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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Too Old to Innovate?

Just to keep up with the "in crowd" I had to go to Tazzabella's, our local coffee shop to post this blog. Aren't I trendy and cool?

I recently read the list of Top 10 Innovative Churches and defined by Terry Storch on his blog. Like most of you I am familiar with a majority of these and without much thought I agree they are innovative.

What I found interesting... maybe even disturbing is that I am older than all of these churches.

Why is it that older churches are unable to be innovative? Is it that younger churches have younger leadership which tend to take more risk which generates more innovation? Is it that older churches have more seasoned leadership which tends to take less risks and hinder innovation? Probably a combination of both.

Working in a somewhat older church (older than the average age of the top 10 list) I get to see this up close and personal. While frustrating, I have learned to understand it and accept it for now, until it can be slowly changed.

Innovation is quite simple, for younger people.
Step 1: Ideate - Think up the idea
Step 2: Actualize - Put the idea to work

Perhaps it's more difficult for older people.
Step 1: Purge- Toss out all the tradition and rules about what's acceptable.
Step 2: Ideate - Think up the idea
Step 3: Eliminate- Realize you probably didn't toss out all the tradition and rules the first time so try again.
Step 4: Freely Ideate - Think up a better idea
Step 5: Evaluate - Dig out all the things just eliminated and get worried about the risk involved with the idea
Step 6: Obliterate - Completely destroy beyond recognition all the tradition and rules.
Step 7: Actualize