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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Innovation or Transformation?

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
- Romans 12:2 (ESV).

Andrew Root’s book: The Congregation in a Secular Age, puts in words what I’ve sensed for some time — a disconnect with the culture around me. Why do I long for more peaceful times? Life too often seems harried. With more “time-saving” devices than I can count, my clock seems to run faster, and the years pass more quickly.

I’m not alone. It’s an overwhelming feeling many have today. Root connects this “never-fast-enough, never-enough feeling” with a “Silicon Valley-style” innovative approach shrouded with marketing brilliance. If I get the new version, latest app, or phone, I’ll be more effective and feel better. The problem is: Once I purchase the latest and greatest, it’s already outdated by the time I open the package.

I’m not against technology. When COVID tried to shut us down, technology helped us. Many churches discovered innovative ways to proclaim the Good News of Christ to many who had never stepped into a church building. Each week I’m able to speak and instruct others via Zoom. My weekly blogs encourage people throughout North America, Armenia, and Eastern Europe because of technology.

Root suggests that “innovation is an energy drink that can get us up and running, loaded with too many chemicals and preservatives, which eventually promise a crash.”

Our culture tries to convince us to conform to its ways. Paul (Christ’s servant) places more significance on transformation than innovation because discerning God’s ways requires “transformation,” not “innovation.”


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