Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bright Ideas

Over the years I have heard many different ways to be creative in ministry. Although I do not feel as though I am the most creative person in the world, it is critical to think outside of the box in hopes of maximizing effectiveness. Some people like to use “wild and crazy” methods to spark excitement, but I prefer looking at the DNA of my setting and going from there.

My least favorite method for getting new ideas is the CASE method: Copy And Steal Everything. Not only is it unoriginal, there is nothing to say that what worked at another church in another setting will work where I am. The primary example of this came when Rick Warren and Saddleback blew on the scene. Pastors from all across America went to the Purpose driven seminars and returned with Hawaiian shirts and sermons that Pastor Warren had preached from his pulpit. The problem however was found that Hawaiian shirts were fine in Southern California, but when trying to pull that look off in Iowa, Oklahoma, or Mississippi a pastor just looks confused and stupid.

This week I came across another idea for turning ideas into reality. Scott Hodge listed his process: Create, Criticize, Optimize, Validate, & Execute. To me this is much better than the CASE method and it requires originality, something which must never be overlooked. If one is reduced to poaching other people’s sermons, messages, ideas and thoughts, I would ask, “why on earth are you in ministry… does God not talk to you… where is your God-given vision?” With that being said, never forget your ministry setting and never forget where you feel God is leading your church.

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