100+ Ideas Not to Try

written by Kat Bair
2 · 14 · 23

Ministry Incubators’ newest product offering is the Hatch Deck. Developed by Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean and her team at Princeton Theological Seminary, the Hatch Deck is a deck of over 100 cards describing missional innovation ideas which we don’t think you should try. The ideas are wonderful, all of faith-friendly social entrepreneurship projects that have made impacts on their communities. There is a bakery that employs under-resourced teenagers, a satellite land-mapping company run by a Catholic diocese, taco trucks, t-shirt companies, fishing outfits, all operated in the service of some community good. These ideas are creative, practical, engaging, and in line with the call Christ places on our lives. 

And you shouldn’t use any of them. 

Because these ideas were generated from these innovators looking around their community, listening deeply, and understanding what God was calling them to in that space at that time. These projects are shaped by the needs of the community, the resources available, and the skills of the innovators. In our blog about Ministry Incubators client Rev. Bryan Wilson and Still Waters Landing, we outlined how the project’s success hinged on the reality that Rev. Wilson already knew a lot about agriculture. The same concept is true for every card in the deck, there are brilliant enterprises that are shaped by the community, the resources, and the people where they emerged.

Which is why you shouldn’t try them. 

Because you aren’t that person in that community, with those resources and those skills. You probably aren’t a tattoo artist, or a pig farmer, or a fisherman. And that’s a very good thing, because you are something else. Your community has needs of its own, and resources of its own, and you, as an innovator, have your own special mix of gifts and experiences that you bring to the work. 

Check out the Hatch Deck, and read over 100 stories of successful, contextually-driven, faith-friendly innovations. And don’t do any of them. These cards are useful not because they show you what other people are trying, but because they open your imagination to all the things that haven’t been tried yet. Reading about engineers who geo-mapped undeveloped land isn’t meant to encourage you to go recruit engineers, it’s meant to help you imagine how you could team up with city planners to utilize unused church parking lots for food truck parks or pop-up clinics. It’s not just cooks and artists that have a space in missional innovation, but engineers, architects, accountants, auto mechanics, everyone you can imagine, and plenty of others none of us have thought of yet. These ideas are meant to blow the doors off what we see as possible in the world of missional innovation. 

You can order the decks here, and we encourage you to explore these inspiring ideas, and then come up with something else entirely. Let us know what you come up with – we can’t wait to help make it happen. 


Kat Bair

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