One of those ten commandments is about thievery. The Bible generally frowns on stealing stuff from others. Although neither Israel nor Christians ever condoned cutting off a thieve’s hand as punishment, there were some pretty stiff penalties for thieves.

On the other hand, the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us:

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

In other words, just as there are supposedly only seven different story plots, there are only so many good ideas for growing a church … so we’re stuck with “stealing” from each other.

So, where are you getting your good ideas for growing your church? I know many church leaders who spend a lot of time trying to think, ponder, and imagine new and creative ideas to grow their church. And I get it. I spend some time almost every day contemplating similarly. However, it’s a lot easier if you’ll spend most of that time stealthily looking for ideas others are already using, stealing the core idea, and then tweaking it for your own context. (You’re not Life.Church, Gateway, Elevation, or Saddleback so you’ll have to contextualize anything you steal.)

There is no shortage of great ideas out there worthy of being stolen. The problem is, where do you find them? Below is a short list of some places I like to use.

  • Harvard Business Review
  • Inc. Magazine
  • The business books section of Barnes and Noble
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Rivitalizer Magazine
  • Carey Nieuwhof’s blog
  • Seth Godin’s blog
  • and of course … Net Results Magazine

Yes, most of those are not “church” related, but I’ve found that most of the best ideas I’ve watched successful churches implement have come from the biz world.

My strong recommendation is to spend more time researching the ideas others are already using and use what you find to prime your own creativity. Definitely spend time dreaming and thinking, but the more good ideas you’ve stolen, the more good ideas you’ll dream up on your own.

Where other sources do you use to prime your creative pump? Share with us in the Comment section below.