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What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry: Why I Chose Ingenuity

Alright, I’m taking a cue from my friends Amy Dolan and Dan Scott and posting about my reasons for choosing my answer for What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry.

I chose the word Ingenuity.

Why that word? Well, I didn’t start off with that word. I knew what I wanted to write about. I just didn’t have a word. Back in December, I wrote a post about innovation in children’s ministry. I then followed that up witha series on being dynamic in children’s ministry. Those posts were my response to the love affair that we have with wanting models and programs and systems to follow so that we can do children’s ministry well.

I’ve been to my share of CM conferences and networking meetings and have perused so many books and articles and curriculum. The main thrust of these is to give “practical” models to adapt and/or follow. While I know that practical advice is important, I think that we limit ourselves to only searching out the practical.

We become too fearful of “reinventing the wheel” because we think it’s a waste of time. We follow the axiom, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” because we don’t want to mess with a good thing. If those are your philosophies, then great. But don’t pretend you’re being innovative or ingenious.

I’m not saying we ignore the past or not learn from those that have gone before us. What I am saying though is that the wheel always needs to be reinvented and if it ain’t broke, then maybe your aren’t trying hard enough. True ingenuity isn’t afraid to reshape, re-engineer and rethink what children’s ministry looks like. We need less people worrying about what curriculum or model they are using and more people experimenting with what they already have as well as daring to incorporate ideas and elements they’ve never considered using before in their children’s ministries.


7 Responses to “What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry: Why I Chose Ingenuity”

  1. Wayne Stocks May 31, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Thanks for the insight, the chapter, and the book. I'm still learning from it and thinking about it. I loved your thoughts on innovation. I think so many people are afraid of change, especially changing things they may have implemented themselves, that it inhibits innovation and leads to stagnation.

  2. Joe McGinnis June 1, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Great stuff! I couldn't agree more. I'll add this: with Ingenuity comes the hard work of knowing your people, your environment, and your team as well. I think far too often in ministry, we're seeing people take a "cookie cutter" approach to ministry because…well… it's just easier. Thanks for the challenge!

    • henryjz June 2, 2010 at 12:44 am #

      Thanks for adding that. Agreed!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks:

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