Six rules for brainstorming in church


We all want to constantly improve our organisations but we oftentimes don’t achieve the desired results. Sometimes, it’s due to the way the sessions are structured (or not structured). Here are six guidelines to help you during your next session.

1. Avoid using but

Oftentimes, plans to dream big are capped with a glass ceiling called “but”. Teams get together and are excited over new ideas, then someone says, “but… The Senior Pastor would never approve” or “but… it’s too expensive”.

Even if some plans don’t get approved now, they could pave the way for the future. It also helps to step on the accelerator and lead into other ideas that may not have otherwise sprouted.

2. Don’t get into the nuts and bolts

When you’re reengineering ministries or planning for the future, don’t get so caught up with a single idea that you delve in too deep. Revisit it at another time. Keep the brain cogs in motion and maintain momentum to keep dreaming.

3. Encourage everyone to share

How many times have you seen the extroverts of a team dominate discussions and ideas, sometimes without much substance too! Take turns and intentionally lure the quieter ones out so their thoughts can be heard. “Still waters run deep!”

4. Encourage pre-planning

Invite your participants to the brainstorming event but strongly encourage them to think ahead and prepare 3-5 points for discussion. It will bring about more concrete thoughts and shorten the initial stages of evaluating where the ministry is at.

5. Model after “the world”

While we are not to be of the world, we can see many great initiatives in the world that can be adapted for the Church. We must not be afraid to see what works for the corporate sector and see if that can enhance our ministry. Too often, we only look at that large church down the road and try to emulate what they’re doing!

It could be as simple as evaluating parking solutions or media presentation styles of the corporates.

6. Present the ideas

There’s nothing quite like experiencing the ideas articulated. Having teams submit a proposal on paper kills the emotion and joy of sharing the hard work with the team.

Turn it into a time to celebrate the efforts of every person and you’ll see the participants take greater ownership over their ideas when it’s time to execute.


Do you have any ideas to add? Feel free to share them…

Leave a reply