The Innovation Process

I spent the day at an innovation workshop for churches. We had speakers who walked us through the innovation process, design thinking, and prototyping. One of the speakers is a good friend of mine who distilled the innovation process down to five steps:

  1. Preparation – having diverse perspectives at the table
  2. Divergence – generating an obscene number of ideas
  3. Incubation – let the ideas sit in your brain
  4. Convergence – edit the options based on your “why” and your values
  5. Execution – just do it
Something about this was bothering me as I came home from the workshop. I wasn’t sure why until I thought about the intersection of innovation and church. The nagging question for me was what role does the Holy Spirit play in this? Do we invoke the Holy Spirit during preparation and then listen? Do we do that at each phase? Do we trust that God has gifted us with the mental capacity to do this so the process done with faithful people should work?
While I think the answers to these questions are “lots” and “yes,” I noticed something when I reviewed my notes…. This is the same process I go through in crafting a sermon. Sharing the Word of God with others is innovative because it connects the intersection of God and humans. It connects two things that are meant to go together but due to our brokenness don’t always go together. 
If we truly surrender to God, He disrupts our life. God’s work in us is always innovative because God is making us new each day. And we were created to be innovative because we are created in God’s image. 
Maybe that was too much thinking to be reminded how important innovation is. But I think its helpful to remember that with God we can do something that is more innovative than we can do on our own. 
May you seek God in your own process of making this world a better place.
Until Everyone Hears,

What are your thoughts?