radical (adj) very different from the usual or traditional; favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions

innovate (v) to do something in a new way; to effect a change in

Jesus was a radical innovator. Jesus changed the way leaders:

  • serve [Luke 22:26]
  • love [Mark 12:31]
  • work [Luke 16:8]
  • treat our enemies [Matthew 5:44]
  • treat our employees [Luke 15:17]
  • pursue profit [Matthew 25:26-27]
  • even get into heaven [John 14:6].

Since we are called to transform the marketplace just like Jesus, how can we be radical innovators just like Jesus?

5 Ways To Be a Radical Innovator

  1. Jesus Swam Upstream

“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” Luke 12:51

Jesus did not just go with the flow – he swam upstream. Time and time again, he challenged conventional wisdom of religious, political, and social mores. His radical, fresh thinking set the tone for what ultimately became the greatest movement in history.

  1. Jesus Refused to Patch Old Systems

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.” Mark 2:22

Whatever works well today will someday wear out. Even my current iPhone will need replacement. And when I do replace it, the new phone will likely be filled with new systems, new ways to work, new ways to learn and communicate, not just patches on top of an old, worn out system.

  1. Jesus Drove Real Change

“When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?’” John 6:60

Marginal, moderate change seldom accomplishes anything of substance. Real change is hard, yet is absolutely necessary to radical, maximum impact.

  1. Jesus Embraced Unconventional Approaches

“And he said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.’” Luke 9:3

“Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.” Luke 10:4

In Luke 9, Jesus sends his 12 disciples on a road trip with no supplies, same as he did with the 72 in Luke 10. A business trip without supplies, extra clothes, money or food? Really?

Yes, really. Radical approaches are seldom safe, certain, or predictable. That is why so few embrace them – but we should!

  1. Jesus Invented the Future

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17

Although Jesus honored the past, his goal was to invent the future. Summarizing all the Law into two verses (Mark 12:30-31), Jesus honored the past yet led those willing to listen into a more glorious tomorrow.

Jesus: Radical Innovator

As Kingdom-driven marketplace warriors, we follow the most radical innovator in human history. So to be a radical innovator just like Jesus, start to:

  • Swim upstream.
  • Refuse to patch old systems.
  • Drive real change.
  • Embrace unconventional approaches.
  • Invent the future rather than redesign the past.