Creative. Typically used as a descriptive word, such as, “She is such a creative home decorator.” More and more, though, creative is being used as a noun, as in Creative: “There is a rising Creative class.”
And then there’s author John O’Keefe, who heralds Creatives in his new book, The Church Creative. A great read that envisions a 21st century spiritual revolution with Creatives agitating the collective imagination.
Creatives are those people who see things differently than the rest of us. They are futuristic, or possibilitarians as Portland artist, Kelly Rae Roberts describes her creative self. Traditionalists and Creatives don’t get along so good, as you can imagine. The traditionalist bemoans, “We are watering down our practices,” the Creative declares, “Time to rethink what we know.” It is the courage of the Creatives that leads us to the changes that we need.
It is the What ifs that moved us from the rotary phone, to the push button phone, to the cordless phone, to the cell phone, to the smart phone, and it is the What ifs that will bring about the next evolution of communication. The What ifs questions should be the questions that move us forward, that move us to explore and grow. But it depends on how we answer the What ifs. When we’re confronted with the question, “What if we change?” We usually answer that question in the negative. What I’ve found is that Creatives answer the What ifs in the positive. — The Church Creative
I love this. But I want to pause here and qualify something : when we speak of Church please note that church is whatever one makes of it. Church is a corporate gathering of Christ followers and seekers who meet together in a building; church is a gathering that meets up in a living room or outside in a forest; church is Sunday dinner with table fellowship among friends and family. Church is people doing life together.
When we’re walking in the light of the Divine we’re called to re-imagine the possibilities. To re-imagine the idea of how we’re called to do what we do. Come on, admit it — you thought the easiest way was to send the servant to buy more wine, but Jesus took the opportunity to say, “Rethink the possible and ask What If?” The Church Creative
As we approach the second decade of the 21st century, things in the institutional form of church are rockin’ and rollin’. I cannot count how many dissatisfied-disillusioned-discontent-dissident Christians I’ve spoken with in the last eight years. There is an epidemic of church refugees. This sounds bad. But in this grand exodus the Creatives are emerging with banners boldly blazing the What If’s. Creatives are pushing through the wilderness of doubt and cynicism to explore new ways of Being Church with one another. Creatives are our prophets, our holy men and women who dare to throw off the old and soar into the wild, unknown new. Their What If spirit says, “Let’s go!”
Creatives bring to life some amazing things and the most exciting is this ability to re-imagine the gathering of followers they serve. For Creatives, nothing is off limits when it comes to re-imaging possibilities. Creatives are always asking What if, because they’re curious and because they see things very differently; most of the time they see things better. The Church Creative
I love this. Creatives may agitate and challenge the status quo, but it’s from a posture of hopeful expectancy. This is much needed in our jaded, over-marketed, scandalized modern times. We need our Creatives to revive our childlike wonder with playful What If’s. It’s that creative daring that will allow us freedom to experiment, to explore, to fail and to try again.
Author and blogger, Jennifer Luitwieler, recounted on her blog today a message she recently heard from a Creative who had this to say to the Church:
Making art is hard and painful. When things go wrong in creativity, they can actually be going right. from Jennifer’s blog
I want to apply this sentiment to the Church we find ourselves in (or exiting as is the case for so many of us!) — Creating church is hard and painful. When things go wrong in church, they can actually be going right.
So here’s the question: What if Creatives were unleashed to make church new? How does that look? Are you seeing that anywhere in your sphere of life right now? Are you a Creative?