The network staff here in Iowa is gearing up for an annual conference for students called Fine Arts Festival. It’s an amazing platform where junior high and high school students are encouraged to develop and display their God-given talents in music, photography, writing, art, preaching, etc. And I LOVE it! Some of the art that these kids produce is truly stunning. But I want to start a conversation about creativity within the church (and I really hope that someone will respond, because otherwise it’s just me talking and that’s not a conversation–I bet you’re glad I just defined what a conversation is for you 🙂 So, what I’m thinking about right now is…
what happens after these students graduate? Is there a place for those gifts (especially the creative ones, the ones that aren’t traditionally used inside the church) to continue to be developed, and then are they encouraged to utilize them–even if it takes them outside the four walls of the church? Does something have to be overtly “Christian” to have value in the church? Are we, as the church, not utilizing (or valuing) some of the less obvious gifts that people have been given?
I believe, creatively speaking, the church should have some of the most original and creative people on the planet. But I think we have yet to unlock the potential of all the unique gifts that God has given to each of us. There’s more!…if we have the courage to think outside the box and the four walls of the church. I think sometimes we overemphasize the importance of vocational ministry, and ministry inside the walls of the church (and please understand that I’m not minimizing it!), and overlook the equally important task of marketplace ministry. If all of the creativity that God has placed within his people were unleashed on a community, and the world, I can’t even imagine what that would look like, but I want to!
If you have a thought, answer, or question of your own to add, I want to hear it! As you can see, I have a lot of questions, and I don’t have all the answers. So please, add your voice.