Innovation

My family and I drove from San Diego to Sacramento for Thanksgiving this year.  Unfortunately, we had to pass through L.A. traffic, which took us about three hours.  Looking for something to occupy my mind, I listened to a podcast of a well known church leader on my new iPod Touch.  Yeah, I feel cool now that I have an iPod Touch!  Anyway, the speaker gave me a new definition of church innovation – “If you want to reach people nobody is reaching, then you have to do things nobody is doing.”  That is the most profound thought I’ve heard in a long time.  Read that again and let it sink in!

So, the last couple of days I’ve been thinking what that means in preteen ministry.  Compared to the amount of preteens who live in my community, only a small percentage of them attend church of any kind.  Of those that do, a good percentage of them are missing the boat when it comes to preteens.  So, what is our team going to do to reach them?  What new methods will we implement?  I don’t know yet, but I need to keep asking those questions. 

One of the new approaches I am considering is doing away with giving a message at our midweek service.  Instead I am considering throwing out a question about life/God and giving them an opportunity to talk about it in small groups.  I’m not going to give them an answer or tell them what to believe.  Simply throw a topic out there and let them grapple with the issue.  But there are so many more approaches that no one has yet tried.

So, I will end my blog today with a few questions for you to grapple with.  No answers on what God is calling you to innovate, just questions to think about.  What one new approach with you try this year?  What one fresh method of reaching unchurched preteens who will you attempt?  What will you stop doing that is not effective?  What would your preteen ministry look like if you reached half of the preteens in your community?  How would your community change if preteens really lived out their faith?

If you want to reach people nobody is reaching, then you have to do things nobody is doing!

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