Why You Need To Stop Innovating In Your Ministry

Why You Need To Stop Innovating In Your Ministry


Why You Need To Stop Innovating In Your Ministry

We hear a lot of talk about “innovating”. Innovating can be a great thing. Innovating is necessary in every ministry at times. By definition, innovation is:

  1. the introduction of something new
  2. a new idea, method, or device

These are good things – great things at times! But innovating isn’t always necessary in our ministry. We don’t always have to introduce something new. Sometimes, it’s better to improve what we’ve already got.

This has been brewing in my thoughts for some time now. I love seeing new ideas, new methods, new resources, etc. But I’ve gotten the sense sometimes that if it’s not new, it’s not good. I believe very strongly that this is NOT the case. That’s not to say that everything “old” is good, but justbecause it’s old doesn’t make it irrelevant.

My thoughts were clarified by this post in the Harvard Business Review. I would encourage you to read it, but here’s the key thought I pulled from it:

Creating something new is the goal of most innovation initiatives, but new does not mean valuable. Increasing the value created for customers should be the focus of initiatives…

Essentially, it is saying creating “value” is far more important than creating “new”. Of course, this article is in relation to business, but I believe the same holds true for children’s & family ministry. Our goal should not be “innovation” (new) but, rather, “value”. What will give our children & families the most value, and how can we create opportunities for them to add value.

The article speaks of 8 ways to create value for customers in the business setting. Here are a few ways that I believe we can create value in our ministries for our “customers”:

  • Spiritual formation. Be intentional about the spiritual formation process at church, and partner with and equip parents to  participate and lead in that process.
  • Worship. Offer real worship opportunities for children – not just random songs & not limited to the worship through music. Offer families opportunities to worship together.
  • Safety. Make your ministries safe. Physically, emotionally & spiritually safe for children. A place where parents feel safe to engage. A safe and inviting place for volunteers to commit to.
  • Service. Studies show that kids and families who serve are far more likely to remain engaged in their faith. This adds tremendous value to your ministry.

So the question isn’t always “how do I create something new in these areas?”, but “how can we create more value in these areas?”

I’m sure there are many more values, but these are a few that come immediately to mind. And thinking in terms of “value” I believe is far more relevant than thinking in terms of “innovation”. Don’t get me wrong, innovation is good and can be, at times, essential. But it should not be the driving force in our ministry. Creating value should. 

What are some ways you create “value” in your ministry?

(please share in comments below)

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader at Children's Ministry Leader
My passion is seeing the lives of children transformed. I believe the best way to do that is to equip leaders in the local church to serve children, volunteers and parents to invest in the lives of children at church and in the home. That’s what we do here at Children’s Ministry Leader – equip leaders to create healthy Children’s & Family Ministry.
I serve as the Vice President of Global Resources in the Global Mission department at David C. Cook.

I love what I do as it is the outflow of 25 years of ministry experience as Children’s, Family & Administrative Pastor, consultant, trainer, speaker and short-term missions leader.

2 Responses to Why You Need To Stop Innovating In Your Ministry

  1. I love the idea of offering kids opportunities for real worship. It is fun to do “fun” songs, but we also need to be teaching a fuller theology of worship. Do you have suggestions for creating more value in worship for kids?

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