Innovativeness, Church Growth, Ministry, Relationships, Discipleship


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many changes in the present socio-cultural context point to the importance of innovation in churches. A theoretical framework for understanding innovation in churches is presented, featuring 6 key elements. These elements include the cultural context of the church and the church’s target audience, a culture of innovation within the church, innovations in church programs, processes, and personnel, social capital (social ties) which permits church members to navigate the changes associated with innovation, program loss (that which is lost when programs change), and progress toward the church’s goals. The church’s goals and the church’s context determine which innovations would be most appropriate. A culture of innovation and strong social ties permit innovations to be implemented successfully. Program losses may reflect aspects of the church’s goals that are neglected when innovations are implemented.