What Makes a Church Innovative?


Tony Morgan has posted about America’s Most Innovative Churches of 2008. The list came out in the Jan/Feb issue of Outreach magazine. You can see the full list of the most innovative churches on Tony’s post, but you can read more about what really makes churches innovative today here.  The top 10 for 2008 are:

  1. LifeChurch.tv, Edmond, OK, Craig Groeschel   
  2. Mars Hill Church, Seattle, WA, Mark Driscoll   
  3. Granger Community Church, Granger, IN, Mark Beeson   
  4. Flamingo Road Church, Cooper City, FL, Troy Gramling   
  5. Seacoast Church, Mount Pleasant, SC, Greg Surratt   
  6. Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA, Rick Warren   
  7. Mosaic Church, Los Angeles, CA, Erwin McManus   
  8. Fellowship Church, Grapevine, TX, Ed Young   
  9. North Point Community Church, Alpharetta, GA, Andy Stanley   
  10. Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL, Bill Hybels  

In a an article titled “Church Forward” which is also found on the same link,Lindy Lowry “How are America’s most innovative churches reaching a changing world?“  This is an interesting question and obviously a subjective one, but some things to consider are in the areas of:

  • Technology
  • Multi-location
  • Non-traditional church experiences
  • Church planting
  • Communication and Media
  • Global DNA
  • City/community renewal
  • Church Resourcing/Partnering
  • Raising Up the Next Generation

Whether you agree with how these churches do things they are experimenting with different methods of how to reach their areas of influence. To see some examples in action check out these 4 wild and crazy Christmas Eve services. One of the things I like to do is pick a church each year and follow them closely to really study what they do from communications to their worship services.  It can be a great way to get new ideas if you are part of a worship design team or to broaden your perspective a bit.  I have followed Fellowship Church and Granger Community Church in the past.  This year, I’m paying closer attention to LifeChurch.tv and I’m very excited about some of the things they are doing (more to come).

The point is not to intimidate other churches or just copy whatever is successful somewhere else, but rather to learn how to think creatively and  in innovative ways. If you only ever live in you own box and never look up to see how God is at work in other places you can miss a great blessing and maybe the chance to be inspired.  So for this New Year, how about picking a church off of the list and let God use it to help you be innovative in your church. I’d love to hear which church you pick and what you learn (just add a comment below!).