The Church, in all her beauty and brokenness is known for a lot of things. As a place of hope, a place of refuge, a place of healing, a place of worship, and a place of influence. What many individuals don’t realize however is its use of innovation to meet people right where they are. To the average person, the church may not look like a place where innovative concepts are being developed and implemented to carry out the larger mission of the body of Christ, but today, we want to highlight that very thing.

At Medici Project, we love the Church. We are believers in Jesus Christ and as followers of the way of Jesus, we believe the church has the potential to be one of the most innovative and influential culture shapers in society. In essence we must believe this. We see a world that is broken and needing of mending, and at the core of us we believe the Church is the only entity that can show how this brokenness can be fully made whole.

With so many ideas and new concepts coming out of the church, we want to highlight today some innovative approaches to influencing communities and culture from a few local churches in the United States. So without further ado, check out our list of the Top 4 Ways the Church is Using Innovation to Influence Communities and Culture:

1. Center for Faith and Work (Redeemer Presbyterian Church: New York, NY)

The Center for Faith and Work is the cultural renewal arm of Redeemer Presbyterian and seeks to:

  • Equip individuals of all backgrounds to develop and apply a worldview for work that better serves their profession and industry.
  • Connect professionals within a field and across industries to inspire and challenge thinking and behavior with an aim towards personal and cultural flourishing.
  • Mobilize New Yorkers at large to become agents of change for the common good of the city through existing and new institutions.

This innovative approach hits at what Medici Project believes to be one of the most incredible opportunities for cultural influence: the workplace. In fact, it is programs like this and readings from their pastor Tim Keller that has inspired our very own initiative Development Labs.

2. Ebenezer’s Coffee House (National Community Church: Washington, D.C.)

Ebenezer’s is a first class, fully operational coffee house that seeks to serve the community on Capitol Hill. They pride themselves on serving coffee with a cause. The coffee that they offer is all fair trade and all profits made from the coffee shop funds community outreach projects for National Community Church.

This is possibly one of the most creative, innovative, and sustainable models that we’ve seen in regards to community engagement by a church. Who doesn’t like a good cup of joe!? Not only has National Community Church found a sustainable to fund their outreach projects, they’ve also created an avenue to have a constant presence in the city of Washington, D.C. as well!

3. Crossover Church (Tampa, FL)

Crossover Church is one of the most innovative churches in the country, simply by pioneering a first of their kind Hip-Hop style church.

Founded by a small community of people in the early 1990’s who were burned out on “organized religion”, the church added youth pastors Tommy and Lucy Kyllonen in 1996. Over the next six years, they developed one of the first of their kind Hip-Hop styled youth ministry which grew to reach hundreds weekly. During this time, Sunday services only maintained around 40 people. In 2002 Tommy Kyllonen became pastor and a new vision and structure was birthed for the church, as well as a new mission statement: “To relevantly introduce the truth of Christ to those influenced by the Urban/ Hip-Hop culture as we develop worship, purpose, unity, and leadership within their lives.”

God has called Crossover to be a pioneer church to reach the urban community in new ways. They are very multi-ethnic, multi-generational and economically diverse. The church has become internationally known through all the favorable media articles as well as the numerous CD’s, books, magazines and resources produced by Pastor Tommy and other innovators at the church. Thousands have attend their services, concerts and conferences as they look to Crossover as a model.

 

Note: Everything in Italics comes directly from said organizations website.

Image used under Creative Commons License courtesy of Etrusia UK: http://ow.ly/zR70p