By Josie Gamble
(4 minute read).
“Creativity is the most influential tool available to the church today.”
The church needs creatives; designers, writers, artists, developers, directors, musicians, photographers, videographers, marketers, makers, performers, dancers, the list is exhaustive. Why? Because…
… creative people are God’s tool for restoring identity.
Creativity is like a superpower, so often hidden but a tremendous power. If you are not sure, read Zechariah 1:21 – ‘the artisans will rise to terrify the enemy.’ However, creativity has, in recent history, not always been as valued as I believe God intended it to be by the UK church.
There was a time when the church was leading the way in the arts, with stained glass, architecture, fine art, sculpture, music and such. However, somewhere along the way, the church has seemingly lost its value for creativity and the arts and is playing catchup with the world.
This shift in creative culture in the church happened in the Reformation in the 16th Century. It was at this point that the church went ‘back to basics’ and the value of creativity within the church shifted. It was barely recognisable at the time, but the church was left playing catchup with the world and was no longer leading in creativity. Recently I heard someone describing an awful poster design as “nearly as bad as a church poster”, firmly placing church design at the bottom of the pile in their opinion!
However, it is an exciting time to be a Christian creative because we are at a poignant moment in time when this creative gap between the church and secular culture, is painfully obvious and has sparked a renewed interest in the arts and creativity. Many have referred to it as a Renaissance of creativity, which simply means, a renewed interest or, as I like to call it, “a New Era of Creativity”
We were created by the creator, to be creative, to use our creativity to point to the creator.
I don’t believe it was an accident that God first revealed himself to man, in the book of Genesis in the Bible, as the creator God. I believe this was intentional and that God meant for creativity to be a core foundation in the church, shaping culture. The Arts Council England relates creativity and culture like this:
‘CREATIVITY is the process by which, either individually or with others, we make something new: a work of art, or a reimagining of an existing work’. CULTURE is the result of that creative process: we encounter it in the world, in museums and libraries, theatres and galleries, carnivals and concert halls, festivals and digital spaces.’
Creativity influences culture and as Christians, we are called to bring the influence of Kingdom culture. Creativity has the power to communicate in immeasurable ways, it goes beyond words and whether it’s leading a national campaign in a design agency, communicating social justice through performance, addressing cultural issues through film, capturing moments on camera, writing, singing dancing, making, whatever your creative skill set, God wants to work through your creativity.
The church needs your creativity. Don’t wait for permission to be creative. Instead ask God what he wants you to do with your creativity. Creative people don’t see things for what they are they see them for what they can be.
How do I join the Christian Creative Network and Christian Creative Directory?
To join the Christian Creative Directory, creatives can simply sign up with a free 30-day trial at www.christiancreativedirectory.com and create their listing. Prices start from £3.50 a month for individuals and non-profits and £9.50 a month for larger organisations. Businesses, charities and churches can also post opportunities which get shared to our thousands of followers.
To find your local Christian Creative Network branch, simply go to www.christiancreativenetwork.com and look for your nearest branch. It’s free to join and if there isn’t a branch near you, and you, or anyone you know, is interested in starting a branch in your area, email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a branch leader pack.