1. God is a Creative God
God invented creativity. He thought it up. It was his idea. Creativity is part of who God is. The fifth word in the Bible is ‘created’ – “In the beginning God created … (Gen.1:1)” God started the creative ball rolling and it has been rolling ever since.
Think of creation – God created the entire universe out of nothing. He formed all original things (like an inventor or manufacturer). What an incredible designer he is! There is nothing bland, boring or predictable about God’s world. Think of things such as:
- Colour – we have three primary colours with up to 10 million different hues that a human eye can see.
- Texture – rough, smooth and everything in between.
- Shape and form - so many varieties.
- Movement – wind, water, animals (bird, cheetah, elephant, snake)
- Sound – a thunderstorm, the crashing of the waves of the ocean or the sound of a bird
- Seasons – winter, spring, summer, autumn.
- Human personality – unique finger prints for 6 billion people, no boring predictable clones!
Sadly, living in the city (surrounded by man-made objects) can easily distract us from the beauty and wonder of God’s creation. Looking at creation should drive us to worship God.
Think about redemption. God has made salvation available to us apart from our ability to earn it. He has sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin and now offers us salvation (being right with him) as a free gift for which we can do nothing to earn. What an amazing and creative plan!
Let’s look at one of my favourite Bible passages...
Eph 2:8-10. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no-one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. NIV
This passage of Scripture shows us the creativity of God (in creation and redemption) and how he has called us to be like him in the works that we do. We are God’s “workmanship” (his masterpiece) – literally a work of art (Greek poiema).
2. Jesus modelled creativity
Jesus never taught anything without using a parable (Matt.13:34). Jesus was the most creative leader and teacher who has ever walked the planet.
- He spoke from hillsides, boats and beaches.
- He drew in the sand, used a Roman coin, cursed a fig tree, and picked up a piece of bread.
- He divided fish, turned over tables, and put a child on his knee – all to illustrate important lessons.
- Jesus delivered his life-changing message in dynamic and creative ways. A point gets to the head while a picture gets to the heart. Many people remember stories and illustrations more than points.
- An estimated 72% of Jesus’ words were focused on application – putting his teaching in to practice in daily life.
- He understood about visual and multi-sensory learners – 2000 years ago. He constantly used visuals and never used the same approach twice. Everything he did was unique.
- He was a master communicator and the master of creativity.
One definition of “entertainment” is “to capture and keep people’s attention.” Jesus did this in his teaching through creative stories and examples. God is not boring and therefore we need to present the truth of the gospel and the Christian life as one of joy and positive expectation (“hope”) even in the midst of the routines of daily living. If we are not attracting a crowd, then we need to rethink how we are doing ministry. The message we have never changes, but the methods we use need to be constantly updated to be relevant to each generation and group of people we are endeavouring to reach.
3. The Spirit empowers us to be creative
We are to be imitators of God. We are created in his image and likeness (Gen.1:27). We are to be like him. This means we are designed to be creative too! You have a unique contribution to make. When we look at who God is and what he has done, we have a good reason to be creative – to sing, to write, to paint, or whatever – to express our love and adoration for him. See what you’re doing as a ‘work of art’ – displaying God’s glory.
Ed Young says, “The entertainment industry is filled with actors, musicians, and entertainers of all varieties who capture the imagination of all ages with their creative gifts. Hollywood, Nashville, and New York are meeting the deep-seated need that people have for creativity, adventure, and excitement in their lives – a need the church should be filling through the creative power of the Holy Spirit.” [p.18 - The Creative Leader]
He goes on to say, “Some people don’t have much to say but they sure know how to say it while the church has everything to say but often doesn’t know how to say it. That’s why creativity should grace everything that touches our leadership and our ministry.”
Let’s unleash our creative potential and use it to communicate the most compelling message ever given to humanity. Creativity is not an option for the church; it is a biblical mandate that flows from the very character of God.
Tomorrow: The Importance of Innovation.