04 Aug The Capital Of Creativity
“The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” – Ephesians 1:22 (MSG)
I love that imagery. That everything flows from the Master Creator who is the original designer of all things. He is the Art Director, the Executive Producer, the Content Creator. Yet, it always bugs me that the church (and here I mean both the people and the institution) is often at the opposite end of the design chain – the church, it seems, is often the tail and not the head of creativity.
We look around and it’s quite apparent that the church, in general, is usually more than a few steps behind the world when it comes to embracing design, creating content and leveraging the media. We sometimes hear statements like “it’s churchy (yes, we have a category of our own), it’s old fashioned, it’s sub par, it’s good but it’s not great.”
If I may honestly describe this situation. While we may have Christ, who is the Creator in us, we (the church) are unfortunately often not creators but rather consumers of creativity.
Don’t get me wrong. I meet Christians who are leaders in their artistic fields (both in and out of church) and they genuinely inspire me. But they are the few amongst many. The exception instead of the norm.
As a Creative Pastor, I too am guilty of the consumer mindset. My prerogative has been to connect a creative person to a ministry – Designers to the communications department, musicians to the band or actors to stage productions. And while all that is important, it will be myopic of me to only fill the needs of my organisation. Even more, that it will be a tragedy if creativity is primarily consumed only within the 4 walls of a church. If we are going to impact this city we call home, then we have to love and serve it. We are to be the Church in the World (though not of it).
The church cannot simply be consumers of creativity. Instead, I see a church that is the Capital of Creativity. Where the children of the creator will birth stories that are so powerful, that a person reading it can experience breakthroughs from depression and hopelessness. Where campaigns will inspire acts of justice, mercy and humility. Where the overriding narrative of our nation will be one of faith, hope and love. Where the designs of ads and buildings will be crafted with such honour and excellence that Singapore will bear the image of God. Where the values and culture of our city will be shaped on earth as it is in heaven.
I believe that the tipping point for us to be that church will come when we realise that the responsibility to create does not just rest on designers and artists who are in the industry. But that by the Spirit of God, we were all created to create. That we were all imagined by God to imagine for God.
Today, I meet creatives who excel in their workplace yet shy away from creating for the kingdom. I also meet creatives who are on fire in church but shy away from being the light of the world. We know both must come together.
And not only have you been created as a creative, you have been gifted with the passion and skills to make a real difference. So whether you find your sweet spot in the areas of content, media, film, design or the arts, let’s collaborate to create masterpieces. Together, we can shape the media and cultural landscape.
I want to personally invite you to mark your spot in the Kingdom’s creative team. Come and meet fellow creatives who are hungry for God and hungry to create. That through our collective talents, we can take that first step to becoming the Capital of Creativity.