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As Labor Day quickly approaches and school begins for our teens, the pressure to produce gets higher and higher. This season is much like a SPRINT where all of your energy and focus is set on kicking the year off right. During this time it is so much easier to DO than CREATE. The battle of keeping the creative process going is so important. When you stop producing ideas, you stop moving forward as a ministry.
Youth ministers know that creativity cannot take a break. It’s with your creativity that new programs are formed. Our imagination allows us to share the same basic values over and over again with fresh new perspectives. If your imagination and creativity struggle it’s hard to make ministry both relevant and engaging. The moment you stop dreaming, is the moment your ministry begins to decline. Therefore, it’s important to have a system where you are constantly building up your creative bank. To do that you need to make sure you:
- Record Every Thought – Your mind is limited to how much it can store. If anything write down and record your ideas. You can go with the conventional notebook (or even a whiteboard); however, I recommend using online software like Evernote. Evernote, allows you to record your ideas and the sources to your research. You can save links, copy articles and upload documents from your harddrive. When you record your ideas you build up your creativity bank. By having a storage unit of creativity you can always withdraw when then fresh ideas aren’t coming.
- Share Ideas With Others – Sometimes you can only take an idea so far. When this happens it’s important to share them with others. Your team will help you overcome the obstacles limiting your ideas. They can help you take that step back and even share a new perspective. The challenge might be relinquishing ownership; however, ideas aren’t something we can always be selfish about.
- Free Up Your Mind – There are distractions in our life that can limit our creativity ability. Anything from stress to watching too much television. It’s important to find free time where you can allow you mind to wander. For me those key times are running, eating lunch (away from my computer) and cooking. It’s during those times when I can slow down, relax and just allow the Spirit to guide my creativity.
It’s amazing what the human mind is capable of creating. Our imaginations are such a powerful gift from God, we just need to make sure we give them enough room to grow. While it’s important to produce and do, if we don’t take time to build up our creative banks, we’ll find ourselves going in circles.
When do you feel most creative?