How to start getting involved with creative process.
Applying creative thinking to the worship situation
There is one stand-out feature of a creative congregation. Serious creativity in a congregation is signalled by an absolute valuing of the charisms, by giving pride of place to the corporate use of individual talents and gifts.
When used correctly the charisms almost invariably enable congregations to think laterally, i.e. to change perceptions and introduce new concepts. Edward de Bono called this ‘lateral thinking’, almost a byword in big corporates and not-for-profit organisations.
Yet it is hardly a new concept. It can be found in all the ancient and the modern philosophers. It can also be found in the New Testament as a vivid descriptor of the early church in action: the gifts of the body of Christ.
The powerful image of the body of Christ sums up how the believing group is a more effective force than the sum of all the individual talents and energies.
The reverse is also true. When the congregation places too much value on individual contributions without thinking how to engage that energy for the whole group, then the outcomes are inevitably diminished. The early church was by its own definition a lateral thinking group. It was not like the famous philosophers’ academy, the school of Athens, nor like the synagogue, although it grew out of the latter. Its emphasis and outlook was based upon a faith dimension that required creativity and new patterns of thinking and perception.