Creativity Is Not Just About Making The World a More Beautiful Place
This one mentality might be holding back your creativity.
Want to know a secret about me? I used to work as a creative director at my church, but I didn’t think I was creative. I tried my best to do creative things at my church, but I couldn’t get over the fact that I didn’t see myself as creative.
When it came to staff meetings, I always brought the different opinion. I still had unique ways of solving problems that arose. I always saw things others didn’t.
Eventually, I realized I was creative; I just had a flawed idea of what it meant to be creative. I thought creativity was painting, dancing, singing… You know, “the arts.” And in my church context, there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity to do artsy things.
Instead, I was tasked with figuring out how to do a stage design. Or to put together a set list that encouraged people to worship. Or to figure out how to reach out to the community with nearly no advertising budget. Art didn’t solve those problems. My unique perspective did.
I began to discover creativity wasn’t just about art. I was creative. Creativity just didn’t look to me how it did for others.
Do you relate to that mentality? Do you think your only creative value comes from art that you produce? If so, that mentality might be holding back your creative potential.
It’s true that the arts are one type of creativity, but creativity isn’t limited solely to the arts. In fact, I believe creativity can be used in every area of your life.
The accountant who’s able to find extra money in the annual budget.
The salesman who finds an honest way to meet his monthly sales quota.
The parent who connects her children to God’s love while navigating worldly influences.
Those all take creativity. They have nothing to do with painting, singing, dancing, or writing. Each action requires creative problem-solving. Each of those people were creative. Because they have found a solution to a problem that wasn’t obvious to others.
Creativity is not just about making your world a more beautiful place. It’s not just about art. Creativity has application to every single part of your life. It can help you become a better spouse, a better employee, and even a better follower of Christ. It’s something that impacts every area of your life, and you have the capacity for so much creativity.
For many of us, before we can genuinely start believing we’re creative, we have to change our definition of creativity from artistry to problem-solving – seeing a hidden solution to the issue that nobody else sees. There’s no end to problems we’ll encounter in the world, and I believe there’s no end to the creative solutions available to us if we’ll only look.
In fact, I’m convinced God wants all of his children to adopt creativity into their lives. In Proverbs 25:2, Solomon tells us, “It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.” That verse tells me that God loves when I search for solutions to problems. I have to root around and search for the answer. And God delights in the fact that I’m seeking. He loves hiding the good things so I can find them.
I see it like this: Creativity is finding the hidden option when it appears there are only a few bad options.
If we start seeing creativity as looking for something that’s hidden, it has much more impact on our lives. Much more impact on our work at church.
I encourage you: Rethink the way you see creativity. Don’t just look for ways to infuse art into the things you do. Infuse the hidden option. See the things everyone else is blind to, simply because you’re the one willing to look. I guarantee it will break loose a whole new brand of creativity in your life and work.
Jonathan runs ChurchStageDesignIdeas.com and speaks to churches all over the world about creativity. He is the author of “The Hidden Option,“ a book that helps believers find God’s creativity in impossible situations.