Do you want an innovative church? The key is having a church culture built around a high sense of trust. In the field of innovation, trust is considered a core element that breeds innovation (Bachmann & Zaheer, 2013). The process of innovation and idea creation is highly uncertain and highly risky, which by nature creates a high level of self-preservation for those who are involved, or expected to be a part of, the innovation process (Szabo et al., 2013). For ministry leaders, it is as important to foster a high level of trust as well as it is to encourage innovative actions. The existence of trust in followers plays a significant role in achieving prosperity through innovation (Szabo, 2013). If a ministry leader desires to have a steady flow of ideas that are effectively impacting the community, but consistently violates trust with followers, he will find himself frustrated with his followers for a problem he has created.
Ministry leaders need to understand that high trust releases energy, capability, imagination, achievement, while low trust does the exact opposite (Ceserani, 2014). Followers in a high-trust environment are excited to be imaginative, create possibilities, and explore outside of the status quo and mundane routine. Leaders who continually undermine people by pointing out what is wrong, insist on early idea implementation without proper formation, ignore emails, and virtually put followers off for other tasks breed low levels of trust and insecurity (Ceserani, 2014). This causes a ministry to be a low-trust environment where people’s energy is focused on defending themselves rather than rather than being creative, innovative and performing at peak levels (Ceserani, 2014).
It is in the best interest of ministry leaders to avoid trust violations in order to allow their people to focus on creative ways to advance the Kingdom of God.
Bachmann, R., & Zaheer, A. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of advances in trust research. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Ceserani, J. (2014). Innovation and trust – the path to mastery. Industrial and Commercial Training, 46(6), 302–306. http://doi.org/10.1108/ICT-04-2014-0024
Szabo, S., Ferencz, V., & Pucihar, A. (2013). Trust, Innovation and Prosperity. Quality Innovation Prosperity, 17(2), 1–8. http://doi.org/10.12776/qip.v17i2.224