Innovation is something I’m always thinking about. I came across this article this morning which just caught my eye and got me thinking about ministry. Amongst other interesting idea, this paragraph caught my eye:
How do innovations emerge in society?
It is process of what Joseph Schumpeter, the Austrian economist, called ‘creative destruction’. In a major innovation cycle, the old world disappears before the new world fully emerges. The old product or service is no longer successful, but it is not yet certain will be the new ones of the future. As Schumpeter says, innovation destroys value before creating new value. In France, for example, one factory is shutting every day, often involving moves to Asian countries where the same products continue to be made more cheaply. There is a lot of instability before the innovations emerge. And the innovative new companies are not really creating jobs: Wikipedia is a company run by 100 people, but since it was launched, HP has laid off 18,000 staff in Palo Alto.
This seems to ring true around churches and ministry too! Your thoughts?
Our latest addition to our preaching staff, the Emeritus Archdeacon Ken Allen, has been a tremendous encouragement for our church. I remember hearing him in 2011 and thinking, this man is truly “old school” in his preaching style. And as I’ve been maturing as a Christian and as I see preaching fads come and go, I thank God that He has spent the last 50 years training and equipping this man to proclaim the word of God to our modern generations.
I have noticed that as Ken has settled into the staff and church here, he has adopted a new style, that is preaching as the elder statesman. Many of us in Sydney are familiar with this style of preaching in we’ve particularly seen it in the last few years of Archbishop Peter Jensen’s preaching.
For me, elder statesman preaching comes from decades of being shaped by God’s word and preaching it. It’s characterised by clear, concise and faithful exposition, illustrated with 50 years of hardened ministry experience. Ken and my offices are across the hall from each other and after many conversations about preaching, ministry strategy, what’s happening in the diocese, etc, I can confirm that this man truly is a man of God, a straight shooter and one who says and does what is right, regardless of what others think. And all this gives him the right and the ability to preach as an elder statesman.
I’ve uploaded an example of this preaching from our recent May Mission Series. Let me know if you agree..