I am working with a camp and a church on vision and mission as we look toward the future. The pandemic restrictions have provided an opportunity for organizations, ministries, and churches to step back and look at what is most important. The quick stop to in-person ministries and worship experiences created a necessity for innovation as the Church had to seek new ways to engage people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastors, organizational leaders, and churches were forced to enter the school of hard knocks as the learning curve to pick up on technological ways to connect people in “real time” became a necessity. I have witnessed pastors sharing Sunday sermons from their home offices, garages, and backyards. I have witnessed churches learning how to use FM-transponders to broadcast worship services to cars parked in their parking lots. I have seen organizations doing online fundraising events in lieu of their normal banquets or galas. Innovation has been a key to our continued ministry in the past year.
How does Innovation translate into our personal lives as we look toward the future? For some, working from home went from an occasional event to the new reality. This created dynamics when multiple people needed space in the house to perform their normal work duties. In areas where schools were remote, this meant a whole family was interacting regularly. This also meant it was more difficult to leave work at the office, when the office was just a room away all the time.
Innovation is one of my words for 2021. I continue to seek new ways to be in ministry and to be more present with my family, especially as my travel schedule begins to increase once again. The use of Zoom and recorded messages gives me the opportunity to speak with people around the world. In the past year, I have met “face to face” (via Zoom) with leaders in Brazil, India and Canada, while keeping in touch with ministry partners in Zimbabwe and Haiti via WhatsApp. My devotional life has grown exponentially with my new habit of waking well before the rest of my family so I have time in the quiet of the morning for study, prayer, and journaling. I continue to innovate in the area of communication, as I seek to stay in conversation with ministry partners, leaders, and friends around the world. I recently wrote about communication: “Communication is key to all the ministry I am involved in. Communicating with God, with ministry partners, with supporters, with family, with friends, and with potential partners and supporters. To create a clear communication plan that intentionally communicates regularly with these groups is imperative.”
As I continue to live out Innovation as a word for 2021, I am certain one of the areas of focus for innovation is communication. How will I best communicate with people? Will it be to start new channels of communication (podcasts, blogs, videos) or will it be to hone and better use communication channels already in existence (mailing cards, writing emails, etc.)?
How are you being innovative as we slowly reopen our communities and churches? Is your church in need of someone to process ideas on vision and mission for the future? I would enjoy talking with you about innovation in your own life and in the life of your ministry or congregation. Feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-830-6670).