Section Two: Innovators or Technology Enthusiasts
Pastor: There’s a light bulb burnt out in the sanctuary. Can you help?
Innovator: If you’ll just be patient, my nuclear fusion bulb will be at the prototype stage real soon now. Never needs changing and uses no electricity.
OBSERVATIONS, QUOTES AND ASSUMPTIONS: Agree or disagree?
A. Innovators make up 2.5% of any cultural group, and they are the place to begin. Innovators are addicted to seeking new information in a world of endless possibilities, like to play with new ideas as toys, and are linked cross culturally in their search for new information. They are restless, fickle, easily bored, insatiably curious and often have poor social skills. While viewed sometimes with suspicion, Innovators remain relationally linked to their home cultural environments; they are cross-cultural bridges, continually bringing outside information into closed environments.
B. For Rogers, Innovators are venturesome to the point of obsession with new ideas and a desire for “the rash, the daring, and the risky.” They link with other Innovators and a variety of heterophilous sources of information. They are very aware of new information from the world outside their local group. Innovators read books, magazines and newspapers, surf the Internet and love to explore new ideas. Innovators, therefore, frequently see the connections between ideas and can creatively pull concepts from multiple sources to create something new. Innovators bring new ideas into a system from outside the system’s boundaries, functioning as gate keepers that control the flow of new ideas into a system.
C. Innovators are able to understand and apply complex technical knowledge, improvise with that knowledge, cope with a high degree of uncertainty and often have resources which offset the risk and inevitable losses that come from experimentation. They are continually debugging, improving and reworking their projects; a project is never done while a new feature or improvement can be added. Innovators love to improvise solutions to problems.
 The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through CreateSpace.com.
   
All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.
Ibid., 263, 264.