There is a misconception by many in the church today that in order to be creative you need to spend a lot of money. This simply is not true. In fact, creativity and innovation are best revealed when we are ‘forced’ to use our limited resources to reveal God’s story in a relevant way.
I suppose it comes down to our definition of creativity. It is tempting to mistake lights, smoke machines, and giant HD screens with creativity. But that is like saying that whoever has the nicest paint and brushes is the best artist (good tools do make a difference, but they don’t make an artist). Creativity is anything that captures the imagination and propels people to believe in, or see, something greater than themselves. It is the ability to utilize the senses and designs an experience that facilitates a moment for people to see things that they were unable to see before. In the context of the church, it is a sacred space where God is revealed. I recognize that faith is only possible through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, but God has chosen to use us as the reflection of His character and God is CREATIVE!
So, why do we resist creativity?
1. We are afraid of it becoming about us and not about God.
This is a legitimate and honorable concern. This is where you must filter everything you do through prayer and preparation.
2. We don’t know how!
This too is legitimate, but this is an excuse as there are many people and resources available to help you in your journey (the greatest inspiration of creativity is listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit).
3. It is a lot of hard work.
To be honest, this is the real reason that many are simply not creative. The planning, building of teams and execution of ideas is hard work. Often when pastors state, “we just rely on the Holy Spirit”, what they mean is that we are going to “wing it” and hope God shows up. I have learned that the Holy Spirit is able to speak to you months in advance. Of course there are those inspirational last minute nudges, but God has a plan for your community that was ordained before the world was even formed.
So, how can you do it? Where does one start? In truth, ask lots of questions and then ask more. Surround yourself with people who are daring to try something different and then do the hard work of figuring it out.
I honestly believe that like playing the piano, creativity comes through hard work and commitment. Sure, one may have a creative moment or a single idea – but continued creativity simply takes work. Trust me, I wish there was a better answer.