Harnessing Creativity in the Church
Categories: Leadership, Ministry
Today’s guest blogger is Gareth Patterson. Gareth is a student in the CCSM and is training in the area of church planting.
It was a typical Fall midnight in my sculpture studio. The almost deathly stench of silicon filled the air as my friend Sarah and I were creating plaster molds for our next sculptures which was to be displayed publicly on our University’s campus. Unlike our classmates, our pieces shared a common theme, the Gospel.
Something I noticed as an Art major at a public university was how the local art community was being neglected as a whole by the local church. Dozens of conversations with my classmates revealed that these people did not feel at home in a church. They believed their interests did not ever correlate with the typical interests of a Bible believing Christian. I can attest to this in my own life. It took me over a year after becoming a believer to find a church that did not put me to sleep on a given Sunday morning. Sarah and I shared multiple sculpture classes together during our years as Art majors and continually used our projects to present the grace of Jesus to our community of artists. You could imagine the conversations that came from our class when we presented our pieces throughout the semester.
After talking to one classmate he told me that if he had a business degree, and more financial stability, the church would care about him. He told me, “I’m a broke, college-aged, artist. I’ve got nothing to offer them.”
This struck me. I had to do something. After hours of prayer and scripture reading I realized this: We have a creative God who created us to creatively encourage creativity.
Creativity is known as the phenomenon where new and original ideas are created or formed. This is not a phrase commonly, if ever, associated with the church. Whether you are a pastor, deacon, elder, or just a normal church member, constantly remember that all things were made through Him. Creativity was created by God. No matter your church’s size, there are creative people in your community who are not being cared for. I believe if you search your church’s halls you will find that the Lord has placed people in your congregation or even on your leadership team who can use their creative passion as a resource to reach a new area of people for the Gospel of Christ.
I witnessed this creativity first hand this past Spring break when three friends and I adventured to Boulder, Colorado to rock climb. I specifically remember one of the mornings we spent climbing. We camped in sub-freezing snowy weather the night before, and woke up early to see the sunrise over Boulder. After hiking for about an hour to the soundtrack of Justin Timberlake’s new album we realized we were not going to make it to the top before sunrise. So we detoured. We found the nearest clearing on the side of the mountain and came across four perfectly crafted stone recliner-like chairs perfectly ordained by the Lord for us to sit down on and watch his morning show. That morning the Lord displayed to four men how creative he was, and how if he can use creativity for his glory. Why can’t we?