The Courage To Be Creative
By guest blogger Kat Cannon, Women's Ministry Director at Austin Oaks Church, Austin, TX. Creative. That term could mean a whole lot depending on the context. Good in art. Not so good in finances. Most of us consider it a compliment, an ambition, something to honor. But if we’re honest, creativity might bring up a little fear and trepidation.
Because being creative means trying something new, perhaps something no one else has tried before. Something that might not work.
As leaders, that’s terrifying. We care oodles about our people, our ministries, our God. We don’t want to let anyone down or *gasp* harm someone accidentally. Plus our reputations and our hearts are on the line.
You know, this leadership thing has never been for the faint of heart. And though creativity has its scare factor, the potential for reward is just as great as the risk. We can maximize that potential if we’re smart about how we approach creative leadership, but we’ve got to address that fear issue.
First, remember that we’re made in the image of a creative God. Sure, some of us reflect His creativity more intensely than others, but I think we’ve all got at least a little bit to show. Put some blank paper and a box of crayons in front of any toddler and you’ll see. But many of us believe that if we’re not Picasso’s protégé, then we’re not creative at all, so we stopped taking the risk. It’s a shame because it’s not true. Perhaps we could tap back into that child-like bravery and pick up our crayons again. When we do, we express God’s nature in our lives and leadership .
Second, only God creates something out of nothing – the doctrine known as ex nihilo. The rest of us don’t start from scratch. We have resources to guide and shape our creativity, strong foundations to build upon. Even the words you’re reading are just my rearrangement of the same 26 characters over and over. So creativity isn’t necessarily inventing something completely new – it’s more like doing something different with what you already have.
Finally, what’s safe may not be what’s best for those you serve. Jesus teaches His disciples that this Christian life isn’t about us – it’s about serving one another. Taking creative risks means self-sacrifice on behalf of leaders so that their flocks can grow and thrive in new ways.
We’d do well to take a look inside and see if fear blocks our creative potential. And if that’s the case, we can confess that to God and see if He’ll help us find the courage to be creative. It’s worth the risk.