I am a creative.
That statement may have just conjured up a few ideas in your head; like a dude with a strange fashion sense, or weird haircut, or an annoyingly philosophical approach to seemingly insignificant things. But, these couldn’t be further from the truth. I am possibly the most plainly-dressed, average-haired, unphilosophical guy you will ever meet. But I am still a creative. Very few things give me as much joy as writing music about my savior or making something from the overflow of my walk with God. But this article is not about me—it’s about how we the church handle creativity.
I am fortunate that my creative experience in the church has been abundantly positive. I was blessed to have grown up in a supportive, loving community that really stimulated my passions and encouraged me to steward and stretch them further than I imagined possible. Unfortunately, I have come to learn that my experience was the exception rather than the norm. We do a good job of suppressing creativity that we don’t understand in the name of tradition (obviously not you! I’m speaking in general terms).
If you want proof of this, look at a video of your average Adventist church from 20 years ago and compare the stage design, presentation style, or song service with that of the average church today. Now think about how much each of those creative mediums has grown in the secular world during that time. It becomes abundantly clear that we are creating little. I am not saying that the church should follow the world. It is simply a comparison of natural creative development within and outside of the church.