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“The only sure way to avoid making mistakes is to have no new ideas.” — Albert Einstein

Ideas lead to innovations. Ideas are to be explored and experimented, even examined. We use ideas to launch new projects and ventures in our churches and the nonprofit realm, to expand and enhance what we already offering our congregations and communities.

Imagine if there was nothing new offered by the church. What if no changes were made at all? What would be the immediate results? The pastor would be shocked as he stepped up to the pulpit to see that he looked out to see a sparse congregation with a sprinkling of people. Picture gearing up for another year at your Christian preparatory academy and discovering no new students and few returning students.

The church and nonprofit sectors are in need of fresh ideas. The old ones have grown stale and stagnant. The wisest man who ever lived said that there is nothing new under the sun, but I would bet that not many of us have ventured out throughout the entire world to know that for ourselves. Thus, we must approach each day as an opportunity to discover new and improved ideas.

  • Read daily: newspapers, magazines, trade publications, poetry, devotionals, biographies, etc. Read daily to learn new things. Slept through Shakespeare in high school? Read “Hamlet” or “Julius Caesar,” even “Macbeth.” Read and discover a new world each day. Or, you can at least learn more about the world you live in.
  • Record and revisit your dreams: Dreamers need to shift to becoming developers and designers. I believe Walt Disney must have been a dreamer. Henry Ford must have been a serious dreamer, too. If you are going to take your work into uncharted territory and go against the norm, you will need to build the blueprint as you go. Keep a journal, diary or daily agenda/ calendar with notes and ideas on a consistent basis.
  • Reflect on your life’s path and destiny: Understand that where you have been has an impact on how you view things (perception), while your perception has an impact on how you view your present and future options and opportunities. A negative perception usually relates to pessimism, while a positive perception is usually related to optimism. Look back in order to see where you are headed. Did you recover from alcoholism or addiction? Maybe God wants you telling your story and assisting others in your church or community avoid similar pitfalls or recover from such experiences. Your testimony is not for your sake alone. God has someone who will be blessed by hearing it and others who will be blessed even further by coming to know.

Keep your ideas growing and developing. Always have a notebook and writing utensil. Use your cell phone. Palm, iPhone, Blackberry, Droid and other similar phones have “document” applications that can help record ideas and transfer to them to MS Word via micro SD card. Use what works for you. Just capture your ideas and work on them.

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Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!
– Proverbs 6:6 (NLT)
Some people are full of ideas. Ideas just pop into their head all of the time. Inspiration and creativity spark inside their minds and they jot down something in a notebook or journal, even on their Blackberry or iPhone. They’re simply full of ideas.
I empathize with such people, for I am one of them. However, as I reviewed some notebooks from a few years back and got drawn in deeper and deeper into my own notes and ideas, I realized that I was full of ideas and need to convert more of my ideas into innovations. I would imagine that that’s the case with many others who share my flaw.
The Bible is full of verses that speak of productivity. Yes, I said productivity. Look at Psalm 1:3, John 15:8 and others that speak of fruitfulness, prosperity and service. Even as salt and light, we are called to produce something that leads to others glorifying the Father based upon what they see in us. Proverbs points out that the “lazybones” should look at the ant and take in the wisdom of such a creature who needs no supervisor or manager and is productive, being considered wise.
Here are some steps for converting your ideas into innovations:
  • Find Initiative: Get an idea about how to get started, but by all means get started and soon.
  • Focus Intensity: Keep your focus on doing and doing it right. Don’t get so intense that you get distracted or detoured doing other things. Keep your intensity focused on the right things.
  • Fortify Infrastructure: Build beyond a “one hit wonder.” Dream about other ways to enhance or expand your idea. Broaden the scope of your vision and build a structure that allows for it to grow and expand into a possible enterprise.
  • Formulate Innovations: Could your sermons become podcasts on iTunes or articles for online e-zines? Could you write a how-to article for your church or community newsletter on the topic? Could you blog or tweet regularly on related and relevant subjects centered around your idea? Think it out, and then plan it out. If you plan on going anywhere but where you currently are, you are going to need a map.

I pray that this is helpful to those who are full of ideas and inspired to convert those ideas into innovations.

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From technology to tools and templates, small ministries can make an impact with big ideas.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.-2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

We have to look at what we are able to do with what we already have. We can get so much more done as a team than we can individually. God wants us operating in His power, with love and self-discipline. That requires faith. We will not need faith in ourselves. We will need faith in God Himself.

Technology

Smartphones (iPhones, Blackberry, etc.)
Email (www.gmail.com )
Document sharing (Google docs )
Portable peripherals (printers, projectors, etc.)

Biblical Models of Ministry

Moses (delegation)
John the Baptist (behind-the-scenes leadership)
Paul (Mobilizing ministry)
Modernize the methods of ministry
John the Baptist: preparing the way
Jesus Christ: preaching and teaching
Paul: mobilized ministry
Show & Prove (James 2:14-19, 26)

Principles in Practice

savings/ investing
banking
insurance
small business
credit/ loans

Life Path Ministries & Services offers support and services to leaders and staff within churches, nonprofits and for-profit businesses. See what we can do together.

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