Love: The Newest Innovation in Ministry

When my family ventures out to get a pizza, we tend to go to the same place. It is a nice little restaurant a few miles away from home, and the wait staff is beginning to memorize our order. They laugh and say we are “repeat offenders.” When we sit down, grabbing a menu is a mere formality, because we already know what we want. My wife and I share a pizza, but we split the variety of toppings. My children operate in the same way. Sometimes they get the same toppings, and other times, my son gets adventurous. 

I have realized that we actually do not go out to eat simply because we crave whatever food they serve. We make the trip because we enjoy getting out of the house, interacting as a family and sharing memories. The place we go is comfortable, but it also provides a space to create memories.

I frequently have conversations with pastors and church leaders about the desire they have for innovation in their ministerial context. They start conversations about technology, curriculum, popular preaching topics and new trends that are sweeping the nation. Often, when a pastor is not on the cutting edge, they have a certain level of anxiety because they fear that parishioners will go to another more exciting church. 

Innovation in the area of ministry is great, and I recommend that everyone stay up-to-date on emerging leadership trends. It is even vital that leaders understand how technology can be harnessed to convey the gospel. What I have realized, though, is that people who are seeking community and who are hungry for the truth care more about being among people who show genuine love to them, than whether or not the fog machine is operational on Sunday morning. 

People love variety, excitement and the “wow” factor, but they also need to see how Jesus operates in everyday life. The fact is, life isn’t always exciting. It isn’t always fun. Heartbreak, and sometimes jobs are lost. The question, in these hard times is, is Jesus relevant in these times as well? 

Spoiler alert: He is. 

So, perhaps we need to work more on our shepherding skills. Let’s resolve to exercise the muscle of compassion. Learn to love deeper and find innovative ways to communicate this love. 

Landon DeCrastos is lead pastor at Fishers Point Community Church in Fishers, Indiana.

Landon DeCrastos
Landon DeCrastos

Landon DeCrastos is lead pastor at Fishers Point Community Church, and director for educational partnerships (Bridge Initiative) and adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University.