I mentioned in my post “Why The UMC Needs an Era of Innovation,” that there are already innovative faith communities up and running.
Just to name a few (in no particular order):
City Square Church (Disclaimer: I co-founded this one)
So, it may be that the era of innovation is well under way, which means it’s more important than ever to catch this wave of innovation, to be strategic about it and work to sustain it. My hope, in the new year, is to profile many of these ministries, going below the surface to learn about how they are resourced and supported by the institution and what it is they are doing that is different. It’s important to note that some of these, and others, will fail. However, some of these ministries are highly successful and are so because of earlier failures. I think it will also be interesting to see how intentional the institution is in creating and supporting current and future innovative ministries. Which ones are strongly supported and given plenty of room to create new DNA and which ones are simply allowed to exist? Are they evaluated the same way traditional models are? How are success and sustainability determined? What constitutes pulling the plug? How are learning applied to existing and future ministries?
I’m certainly limited by my personal familiarity with these particular ministries. I invite you to post, in the comments, any UMC ministries that you think are innovative, even one’s that may have recently failed. Also, they don’t need to be stand alone churches or ministries. They could be ministries within existing churches, satellite campuses, etc.
*I also need to give a shout-out to The Missional Wisdom Foundation for their post reminding me of the good innovative work that is well under way!