Lab Resources

Prepare your ministry for effective change.

Innovation Culture Index

Too often, great ideas don’t take root because of the impacts of a faith community’s culture. The Lab’s Innovation Culture Index (ICI) is a self-diagnostic questionnaire that measures a faith community’s outlook and attitude in nine key areas that impact the ability to innovate.

“The ICI is a fantastic—and fun—way to launch a conversation about organizational change. It has been an essential tool for the churches we work with who are exploring new ways to approach ministry in a post-Covid landscape. I recommend it constantly!”

Kenda Creasy Dean, Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church and Culture, Princeton Theological Seminary and co-founder, Ministry Incubators

“We always preach about how we are such a loving and hospitable church but, when we started deep diving into the Innovation Culture Index to see what was the root cause of issues in other areas, we found out it was all about connectivity. People outside of the leadership were not feeling connected. We needed to create opportunities for relationships to be built for people who aren’t necessarily active in our ministries. So we started what we call, ‘Coffee On Us,’ led by someone who is just beginning to get more involved in the church, as a way for people to fellowship and connect.”

Danny Preston, lay leader, Citadel of Faith Covenant Church, Detroit

Our work with the Innovation Culture Index helped us unearth essential truths about our staff’s and congregation’s relationships with risk, relationships, and motivation, rather than follow our biased perceptions. Although our points of view and experiences differ, our staff is equipped with common language that frees us to share more safely and vulnerably. Assumptions about who we are as a staff and as a church body have given way to both encouraging and humbling realities. We’ve discovered that our eagerness to innovate must be met with a willingness to embrace the beauties and challenges of inevitable failure.

Mark Bogart, Director of Youth Ministry, Memorial Drive United Methodist Church

Tired of developing ministries that fall flat?

It’s time to start listening.

Ministries that transform lives start with deeply listening to the needs and assets present within your community.

But listening well requires a tool and a process. The Community Discovery Package brings together a group of people within your ministry context to explore the community around you with intention. Over one month, the group will meet together twice and undertake three group activities: community overview research, community interviews, and asset mapping. Then the group will reflect theologically on opportunities for ministry development.

What faith communities are saying about the Community Discovery Package:

“At Faith, we have a lot going on at any moment. I was grateful for the Community Discovery Package because it was something that I could put to use without preparation. I was able to ask volunteers for a very specific time commitment and no one had to spend a lot of time preparing. The tasks also accommodated different styles — one was a more “extroverted” activity and one was a more “introverted” activity. That really helped everyone find a place to feel comfortable.”

– Rev. Dr. Laura Norvell, senior pastor at Faith United Methodist Church, Rockville, MD

Navigating Conflict in the Church

Are you dealing with division or conflict in your church? This new, FREE, resource is for you.

If your community is dealing with a church split, if 20% or more of your worshippers have left, if you’re navigating a difficult leadership transition, if challenging relational dynamics are coming to the surface in your congregation, if questions are arising about your church’s identity or mission, or you’re simply discerning who God is calling you to be now and in the future, then our new resource was made for YOU.

We’ve provided a series of crucial questions to consider and our suggestions for tangible next steps your community can take to discern where to go from here.