Len Wilson writes about a lot of things, including creativity.
Recently he posted an article about giving structure to our creativity. (http://lenwilson.us/find-structure/). Some of us have lots of wonderful creative ideas that are bouncing around in our minds. The ideas are everywhere, but we struggle to capture these ideas into a practical thing such as an idea, a plan, or an event. Len suggests that we need a structure to channel these ideas from the room of bouncing balls to executable designs.
This is one reason churches have committees and teams. These groups come together to sort through and think through all of the ideas. The group then decides how to channel ideas to a plan and action. For example, the finance committee has a meeting. They determine that they need to increase cash flow. They have identified an issue. The next step is to enter the bouncing ball phase. How can this church increase cash flow? Monthly flea market? Spaghetti Dinner? Fundraising night at a local resturant? Charge a fee for Vacation Bible School? Host a bull riding competition? Have a lemonade stand?
Sometimes churches skip the idea phase. They don’t let the ideas flow. Instead they keep a tight hold on what is possible. They limit theselves to the things they have already tried. They look only to conventional activities. Afterall, who has ever heard of a church hosting a bull riding event? The put a ceiling on the bouncing ball room. They make the room more of a box. If an idea is to “out there” then it is discarded. If the idea is too new, too untried, too unconventional, then it does not fit in our box.
We need to give those bouncing balls as much room as possible so that we can have an incredible amount of possibilities. There will be time as a committee to decide how to funnel some ideas into possibilities, but let’s give the ideas a chance to bounce around. At your next committee meeting, why don’t you spend time on brainstorming rather than just lamenting the current situation? You may discover that God has some new ideas for you.
Once you have let the ideas bounce for a while, then start looking at a structure for the ideas. Consider what ideas are good for now as well as ideas that need more time. Consider what ideas are worth investigating. The process for getting the ideas to reality comes after the ideas have been expressed.
Be brave – let the ideas bounce. Be brave – give the ideas a structure to become reality. Be brave!