Mainline Protestants can still have an exciting and life-giving future. Living into that future will require us to learn deeply Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen's lessons of disruptive innovation, say three United Methodist Church leaders.
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The chancel of Richfield UMC, where the remaining members have decided to close after years of faithful ministry. Photos courtesy of Zina Risley
A creative new ministry is underway in various UMC conferences to help declining congregations chart their end and leave behind a lasting gift.
Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods illustrates that innovation isn’t always about starting over but about understanding where and how a community gathers, writes the minister of education at The Riverside Church.
The church needs both those who are loyal to existing religious institutions and those eager to usher in what the church will look like next, writes the managing director of grants at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.
Both innovation and design thinking must be set within a broader context, one that focuses on our purpose and ends, writes the theologian.
At Una Familia, mothers and volunteers work with children in a summer tutoring program on Virginia's Eastern Shore. Leaders of Una Familia took part in the Ministry Accelerator workshops to help them expand the size and impact of their ministry. Photos by David B. Hollingsworth
Virginia United Methodists are helping established ministries expand by teaching them new skills in a two-day “accelerator” program.
The centerpiece of Simple Church, a United Methodist congregation, is a Thursday night dinner when 30 to 40 share the Lord's Supper. Photos courtesy of Simple Church
Congregants gather for a sacred weekly meal where the conversation serves as the sermon and freshly baked bread provides nourishment, communion and income. Other churches are using their template to replicate the experience.
A youth pastor who began a church-based social enterprise shares advice for others interested in this kind of ministry. The three initial phases are discernment, consulting with the community and testing.
Technology offers different capabilities -- storytelling, problem solving, design thinking -- to engage learners in religious teaching, says a rabbi and game designer.
With a mix of movement, soothing activities and cooking, The Brain Kitchen helps struggling kids learn skills to calm themselves and even rewire their brains to cope with challenges. It's a picture of how innovation happens -- with insight, small steps and experimentation.
The Abundant Harvest food truck is one of the many parts of St. Isidore Episcopal Church and its "offensively generous" approach to ministry. Photos courtesy of St. Isidore Episcopal Church
One body with many parts, a Houston “church without walls” brings together house churches, a food truck, pub theology, a laundry ministry and more. Its priest isn’t trying to do something old in a new way – he’s trying to do something brand-new in the old way.
Leadership Education at Duke Divinity teaches a way of thinking that holds the past and future in tension, not in opposition.
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