Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose


What are stories of innovative congregations?

Pre-Meeting Work

Please listen, read, and reflect before the Zoom meeting:  


Interview with Kara Faris, Indianapolis Center for Congregations
Co-Author, Divergent Churches

The same interview is posted here in two different file formats.


Innové Studios, Colonial Church Case Study by Amy Sherman.
Maggy Barankitse, Love Made Me an Inventor
Rev. Michael Mather, “Excerpt from “Having Nothing, Possessing Everything,”
The Kuhnekt Initiative builds relationships among church members

Scripture reflections

1 Thess 1:2-5

Note the order here: work of faith, labor of love, steadfastness of hope.

What makes doing new things in congregations a work of faith? How are the new things you are contemplating deeply faithful?

Love of what (or love of whom) is pushing you to make these changes? What are you learning about the labor of love?

What practices help you to maintain steadfastness of hope?

How would you describe the Gospel (“not in word only”) that is longing to become known through your congregations?

Matt 13:52

Some of the hardest work of congregations is in discerning what old ways to hold on to and what new things deserve attention and energy. Note that the master of the household is not bringing things out for himself, but in order to serve others.

What are some important principles for determining what is truly “treasure” (what to leave behind and what to bring out, in the present context)?

How might a process of innovation be an instrument for precisely this discernment?

Zoom meeting dates

June 11, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm (CST)

June 27, 8:30 am, 10:00 am, 11:30 am (CST)

Discussion Questions

What are the motivations for innovation among the pastors and congregations you are working with? What language are you using with your congregations, in relation to innovation? Tell a story about a connection you are seeing between vocation and innovation.

Additional Resources

See Faith and Leadership on: Congregational innovation

Some particularly good stories include:

PCUSA faith community takes flight, celebrating Appalachian music and culture

Art and faith converge at a hybrid church/community arts center

A small rural church is bringing together people affected by the opioid epidemic

A Christian social enterprise offers healing to survivors of violence and abuse

Chris Russell, Fresh ExpressionsInterview


Kit Ford, Do Good X Fellow, FTE

Ted Talk: Jeffrey Brown: How we cut youth violence in Boston by 79 percentlearn more