around your church who are willing to take risks and try something in a new way. They will run with ideas once you invite them in, give them authority, and trust them.
Innovation and creativity don’t take tons of money or momentum. Often, they are the very things that create momentum and financial support.
Look for the limitations in your ministry and you will find a prime spot for innovation. How can you make it better? How can you improve without spending money? How can your church act on the passion to reach people with the gospel even though you don’t have fill-in-the-blank (good location, great budgets, lots of staff, younger people, etc.).
Pray that God’s spirit would give you the courage to be creative and to innovate – to think of new ideas AND act on them.