If we land on the fact that creativity should be used in church, then I think it’s important to decide what it’s purpose should be. As I’ve visited modern churches, and been to dozens of services, the tendency is for creativity in church to be about creating a better experience. The creative ideas are channeled towards stage design, service programming, promo videos, etc.
Many times, churches that embrace creativity use it in all areas of the service except the message portion. The creative team meets and the services get a lot more edgy, but the messages generally stay the same. It’s like there’s a gap between what the speaker says and the rest of the service. There might be a cover song that kind of ties the whole thing together, but other than that, the speaker prepared, walked out, and spoke as if the creative team had never met.
This is because the creative process was geared towards creating a better experience. This is where the problem and debate arises.
Rather than creativity in church being funneled towards creating a better experience, it should be used to make a clearer presentation. Creativity should bring clarity to a message; not merely excitement to a service.
I think that churches focused on reaching the next generation desperately need to get this principle. Programming, videos, music, lighting, drama, and all of that are EXCELLENT! But the goal isn’t to create a more entertaining, “more bearable than your average traditional church” experience, the goal is to communicate a message. And our challenge is to use the gift of creativity that God has given us to further the ministry that God has entrusted us.
We need to be striving to use creativity to bring clarity. That is what Jesus did with the parables. He took a central idea he wanted to communicate about God, and creatively engaged his audience to bring clarity to His message. I’ll be sharing my thoughts/ramblings on the details of that in the next post.
Who are some communicators you’ve heard bring clarity through creativity?