Should the church still innovate?

Scott Ridout

Former Converge President

Point Magazine // May 2022

Luke 5 is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. Jesus’ ministry is in full swing. He’s called unlikely disciples, touched a leper, forgiven a paralyzed man, befriended a tax collector and eaten with sinners. His every move has confounded the religious establishment.

In one final melee, frustrated Pharisees approach Jesus over another major offense: His disciples do not follow the Pharisees’ fasting traditions.

I love Jesus’ response: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one” (Lk. 5:36). He goes on to talk about pouring new wine into old wineskins. However, my favorite part is how he ends the conversation: “And no one, after drinking the old wine wants the new, for they will say, ‘The old is better’” (Lk. 5:38).

People like the way they have always done things. It is familiar, comfortable, feels right. Innovation often feels like an indictment of the past. But it is not. The fact is, everything done before Jesus’ time led to the moment when he would call for change.

Every innovation has an expiration date. Our mission is sacred, not the methods.

He wasn’t condemning the way things were done in the past. He was standing on the shoulders of those who served God well.

Every innovation has an expiration date. Things that were a great idea in the past often need to be replaced with new wine. We have to try new things to reach new people and disciple a new generation. Our mission is sacred, not the methods.

In this edition of Point, we will discover some innovative and creative ways churches are advancing the spread of the never-changing truth of the gospel. Our hope is that God will inspire you to move forward in helping more people meet, know and follow Jesus.


Scott Ridout, Former Converge President

Scott served as president of Converge from November 2014 through August 2022. Prior to that he was the director of generosity for Converge from 2007-2014, concurrently with his time pastoring at Sun Valley in Gilbert, Arizona, for 22 years. He serves on the boards of Axelerate, Bethel University and The Timothy Initiative. Scott also serves the Finish the Task initiative working with denominations worldwide. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married since 1988 and have three adult children, Jon, Ashlyn and David. He loves God, the local church and simply wants to help people meet, know and follow Jesus.

Additional articles by Scott Ridout