This week, I’m spending my time in Orlando, at a conference called “Creativity in Ministry.” Leadership Nexus, whose mission is to connect local church leaders and organizations with the resources, training and ideas to be more effective in ministry, puts on this annual conference in conjunction with cast members and executives from Disney, and leaders of creative ministries across the US.
I’ve only been down here for a day, but have already been so blessed by the experience. For each of the next few days, I’d like to share with you a little tidbit of what I’m learning!
My whole life, I’ve been jealous of people who can see a picture in their head and draw or paint it, making it come to life. I’ve coveted the ability to dance gracefully, or to create beautiful works of art, whether it is a craft with children, or the way someone decorates their home. I have never considered myself a very creative person. My usual line is that I can’t even draw a stick figure.
One of our speakers, Alice Bass, a longtime Disney Cast member, author, and performer reminded us today that we are all born with creativity. We know that because the bible tells us so! The creation story in Genesis says that God created humanity in God’s own image. (Genesis 1 and 2!) The same God who spoke creation into existence, who imagined the majesty of the mountains, and the amazing detail of a butterfly’s wings, gave us that same creative spirit! (maybe some more than others?)
Alice also gave us a new definition of creativity to help remind us that we are all capable of being creative: creativity is really just problem solving. It is solving the problem of how to communication a message. Sometimes that problem solving results in a communicating a message thru a masterpiece like the Sistine Chapel. Sometimes that problem solving results in a song or a scrapbook-or a poem. Sometimes our creativity looks nothing like artwork, but is a new process or procedure to help facilitate a new message.
So we need to remember that the question is not “am I creative,” but rather, “how am I creative.” And we need to remember that creativity at its core: problem solving. The third important message of today is that creativity is also a PROCESS. Learning that process, and that it has distinct steps, different skills for each of those distinct steps, and that each of us will feel more comfortable with one part of the process than the other, means that creativity when done well, is a shared process. All of us are needed within that process! We need the big dreamers with fresh ideas, we need the detail oriented to help us figure out HOW something can be done, we need the number crunchers, and the painters, the engineers, and the musicians. All of us have a role to play in the creative process.
As we continue into 2014, I hope that we can become more creative in the way we do ministry. Let’s make it a goal to think outside the box this year; to dream big and let God sized ideas take hold of us.
One presenter today challenged us that if our dream or idea is something that we can accomplish all on our own, that it is not big enough. If we rely only our own skills to do it, it is not a God-sized dream. So let’s dream God-sized dreams together, so that we can continue to shine our light for Jesus Christ!