You may have experienced the feeling before.
Choked. Shot down. Misunderstood. Not sure if your art has its place within the local church. But just because you feel that way doesn’t mean it’s time for you to give up on it.
The local church is the place your art can find its greatest fulfillment – in building up the body of Christ and reaching people with the Gospel in unique ways.
Today I have the privilege of featuring the brilliance of some amazing people. These six creative experts have graciously agreed to offer their wisdom and insight into this issue: the creative working in the local church.
I asked each one this question:
“What’s the best advice you would give to an artsy, creative staff member working in the local church?”
Enjoy (and take notes):
Stephen is the Creative Arts Pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN. Be certain you follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his great blog on creativity here.
Be flexible. How we work and how the rest of our organization embraces our work are 2 very different places. It takes being flexible to succeed.
Don’t be safe. Safe or mediocre work gets lost in traffic. We have to create for the edges if we want to create anything that will sustain. Creating for the edges will cause people to love and hate with passion. Be ready for the push back and all that will come with creating things that people LOVE and HATE.
Chris is the Director of Worship at Orangeville Baptist Church near Toronto. He is also the founder of Worship Rises, a songwriting collective in Canada. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog here.
I don’t mean this to sound spiritual or come off as trying to be “that guy” but my best answer is read your Bible. There is nothing that will inspire your creativity, deepen your dependance on God, direct your heart towards worship like spending time reading scripture. You will be a better worship leader, you’ll be a better staff person, you’ll be a better team leader, you’ll be a better creative, you’ll be a better (fill in the blank)… if you carve out time in your schedule to be in the word.
There are no shortcuts. God changes us in drastic ways for years and years and years after we come to faith in Christ. The Bible is like the anvil, the Spirit is like the hammer, and we are like the metal being shaped over and over again.
Remember, God loves you more than He loves your role. He wants you to delight in HIM not in your job.
There are no shortcuts. God will grow a delight and a love for His word in you that you may have never known possible.
John is a professional blogger and internet genius. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog here.
A creative needs to know four things when it comes to working in a ministry:
- There are historical precedents and procedures which will seek to challenge the creative’s ability to create and execute on new ideas. Prayer, humility, and patience are necessary to “muddle” through the changes that the creative will bring.
- You have an opportunity to change the creative culture in which you do work but never at the cost of sacrificing contextual mission that was established when the local manifestation was first created.
- Boundaries are good and are necessary for the creative’s best work to appear. Creativity does not require chaos to be fruitful.
- There’s a very good chance that, as a creative, you’re time at this current job is temporary. You’re accountable to the time that you’re there and for your work to be of the very best quality as it will follow you wherever you go.
Justin is the founder of the church staffing company Help Staff Me and XP of Strategic Development at The Oaks. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog here.
Bring others along with you. Sometimes it can be frustrating working with linear, pragmatic people, but if you will take time to understand how they think and communicate at their level you will find yourself accomplishing more with them.
Gabriel is the Director of Worship Arts at Lakeside Church, frontman of the incredible band, The Listening, and brilliant musician, producer, songwriter, and artist. Follow him on Twitter and check out his site here.
Everyone on your staff is an Artist… They just might not realize it–yet.
Instead of having a “creatives vs normals” mentality, it helps to realize that everyone is creative, but not everyone has realized their creativity to it’s full potential. In order to realize their true creative potential they will need your help.
Perhaps that’s why they call you the Pastor of Worship/Creative Arts?
Question: What are your thoughts on being a creative in the local church? What is something you have learned? You can leave a comment by clicking here.