Getting Creative with God
So I’ve been reading a whole lot of articles lately about improving or finding your creativity, and it got me thinking about how much of that we can apply to creativity in ministry, and how much we need to believe for more than what the world expects.
I remember when I created the artwork for the Kidshaper Sound brochure several years ago, it was the first time ever that I created something through more than just my own strength. Sure, it took a lot of adjustments, planning, redesigning and guidance from my pastor to make it great, but even with all that, I knew that a lot of what I achieved could only be credited to God Himself through what He showed me before I started.
When you have a clear vision in your mind of what you want to accomplish, the process is much easier! Instead of trying to work out how something should look, it’s more like dictation- simply putting onto the computer what you have already seen in your mind.
In all my time as a designer, my best work has never been something that I have simply come up with by myself. My best designs have always been inspired by God. Sometimes I will literally wake up with a picture of exactly what I need to create. Other times I need to push a little harder and ask God to show me ideas through other things. Either way, when I let God help me, my designs always go far beyond what I can do in my own strength.
So what I have for you today is a small list of tips and tricks that can help you to get more creative and to get inspired to do more than you think you can. Different people learn and think in different ways, so instead of creating a specific method, I have listed a few different things that are worth trying to see what works the best for you!
1. Pray before you start!
If you want God to be a part of your design process, you have to invite Him in. Prayer is a great chance to change the atmosphere, connect yourself with the ultimate source of creativity (the Creator Himself), remove any worry, fear or distractions, get yourself focused, ask God for ideas, and ask God for an increase in your abilities and anointing as a designer. Even if you’re not a designer, when you step into God’s anointing, your weaknesses don’t matter anyway. Instead of relying on your own creativity (or lack thereof)…. tune into His!
2. Choose the time that you are most focused
You need to work out when you are the most alert and get your best work done during the day. Are you a morning person? Are you a night person? The more alert you are, the easier it will be to get yourself focused!
Don’t limit your ideas to what you know you can do. Sometimes it’s good to step away for a minute and just let yourself dream with God. Imagine what you could achieve if you had unlimited skills! Imagine what the perfect design would be for what you are doing. Dream big and give God a chance to expand you! If you expect little, you will achieve little, but if you dare to dream bigger, you might be surprised at what you achieve!
4. Set up a creative environment
It’s hard to be creative and think extraordinary when your work space just screams “ordinary”. Try and find ways to make your office or space more creative and inspiring. Sometimes all it takes is a few posters or artwork in the room, or maybe a few decorative things on your desk. When I set up my office, I put my favourite clock on my desk and a large white wooden cutout of the word “dream” that a friend gave to me. I also put some of my other work on my desk that reminded me of what I could achieve if I trusted God… I still have the Kidshaper Sound brochure from 2009 sitting on my desk!
A creative environment really helps you to get inspired and ready. Try things like posters, decorations, music, repainting, nice furniture… you can do a lot more with a few changes! My only advice is to be careful not to clutter your space… because a cluttered space will make it harder to stay focused. So keep it simple, but inspiring!
5. Take a break
If you’re really stuck for ideas and have been staring aimlessly at your computer, it’s time for a break. Not a TV break or something else that will occupy your mind, but something that will help you to wind down, relax and dream again. It’s good to have a space somewhere, even in another room, where you don’t have any technology or distractions, even your laptop. Make it a place where you can stop, maybe read or draw or look out the window, and just pause for a few minutes until your mind is clearer. Use this time to talk to God or just let your mind dream the impossible again for a moment. Then, when you’re ready… get back to work!
6. Get inspired
When I’m hunting for ideas, I often love just browsing the internet for inspiration. It’s great to find the new design trends and find portfolios of people who are thinking out of the box and doing something new and extraordinary! I find it helps me to dream bigger and unlock different aspects of design that I would never have considered otherwise. It also reminds me that there is so much more to learn, and gets me excited to try something new!
7. Don’t give up!
If you’re really struggling to get that “aha!” moment and find the momentum and creativity you need, don’t give up! Try some different approaches… if you always use the computer, maybe try drawing on paper instead first. If you have something half in progress but just can’t make it work, it’s ok to clean the slate and start again!
Don’t be afraid when your pastor or boss tells you that your work isn’t good enough, because every chance to try again is a chance to step up to a new level and achieve something even greater. I’ve had to learn many times to let go and not get too attached to my work, because not everything I create is going to get good feedback. Sometimes, I miss the mark, and I need someone else to point it out. So when you don’t get positive feedback, don’t be discouraged! I guarantee that if you stick to it and try again, the results will always come out better.
I hope this has been a helpful article for you!
Be encouraged and get inspired… there is so much creativity in God’s Kingdom, we just have to find it and tune in!