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November 04, 2006

Comments

Marty

I sometimes think boredom is a sin, especially in the church. We are moving into right brain thinking today. We must create or suffer real boredom. The future may very well belong to those who think with the right side.

The older brother in Christ's parable of the prodigal sons was creatively challenged. He lived with the Father all those years and all he could do when his younger brother came home was to complain that the Father did nothing for him, the good and faithful son. He had no idea how to administer grace or share in the good news. How sad. His great sin under it all is a lack of creativity with all the resources at his disposal. There may be more of the older brother in us than we realize. We too, may need to come to our senses.

GB

Monte, thanks for your article, and Marty, I like your comment as well. I believe creativity is one of God's most wonderful characteristics. Think about the creativity He/She put into the details of creation. The Earth is not only perfectly engineered and balanced in chemical and physical aspects. God's creation is also incredibly beautiful and tasteful. When I read the passage in Genesis “Let us make man in our likeness”, I understand that God created man with the capability of producing tasteful creations. That is evident in traditional forms of art, such as poetry, music, or painting. Nevertheless, I think creativity is expressed in daily thinking and activities. Being creative is a blessing through which we can glorify God. Churches should worship God by exercising the holy gift of creativity, without being afraid to experiment with the unknown. However, I think most churches don’t necessarily have a problem with creativity. The reality is that creativity and change go hand in hand. My perception is that most people don’t mind trying something new, but they have a hard time letting go of comfortable ways of doing things. I find myself spending a lot of time and energy trying to balance the tension between pushing for an experimental approach and an approach more sensitive to “older-brother thinkers”.

Chris Daley

I am often bewildered that a creeping culture of by standing and disengagement from our society is enveloping our community of faith. In these consequential days, such a posture is godless. Instead of being filled with the Spirit and allowing Him to direct new initiatives in ministry, we attempt to decide how the Spirit should operate, by restricting His movement to the confines of the comfortable. Even Nicodemus knew how fool hardy this is. The best healthcare initiative the church can undertake is to dispense vials of eye salve to restore our vision of faith. We need to give birth to an incubator where nurturing of new ministry initiatives are given a chance to blossom and grow. We need to be reminded that even a timid personality like Gideon can become a bold warrior because God has our backs. This 21st. Century calls for non-linear thinking as never before. Let me say it again, welcome to the brave new world! It’s time to walk on water folks.

Marcel

Monte, very good article. In my estimation, I am seeing more creativity expressions of the gospel message moreso in Europe and Western Australia. In a related post to missional church planting, I asked you a question in the link below and would welcome your input and a cameo appearance sometime. Thanks.
http://reinventingsdawheel.blogspot.com/2006/11/other-matrix.html

Michael

Wonderful article, and it says volumes about how we will need to approach each specific area with something authentic and unique. Sadly, many of our people are looking for a "cookie-cutter" approach to reaching out, and although there are many, I haven't seen one that is continuously successful. Cookie-cutter is comfortable to be sure, but I often wonder how many creative envelopes that we could push for the cause of Christ and quadruple our effectiveness from what we might be currently doing.

I find the reality of same, same, same with many people that I talk with in the church. In fact, many conferences and those who hold the purse strings actually reward those who have more series and send out more brochures, basically doing what they have always done, but expecting different results. Those who make the financial decisions of where to appropriate funds, at times actually decry the results of sameness, and then turn around and reward those who never change but who stay busy doing what they've always done.

Creativity is often penalized with the "harvest only" mentality that seems to prevail, but any good farmer knows that you cannot reap what you have not sown. Yet we continue to get out the combines and drive up and down the "fields" of our cities and towns with the same prophecy "hook" that we've used for years and years, and we anticipate that media saturated consumers will be so excited that we've actually chosen to bless them with our presence that they will come running in droves. Please don't misunderstand me, these important truths need to be studied, but first things first. Our current way of doing things is certainly often a contradiction to how Christ mingled with the people "as one desiring their good."

My comments are not meant to be negative, only an observation.

Monte

The gift of creativity is like other particularly "powerful" spiritual gifts (language, healing, knowledge, prophecy) both dangerous and useful. This causes the believer with less courage (or perhaps only average courage) to want to hedge it significantly. Elected denominational administrators are not life-time bishops and therefore they usually reflect where the middle-of-the-crowd fear is among their constituents. It is easier to focus on assured-results "productivity" than it is to take risks, even if the times demand risk-taking leadership. But this is primarily because the spirit of fear is ruling the faithful more than the spirit of Christ is. The best cure for the spirit of fear is for people to get to the point where they have nothing to lose, or recognize that they are already near that point and simple leap of faith gets them all the way there. Perhaps we need to help people get angry about how insipid the church has become, to free them up to the point where they can trust the spirit of Christ, which is always the spirit of compassion, beauty, and joyful risk-taking.

Marty

Monte, your last comment should be in print somewhere. Well said. Let's hear it for the "Nothing to Lose" society.

Chris Daley

All the heartwarming comments on this topic give me a sense that I am at a transfiguration moment of creativity. It begs the following question. How do we build, foster, and nurture a thriving creative ecosystem within our community of faith?

Monte

Chris, it is essential for those of us who want to hold a space where creativity can be valued and nurtured to actively network and build a coalition. There are powerful, organized forces that want to control or crush anything that is the least bit non-traditional. If we are serious about encouraging creativity, we must organize!

Chris

Monte,
I'm on board! Have some ideas I will share off line.

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