4 Roles of Innovation and Technology in Your Church

Courtesy of stocksnap.io

Courtesy of stocksnap.io

Last week, I had the privilege of being with church leaders from across the country at the Global Leadership Summit’s Premiere Host Site event. Not only did this event fully prepare us to effectively host the GLS, I also had the opportunity to hear from some of the greatest leaders and thinkers in the Church.

Bobby Gruenewald, who serves on the Lead Team at Life.Church, had some fascinating stories and insights on the role of technology and innovation in the Church. Here are four of them.

1. Technology doesn’t make church effective, but it can help effective churches reach more people.

The Gospel has always been and will always be the answer. If reaching people effectively isn’t already in your culture, technology won’t be your silver bullet.

2. Innovation happens where passion meets constraints.

  • Craig Groeschel didn’t want to miss the birth of his third child on a Sunday morning, so they recorded Saturday night’s message, played it Sunday and had positive feedback. Video teaching was born, which led to Church Online.
  • Bobby was in the security line at the airport in 2006 and was unhappy with with the inconsistency of his Bible reading. So on his BlackBerry, he went to GoDaddy.com and bought YouVersion.com - He said it was the best name he could come up with between security and boarding his flight.

@@If you are hungry enough, when you are faced with a constraint, you will innovate just to survive.@@

3. Failure is not an option. Failure is a requirement.

This reminds me of Jim Collins’ principle of Fire Bullets, Not Cannonballs. Take careful and calculated risks. Whether it’s a mobile app, church online or another lane of technology - what can you fire bullets at?

4. Follow momentum and move fast.

YouVersion.com actually failed out of the gates. But what was released to the public just before shutting the site down? The iPhone. YouVersion ended up being one of the first 200 apps in the App Store’s launch. In the first weekend, YouVersion had 83,000 downloads. And the staff made up of one 19 year old code writer was given more people and more resources quickly.

How do you spark innovation and make use of technology in your church?