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Ted Esler: Why Church Leaders Must Not Ignore Our ‘Innovation Crisis’

ted esler
Photo courtesy of Ted Esler

Dr. Ted Esler is the president of Missio Nexus, an association of agencies and churches representing over 30,000 Great Commission workers worldwide. He was a church planter in Sarajevo, Bosnia, during the 1990s, and he is the author of “Overwhelming Minority,” the story of his family’s ministry there. Ted’s new book is “The Innovation Crisis: Creating Disruptive Influence in the Ministry You Lead.”

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Key Questions for Dr. Ted Esler

-Why does the average church leader need to feel like he or she is an innovator?

-What could it look like for church leaders to pursue innovation?

-How do you help people to think through what to innovate and what not to innovate since the truths of our faith are unchanging?

-What are some consequences fo the church if we don’t address the innovation crisis?

Key Quotes From Dr. Ted Esler

“‘Innovation’ is either the creation of something new or the mixing of existing components to create something new. And in the ministry context, there are so many different areas to innovate in.”

“The biggest innovations are not in the tech arena. They’re sociological, they’re about ideas, etc. So when I’m talking about innovation in ministry, it can cover a wide range of different areas in which we’re leading in ministry.”

Jesus, the founder of our faith, our Lord, was incredibly innovative, not just in the message, but also in how he delivered that message and how he related it to other people. That continues to be the challenge of our day in ministry when it comes to innovation.”

“​​My view is there is not enough innovation happening in the church right now.”

“When COVID hit and all of a sudden we can no longer meet the way we’ve been meeting for centuries. I was expecting that we were going to see new forms of connecting, new forms of communicating. Instead, what happened at most churches is the same thing that was happening on Sunday morning continued to happen in an empty building with a video camera.”