Who We Are


ci_logo jpeg 15 may 06Church Innovations Institute does research and consulting that innovates your church’s capacities to be renewed in God’s mission.  We have helped more than 1,800 congregations, 75 national and mid-governing bodies, and 24 denominations on 4 continents and in all 50 United States.

  • We are a non-profit organization.
  • We are rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • We help churches focus on God’s mission in the world.
  • We are committed to listening for God’s leading for every congregation.

Many local churches today feel that something is wrong – that they are missing something. They don’t look the way they did in the past, and they don’t have the energy or resources they used to. They look for easy ways to fix this feeling, but none of them work for very long.

At Church Innovations we know about this “not right, something’s missing” feeling. Thousands of local churches all over the world are feeling it, now even more than 30 years ago when we began to work on ways to respond to what was happening. God is always at work in God’s mission in and for the world. When a church finds their part of that mission, they find calling, purpose, and energy.



 1. Partnership for Missional Church (PMC): a 3-year journey of spiritual discernment that helps churches find their place in God’s mission and their connections to people of peace God is placing on their path. An optional 4th year for learning and practice is available.
What this process builds Trust, leadership, 2 major reports, a 3-year focused plan, relationships among churches and in the community, and a tested set of ways to answer God’s call to your congregation.

2. We Are Here Now: a 1-year consultant-coached search inside and outside the congregation for God’s activity and for the place the congregation can claim at this moment in God’s mission.
What this process builds Trust, 2 major reports, and at least 2 spiritual practices for ongoing discernment of God’s missional call to your church, exactly where it is today.

3. Standing at the Crossroads: a 6-month in-person and online experience of naming and mapping the crossroads your congregation occupies, so that you can claim your current location before moving forward.
What this process builds –  Trust, a sense of where you’ve come from and how you got here, and relationships with other congregations learning the same things.

4. Church FutureFinder: an on-line resource for congregational discovery that helps churches gather numbers and narratives inside and outside their buildings.
What this process builds – A 20-50 page report that helps church leaders narrate the true numbers of their church and community and answer theological questions about what God might be up to.

5. Thriving in Change: a set of tools and practices that help local churches and church bodies have faith- based conversations on difficult issues, keeping God and God’s mission at the center of those questions.
What this process builds A go-to practice for tough conversations, a place and time to listen to God’s Word and one another as we listen for God’s call, and an expectation that God will show up.

6. Staff Covenanting: a 3-retreat guided discernment process in which a local church staff or church body staff explore, affirm, and leverage their individual and corporate gifts to align with God’s call to mission of each person and the staff as a whole.
What this process builds A collection of job authorization pages (one per staff person) written/approved by the whole staff, a shared sense of the staff’s called work, and more trust among staff members through better means of affirming and hearing one another.

7. Congregational Discovery: a 3-month process of deep listening and story-gathering by members of the church, the resulting interviews analyzed by Church Innovations.
What this process builds A 10-12 page report that not only organizes the interview learnings but also asks key questions to help a church consider its gifts and its missional calling from God.

8. Six Disruptive Missional Practices: 1-day or 3-evening workshops that give a local church something concrete and faithful to DO, simple actions that, when done repeatedly, change the culture of their congregation. A small group from any congregation can learn and try out these practices.
What these practices build God-centered habits, one per workshop, that help any church spend more time and energy listening for God’s call into God’s mission already taking place nearby.