Recently, I was talking to my pastor and I asked him to pick one thing that creative people in ministry have to deal with the most. He said, “We need to make sure that creativity leads to the Tree of Life, not just the Tree of Creativity and Innovation. As in the garden, when the pursuit of Knowledge surpassed the pursuit of Life, it led to the expulsion ‘from creativity’, not the propagation of it.”
Let’s take it back to the Garden. Adam and Eve were blissfully happy and intoxicatingly aware of God all around them. They were created and then were given the God-esque assignment to be creative; to imitate the Master of Creativity. God brought Adam all of the animals, birds, fish and all the other squirmy, scaly, furry things in-between and gave him the first noted creative assignment to name them all.
I’m fairly certain that Adam never attended a “How to Maximize Your Creative Naming Portfolio” seminar or read the book, “Powerful and Effective Names to Attract Powerful and Effective People.” He simply tapped into the inner God-breathed creativity within his soul because after all, he was walking and talking with the very God that created him every day.
Life was good on the ranch especially after Eve came around. They could do anything they wanted to, had an amazing relationship with God and each other, were allowed to walk around naked and could have their fill of the Eden buffet. They pleased God by doing what He asked them to do and they all delighted in that.
Until they didn’t.
Instead of focusing their creativity on all that God bestowed on them and harnessing it with the wisdom and incredibly freeing restraint that God provided, they began to listen to the sultry whisper of more. They moved to a place where God held the secondary position on the agenda of their weekly creative meetings and the thirst for BIGGER and BETTER held the floor.
The whisper of more is what can get us.
It lays thick on our ears and tickles our lips as we, in ministry, look for ways to be bigger, trendier and become giddy when people follow our Tweets, attend our seminars and read our blogs.
It’s not that any of those things are bad in and of themselves. In fact, they can be incredibly insightful and resourceful. I firmly believe in tapping into other creative’s resources and utilizing them to fit my ministry. However, the whisper of more can bite me in the neck when I become too involved in promoting a creation rather than the Creator.
I don’t believe that Adam and Eve were tired of their Eden nirvana and intentionally wanted to shove God aside, but, perhaps it was a slow digression. It could have been a shift here or there from the beloved gaze of their Maker which turned into an insatiable thirst for more.
When we slice and dice up the fruit of knowledge and eat it up foregoing the Tree of Life, we cheat ourselves and others out of that Eden experience with the One who created the very essence of creativity. We cheat them out of The One who is not only at the core of, but IS the core of innovativeness.
Light shows are fantastic, seminars can be life-changing, leadership books can be resourceful and indie rock worship can energize and refresh the soul. However, we need to make sure that we are seeking the source of creativity and that our plans and ideas are to ultimately point others to Christ, not just our church, our ministry or our own creativity.
This week, pick wisely from the trees that God has put in front of you and remember the ultimate mission, to point others to the Creator through our ministry, our creativity and our life.