This morning, I heard an interview with John Sculley, former Apple CEO, on a business news channel. He said something that grabbed my attention. He said that the group of creators, designers and innovators that surrounded Steve Jobs was of an average age of 22. I was stunned until I thought about it.
Of course, they are young. They are energetic, excited and full of ideas. They are fresh faced, newly minted college graduates. They have not been jaded by corporate environments. They have not yet been told “that’s impossible”. They haven’t experienced endless soul-killing meetings. They are hired to DO. To create. To let loose their imaginations. To think about the “could be” and the “what if”.
As usually happens, this got me to thinking about church. Has the church become so institutional that it’s a creativity killer rather than a creativity nurturer? Is it the place where good ideas go to die?
Attitudes that are creative killers:
- Yeah, but……
- We’ve never done that before….
- We tried that 30 years ago….
- I did that at my last church and it failed….
I don’t want to be a dream-crusher, creativity killer. I’m challenging myself to be open to new ways of thinking about things. I’m going to champion the cause of someone who has a creative idea that I didn’t come up with. I’m not going to dismiss out of hand an idea that seems risky. Aren’t all new ideas and innovations attached to a certain amount of risk? Is there some room for failure if a new idea doesn’t pan out?
We serve a creative God. How else do you explain Australia? God gifted each of us uniquely. We should try to find ways to engage the creative gifts of believers as well as the more “mainstream” gifts.
I’m going to keep thinking about this. I’m being challenged. How does this effect the ministry I lead? How does this effect my parenting? How do I guide my children who are uniquely gifted and creative? Lots to chew on.
I read a blog by Zach Hoag recently. My heart was pierced by this quote.
Once the creativity is gone, it may be that the Spirit has left the building too.