Our son and daughter-in-law live in Nashville, Tennessee. So it isn’t very often that we get to accompany them to church. For me it’s always fascinating to visit other churches and soak in the way they do things. I always learn something new and bring back a few tips to help in my own ministry. But this time I learned a little something more. Church is a place that always seems to offer a creative boost.
On the way out of church our daughter-in-law, Emily, asked: “Why do I always seem to get creative ideas in church?” Our son agreed. He said he does, too. And I have to admit that when I have the opportunity to sit in the congregation, the same goes for me.
Emily owns and operates a very successful jewelry business. Our son is a musician. And my wife, Tammy, as you know, has just started her own business. So after church Emily started telling Tammy about an idea she had for Tammy’s business. In the car we started discussing the idea and expanding on it. The whole thing grew out of thoughts that came to mind in church.
Before you think that we missed the whole point of church, think again. I came away with precisely what I needed this week for my spiritual life. The pastor preached a sermon that spoke directly to me. The four of us who worshiped together all agreed. And yet at the same time church is a fertile ground for creativity.
Here’s why I think that is:
- We’re in the presence of a creative God. God gives us a creative boost whenever we’re conscious of His presence. Creativity is part of His very nature. He created the world and everything in it. To be touched by Him in weekly worship means to be touched by a creative spark.
- We hear the creative Word of God. God’s Word does what it says it’s going to do. It delivers and creates the forgiveness of sins. If it does that (and so much more!) it can most certainly create in our hearts and minds new thoughts and ideas.
- There are moments of silence and contemplation. We live in a noisy world. Church is one of the few places where there are moments of silence and contemplation. In prayerful moments why can’t the Holy Spirit introduce new and creative thoughts into our minds?
- We’re not distracted by (many) other things. Church is the one place we (mostly) put away our phones and focus on the things going on around us. Even the screens in church help us to focus on the topic at hand. We have common voice and common thought with the people around us. It brings clarity of mind.
- We are drawn out of the world. Church is a very different environment from most of the other places we frequent in our daily lives. Even the architecture points us to higher things. The art and music speak of the things of God. His Creative Presence brings creative presence into our own beings. We are refreshed and renewed.
The next time you’re in church (and I hope it’s this coming Sunday), see if you don’t find yourself creatively inspired. Being in the presence of a creative God does that.
When have you experienced a creative renewal in church?
P.S. I write about this topic more extensively in my book, Fully and Creatively Alive. You can get your own copy by clicking here.
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