Innovative Churches: Leadership & the Next Generation

February 7, 2007 by

Part 6 in a series on Innovative Churches. Be sure to contribute to the Most Innovative Churches list.

How can leaders help create a culture of innovation?

Leadership can help create a culture of innovation by stepping aside. Unless you have been hired or appointed chief innovation officer, chances are pretty good you were hired or appointed to be doing something else. This doesn’t mean you are not needed or wanted in the process, it simply means you need to step aside and let others champion this cause.

Does innovation in the Church look different for the next generation? What is our responsibility to empower next generation leaders?

Innovation doesn’t look different in any generation because innovation is a philosophy, not a product. It’s way of life for any organization that wants to live and last. The phrase “passing the baton” should be dismissed as a four-letter word. The next generation should be working next to this generation, not waiting to take over. If you’re waiting for them to take over, you’ll never be ready to hand it off. And if you think they are waiting to take it over, then they’re probably not the right people in the first place.

Post By:

Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
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2 Responses to “Innovative Churches: Leadership & the Next Generation”

  • Mark Howell
    February 7, 2007

    Brad, I’m wondering if there’s more to creating a culture of innovation than “stepping aside”. One of the best books I read in 2005 was The Ten Faces of Innovation by IDEO’sTom Kelley. A fascinating read about how IDEO, one of the most creative shops in the world, has built a culture that encourages innovation.
    One big takeaway is that innovation can definitely be encouraged and it takes leadership to do it.
    What do you think?

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  • Brad Abare
    February 7, 2007

    Mark, I completely agree that it takes leadership to do innovation. My point in saying they need to step aside was not that they need to get out of the picture, but that they need to get out of the way and make room for it. I think far too often leaders (myself included) get in the way of innovation because we feel like we have to channel it or control it. It’s in the moments when I step aside and let it happen without me trying to lead it is when it takes my organization or team further. It also allows for the person who really is in the position to steward it to jump on.
    In a church situation, sometimes that is the senior pastor, but I think there should be others that are facilitating the implementation of innovation.
    By the way, I am a big fan of IDEO–I’ll definitely check out the book. Thanks for the suggestion!

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