Myth: Creativity is the Priority
I often sit and talk with pastors, creatives, and volunteers who serve the Church. I’ve seen there’s an unspoken myth creeping into North American church culture that creativity is the priority. We erroneously believe that resources equate results. And sometimes we can believe technology trumps transformation.
No one would openly admit that within their specific ministry. But then I look at my own situations. I look at concerns and goals of others. And it’s becoming more and more apparent that this myth is taking root within the Christian creative. It’s getting stronger.
There’s no question that God, the Creator, has created us in His image. As a result, each one of us carries the ability to create, design, think, strategize, and build. We transform what was, into what could be. This gift has allowed the Church to leverage the unchanging truth of God’s Word in such a way that connects it to today’s constantly changing culture.
But our desire to be most effective using creativity can come at a price. Sometimes we place more weight in leveraging our creativity than we do in embracing the Creator.
Like many of you, I’m part of a church community that leverages creativity and technology each week to reveal Christ to a seeking audience. As a creative team, we spend countless hours each week discussing, planning, creating, designing, building and strategizing our craft. We want to present the Gospel seamlessly and effectively – and the results have been great.
We’ve seen hundreds of people within our community find faith in Jesus and begin to live their lives for Him. When asked what drew them to our church, the majority of them refer to the level of excellence in our weekend experience, authentic speaking, and relevant topics. This is awesome!
The challenge, however, is when an unspoken misconception begins to creep into our minds. We think the success we’re experiencing is really a direct result of our own creativity and hard work. In order to maintain and sustain this continued growth, we continue to invest and work furiously at increasing our creativity and talent.
We soon find ourselves comparing our resources and technology to other churches. That’s not right. But we are convinced that in order to maintain this growth, we need more. When we approach ministry like this, we’re never satisfied with more because our focus is on the wrong thing – we can never have enough.
Soon, burnout and fatigue take out the artists and creatives in our communities. They’re worn out. They feel disconnected to the Gospel and to the Church. And we wonder what went wrong.
If our role as a Christian creative is to leverage creativity to reveal Christ – we need to know Christ intimately and find our rest in Him. I’m not suggesting we stop learning, growing, and increasing in our craft. But we need to understand that creativity is a tool from God. He gave creativity to the Church to help reveal God to others – to help them find faith in Him. It was never given to us to replace Him.
After all, how can we effectively connect our communities with the Creator if we are disconnected from the Him?
So is creativity important? Absolutely. But not at the cost of the Creator.