Innovation in practice – online

On this blog I like to write about innovation theory and practice.  When it comes to material for the former, it seems to me that you don’t have to dig too deep.  However, to find genuine and exciting innovation happening in the Christian world, you have to search a little harder.

One organisation that oozes innovation is  These are the people behind the incredibly successful bible app Youversion and the amazing resource website Open.  In both cases the quality is extremely high and the offering is always free.  Today Dana Byers, their Church Online Community Pastor, was in Scunthorpe to talk about Church Online.

There is no doubting that this is innovative, and perhaps for some too much so.  I would argue against it being unhelpful, however, since there is a strong emphasis on getting people to connect with local Christians.  What have done is leverage technology to reach people that no-one else is currently reaching.  In 2012 they had over 167,000 unique visitors and while not all of those came back, the numbers show a good level of engagement and of lives being changed by the Gospel.  Obviously the software making the online experience happen is impressive, but I was also struck by the clever use of technology to ensure that people are cared for and prayed for.

If you want to find out more, why not head over to an online experience and see what you make of it:

Church Online at

If you are a church leader and want to find out how you and your church can get involved, why not send Dana a message on twitter @danalbyers

A final challenge for all of us is to consider how we could use technology that no-one else is currently reaching.  What might we need to do differently? What might we need to pioneer?

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