When I think of innovation, my mind immediately jumps to products or services—the telephone, the assembly line, solar panels, airplanes, wireless Internet, etc. 

Tangible innovations that change the way we live. Yet another kind of innovation—an intangible type—is ideas. Equally as groundbreaking, ideas are often forgotten when we talk about innovation. The theory of relativity, Newton’s laws of motion, loving your neighbor, paying it forward and ending slavery all fall in this category and are definitely a part of changing the way we live.

Brand names continuously introduce innovative ideas. Consider Citibank’s “Live Richly,” Nike’s “Just Do It” and Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaigns—all ideas and concepts that have changed or are changing the way we live.

I believe that in this realm of innovation—of  ideas and not products—the church is best positioned to be a catalyst for culture. Our track record has been full of ups and downs. Martin Luther and no more indulgences was a good thing. The Crusades ... not so much.

What are you a part of innovating? How can the ideas within your community help change the way people are living and interacting with one another?


Brad Abare is the director of communications for the Foursquare denomination, founder of the Center for Church Communication, and president of Personality, a communication and marketing consultancy.

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Need more ideas for communicating your church’s vision? Check out the Center for Church Communication’s Church Marketing Lab, a free open-source resource.

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