A Lesson In Trying New Ideas For Impactful Ministry

by | Sep 8, 2021 | Ministry, Research

How can a church today adapt to meet today’s needs and try new ministry ideas? By borrowing a concept used by a large, well-known organization known for innovation.

Smaller groups of people benefit in the ability to be more nimble. Fewer people, the more adaptable to change – right?

Yet, many church leaders struggle with how to guide people through necessary changes.

Over time, new ideas get rejected because of fear over the outcome. Fear stifles change. And only leads to irrelevancy.

Like you, I felt the need to adapt and change to minister to people at my church and in my small group. But how can any new ministry ideas take hold when change also means MORE uncertainty? It’s a tension point for sure.

So my eyes jumped out of my head when I started digging into how a huge, well-known company makes change a part of their culture.

And when I say huge, I mean $1.4 trillion and change.

Stick with me on this – yes, the church is not a business. Yet you can take lessons and apply them to further your mission to grow into a vibrant and healthy church.

What local church leaders can learn from… Google?

That $1.4 trillion was Google’s market capitalization in February 2021. Despite its size, Google shares three similarities with the local church.

How? Take a look.

1. Keeping up with an uncertain, noisy world.

Today’s world is different from even a few years ago. Google has evolved from a simple search bar to becoming a part of every aspect of life. The church, too, has a need to shift ministry + outreach to meet people in a world full of uncertainty and noise.

Both the church and Google keep up by focusing on how to serve people.

Not sure that ministry shift should look like? Consider what a Ministry Reset could mean for your church.

2. Serving through tech.

Technology drives many shifts. But it should not be the root of the shift. Like Google, churches that leverage technology to serve get that it’s not about posting the live stream video. It’s about focusing on how this video will serve and taking steps to engage with and minister to those watching.

The new idea should serve to meet a need.

3. Staying on mission.

People can be like magpies hunting down the latest shiny object. Guess who makes up both churches and Google? People.

Leaders know they need to balance the push for healthy, sustainable growth with keeping the missional WHY in mind.

How? Through this…

4. Trying new ideas. Because #1 and #2.

To keep up with an ever-changing world and leverage technology, leaders need to test new ideas. There’s no getting around it. Trying out something new can be scary, expensive, and time-consuming.

Churches need to test ideas and pivot QUICKLY and with MINIMUM EXPENSE.

3 Steps To Try Out New Ministry Ideas At Your Church

What does this look like? Glad you asked.

Recently I sat in a leadership meeting where we discussed adding more virtual components to the small group ministry.

In pointing to Google’s example, I explained a three-step guiding process, where we wouldn’t need to make a big change or even make it permanent:

  1. Start small and test for a set amount of time.
  2. Agree upon what we want to learn.
  3. Regroup afterward so that we can decide the next right step.

The focus here is on learning what works and adapting. When you can build upon small wins and serving people, one day you’ll look back and see how far things have come!

Now it’s your turn! Go and test!
Keep your people in mind and what they need from your church.