I recently read a wonderful book, “The Creative Family” by Amanda Blake Soule that challenged me to look at creativity daily in new ways and to make living it intentional. Whether it is within my family, personally, or professionally there are many ways in day to day living to foster creativity.
Creativity is authored by God. Just look at creation! From the species of plants and animals to the differences in humans – God was creative. Creativity isn’t just being artistic or being crafty, but finding the beauty and ability to observe and explore in anything. Creating art is part of it, but so is nature. Celebrations, special days, rituals, etc. all create a climate of creativity.
Its funny how in ministry to children we get “crafty” yet how often do we incorporate nature into learning? We read Bible passages or stories, but how often do children interact with the characters and live through the scenes? We sing worship songs, but how often do children experience worship.
Thinking creatively may be a stretch for some – so start small. Find something personally that you enjoy and be creative. Explore artwork, different genres of music, go hiking, observe a child… When I intentionally observe my children I realize the creative world in which they live – from making up games, to creative play, to creating artwork.
Children are creative beings. They need this in order to learn and in order to grow and mature. God is a creative God. I believe that teaching his word to children (and adults!) should be as He would – and that would be with a boost of thinking out of the box, unordinary learning!
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Cade, my 4 year old, wanted to color a picture. That’s cool, kids love to color right? So I got him a piece of construction paper and some markers and away he went. A basic task like coloring should be predictable, right? Paper, markers, and a 4 year old = scribbled mess and mommy’s masterpiece, right? That is what I expected, but Cade soon diverted from the plan.
Cade got a hold of a post-it note pad with stars printed on it and thought to decorate his paper with the post-it notes. After precisely applying every note he wanted to display his art in his room. He asked for some tape and Igave him the scotch tape. The pictures below are what resulted.
I really was inspired to think. What I had expected was not at all what Cade produced. It was awesome! He secured his portrait to the wall beside his bed with an entire roll of tape.
As a church leader we need to be inspired to step outside the confines of what is expected, and lead creatively. Too many churches are exactly the same as they were 20 or even 50 years ago. How are you creatively doing and being the church?
Second, always over do it. Over plan, over execute, over communicate, always over do it. In church world there is a tendency to do just enough instead of our very best. Maybe we would see God move if we actually planned for it instead of simply complaining when we didn’t see it. This is especially true when a church or organization wants to create momentum. If you don’t anticipate and plan for the unseen growth you will never see it. If you don’t plan for and create space for people that are not a part of your church you will never see them, and if you do, they won’t be back next week.
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I realized something last night about myself — I tend to not follow through with large tasks or changes because underneath it all I am intimidated by their unfamiliarity. For example — we are considering homeschooling our children. I feel almost like I haven’t taken the decision seriously, researched it much, or even have my mind solidly decided on what to do. The reason why is because I am overwhelmed by the decision – the information – the challenge. The decision is huge and I don’t even know where to start, to I procrastinate, not doing anything, and pushing the thoughts further back.
After realizing this last night, I was able to see other areas in my life where I have done the same thing – ministry included. I have set aside the new programming I know I should do because it is the best thing because I am overwhelmed with recruiting workers or rearranging/rethinking what I do. I have let go of a great outreach event because I am intimidated by the work at hand in order to get it done or because it is unfamiliar to me. The list goes on.
I need to remember that I serve a God who sees this. One, He calls me to excellence. He does not want me to sell myself short for this. Secondly, I have the God who created the universe cheering me on. I can put my trust in Him to show me the way, give me boldness in my steps, and make it seem as familiar as I’ve been doing it all along.
Are there areas in your life that you set aside and don’t follow through with due to intimidation of the task or unfamiliarity?
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So it seems as if the most current trend for Children’s Ministry has been this shift to “Family Ministry” with a large emphasis put upon “family production” for those who are in churches with the resources to do one. I am an advocate of family ministry, although I have found it difficult to fully integrate our church into an “Orange” type model without a family production. We simply do not have the resources at this time to execute one with quality.
But I was thinking yesterday as I heard of another church in our area starting a family service…what is on the horizon as the next trend in ministry for families and children? I wish I could have a looking glass into the future to catch a glimpse of it. It’s difficult to be one step ahead of innovation rather than recreating what someone else is doing. I know not to recreate the wheel…there are so many resources out there….but for some things it seems like once you get it, and implement it, we’re onto the next big thing.
Some hot growing topics that could inspire the next trend — technology, social networking, even more production-based learning, etc. What do you think???
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Posted in children's ministry on August 5, 2008 |
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It looks like in the possible future we may be switching from a Sunday School/Church format to dropping Sunday School to add another service. We’re looking at ideas. I am thrilled to be dropping Sunday School. Already this past year I have switched our children’s ministry from a Sunday School mindset to a small group one. Now I am curious as to what two services may look like for us in the Children’s Ministry. If you have 2 (or more) services, what do you do? How do you implement what you’re doing with the kids during the hours? WHat curriculum or programming do you do? Do you involved a family production? Do you implement small groups? Fill me with info!!
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