Boxed Creativity

4 comments Written on May 25th, 2013     
Filed under: Culture, Formation, Vocation and Call

Today’s post is written by Chris Logan, Pastor of Worship Arts at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, KS.

Lately I’ve been finding myself preoccupied with the many limitations that life places on me, and it has led to a certain sense of failure in so many places. Ministry seems consistently busy, so I don’t feel like much of a parent or husband. Life gets busy for other people, so I don’t have the sort of volunteer involvement in my ministry that I need (or at least, wish I had). I get busy, so I don’t exercise and thus feel like a total failure at maintaining a healthy weight (much less getting down to one). Life, it seems, has a tendency to get task-driven when I feel like a failure, and so I inevitably miss the orchestra for the instruments (or however the saying goes); I drive myself to perform, to succeed at everything.

And of course, with such a self-made mandate, I inevitably fail.

Cue cycle restart.

Upon confessing this, someone said this to me: “Your congregation doesn’t need you to be a good performer, they need you to be a good pastor. This has to be a group effort, or it’s all for nothing.”

To paraphrase Phil Hansen, true creativity doesn’t happen when we have unlimited resources of time, money, volunteers, energy, or willpower, but rather, true creativity happens within constraints. When we are forced to prioritize, when we are forced to make the main thing the main thing, we become artists. For me, that means being a worship PASTOR and not a performance artist or booking agent or any other myriad of things (what’s yours?).

What would happen if, instead of seeing a limitation …

… in the number of instruments or voices I can use
… in the available pieces of music that I like (or think will work in my setting)
… in the amount of time I have at home with my kids and wife
… in the finances for ministry or life

… what if instead of seeing a limitation, I started seeing the possibilities that God is opening up for my creativity? What if this is a chance to do something new and novel because of what I don’t have? What if, by ceasing to worry about the boxes placed on me (over which I have little control), I suddenly find that in embracing my limitations, I’ve been set free?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

4 comments “Boxed Creativity”

Yeah, what if… that stirs the curiosity in me. My dad sees everything as an opportunity. Here we have the opportunity to see what God can do with our limitations. Yeah, Chris, you strike a chord here. 

Report This Comment

This is scary territory, Chris–definitely outside my comfort zone–but an important reminder that art, pastoral ministry, or anything we do unto the Lord is never meant to be stagnant. If the mercies of God are indeed NEW every morning and if we are indeed instructed in Psalms to sing to the Lord a NEW song, doesn’t that require us to be open to the new things God can do in us artistically and pastorally? You’re making my world uncomfortable, Chris, but I think I need that! We all need it. Thanks and blessings!

Report This Comment

As usual your thoughts have depth and punch Chris! KEEP sharing them with us, you are a gift! My initial thoughts boil to the power of God’s grace (manifested in our creativity) often showing up in the midst of our poverty -“less is more”. For example a great song (say, a psalm of lament) created from the “I’m over my head… GOD HELP!” experience. Nothing we’d choose but sometimes it seems, chosen for us. That’s when we discover how to be “poor… yet making many rich”. Thank you Chris! -Glenn

Report This Comment

I think the basic mistake we can make is to think we’re capable or in control.
I thank God for the things that remind us we’re not. Instead the best advice is to keep our eyes on the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and keep acting in obedience as best we can.
This is something I see you doing, Chris and Glenn, and Matt and Jo Anne and Dru and Jessica and Michael and Max…
and it’s an inspiration as the rest of us seek to serve God alongside you.
He is all-sufficient, we are made complete in Him. Hallelujah!

Report This Comment

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog