May 8, 2013 Jason Vernon

The Church’s Creativity Conundrum (Part 1)

Have you noticed that the church is lagging behind in the creativity department? Sure, there are a few outliers but realistically creative churches now seem to be a minority. It drives me nuts to see five hundred webpages that are carbon copies of a creative church. The same fonts, colors and ministry descriptions. The same organizational structures and service schedules, the same sermon series and even identical visions and core values.

Don’t get me wrong; I think we have to learn from others. There is nothing wrong with modeling best practices but I believe that God isn’t looking to produce clone churches. God has a unique mission for each church to accomplish.

Some of you are in a rut. Possibly, you have stopped doing ministry that is remarkable. As we like to say around here, you are stuck.

In the book Imagine: How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer shares a time when Bob Dylan was stuck. He was bored and weary. Dylan said that his shows started to feel formulaic, as if he were singing the lines of someone else. Sound familiar? He rarely acknowledged the audience or even paused between songs. He just wanted to get offstage. Eventually, he quit. He walked off the stage, got on his motorcycle and moved into an empty house in the middle of nowhere. He left his guitar behind and intended to quit the music industry. Once Dylan felt like he had nothing else to say, he began to reinvent himself. He found a way to express himself instead of just saying what others wanted him to say.

What would happen if churches reached this point? Imagine the impact of hundreds of churches getting unstuck. Ministry would be fun and impactful again. Until ministry leaders look beyond the obvious, our churches will be stuck with the same clichés, programs and predictable ministries.

Lehrer went on to explain that the imagination is unleashed by constraints. There can be no breakthrough for your church unless you realize that you are stuck. Creativity starts with a problem. Being stumped is part of the creative process. More specifically, Lehrer says,

Before we can find the answer – before we probably even know the question – we must be immersed in disappointment. It’s often only at this point, after we’ve stopped searching for the answer, that the answer arrives. When a solution does appear, it doesn’t come in dribs and drabs; the puzzle isn’t solved one piece at a time. Rather, the solution is shocking in completeness. We curse ourselves for not seeing it sooner.

Possibly it’s time for your church to reinvent itself. I would love to talk to you about how we can help you on your journey. You may only be one or two steps away from getting unstuck.

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Jason Vernon

Jason Vernon

Jason is the Director of Content Development for The Unstuck Group. He graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Marketing and a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership. He also received an MBA from Lynchburg College. Jason was a Marketing Consultant for over 7 years. He currently serves as Communications Director at Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA.
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