|We’re excited, and we hope you are too! Today’s the day the Zoe Project’s Online Storytelling Festival website goes live! Over the last three years, more than 100 Zoe Fellows worked to “flip the script” of young adult ministry, listening for how God is working with young adults in our communities, in order to understand how churches might come alongside them (instead of simply expecting young adults to come to churches). These experiments taught us a lot about befriending young adults in our communities, and supporting their lives and their faith.|
This website shares the stories of twelve congregations, and others who joined this experimental work, who for three years formed an “innovation hub” through Princeton Theological Seminary and the Lilly Endowment that explored new ways churches and young adults might find God and one another.
Will you join us as we present the innovations of these churches, and many others, through these stories? Here’s what you’ll find in our little “online festival”: visual poetry through film, mini-documentaries, story slams, podcasts, and yes, even a visual summary of a research paper (available later this summer by request). If we could have conjured up a campfire to put at the center of it all, we would have.
While we are saddened that the coronavirus prevented us from gathering in person, we are thankful to share these stories with you online as the culmination of our three-year journey together. We invite you to celebrate the remarkable youth adults and ministry leaders who took part in the Zoe Project, in hopes their boldness inspires others. If you see a story that resonates with you, be sure to share it with others!
With gratitude and joy,
Kenda Creasy Dean, Senior Strategist and Project Director
We recently read this abstract from an article by Gary Pisano in the Harvard Business Review, and it makes some excellent points about the realities of the behaviors that produce great innovative performance! We think you’ll find it helpful. You can read the full article here.
Innovative cultures are generally depicted as pretty fun. They’re characterized by a tolerance for failure and a willingness to experiment. They’re seen as being psychologically safe, highly collaborative, and nonhierarchical. And research suggests that these behaviors translate into better innovative performance. But despite the fact that innovative cultures are desirable, and that most leaders claim to understand what they entail, they are hard to create and sustain. That’s because the easy-to-like behaviors that get so much attention are only one side of the coin. They must be counterbalanced by some tougher and frankly less fun behaviors: an intolerance for incompetence, rigorous discipline, brutal candor, a high level of individual accountability, and strong leadership. Unless the tensions created by this paradox are carefully managed, attempts to create an innovative culture will fail.
From Harvard Business Review, “The Hard Truth about Innovative Cultures,” Gary Pisano (Dec. 31, 2018), abstract. A version of the linked article appeared in the January–February 2019 issue (pp.62–71) of Harvard Business Review.
Hungry for more? Sign up for our newsletter and stay up to date on our latest blogs and Ministry Incubators news!