Monday, July 28, 2008


You have heard it said that we live in a visual society. We do. Just look at a magazine, or a billboard, TV, movies, marketing, the internet, and so on. Most of our communication these days is done visually. No one can argue that point.

It seems to me that in the church we have equated visual with video. We think we're being creative if we have a video clip thrown up on the wall from a recent movie or a skit of some kind. While that may wake a few people up to what we're talking about I see that as more of a band-aid over a oral medium. I'm not criticizing you if you use video, but don't think that's all there is to being visual with your sermon.

There is so much more! Ponder on these thoughts.

How could our medium be more visual if we included some Broadway play techniques in our presentation? What if we picked up some ideas from the Blue Man group or from the traveling percussion show, Stomp! What if we sought to communicate the Jesus' message using some of their techniques?

What about Las Vegas? What are some of the methodologies (barring the sex and gambling stuff, of course) they use to commuicate their message? What could we learn from them? They're communicating a message too. It just isn't our message. It's important to realize that most methdologies are morally neutral. It's how those methods are used that makes them immoral or moral. Example: Magazines are neutral, but you know there are good magazines and bad ones.

Here is another group we could learn from, Cirque Du Soliel. While I'm not recommending that we do a sermon series themed out to a circus (wonder what that would look like?) but the show, if you have seen it, does seek to communicate a message visually. What could we learn from them?

As with any brain storming idea some of the connections you'll make will be silly and others might be true gems. How do you seek to commiunicate visually? Have you done anything beyond a video clip or an object lesson?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Creativity and the Church

On vacation I was speaking to a fellow minister and he said to me, "I want to be more creative."

What does that mean? More creative?

First of all, is he creative already? Yes he is.

We are all creative. Everyone is creative just as much as all of us can kick a ball.

Then how do you "be more creative?"

The answer is the difference between you kicking a ball and a professional soccer player kicking a ball. The answer is one word: discipline. The professional soccer player has worked really hard at kicking a ball for a long time and your career at kicking a ball might have ended in little league soccer.

Creativity is a discipline. As we develop the discipline we can have better...
... messages.
... meetings.
... ways to solve the myriad of ministry challenges.
... ways of connecting to our culture.

Inscape means seeing something new in something familiar. In a manner of speaking ministers are challenged to take something that is familiar to them, the Bible, and discover new insights that will apply to living in our culture and world.

That's what this blog will be about. It will look at the discipline of creativity and the ministry. This blog will not give you creative products, but strategies on how you can be creative yourself.

God created you. You were created in his image. It's time we reflected our creator in the culture.