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Book Review: Ready or Not - Kingdom Innovation for a Brave New World by Doug Paul

Book Review: Ready or Not - Kingdom Innovation for a Brave New World by Doug Paul

Book Review: Ready or Not - Kingdom Innovation for a Brave New World by Doug Paul

24 April 2021

Author Doug Paul encourages Christians to innovate due to the effects of COVID-19, and asks church leaders to think beyond Sunday services and what was once ‘normal’.

Reviewed by Tanwin Tanoto

Ready or Not is a call for Christians to innovate and pioneer for the future. It is an invitation for kingdom leaders to reclaim their calling to innovate.

Written at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, this book is a wake-up call for church leaders to think beyond Sunday service and whatever used to be ‘normal’. In these uncertain times of lockdown, online churches and dwindling church attendance, Paul asks this timely question: “How does kingdom innovation happen and how can we make it normal?”

To answer that, Paul breaks down five phases of kingdom innovation – (1) Identification: framing the start of the journey by locating the big idea and framing the problem we’re trying to solve; (2) Ideation: generating new practices, concepts, and ways of thinking to solve the innovation challenge; (3) Experimentation: Launching, testing, adjusting, and relaunching the innovation; (4) Mobilisation: knowing why and how the innovation worked so it can be mobilised; and (5) Multiplication: making the innovation scalable and removing as many barriers as possible. These five phases give us the framework and mindset that encourage innovation.

In each phase, Paul uses stories and innovations from the past to drive his points home. From the creation of Sunday School, the WWJD bracelet, the Civil Rights movement, Archimedes’ Eureka moment, to the ‘great manure crisis’ of 1894, Paul brilliantly illustrates the myth, barriers, and triggers for innovation.

This book is better to be read slowly, with a journal in hand so you can take notes along the way. Better yet, this is a good book to be read together with your leadership team. It will help you to think and plan, rather than do and copy. That is, after all, the essence of innovation.

Whether you are a church planter, a pastor, a para-church leader, this book will tickle your creative bone and make you curious about what kingdom innovation looks like. I highly recommend this, especially as churches and other Christian organisations are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ready or Not is available on Amazon.

TANWIN TANOTO IS A MINISTER AT HURSTVILLE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN NSW.

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