How To Make Your Ministry Innovative

I’ll admit that I was sad over the news of Steve Jobs passing.  My wife and I spent a little time on youtube watching montages that told the story of his career.  Here was a man who influenced the way we do music, movies, media and so much more.  
As a youth minister I admire innovative and creative people.  I don’t know how many people associate youth ministry with creativity; however, it’s essential.  Creativity helps us grow our mission, adapt our structures and reach out to people in ways we never thought possible.  But many of us never consider ourselves innovative because we think it’s something given to us at birth.  While God has given us each individual and unique talents, we all have the ability to think outside the box.  We just have to nurture it and you do that when you:

  • Read: Leaders are readers because story is what move us to dream.  Jesus taught through parables because He knew the power of story.  When you take the time to read anything from a blog post to a novel you allow your mind to start working.  After all you have process scenarios, the meaning behind the words and sometimes work hard to get through the awful grammar (sorry about that one).
  • Rest: When we are tired we don’t think.  We might hallucinate; however, our ability to process information and get ideas out is slowed down.  Rest also means a break from the noise.  Sometimes so much information feeds our minds that it turns into mush.  When we can rest and find solace we can give ourselves the ability to hear God’s voice to inspire us.
  • Risk: If you don’t allow yourself to fail, you will never succeed.  Sometimes you have to throw an idea out there and take a chance.  If it flops you lean in and learn from your mistake.  Risk allows us to see potential and what is possible.  When we can send an idea out there into the world we allow it to grow.


Youth ministry needs to be a hotbed of innovation. After all we’re raising up the next generation in a world so different from the one we grew up.  If we aren’t thinking of new ways to share the Gospel and reach out to others we’ll slow down and lose our effectiveness as disciples.

How do you nurture innovation?

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  • CJ says:

    You are so right about risk. Every great creative mind in history has failed far more often (or at least more dramatically) than they succeeded. Risk and perseverance are the keys to innovation. Great stuff, Chris!

  • CJ.
    Thanks for the thoughts and thanks for adding perseverance in there. There will be times when we come up with an idea that needs to mature. The tendency is to throw it out, instead we should work through it to see if it develops.