“Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.” (Emile Chartier) How true it is that ideas can be great when surrounded by possibly greater ones! Of course, for this to happen, that would not only mean that people think of great ideas but be willing to also generously share them. This is what I love most about the Idea Network! Creating ways for ministry leaders from all over the nation to bring great ideas to one table is genius! Even more, this is exactly what excites me about Idea Night 2020!
Almost exactly one year ago, our upcoming church plant was able to host an Idea Night in Albany, NY just a few months before our official launch on 2.2.2020. At that time, we were eager to grow our ministry connections, see a fresh ministry perspective, and of course, gobble up some great ideas! We looked for ideas that would truly help us as we launched a new work in the capital of New York just one month before COVID-19 hit! Who had any idea what would take place several months after the first Idea Night, let alone one month after the launch of a new church? Of course, looking back now, we know that COVID is no respecter of ideas. Think about all those “2020 Vision” sermons that went down in flames in a matter of days! Truthfully, this would only prove to be the perfect context for a fresh perspective and a greater need for immediate ideas in ministry. Pastors, ministry leaders, volunteers, and even those in the corporate world had to think quickly–and most did. There were so many different ideas shared all over the internet and social media, and a barrage of great ideas were adopted throughout COVID, touching so many different and unique ministry contexts! The last few months have only revealed the significance of thinking outside the box, adapting to different, and truthfully borrowing some great practical ideas to infuse in our rapidly changing ministry landscape!
Alfred Hitchcock once stated, “Ideas come from everything.” If there is anything that the pandemic proved, it was that some of the greatest ideas surface during moments of forceful shift. I have always believed that the church has been the most creative entity throughout history. We adapt, we change, and we by all means bring out the best of ideas as God providentially works in gospel advance through His church! This recent season of COVID-19 that we all progressed through was no different! Think of all the ministry shifts that the church made in the last few months. Churches re-faced Sunday worship services, they uniquely ministered to the needs of people from a distance, and comically Zoom and tithe.ly became imperatives overnight for many ministries. If only we had the idea of buying Zoom stock before the world came to a screeching halt! Truly, ideas do come from everything! This year’s Idea Night will prove to be a significant opportunity for ministry leaders to share ideas birthed from just about everything that we all went through in these last few months!
I cannot help but think that through COVID-19, it is almost as if God had briefly placed the church on pause. That providential time frame (which seemed like a lifetime), made us rethink the way we were doing some things in local church ministry. There is no doubt that many ministries across the globe were literally retooled for greater gospel-centered ministry and impact, all right in the middle of a global pandemic! Even now, some of you are in the middle of retooling and could use some encouragement and new ideas from other ministry leaders who have gone through the same thing as you. Sometimes the process of mining for some of the greatest ministry ideas can be expedited just by ministry leaders getting together and adding one more idea to the ones they already have!
This year, as a newly launched church, it is exciting to partner with the Idea Network a second time, in hosting another Idea Night here in the capital of New York! A single night of local context, fellowship, and idea-sharing is something needed greatly in the northeast, and across the globe for that matter! It is so awesome to see a group of ministry leaders and volunteers alike come together and try to carry out new and fresh ideas that can truly bring glory to God! I am looking forward to the new ministry connections, fresh ministry perspectives, and no doubt, the shared ideas on Idea Night in October! I want to personally invite you and other ministry leaders to join us on that night here in Albany, NY, or in your community as we host Idea Night 2020! We hope you can make it, and we most certainly have a sanitized spot reserved for all planning to attend!
City Rise Baptist Church
Albany, New York