Imagine a South Africa in which each one of us regularly comes up with practical, creative solutions to problems facing our nation.
That is a picture that Isaiah Engelbrecht founder of the Innovation Army believes aligns with God’s heart and which he wants to impart to citizens, young and old, to unleash accelerated growth, economic activity, and productivity in SA.
Last Saturday, at an event in Eden Park, Alberton, the Innovation Army celebrated a milestone in its mission to empower people to step into their divine design as co-creators with God. At the “Brainchild” event a panel of judges evaluated presentations by nine people whose creative, community problem-solving ideas, had been selected as the best of many submitted by people from the area who had attended a series of pilot workshops over the past year designed to equip them to tackle problems with ideas.
Isaiah, a seasoned innovation growth expert who has founded innovative companies and assisted organisations with innovation strategies, told Gateway News that over the years he has seen “ that people don’t really understand the creative power that God has installed in us”.
“If we open the Bible in Genesis 1, verse 1, we read that in the beginning, God created.
And it’s fascinating to me that God first introduces himself as a creator and therefore I believe God created us to create,” he said.
He noted that very little of what “we see around has been there from the beginning” but rather that God has given us resources to be used to create things.
“The Innovation Army exists to inform people about this power that exists (and to equip them with the tools) for them to co-create with God. Because I believe that for all the challenges that we are facing, God has given the solutions to each one of us – with very specific answers.
“But we need to acknowledge God and embark on the journey of co-creating with Him,” he said.
He said the idea of the Innovation Army movement “has been a seed developing that God has been preparing for at least the last 10 years”.
About 10 years ago, while listening to a message at a conference in Zimbabwe, he was struck by the Scripture, Zechariah 1:18, which speaks of “horns” that were oppressing the people of Judah and of “craftsmen” who were coming to deal with this problem.
The horns, representing obstacles we face, and the hands of solution-bringing craftsmen, representing our co-creation with God, are depicted in the Innovation Army logo [see above]. The logo also shows water and droplets of gold flowing out of a broken horn, representing rivers flowing in the desert (Isaiah 43:19) and God revealing hidden things (1 Corinthians 2:9).
“The Innovation Army really exists to fast-track people’s awareness of their power to create with God. But also to support them in what we like to call giving birth to their brainchild – the ideas in their head – and then growing their child so that it brings its intended solution,” he said.
At the Brainchild event on Saturday, the first prize went to a young woman, Algerian Varrie, for her recycling idea of turning a neighbourhood litter problem into an opportunity for unemployed people to earn cash. Also there, were some who had given birth to long-dormant ideas – like Rachel Johnson, a woman in her 60s who presented an idea she had carried for over 40 years and Frank Wrench, a 76-year-old retired pastor who shared an old idea that was reawakened through workshops.
Isaiah said: “So. we want to pursue a million ideas in the next two and a half years because we think the more people give birth to ideas the better our economic and productive activity in the country. Because instead of asking, we then start to engage with our ideas and create things that will solve many of our problems.”
For more information about the Innocation army, contact Pastor Keith Appollis at +27 83 256 2998
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