Three Keys to Innovation for Creatives & Churches

Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.
This was written for churches, but believe that it’s applicable to creatives as well, just replace the word “church” for “creative”
Over the past few years I’ve had countless conversations with creatives and churches about growth.
How did you grow so quickly?
What was your marketing strategy?
What’s the secret to growth?
And my answer 98.9% of the time…
We’re figuring it out as we go.
If you’re frustrated about your church growth or personal growth I believe 9 times out of 10…
You’re stuck.
It’s usually not what people want to hear but I’m going to share my honest opinion about this.
Are you ready?
If you’re a church or creative who feels stuck and you’re not adapting, pivoting, trying something new; you’re falling behind, you will fall behind.
And before the excuses come in…
I get it; ministry is tough.

Freelancing is tough.

This past year has been tough.

But I’ve noticed that through every season (good or bad) there are churches and people who thrive and who fail.
Those who fail, are stuck in an old mindset.
Those who thrive, innovated.
And it’s not because they have:

👉 A big budget
👉 Hundreds of volunteers
👉 Full time staff
Yes, it helps and it’s nice…

But oftentimes the root of becoming outdated is because of a mindset. You aren’t willing to innovate, adapt and pivot. The reality is that the world is changing; the way we communicate is changing; and we have to adapt with it if we want to continue to reach people effectively and purposefully as the church.
So how do you learn to adapt? Innovate? Move forward?
Here’s 3 things I’ve learned that are keys to never getting stuck.

Try Something New 

You won’t know if something works until you try it.

Create different kinds of content, make stupid videos, try something until it works!
Celebrate the win, take notes on why it worked and then do it all over again. That’s really the nature of content these days anyways. It’s always changing and so if you’re unwilling to budge on the latest trends or forms of communication you’re missing out on people! Reach people where they are at; not make them find you.
Use technology as a door to your church.
“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”


Learn to Fail (Be Okay with Failing)

This is a tough one for everyone.
But I’ve made a ton of mistakes and here’s the thing, if you learn from them they’re not mistakes, their lessons!
We’ve done so many things that we looked back on and thought man, that didn’t work and THAT’S OKAY! At what point did we forget that not everything has to be perfect? I’m re-learning that daily.
Learn to move forward without the regret of failing.
Hopefully you’re surrounded with pastors and people that give you grace to build something and make mistakes.
That’s a huge piece of this.
“There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” – Brene Brown

Go Back to the Why

One of my favorite quotes that I’ve heard recently is: creativity isn’t being an artist; it’s finding solutions to problems. (Or something like that.)
Sometimes I believe that we lose the WHY behind what we do in the excuse of excellence or art. I’m not saying that either of those are bad, I’m saying that should never stand in the way of what our mission is: to share the message of Jesus; to reach people.
If you’re ever having wanting to adapt or move forward ask yourself; how can I solve the problem of reaching [fill in the blank].
How can you help someone experience Jesus through technology or a different means that maybe you’re not used to but they are.
Going back to the why behind what we do is always a source of inspiration and innovation for me.
I’m not here to tell you how to run your church, or change the philosophical view on how you reach people.
I’m here to challenge you to broaden your perspective and take a step in a new direction.
Change is inevitable, but growth is optional.
The way I see it; Jesus was always adapting and changing the way that he reached people, so should we.
So try something new, fail a few times and re look at why the church exists in the first place.