Creativity Is Shining!

by Jayne Andrews

Creativity Is Shining

 

Ever hear your church staff and volunteers say “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”, or “I am not the creative type?” Creativity comes in all forms. Some of the roadblocks to our creativity are:

  • We get stuck in a rut doing things the same way time after time.
  • We get comfortable.  
  • We have a mental block.
  • We fear taking a risk.
  • We allow ourselves to grow out of creativity.

 

Help is on the way! First, look at your ministries. Yes, the ones we do every day, each summer, every holiday, and create something new out of these old ways. Think about the children we serve. Think about their sense of awe, wonder and creativity. Let that inspire you! As a society we slowly suppress one’s creativity. Now is the time to reclaim it so let it shine!

 

Brainstorming is a technique that helps foster creativity. Remember, there are no bad ideas at this stage. The more the merrier. Get others involved in the creative process. One idea leads to another and yet another! Build a team focusing on individual’s spiritual gifts. As stated on the United Methodist Church website (umc.org),“Spiritual gifts are not our talents or skills. They are the grace of God at work within us, empowering us to match our deep passions with the world’s deep need. The gifts are given to individuals, but they are given to build and strengthen community and to meet the needs of those around us”. We all have been gifted. Be bold. Be crazy. Be alive with your giftedness!

 

Take the risk! We need to learn from our experiences. Watching creativity take hold during 2020, we have seen that some of the solutions are in fact better than how we did things before! Churches of all sizes and denominations starting vibrant online worship services that were reaching more people than they ever expected. The pandemic pushed us up out of our comfort zones as we had to think creatively how to stay connected and share God’s love and hope in new ways. Children’s Ministry took on new ideas and appearances as we saw churches offer virtual summer camps, virtual and neighborhood VBS, online bedtime stories and drive by parades. Creativity was shining!

Let these ideas guide and inspire you and your team!!

 

Outdoor Prayer Stations/Sacred Space Pop-Ups

In challenging times like we have experienced in 2020, there is a need for all of us to have a safe place to go, to be still, reflect and pray. A place where individuals and families can find a little hope and refresh their spirits. Many church buildings have limited hours or remain closed to the public, but your church can create a special space for the community to come and be in prayer for hope, healing and unity. Pick an outside space around the church, a local park, or a section of a parking lot. Keep it simple. Keep it safe.

 

Online intergenerational Visual Prayers

Let us create together and pray together. Technology offers new ways to involve the whole congregation and allow them to feel part of a larger community. As we start to plan for VBS 2021 ask families to become part of your VBS Prayer Team. Have them share pictures, drawings or words of impactful moments that their family has experienced from a VBS song, a particular scripture verse or Bible story, a new friend, or a mission project they worked on together. All these pictures, requests and drawings can be put into collage of images. Use this as part of your worship service, social media information or post a weekly update for your congregation.

 

Pop-Up Cool Pops

As ministry planning for 2021 takes form provide some sweet treats pop-up events in neighborhoods the church serves, on church grounds or in a local park. Provide a schedule where and when you will be hosting and personal invites to upcoming ministry events. What a fun cool way for the church to stay connected and share God’s light and love.

 

Sunday at Home

Parents and older family members play a significant role in the faith formation of their children. Many families are still unsure about returning to in-person worship so provide resources as the church partners with families worshipping at home as a family. Share ideas on creating an altar that children can interact with during Worship that ties into the sermon and build tent forts (tabernacles) for the family to watch the service.

 

Drive-In’s

Drive-In’s have taken on new form from worship services, to Movie nights, Ice Cream Drive Thru. Keep in mind, the possibilities are endless.

 

Chalk your Walk Family Challenge

Ask families to work together on creating a masterpiece on their sidewalk or driveway with a theme. The theme could be tied into your 2021 VBS theme, a scripture verse like love they neighbor or a portrait of their family. Using Facebook messenger have families send photos of their creations to your churches Facebook page. Upload pictures, share and enjoy. Another creative way of staying connected when many of us are feeling isolated.

 

Musical Mobile Message

Offering a word of hope for the upcoming week via a quick, short and promising musical message for the whole family. Helps create a moment for family conversation.

 

Turn the Pages of Winter

Create weekly virtual reading program connecting with children each week. This can take on several different looks from reading books together online with small groups by age or simple bedtime stories. Stories can be read from “Honorary Storytellers” - members of your church, church staff, local authorities (Mayor, police officer, doctor, bus driver, etc.)

 

Tailgate Concert

Bring the blankets, chairs and yummy food to your church grounds or parking lot for a free family fun concert.

 

Seasonal Faith Boxes

Provide families with Faith Boxes throughout the year helping them grow together on their faith journey. Faith Boxes include a mission project, prayer cards, interactive family spiritual practices, and family conversation starter activities. Be creative and make items in the Faith Box unique to your churches mission, values and worship theme.

 

Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the Lord’s glory has shone upon you.

Isaiah 60:1

 

It’s time for you to shine God’s light to those precious children and leaders in your ministry. Pray diligently, think creatively and see God’s perfect vision for your ministry unfold and shine!

 

 

Jayne Andrews

 

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