On October 8, 2010

Innovation

So I’ve spent the better part of this week in Atlanta, with most of the Highland Staff. We’re at the Catalyst conference, and it is seriously rocking my world. It’s been great hearing speakers like John Ortberg, Francis Chan, Andy Stanley, Seth Godin among many, many others. The Worship has been amazing too…imagine singing with 13,000 other Christian leaders who are worshipping out of a life of wounds and triumphs.

But the best part is this: Innovation.

I feel like I have been immersed in a sea of creativity. From how they do announcements or fundraising, to how the speakers communicate, or the strategies that different churches have employed. It’s been amazing to be around so many people who asked the question, “is that the only way to do it?”

This is a video that the showed today, one of the many things that was made for this event that is outside of the box. Last year they had a high-diver jump 50 feet into a kiddie pool, Today we had a fundraiser that involved a guy who threw knife…at people.

Yesterday, I heard about a girl who had the gift of photography, so she decided to go to the homeless people in the city she lived in, and give them a professional photo, kind of a “Glamour Shot” ministry. And this ministry was so effective that it swept across the world. It was more than just a handout, it gave people back their dignity.

All because someone stepped back and thought, “but what if we tried this…”

It’s a shame that this isn’t the norm at our churches. We worship a God who creates, and who did and does it well. Part of what it has to mean to be people who bear His image is that we admit that this is important. I’ve said it before on here, but churches ought to be the most innovative places on earth. We ought to be the kind of places that our so bursting with creative juices that people see what God is like.

There is a reason that the roots of Renissance art came from the church. Because we knew that once, and maybe we are on our way to learning it again. It’s not that we have to keep re-inventing the wheel, or that we don’t remember the creative ways that people have approached God in the past, it’s just that we remember God didn’t just work then, or through that. He’s always creating, innovating, and he’s looking for people to join in.

Which is a bit more than a video about a haircut.

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  • Candy Gilbert

    Amen Jonathan! We have so many creatively amazing people just sitting there in church. I think if they were given the opportunity to use their gifts the church would be transformed – resurrected! It could actually become a place of life – a place where, if a stranger would were to walk in, they would think – wow I want to be a part of this! I’ve heard it said that we were created by the Creator in His image which makes us creative! I have a friend that opens her loft up every Monday from 10-5 for Creative Monday. Her heart’s desire is the release of the creative for the sole purpose of bringing His Kingdom to earth. I’m excited!

  • Leslie

    I love all the ideas they are sharing. It must be amazing to sing with thousands. That video is hilarious and disturbing. Ha! You are creative and are always thinking outside the box…love it

  • Kathy

    “You are creative and are always thinking outside the box…love it”

    I totally agree with Leslie!!! :)

  • Renee

    Amen, Jonathan! As a graphic designer at a church, I get sad every time I hear of a church being ok with the status quo. Creativity is a HUGE part of ministry. I think God is teaching that to churches, large and small, and across the nation, that creativity has to be used to reach more people! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  • http://lec03b.blogspot.com Lauren Cunningham

    I really want to hear what God revealed to you during Catalyst. I’m really excited to see the ways God and His creativity take hold of Highland in new and deep ways!

  • http://dustcoveredtalmid.blogspot.com/ Dan Gill

    Hooray for creativity. I am hard-pressed, though, to know what the video has to do with that.

  • http://www.stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Candy, thanks for saying that! That is exactly what I’m talking about, you enunciated it well…ever think about writing a blog?

    Thanks Leslie and Kathy, sometimes that’s good and sometimes it’s not. :)

    Renee, Catalyst actually made me think of you a couple of different times. Seriously, I thought about going behind the scenes at Southeast and just getting to see how y’all did things. Thanks for that, I’ll never forget it!

    Lauren, me too!

    Bro. Danny, I guess it made more sense in the context of being there. These guys in the video were some of the leaders, and it was during some of our lighter times of the conference. It was just one example of many of ways in which they had thought outside of the box. The purpose (of this video at least) was loosely tied to the other stuff. Thanks for forcing clarification there.!

  • eastlandgrl

    interesting, thanks

  • http://www.maquiavelo.com maquiavelo

    nice read, keep up the good work

  • denver

    I work in IT at a very large company where innovation is something that is discussed a great deal and in great detail.
    What I find drives innovation is a need to solve a problem. Usually, the individuals that recognize the problem have a passion in that particular space.
    I have been reading through some of your old posts today. It is evident that you have passion for what you do. Keep sharing. There are some of us that need to see this passion in action.

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