Innovation in Kids Ministry

There has been a question that has been dogging me lately, and it’s this. “Why isn’t there more innovation in Children’s Ministry.”

I have been thinking about this for a while and the latest issue of Harvard Business Review is all about innovation. I read an article about the DNA of an Innovator, it really got me thinking. One of the biggest take always from the article was that I need to take 15 to 30 minutes a day to ask lots of questions about why I do what i do and how I can do things different. I have come to the following conclusions, they are by no means final conclusions:

1. We really don’t make time to question why we do what we do.
2. We tend to think more week to week
3. We tend to manage because of all the people and resources we oversee
4. We tend to think that tweaking existing things is innovation
5. We ask the wrong questions.

What do you think?

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11 comments On Innovation in Kids Ministry

  • #3. We tend to think that tweaking existing things is innovation. That is absolutely right.

  • Great post. I think as a whole we need a R&D department for Children’s Ministry. I know some curriculum companies have this department but right now there are very few if any who are willing to take the risk of innovation because it is very risky.

  • Oh, darn…. and all these while i thought I was innovating. thanks sam, trust you to be the one to burst my bubble.

  • Let me go on record saying that these things are more a product of self reflection that of finger pointing, I never want to use my blog to beat up another ministry but rather build the kingdom. I want what I do to be more innovative. I believe the church needs to do this more. We need to leverage our social network skills and come up with some stuff that will make the gospel more life giving and contextually relevant than ever.

    You guys rock!
    Lets do it. Lets innovate.

  • gotcha sam thanks for that note cos i think you’re doing great.

  • I think the key to CM (or the entire church for that matter) in not innovating is in #1 and #5! We are too fearful to question what we do and why we do it and we ask the wrong questions. I’m not attacking anyone with that or pointing blame. It’s understandable to be fearful of those two. We are talking about faith and ultimate Truth and people’s souls so we tend to be cautious when questioning.

    I think, though, that we’ve let fear overcome the need for us to be innovative. Maybe innovation isn’t our problem so much as the need to be willing to be dynamic (willing to change and morph in order to present God in a way that people will understand). I think we can do that and still not compromise Truth. Truth is a lot bigger than we give it credit. God is a lot bigger than we give him credit for.

    So, I say question away! Questions won’t kill God. Questions aren’t bad. No question should be off limits. Then we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us through those questions as we try and find ways to love God and love others.

  • For me, reasons #2 & #3 (and to a lesser degree, #4) are why I don’t innovate. I get so bogged down just trying to keep things running on a weekly basis that I don’t take time to think, plan, question, reflect – even pray – and strategize for future ministry. It’s difficult to even maintain the ministry as it is with the time I have (I get paid for 10 hrs/week in CM, have another 24 hr/week “real” job, plus a husband & two kids). I don’t know – is it any easier if CM is your full time job?

  • Mate…great post! #1 is the biggest in my mind. Sometimes the goal is to run a sweet, growing ministry but do we ever stop and think about how busy our families are these days and what we can do to help them position God in the center of our lives. Totally wrestling with that at the moment and how I can best serve our families not just be focused on everything running smooth. There must be more than running programs and if you have the answers please tell me!!! Love that you challenge us and yourself to think outside the box.

    • Nath,

      I am with ya. It is such a difficult balance because sunday comes around every week. I so often find myself evaluation last week and tweeking for this week that I never give myself space to dream, innovate or even breathe. We need to for ourselves for our church and for kids Ministry as a whole.

      A little birdie told me you might be attending Napkin after all. If that is the case I would love to connect and pick your brain.


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