Bobby Gruenewald: 4 Essential Mindsets for Innovative Churches

Kent Shaffer —  October 3, 2012

At Catalyst Conference 2012, Bobby Gruenewald of LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) discussed 4 mindsets essential for innovative churches.

We are occupying a place and time in the earth’s history that has experienced exponential growth to over 7 billion people. On top of that, mankind is more connected to each globally than ever before.

Look at it not as a huge opportunity for ministry but as a huge responsibility. It is not an option but rather something we have to do.

Broadcast media has changed. Television has changed. How we consume information has been the same way for decades but has recently changed in a very short period of time. Children born today do not understand media consumption that isn’t on-demand.

And now we are also beginning to see changes in how people consume the Bible. Human nature often has trouble admitting that something that has been around for hundreds of years can change.

So what is the next big thing?
It should be what you are working on.

Why can’t it be? It used to be the Church was the epicenter of art and creativity. There was a time when it wasn’t unusual to see the next big thing come out of a church. But times have changed, and today’s Church has outsourced creativity. Hollywood has taken over storytelling. Apple has taken over innovation. The government has taken over care for the poor. And Facebook has replaced human connections.

When it comes to the future, I don’t want to wait for the next big thing. We should be creating the next big thing.

For us to get from waiting to creating, we must have these mindsets:

  • Thinking Inside the Box
    Constraints are a requirement for innovation. When you throw off constraints and pretend like you don’t have any, you will just come up with a bunch of unusable ideas. If you have lots of time, talent, and money, you will probably lack innovation because you simply buy the solution. Sometimes you have to artificially create restraints in order to force innovation. Limited resources + passion = innovation. Ask yourself if you can accomplish the same result with half the time or half the money.
  • A Culture of Change
    Leaders and pastors are often focused on change, but change as a noun. Change should be focused on like a motion, like an action that you are always going through. Don’t change for the sake of change. Change with small incremental changes that make significant progress.
  • Failure is not an option. It is a requirement.
    You have to be willing to move forward. When you fear failure, you stop trying. Failure can happen and will happen if you are going to try to change the world.
  • Where do we grow from here?
    It doesn’t happen if you have been successful, stagnate, or in decline, you need to always posture yourself towards how you will grow in the things that you are doing.
We can create the future rather than waiting for someone else to do it.

Special thanks to Skylark Audio Video for covering my travel expenses so that I can live blog the conference for you.

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.

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