Creating Innovation in Your Church

Do you have a heart to grow your ministry, innovate, learn, and try new things?

Finding time for creative endeavors can be hard when you’re in the Sunday-to-Sunday rhythm.

We’ve learned over the past few years that finding time to innovate and think differently is crucial to fulfilling our mission.

One way we intentionally seek out new ideas and push innovation deep within our teams at Life.Church is through Ship-It Week. Ship-It Week is a week set aside to create new solutions or explore promising ideas that help our church be more effective at reaching people for Christ.

What ideas come from Ship-It Week?

Our Creative Media team—which develops our graphics, photography, and video assets—was the most recent team to pause and create during a Ship-It Week. Here are a few ideas that came from this time:

  • New ways to organize and share photos throughout our 25 campus locations and Central teams.
  • Specialized Church Online experiences for different age groups.
  • Easier processes to streamline content creation and distribution.
  • Step-by-step video trainings for staff and volunteers to implement our Bible App for Kids Curriculum.
  • New media concepts to help attenders grow in their walks with Christ.

What does Ship-It Week look like?

Ship-It Week is such a fun—and productive—time for Life.Church team members. There’s no right or wrong way to execute Ship-It Week, but generally it looks like this:  individuals or teams brainstorm, plan, execute, and present crazy, effective, creative, artistic, never-been-tried new ideas in just five work days.

Usually, they’ll collaborate with other departments, stay up late, camp out in the halls, change course halfway through, and dare to imagine how many lives could be saved if their one brilliant idea actually became a reality.

Ideas for your Ship-It Week

No matter the size of your staff, you can try something like Ship-It Week. Regardless of how it actually operates—whether it’s a week, a day, a month—the key is to set aside a manageable chunk of time to just explore.

Explore the holes in your community where Christ is being overlooked.

Explore new technologies that can be harnessed to share the message of Jesus.

Explore new niches, new styles, or new trends.

Explore the talents and passions God has uniquely given you.

Of course, Ship-It Week isn’t the only way you can hit the pause button and brainstorm how to improve your ministry.

  • Leave the building. Take your team off site for a full day of bonding and brainstorming. A change of scenery and a lack of distractions can do wonders for the creative process.
  • Be intentional. Set aside time each month for team members to prepare and share ideas that will move the ministry forward. Celebrate out-of-the-box thinking and reward great ideas.
  • Embrace constraints. See how creative your team can be in solving a problem if given less time or money to execute.  

To successfully host a Ship-It Week or to do any of the ideas above you may need to make time for it. That might mean postponing or canceling certain activities or routines for a few days. But that courage to say ‘no’ to your everyday routine will allow you to say ‘yes’ to whatever amazing inspirations God places in your team. Inspirations that could change how you do ministry.

How does your team pause and take time to explore creative ideas? Join the Life.Church Open Network community to discuss what’s worked for you or learn from other churches.

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