“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”
- Erich Fromm
Every day, every week, we go about our lives as Christians. We go out into the world, speak from the pulpit, sing behind our guitar, play in a band, write blogs, and/or paint canvases. Or we dream about doing that, and doing it with wild abandon for God. But often, we instead just do much less because it’s easier that way.
Why follow that creative urge, especially in the church? Why not just fall in line with everything the way we have always done it? Isn't that much less risky and still getting the job done?
Well, sure, it is easier. But it’s not what God wanted from us. He wanted us to be creative.
“If God wasn't content to make a bland, predictable world, why are we content to make church that way? Why do we come up with one way of doing things and become content to do that same thing over and over again? Why do we not challenge our thinking and move to greater heights of innovation?” - from “The Creative Leader”, by Ed Young
I have to admit that this book is really feeding me right now. Pastor Young from Fellowship Church in Dallas may have written this book a few years ago, but I am often late to the party in reading books. (There is a lot to read you know). But he emphasizes what I feel we've been teaching at For the Creative Soul for over a decade now.
Yes, we know that if we stick to our tried and true way of doing our services, our music, our art, or whatever it is we do, it will likely not upset the apple cart, and hey, God’s people are being served right? But many of those apples are sour or rotten anyway, and maybe it’s time we do something else and bring a fresh message to the folks we are ministering to.
It may be your confidence in your creative or artistic ability that is holding you back. But as I have blogged about many times, talent is subjective and relative. What one person considers good may be horrible to another. Also, many times people can start out with a very basic talent but develop it over the years if they work hard enough. Nobody was really “born with talent”. (See this blog for more on this: http://forthecreativesoul.blogspot.com/2014/03/talent-is-overrated.html)
“One of the reasons we ignore our creative potential is a gnawing sense of inadequacy in the creative realm. Rather than giving God our best creative efforts within the church, we often give Him excuses. We compare ourselves to others, convinced that we can't possibly do it as well as this or that person.” - from “The Creative Leader”, by Ed Young
If you are ready to serve with your talents, then the first step is to get out there with them. Whether you want to play in the band, lead worship, or bring whatever artistic thing you do into the church, you need to speak up and find a way. The real way we all started serving with our talents was to walk in and ask if we could sing, play, work, help, or lead.
But there is a bigger reason we must lead and serve with our creative talents from whatever position God has put us. It’s because we are made in the image of the Great Creator, which would of course make us little creators (small c). Jesus showed us how to do it, and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do it.
“So why should we implement creativity in leadership? God invented it. Jesus modeled it. The Holy Spirit empowers it because people need it. If we church leaders are going to live out the challenging mission that God has laid out for the local church, we must unleash the creative potential available to us, develop it, and use it to communicate the most compelling message ever given to mankind. Creativity is not an option for the church; it is a biblical mandate that flows from the very character of the Creator.” - from “The Creative Leader”, by Ed Young
Being creative and working hard to infuse everything we do in our ministries and churches is a biblical mandate! I love that.
So there you go, your bi-monthly mandate has been issued.
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is an author, producer, composer, and many other things that force him at virtual gunpoint to eat, live, breathe, and think creative all day long. But that is because he practiced for a long time in a life as a keyboard player, arranger, worship leader, and consultant. Need help with your next steps as a creative Christian or church? Read through the rest of the site and see how we can help! Start here