Using Creativity to Make Generosity Part Of Your Culture
I often sit and ponder what the world would look like if God wasn’t interested in creativity. He could have simply created a flat, boring environment that simply sustained life. Instead He chose to create mountains, incredible colors, vast oceans, unique animals, beautiful patterns, and a simply amazing world to live in. He could have created a plain yet functional world, but He chose to give us a world full of beauty and awesomeness.
That is truly what inspires me to use the gifts God has given me to be creative. There have been times when I’ve wanted to phone it in and simply do something that is more ‘practical’. If we are honest, I think we’ve all been there. It might be easier for us to use clip art for sermon slides or to sing only worship songs in the key of G. There are so many ways that we could make it easier on ourselves as church creatives and communicators. Every time that thought crosses my mind, though, I think about creation. If God didn’t phone it in and wanted to create something we could enjoy, I’m guessing He wouldn’t want me too either. He knew we would be inspired by His creation. He knew that sometimes us humans would need a kick in the motivational butt. He knew that His creativity would inspire us to change and be better.
Creativity is all around us. Creativity is what motivates people. Even the most practical person is moved by the right song, painting, or view.
So why don’t more churches use creativity as a tool to inspire generosity? Why do so many churches turn to the business minded ‘numbers’ guy to get on stage for the offering?
For most, generosity is emotional and random. It only comes during the holiday season or because they emotionally connected with a cause.
But the most successful organizations are able to use creativity and unique communication to connect with people and spur generosity consistently. In our visual, social media driven culture, it will take creativity and excellence to bring out people’s full giving potential.
So how can your organization use creativity to make giving part of your culture? I’m so glad you asked. The following are simple things you and your team can do to make sure that your message connects and changes your culture.
1. Keep it Personal
Have you ever received one of those emails from an ‘African prince’? You know, the ones that say their village is suffering from a terrible disease and if you just donate your credit card information you too, can be an African prince. Those emails might be creative (if you like that whole scam thing), but they aren’t a good representation of a good cause. The only way you can inspire people to join your culture of generosity is to keep your message personal. Share your goals and vision through creative elements like video, social media, and other mediums. Make your people feel part of your mission.
2. Give it Away
Often times we expect people to give of their resources and then never show them our own generosity as a church. If your church is looking to achieve a culture of generosity, the best advice I could give you is to show them how to do it. Whatever cause or other ministry you decide to give generously to, stay in touch and show your members the impact you are having.
3. Focus and then Refocus
Many churches ask for money for something one week only to pivot and ask for money for another thing the next. There are a ton of things that need to get done and often there is not enough money to go around. If you’re looking to build a culture of creative generosity, though, I would suggest picking a six month or year-long cause to inspire and motivate people. Maybe it’s a new children’s area or better coffee pots for guests. Maybe it’s supporting a local food pantry or (fingers crossed) a new sound system. Whatever you choose, make a commitment and then be creative with elements both in the service and out. Creative generosity can only become part of your culture if you and your leaders are committed to making it happen.
As you plan to implement your strategy, remember that creative does not mean expensive or time-consuming. Find things that connect with your people. It most likely won’t be the same way the church down the street does it, and it most likely won’t be something you can buy. God didn’t compromise when He created us and our world. He didn’t phone anything in. If you want a culture of creative generosity to stick in your organization, it’s going to take work and commitment. Be creative and inspire. You will be surprised by the results.