“I don’t lead worship… and I’m sure not creative!”
That’s what I hear people say all the time. And when I hear that, I wonder what they mean? Maybe you’re reading this and you’ve said or thought that about yourself at times?
As I look around at our Hillsong Creative team, I see a whole bunch of people who anyone would consider “creative”. They’ve spent literal decades working on their craft.
I see worship leaders and musicians who are incredibly proficient at their craft.
I could look at our vocalists team and see many who have spent years and years and years practicing and honing their gift.
Then if I were to wander across our church campus I’d find another group of equally creative people who have spent countless hours working on becoming filmmakers and script writers and camera operators.
I haven’t even mentioned the many dancers and choreographers who spend countless hours working on their craft day after day, and year after year.
I could go on and on, I could talk about the lighting designers, the painters, the writers, the photographers, the graphic designs, or those who build stage and set designs.
All those groups of people are highly creative and so I imagine that it’s those types of people that we’re comparing ourselves to when we say “I’m not creative”.
Or, maybe when we say we’re not creative, we’re actually thinking more about who we perceive the “creative” to be. Maybe we’re actually meaning things like…
“I can’t do that”…
“I don’t have the creative temperament”
“I’m not the tortured artist”
“I’m not like that”…
“I’m not that kind of person”…
It’s perplexing to me. I know we all make comparisons at times, even though we shouldn’t. I know we all judge other people at times, even though we shouldn’t. We all make comparisons, we label, and we box. And we often box and limit ourselves the most.
But when it comes to that kind of behaviour and thinking, it’s about time we challenge the status quo. This thinking that some are creative and some aren’t, it needs to change.
Let me explain…
The Bible is clear on the fact that we are ALL created in the image of God.
It’s equally clear that it was God who created everything.
He is the creator… you could say “the ultimate creative”.
He spoke and the universe was formed.
He fashioned humanity with His hands, like a potter, out of clay.
He made the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and everything in between.
Along side all that, the Bible speaks of God as knowing the plans that He has for His people, it speaks of Him thinking about us, dreaming about us, having an imagination on our behalf.
I admit that it may be a leap to say that just because God created the Heavens and the Earth, and fashioned us with His hands, that you and I, being made in his image, can therefore also create artistically, be potters, painters or poets.
But, what cannot be denied is that each and every one of us reflect God every time we use our mind to imagine the future.
We all have dreams and we all use our imaginations to create our lives.
Some of us live in fear and we use our minds to imagine a future that’s full of pain and suffering. By doing this we create a paradigm that then frames our lives. It’s this imagined future that can hedge us in and cause us to live contained, small lives.
Instead, what if used our imaginations to dream about a future that’s positive, free, and God-shaped. If we dreamt of the day the Bible describes as having “no more weeping, no more crying, no more tears and no more pain”.
We can use our imaginations to see the potential in people, and we speak that potential into being when we encourage others and build them up.
We can use our minds to create vision for our lives, ministries and churches.
When we preach, we can use our creativity to apply the word of God in ways that make it applicable to the live, every day people, living ordinary lives.
The reality is, you may not be an artist, you may not paint, or play a musical instrument, but we can ALL create. We can ALL use our minds, imaginations, our image bearing abilities, to frame our worlds and our lives.
And it’s to this end that I challenge the notion, the label, and the statement, “I am not creative”. The truth is you are creative and you create every day. The sooner we realise this fact, the sooner we can utilise this clarity to help reshape a world in need.
I believe that God is looking to us to use every resource we can to share his good news with the world. And so as you live your life, never let it be said that you do not have the ability to create a better reality for those around you. In your work, in your family, in your own life, as you allow God to renew your mind, you begin to enter into his image, the image of the creator God, and as you enter into His image, you too are creative.
Over to you.
P.S. If this post resonated with you in any way, I’d love to invite you on the journey with us at our annual Hillsong Worship & Creative Conference in October. We explore creativity and learn practical tools to apply our creativity to build the Church and impact our world for Christ. You can also join our weekly creative community on the Hillsong Creative Podcast.