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Author: Stephen Brewster

Why You Need to Know the Rules So You Can Break Them

Rules! We get a little freaked out by them usually, right? Often when we think about rules, we think about boundaries and things that bind us or keep us from chasing our creative energy. The truth is, rules live all around us. There are even creative rules. Don’t mix these colors, don’t write the song that way, don’t use that exposure…rules…ugh! It is so important we know the rules. If we don’t know them, we can’t navigate them, obey them, or even better, break them! I mean, honestly, as artists we really have never fit and kind of knew...

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Why Creativity Matters in the Church

I believe that creativity in the church matters. It matters because creativity is an expression of God’s plan. God created the earth and He created you to be creative inside His creation. God gave you the gifts and the tools required to create and the mind that works creatively to solve mysteries, dream dreams, and help connect story to the image of the Creator. Creativity matters in the church because it is important. If it was valuable enough for God to use creativity to form the earth – and He could have formed it any way He wanted –...

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3 Steps to Growing Your Creative Team

Teams are the most valuable resource that is ever entrusted to you. I have been blessed to work with some amazing teams in my life, and likewise on some teams that just didn’t quite have what it took to find success. As a leader, we all find ourselves in different seasons. When I moved to Cross Point about six years ago, the team that was in place was one part-time and three full-time employees. They were super close and had great chemistry. When I left a few weeks ago, we had grown our little family from three and half...

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The Two Buttons of Creativity

Churches all over the world fall into one of two camps. (1) One group of churches have pastors who plan months and months ahead. They have a calendar that’s set and they follow the roadmap from series to series. (2) The other group has pastors who are more in the moment and come up with their content series by series, week to week, or maybe even minute by minute. Neither side is more correct or honestly even more healthy than the other, but both sides position creative people in an interesting spot when it comes to navigating ideas. No...

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Creativity: Necessity, Luck, and Opportunity

One of the best parts of being a creative thinker is the ability to spot a problem and devise a solution. Not only does this personality trait help you stay creative, it also helps your organization get better and it makes you become a “go-to” player in your organization. But where does creativity come from? Is it about luck? Opportunity? Inspiration? Or is necessity the mother of invention? Probably all of the above… When we are in need, we have to be resourceful. In the church, we rely on using volunteers and coming up with alternative ways to accomplish...

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How to Know If an Idea’s Good or Crazy

“I have an idea.” These four words may be the most powerful four words in our language. But what makes an idea good instead of crazy? And is a crazy idea a bad idea? I think we have so many descriptors that we place before the word “idea” that we don’t even know what is what anymore. As a creative leader, I am on the never-ending hunt for both crazy and awesome ideas. Sometimes both are the same thing. As a rule, however, I think that most of us are afraid of crazy ideas. I don’t know about you,...

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December Devotion: Peace

Take a little break these days in December and re-center yourself with these devotions from the Sunday| Mag contributors. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. (2 Thessalonians 3:16) I think sometimes we take peace for granted. Often when we feel we have peace in our lives we think that things seem to just happen. Life kind of floats, creativity flows, and things go our way. But is that peace? We look at peace as passive and the absence of friction. Reality...

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For Those Who Feel Their Creativity is Stifled

Some days when we wake up, the pressure feels like it’s floating right over our face. Before we even open our eyes and put our feet on the floor, we feel the pressure. We need our best ideas because this project is due today, we have this creative meeting to sit in, we have the responsibility to deliver on “amazing” and yet we feel so, so far from anything amazing. We want to roll over and hide in slumber, but our church is waiting on us to come in and lead the way toward innovation. Why do we feel...

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Easy Ways to Create “Wow”

Wow, I did not expect that! These are the words that speak to the heart of creating experiences that exceed the expectation of an attender. Usually when we think about creating a wow moment, our minds drift to Cirque du Soleil, Disney, or the Ritz Carlton. But the truth is, most of us have budgets that more in line with a C-grade traveling circus, Chuck E. Cheese, and Holiday Inn Express. I wonder what could happen if we changed our perspective of wow. You see; the truth is that wow is not about big budgets or hyper theatrics. Sure,...

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The Building Blocks of Creativity

Creativity is a lot more about muscle than it is about magic. Sure, we all wish it were about magic. We love the romantics of the magical idea. Who wouldn’t want to live a life where in every meeting the lights would go down and the attention of the room points to us? We build anticipation and boom! Out of a hat comes our best idea ever. If that happens to you, stop right now and tweet me because I need to meet you. Every artist I have ever met, especially the really good ones, understand that creating is...

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Stephen Brewster: My One Thing

For this month’s Sunday| Mag articles, we asked some of our favorite writers this one question: What’s one thing you’ve been learning all year long that you’d like to share with Sunday| Mag’s readers? In this article, Stephen Brewster talks about fear and playing it safe—the main thing that keeps us from reaching toward creative greatness. I want to be courageous and create amazing stuff. But if I’m being completely transparent, there is one thing that stops me from going the last 10%. It is fear. Fear sucks. I hate the idea that this emotion is strong enough to...

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Reacting or Acting

As you create, you have two choices: action or reaction. Do you come up with brand new ideas, or do you recreate the ideas of others? Neither is inherently bad, but both require different approaches. Ecclesiastes 1 states that there is nothing new under the sun. I wrestle with this concept. As a creative person, I don’t want to believe this can be true. There has to be something out there that has not been done yet. There have to be ideas that have not been thought and concepts that have yet to be executed. I struggle with this...

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