Scripture: Isaiah 43:19

When I think of innovation, I often associate it with Silicon Valley, technology, and the rise of the industrial age. I picture bright white spaces and offices with very little furniture. What I definitely don’t picture is the church. The church has a reputation for being much more focused on tradition than on innovation, on maintaining what has been, more than on embracing change. In the words of Rev. Dr. Hugh Rayment, “People in churches today have become curators, not creators.” Innovation has been relegated much more to the secular than to the spiritual.

Yet our scriptures tell a different story. It begins with God imagining all of creation into being. Human beings, created in the image of the Great Innovator, are called to create and innovate, too. I see little scriptural evidence that we are intended to be content with the status quo and pour our energy into maintaining what we have. Instead, in story after story, the Holy Spirit compels people to build, to bring change, to move, to create, and to begin again.

God has been calling his people to introduce new—often disruptive—ideas and ways of living for thousands of years. Just as God has called God’s people to innovate in the past, we too are called to innovate. This week, we will explore what that means for ourselves and for our church. How might we live differently if we truly believed that God calls us to newness and innovation? How might we worship differently?

“Great innovation only happens when people aren’t afraid to do things differently.” – Georg Cantor