Innové Studios empowers churches to coach, resource, and launch social innovation ideas in their own communities. It is a pioneering method for missions and congregational engagement, adding focus and innovation that congregations need. The secret sauce is that it unleashes the power of church congregations, let members do what they do best, whether it be marketing, legal, finance, or more.
Innové Studios is more than funding and resourcing social innovation ideas, although that is an amazing end product. Sure, churches help young adults start new initiatives that impact a variety of community needs including hunger, homelessness, job creation, financial inclusion, and more.
But applicants also receive training and technical assistance from volunteer church members in putting together business plans for their ideas. At Colonial Church, a congregation with an average Sunday attendance around 500, 170 members volunteered for each of their two rounds of Innové serving as skills coaches, judges, screeners, and mentors who work with each winner for a year or more to help them launch.
Impact and Uniqueness
Innové Studios presents a unique opportunity for churches to engage with their communities and to mobilize new kinds of volunteers into community work. The program infuses a new excitement about missions into the local church and brings to life new community initiatives that meet real needs.
Impact of the program:
- Congregations build the capacity to mobilize more church members into community involvement. To date, the program has attracted volunteers who would be unlikely to volunteer in more traditional church roles, but who are eager to use their professional skills in marketing, business and financial management, and project development (just to name a few). On a deeper level, Innové Studios has helped church members realize that any vocational calling in life can make a difference when applied to community work.
- New organizations that do good in the community are successfully launched. The coaching and seed funding provided to the competition winners has helped launch a variety of innovative non-profit and for-profit ventures. We estimate that through organizations participating with Innové, over 29,700 people in local communities have been impacted.
- Churches build the capacity to offer intergenerational programming, drawing young adults and older generations together to work on a common cause. For congregations that have few young adults in their membership, the program helps build knowledge and skills needed to develop relationships with younger generations over the long term.
- Churches experience a new “spark” of interest in missions and service that can lead to other new initiatives, spiritual growth, and greater engagement in congregational life.
Innové Studios has shown a viable model for mobilizing volunteers inter-generationally for the purpose of launching exciting new mission endeavors. We strongly believe that Innové Studios is of benefit of churches in broader communities.
So do reach out to us if you are a church leader.