In the business world, companies use the term innovation so often that it has become a buzzword. Everyone is competing to lead the race for innovative ideas or technology. But what does innovation even mean? Innovation means “doing new things” or “doing old things in a new way.” Even though some companies and businesses are genuinely doing new things, we need to see this type of innovation championed in ministries. After all, God is the chief innovator! 

Throughout my career in marketing, my main goal and purpose have been to be innovative and cutting-edge. Marketing is an art and takes extreme creativity and vision; therefore, you must be forward-thinking and collaborative. Whether creating radio commercials for a supermarket, promoting an album, or producing a video, I had to look at trends and research to either do something new or something old in a new way. This creative process is invigorating to me. Creativity and people are my passion, which is why I was drawn to the mission and vision of Orchard. I was so inspired by the unique ways our Partners meet the needs of their communities, and I thought to myself, “we need more of this in the world!” If companies have entire departments dedicated to innovation, research, and forecasting, then Orchard can do the same for the Christian non-profit community!  

At Orchard, we believe God inspires innovation. He constantly calls His people to love their neighbors in new and creative ways. In the Bible, we see innovation both in God’s creation and in how he uses imperfect people to accomplish his plan throughout history. In Genesis 1, God created the heavens and earth out of nothing. God also uses the most unqualified, uneducated, and imperfect people to fulfill his purposes. He used Moses, a man with a speech problem, to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. Or there is Paul, a Pharisee who persecuted Christians that God used to write most of the new testament. God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. That is innovation! In fact, in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, Paul tells us to remember, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” 

So what does this mean as we live out our lives?Should we all start a ministry or non-profit to meet the world’s needs? Probably not. But God has created us in His image with unique gifts, talents, and abilities. So we must seek to discover how He has uniquely wired us and let God use us in new ways. This doesn’t always mean starting something new it may mean doing something you are already doing in a new way!