So, you’re a “creative ________”, whatever that may be… an artist of some media, be it light or sound, taste or word, perhaps numbers. Perhaps a combination thereof, many disciplines or something I haven’t heard even of.
So what purpose do creative talents serve? Maybe it’s just a hobby or perhaps you support yourself with the work you do. Either way creativity generally is, and can be used, as a form of communication. Some arts may not be specific in what they are saying, but through the observer's reflection the observer draws their own meaning, regardless of the degree of specificity.
We can then see, that since God is at work in all hearts, God can work through what you create, talking to people through their experiences. Furthermore, our creation, ultimately, is a by-product of God creating us. (It is important to note here that we are fallen as is creation so not everything we create will be inherently good anymore.)
Creativity for a cause
So being creative is good. This isn’t exactly a revolutionary idea, but the problem with creativity, for us, is it takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of time, particularly if it is to be done justice. This can leave many of us reticent to get involved and create for a primarily God honouring purpose.
If this is a skill that God has blessed you with then why shouldn’t you create with the purpose of giving thanks to him who gave you the ability in the first place? Furthermore if we accept creativity as a form of communication, God can easily use your creative output to reach those who have not seen the light of the risen Christ. Therefore, be creative!
Creativity is required
Creativity is required in many forms of fellowship. Obvious examples are the construction of sermons, the singing of praises and sharing of food together. All these require thought, time and energy to realise.
These are some great ways to be creative, to serve the Lord who made you. If you are capable you should be involved!
Creativity in problem solving
Although creativity in our society has many connotations through being new and being intuitive, perhaps a better understanding of the word is an enthusiasm or energy to solve problems well. Hence to show creativity is to be dedicated in the act of creating a solution.
If we take this broader view, creativity is then used in all fields, including those of maths and science. The inspiration to try a different approach to solve a stubborn problem or coming up with a novel way to overcome limitations involves being creative.
So, be creative, solve some problems!
How am I solving problems when I paint/sing/other “creative pursuit”? As discussed before, acts of creativity have meaning attached to them, whether that was the original purpose or not.
Some forms of creativity have a purpose of communicating. Sometimes words fail us, how then will we communicate? Artist, how will you solve this problem?
So be creative, be involved. Help solve problems in your church and solve them well, with the skills God has given you.
This article was first published on 10 April 2014.
Sam Gillespie is a composer, programmer and PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales.Sam Gillespie's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/sam-gillespie.html