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Breathing Life into the Traditional Church


I see a strong relationship between creativity and renewal.
—James Rose

I once preached a first-person sermon on Jonah. I came out barefoot, soaking wet, with seaweed all over me. Ninety percent of the congregation thought it was wonderful. But 10 percent were irate that their pastor had no shoes on. The seaweed wasn't a problem. The wetness wasn't a problem. No shoes was the issue. For that group, what I had done was undignified for a pastor.

Depending on whom you're talking to, the word creativity can evoke a positive or negative response.

In the church setting, creativity is the ability to develop forms different from the ones that presently exist—forms that freshly touch the generational and cultural groups around you. Naturally the younger members and artsy group love creativity because it means breaking with traditional forms. An emphasis on creativity invites them to the banquet table. But as the Jonah episode illustrates, some people will never warm up to innovation.

I helped found ...

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