One of my great joys in ministry is overseeing the 12Stone Residency Program, training up the next generation of church leaders. Kyle Eichelberger,  a resident who serves in our Student Ministry, will be sharing his leadership wisdom on the blog today.

New technologies, innovations, and ideas are at the forefront of how all people process and interpret the happenings in their lives. As ambassadors of the Gospel, we must also challenge ourselves to dream up new engaging ways to reach lost people, without sacrificing the vision of the organizations we serve in or the Truth we champion. 

Fostering a healthy creative environment maximizes the strengths and unique experiences of your team, so it’s important to inspire and champion new ideas. Before you attempt to open the faucet of innovation from your team, here are 5 tools to help you start off right.

1. Be Clear on Vision

Clear vision unites, instructs, enables, and fills the gaps that our singular abilities can’t fill. Your organization has likely spent years planning and many long hours praying for their unique vision, so before you set out to create an amazing experience for your congregation, make sure it’s in line with the vision.

2. Filter the Stream

It’s very easy to walk away from an event or project with 100 potential improvements. Ideas are plentiful, but precise execution of ideas is rare. Rather than chase every rabbit, pick 2-3 things your group will tackle and improve. This narrows the stream of potential tasks your team will undertake, limiting exertion and providing you with clear parameters for future ideas.

3. Champion Trust

It’s easy to feel like your ideas are worthless when your leadership doesn’t trust you. Trust is a bridge built by a vulnerable leader and a vulnerable team. If there’s no trust, don’t expect creative solutions.

4. Find your Island

Cultivating a space that’s unique to your team enhances creativity and increases productivity. Find a refuge for your meetings, away from other staff and people, and watch as your ideas improve.

5. Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

Feedback (shared constructively) promotes an environment of continuous improvement. A lack of regular feedback, has the opposite effect. It impedes learning and lets small issues develop into much bigger problems. It can lead to a breakdown of trust and, ultimately, the development of a toxic team environment. Don’t fear feedback, embrace it.