Dr. James V. Green at the University of Maryland College Park teaches an online course titled “Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship.” The course encourages students to identify and address opportunities for innovative services or products.
Of course, innovative approaches can be generated within an existing organization as well, but this requires a creative environment or climate. Green identifies several characteristics of such a creative climate. They are:
•An enjoyment in experimenting with new ideas
•A trustful management that does not over-control
•Considerable communication with outsiders
•Open channels of communication
•A willingness to accept change
•Little fear of negative consequences for making a mistake
•Selection and promotion of employees based on merit
•Sufficient financial, managerial, human, and time resources for accomplishing goals
As one who identifies with the church in its many manifestations, my response is to attempt to apply this template to the church. When I do so, however, I find myself disappointed. I find very few churches that are willing to do any of these things.
I want to be proven wrong. As the body of Christ, the church should always be open to opportunities for growth, learning, and creativity. If a church wants to both survive and prosper, these practices are mandatory.
If you can provide specific instances of a church that is embracing even a couple of these characteristics, please let me know.