Cut-and-Paste Creativity [Part 2]: Why we choose efficiency over creativity in the local church.

It seems that many local church gatekeepers readily applaud ministry that looks like the successes of other churches rather than champion the indigenous creation from their own people. My friends in the business world do this all the time. One company sells computers successfully, so reverse engineering takes place by competitors.  The idea is to emulate the success and hopefully exceed the level of your competition. In church work, our thinking may actually be similar.

The thought is this: “If a song is popular on the Christian radio station, then surely it will resonate with people in our worship services.” Instead, creative leadership says this: “We need to worship and lead culturally from who we are and from who spiritually we desire to be.” In the first case, no question is asked and answered about the assets and opportunities existing around you. The second idea starts at home then outside content is validated or dismissed. When you are blind to self-awareness the only option left is to copy another’s identity. However, when you know who you are, you set the stage for creativity. 

Why copy? Cut-and-paste creativity is about efficiency. We can download from the Internet complete sermons, including outlines, small group handouts, and polished graphics. We do this, because it is efficient and looks and feels like the successful church we admire. Learning the process and finding inspiration from these incredible ministries and their leaders is a must. Best practices are mined by competent leaders. But, we should never simply copy without full disclosure. If we champion the need for authenticity, should not that value steer us to create rather than emulate?

Inspiration and mastery calls us to create. Ambition or fear drives us to cut and paste. Most have the best intentions. To reach a community is the heart of most pastors I know, but fear of letting go of the process to reach those people narrows the bandwidth of the local church. What if people not like us actually become leaders and start steering things? That fact is inevitable. Time offers us a shelf-life. Legacy is ours to own or abdicate. Would we want to lose our legacy to the creative energy of leaders who have no personal relationship with us?

Failure has value. When we copy another’s success, we lose our ability to fail with our own creativity. This one fact alone stalls us! Innovation allows mistakes that we choose to make, not that others prescribe for us. The trendy church culture is gullible, fickle and ever-changing. Songs, sermons and personalities are fluid. A church needs to birth from their identity to be a force that lasts. If we pass on anything, it should be who we are. If we do not know how to answer that question, then perhaps passing on is not an issue to us. We live in the now, and worship the god of efficiency.

 

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

91 comments

  1. I think the biggest problem is that we never consider individual contexts when we just take something and try to replicate it the exact same. It never works there like it will in our context…NEVER. This doesn’t mean we can’t use it as inspiration but we must always consider our own context and run it through that lens first.

    1. Context is king. If it never works, then why are so many still insisting on replication instead of innovation?

      1. Honestly I think they feel they have to. They lack the resources, time, energy to create the same big production stuff and so it it becomes easier to try to copy it. I can’t fault them too hard for that.

        1. You identified the problem, in my opinion. But, “easy” is too often chosen over what is effective. So, even the most pragmatic leader should understand the need to do homework in decoding the language of our people and creating ways to communicate and inspire them. The long term work of creativity or innovation is not easy. I say, we need to challenge status quo and do better.

  2. I think the biggest problem is that we never consider individual contexts when we just take something and try to replicate it the exact same. It never works there like it will in our context…NEVER. This doesn’t mean we can’t use it as inspiration but we must always consider our own context and run it through that lens first.

    1. Context is king. If it never works, then why are so many still insisting on replication instead of innovation?

      1. Honestly I think they feel they have to. They lack the resources, time, energy to create the same big production stuff and so it it becomes easier to try to copy it. I can’t fault them too hard for that.

        1. You identified the problem, in my opinion. But, “easy” is too often chosen over what is effective. So, even the most pragmatic leader should understand the need to do homework in decoding the language of our people and creating ways to communicate and inspire them. The long term work of creativity or innovation is not easy. I say, we need to challenge status quo and do better.

  3. I think the biggest problem is that we never consider individual contexts when we just take something and try to replicate it the exact same. It never works there like it will in our context…NEVER. This doesn’t mean we can’t use it as inspiration but we must always consider our own context and run it through that lens first.

    1. Context is king. If it never works, then why are so many still insisting on replication instead of innovation?

      1. Honestly I think they feel they have to. They lack the resources, time, energy to create the same big production stuff and so it it becomes easier to try to copy it. I can’t fault them too hard for that.

        1. You identified the problem, in my opinion. But, “easy” is too often chosen over what is effective. So, even the most pragmatic leader should understand the need to do homework in decoding the language of our people and creating ways to communicate and inspire them. The long term work of creativity or innovation is not easy. I say, we need to challenge status quo and do better.

  4. I think the biggest problem is that we never consider individual contexts when we just take something and try to replicate it the exact same. It never works there like it will in our context…NEVER. This doesn’t mean we can’t use it as inspiration but we must always consider our own context and run it through that lens first.

    1. Context is king. If it never works, then why are so many still insisting on replication instead of innovation?

      1. Honestly I think they feel they have to. They lack the resources, time, energy to create the same big production stuff and so it it becomes easier to try to copy it. I can’t fault them too hard for that.

        1. You identified the problem, in my opinion. But, “easy” is too often chosen over what is effective. So, even the most pragmatic leader should understand the need to do homework in decoding the language of our people and creating ways to communicate and inspire them. The long term work of creativity or innovation is not easy. I say, we need to challenge status quo and do better.

  5. I think the biggest problem is that we never consider individual contexts when we just take something and try to replicate it the exact same. It never works there like it will in our context…NEVER. This doesn’t mean we can’t use it as inspiration but we must always consider our own context and run it through that lens first.

    1. Context is king. If it never works, then why are so many still insisting on replication instead of innovation?

      1. Honestly I think they feel they have to. They lack the resources, time, energy to create the same big production stuff and so it it becomes easier to try to copy it. I can’t fault them too hard for that.

        1. You identified the problem, in my opinion. But, “easy” is too often chosen over what is effective. So, even the most pragmatic leader should understand the need to do homework in decoding the language of our people and creating ways to communicate and inspire them. The long term work of creativity or innovation is not easy. I say, we need to challenge status quo and do better.

  6. What we must pass on is “the faith once delivered to the saints.”

    1. Yes! And, it was a step to move from Latin. We can only do that as we “become all things to all men” rather than simply duplicate other people’s forms. Passing on our faith has to be secured beyond our culture and beyond our generation. When we copy forms without fully assessing if it translates to today and preserves the transcultural tenets of our faith we risk not passing on much at all.RK

  7. What we must pass on is “the faith once delivered to the saints.”

    1. Yes! And, it was a step to move from Latin. We can only do that as we “become all things to all men” rather than simply duplicate other people’s forms. Passing on our faith has to be secured beyond our culture and beyond our generation. When we copy forms without fully assessing if it translates to today and preserves the transcultural tenets of our faith we risk not passing on much at all.RK

  8. What we must pass on is “the faith once delivered to the saints.”

    1. Yes! And, it was a step to move from Latin. We can only do that as we “become all things to all men” rather than simply duplicate other people’s forms. Passing on our faith has to be secured beyond our culture and beyond our generation. When we copy forms without fully assessing if it translates to today and preserves the transcultural tenets of our faith we risk not passing on much at all.RK

  9. What we must pass on is “the faith once delivered to the saints.”

    1. Yes! And, it was a step to move from Latin. We can only do that as we “become all things to all men” rather than simply duplicate other people’s forms. Passing on our faith has to be secured beyond our culture and beyond our generation. When we copy forms without fully assessing if it translates to today and preserves the transcultural tenets of our faith we risk not passing on much at all.RK

  10. What we must pass on is “the faith once delivered to the saints.”

    1. Yes! And, it was a step to move from Latin. We can only do that as we “become all things to all men” rather than simply duplicate other people’s forms. Passing on our faith has to be secured beyond our culture and beyond our generation. When we copy forms without fully assessing if it translates to today and preserves the transcultural tenets of our faith we risk not passing on much at all.RK

  11. this is great, I hope to hear more deeper thoughts flowing from this subjects… 

  12. this is great, I hope to hear more deeper thoughts flowing from this subjects… 

  13. this is great, I hope to hear more deeper thoughts flowing from this subjects… 

  14. this is great, I hope to hear more deeper thoughts flowing from this subjects… 

  15. this is great, I hope to hear more deeper thoughts flowing from this subjects… 

  16. There’s nothing new under the sun, so why recreate the wheel? Is it possible that some people realize the limits to their own creativity and choose to borrow the creativity of those who have the luxury of devoting their lives to being creative. That would be like someone who duplicates a Picasso so that the entire world can enjoy it.
    I would never do this of course, but maybe that’s why “others” would borrow songs & sermons for their Church… They recognize the talent and anointing of a certain song or sermon and want to share it with the Church. 😉

    1. Hi Eric,
      First of all, it is a “suffering” not a “luxury” for some to devote their lives to being creative for their living. Also, I think that “anointing” is truly squashed when we do not have the mind and will to recognize it in our own city, and church pews. We celebrate the superstar, but are unable to administer these creative gifts in people who live right in front of us. Truly, is it not more biblical to mine from the resource God has in front of you rather than do the efficient thing and buy off the shelf? Are we not called to build people rather than produce events?

      Lastly, sometimes we don’t need a wheel any longer. Innovation is not about creating “art”–it can be simply being open to that fact that in God’s image we were made to create. Creativity is a value of heaven, and when we learn in our own areas to employ it we are not being about ourselves, but about how God intended us to act. 

      Thanks for joining in the conversation.

      RK

      1. “…it is a “suffering” not a “luxury” for some to devote their lives to being creative…”  For some, but not all… ;)I’m reading a book right now that is right in line with what your talking about.  It’s called “To Change The World” by James Davison Hunter.  You should check it out.

        Among other things, he believes that the Church has lost its influence because it’s turned its focus from innovation to translation (making things accessible to the largest number of people).  I would tend to agree, but at the same time, translation is not all bad.  Without it, the gospel would be stagnant.  

        As in all things, I think that balance is the key.  If we walk away from what’s accessible in the pursuit of creativity I think we lose something… or rather someone.  

        I do agree with you that we are missing out on recognizing and empowering some of the most talented people in our community because they don’t fit the mold of our Church.  That kills me more than anything.

        Happy to be back in the discussion.  I think you’ll see me around a bit more…  that is if you don’t mind me pushing back a bit.   😉

        1. Sounds like a good book to check out, for sure!
          Of course, there are “both ands” in this. The gospel is stagnant, however, because people are stagnant. The gospel is more than a simple proposition, it is also a story of redemption and “translation” only is real with contextualization. People are what is assessable, not simple translation. This is why Bible translation is more of an innovation than it is not. How do you take a story–like the gospel–and find the parallells in another culture? How do you take the logic of a proposition and incarnate it? All of it is creation. Efficiency may seem to be better, but I say it is not always the case. Before you print a translation, there has to be innovation in the blue prints.

          RK

          1. Feeling inspired to write.  Thanks!

  17. There’s nothing new under the sun, so why recreate the wheel? Is it possible that some people realize the limits to their own creativity and choose to borrow the creativity of those who have the luxury of devoting their lives to being creative. That would be like someone who duplicates a Picasso so that the entire world can enjoy it.
    I would never do this of course, but maybe that’s why “others” would borrow songs & sermons for their Church… They recognize the talent and anointing of a certain song or sermon and want to share it with the Church. 😉

    1. Hi Eric,
      First of all, it is a “suffering” not a “luxury” for some to devote their lives to being creative for their living. Also, I think that “anointing” is truly squashed when we do not have the mind and will to recognize it in our own city, and church pews. We celebrate the superstar, but are unable to administer these creative gifts in people who live right in front of us. Truly, is it not more biblical to mine from the resource God has in front of you rather than do the efficient thing and buy off the shelf? Are we not called to build people rather than produce events?
      Lastly, sometimes we don’t need a wheel any longer. Innovation is not about creating “art”–it can be simply being open to that fact that in God’s image we were made to create. Creativity is a value of heaven, and when we learn in our own areas to employ it we are not being about ourselves, but about how God intended us to act. 
      Thanks for joining in the conversation.
      RK

      1. “…it is a “suffering” not a “luxury” for some to devote their lives to being creative…”  For some, but not all… ;)I’m reading a book right now that is right in line with what your talking about.  It’s called “To Change The World” by James Davison Hunter.  You should check it out.
        Among other things, he believes that the Church has lost its influence because it’s turned its focus from innovation to translation (making things accessible to the largest number of people).  I would tend to agree, but at the same time, translation is not all bad.  Without it, the gospel would be stagnant.  
        As in all things, I think that balance is the key.  If we walk away from what’s accessible in the pursuit of creativity I think we lose something… or rather someone.  
        I do agree with you that we are missing out on recognizing and empowering some of the most talented people in our community because they don’t fit the mold of our Church.  That kills me more than anything.
        Happy to be back in the discussion.  I think you’ll see me around a bit more…  that is if you don’t mind me pushing back a bit.   😉

        1. Sounds like a good book to check out, for sure!
          Of course, there are “both ands” in this. The gospel is stagnant, however, because people are stagnant. The gospel is more than a simple proposition, it is also a story of redemption and “translation” only is real with contextualization. People are what is assessable, not simple translation. This is why Bible translation is more of an innovation than it is not. How do you take a story–like the gospel–and find the parallells in another culture? How do you take the logic of a proposition and incarnate it? All of it is creation. Efficiency may seem to be better, but I say it is not always the case. Before you print a translation, there has to be innovation in the blue prints.
          RK

  18. There’s nothing new under the sun, so why recreate the wheel? Is it possible that some people realize the limits to their own creativity and choose to borrow the creativity of those who have the luxury of devoting their lives to being creative. That would be like someone who duplicates a Picasso so that the entire world can enjoy it.
    I would never do this of course, but maybe that’s why “others” would borrow songs & sermons for their Church… They recognize the talent and anointing of a certain song or sermon and want to share it with the Church. 😉

    1. Hi Eric,
      First of all, it is a “suffering” not a “luxury” for some to devote their lives to being creative for their living. Also, I think that “anointing” is truly squashed when we do not have the mind and will to recognize it in our own city, and church pews. We celebrate the superstar, but are unable to administer these creative gifts in people who live right in front of us. Truly, is it not more biblical to mine from the resource God has in front of you rather than do the efficient thing and buy off the shelf? Are we not called to build people rather than produce events?

      Lastly, sometimes we don’t need a wheel any longer. Innovation is not about creating “art”–it can be simply being open to that fact that in God’s image we were made to create. Creativity is a value of heaven, and when we learn in our own areas to employ it we are not being about ourselves, but about how God intended us to act. 

      Thanks for joining in the conversation.

      RK

      1. “…it is a “suffering” not a “luxury” for some to devote their lives to being creative…”  For some, but not all… ;)I’m reading a book right now that is right in line with what your talking about.  It’s called “To Change The World” by James Davison Hunter.  You should check it out.

        Among other things, he believes that the Church has lost its influence because it’s turned its focus from innovation to translation (making things accessible to the largest number of people).  I would tend to agree, but at the same time, translation is not all bad.  Without it, the gospel would be stagnant.  

        As in all things, I think that balance is the key.  If we walk away from what’s accessible in the pursuit of creativity I think we lose something… or rather someone.  

        I do agree with you that we are missing out on recognizing and empowering some of the most talented people in our community because they don’t fit the mold of our Church.  That kills me more than anything.

        Happy to be back in the discussion.  I think you’ll see me around a bit more…  that is if you don’t mind me pushing back a bit.   😉

        1. Sounds like a good book to check out, for sure!
          Of course, there are “both ands” in this. The gospel is stagnant, however, because people are stagnant. The gospel is more than a simple proposition, it is also a story of redemption and “translation” only is real with contextualization. People are what is assessable, not simple translation. This is why Bible translation is more of an innovation than it is not. How do you take a story–like the gospel–and find the parallells in another culture? How do you take the logic of a proposition and incarnate it? All of it is creation. Efficiency may seem to be better, but I say it is not always the case. Before you print a translation, there has to be innovation in the blue prints.

          RK

  19. There’s nothing new under the sun, so why recreate the wheel? Is it possible that some people realize the limits to their own creativity and choose to borrow the creativity of those who have the luxury of devoting their lives to being creative. That would be like someone who duplicates a Picasso so that the entire world can enjoy it.
    I would never do this of course, but maybe that’s why “others” would borrow songs & sermons for their Church… They recognize the talent and anointing of a certain song or sermon and want to share it with the Church. 😉

    1. Hi Eric,
      First of all, it is a “suffering” not a “luxury” for some to devote their lives to being creative for their living. Also, I think that “anointing” is truly squashed when we do not have the mind and will to recognize it in our own city, and church pews. We celebrate the superstar, but are unable to administer these creative gifts in people who live right in front of us. Truly, is it not more biblical to mine from the resource God has in front of you rather than do the efficient thing and buy off the shelf? Are we not called to build people rather than produce events?

      Lastly, sometimes we don’t need a wheel any longer. Innovation is not about creating “art”–it can be simply being open to that fact that in God’s image we were made to create. Creativity is a value of heaven, and when we learn in our own areas to employ it we are not being about ourselves, but about how God intended us to act. 

      Thanks for joining in the conversation.

      RK

      1. “…it is a “suffering” not a “luxury” for some to devote their lives to being creative…”  For some, but not all… ;)I’m reading a book right now that is right in line with what your talking about.  It’s called “To Change The World” by James Davison Hunter.  You should check it out.

        Among other things, he believes that the Church has lost its influence because it’s turned its focus from innovation to translation (making things accessible to the largest number of people).  I would tend to agree, but at the same time, translation is not all bad.  Without it, the gospel would be stagnant.  

        As in all things, I think that balance is the key.  If we walk away from what’s accessible in the pursuit of creativity I think we lose something… or rather someone.  

        I do agree with you that we are missing out on recognizing and empowering some of the most talented people in our community because they don’t fit the mold of our Church.  That kills me more than anything.

        Happy to be back in the discussion.  I think you’ll see me around a bit more…  that is if you don’t mind me pushing back a bit.   😉

        1. Sounds like a good book to check out, for sure!
          Of course, there are “both ands” in this. The gospel is stagnant, however, because people are stagnant. The gospel is more than a simple proposition, it is also a story of redemption and “translation” only is real with contextualization. People are what is assessable, not simple translation. This is why Bible translation is more of an innovation than it is not. How do you take a story–like the gospel–and find the parallells in another culture? How do you take the logic of a proposition and incarnate it? All of it is creation. Efficiency may seem to be better, but I say it is not always the case. Before you print a translation, there has to be innovation in the blue prints.

          RK

  20. There’s nothing new under the sun, so why recreate the wheel? Is it possible that some people realize the limits to their own creativity and choose to borrow the creativity of those who have the luxury of devoting their lives to being creative. That would be like someone who duplicates a Picasso so that the entire world can enjoy it.
    I would never do this of course, but maybe that’s why “others” would borrow songs & sermons for their Church… They recognize the talent and anointing of a certain song or sermon and want to share it with the Church. 😉

    1. Hi Eric,
      First of all, it is a “suffering” not a “luxury” for some to devote their lives to being creative for their living. Also, I think that “anointing” is truly squashed when we do not have the mind and will to recognize it in our own city, and church pews. We celebrate the superstar, but are unable to administer these creative gifts in people who live right in front of us. Truly, is it not more biblical to mine from the resource God has in front of you rather than do the efficient thing and buy off the shelf? Are we not called to build people rather than produce events?

      Lastly, sometimes we don’t need a wheel any longer. Innovation is not about creating “art”–it can be simply being open to that fact that in God’s image we were made to create. Creativity is a value of heaven, and when we learn in our own areas to employ it we are not being about ourselves, but about how God intended us to act. 

      Thanks for joining in the conversation.

      RK

      1. “…it is a “suffering” not a “luxury” for some to devote their lives to being creative…”  For some, but not all… ;)I’m reading a book right now that is right in line with what your talking about.  It’s called “To Change The World” by James Davison Hunter.  You should check it out.

        Among other things, he believes that the Church has lost its influence because it’s turned its focus from innovation to translation (making things accessible to the largest number of people).  I would tend to agree, but at the same time, translation is not all bad.  Without it, the gospel would be stagnant.  

        As in all things, I think that balance is the key.  If we walk away from what’s accessible in the pursuit of creativity I think we lose something… or rather someone.  

        I do agree with you that we are missing out on recognizing and empowering some of the most talented people in our community because they don’t fit the mold of our Church.  That kills me more than anything.

        Happy to be back in the discussion.  I think you’ll see me around a bit more…  that is if you don’t mind me pushing back a bit.   😉

        1. Sounds like a good book to check out, for sure!
          Of course, there are “both ands” in this. The gospel is stagnant, however, because people are stagnant. The gospel is more than a simple proposition, it is also a story of redemption and “translation” only is real with contextualization. People are what is assessable, not simple translation. This is why Bible translation is more of an innovation than it is not. How do you take a story–like the gospel–and find the parallells in another culture? How do you take the logic of a proposition and incarnate it? All of it is creation. Efficiency may seem to be better, but I say it is not always the case. Before you print a translation, there has to be innovation in the blue prints.

          RK

  21. I think there are some things that deserve creative time, and some things that don’t. Let me rephrase – I think that there are things of primary importance and things of secondary importance.  
    Preaching a message that applies to OUR congregation = Primary importance.  
    (Preaching another pastor’s message that was intended for his congregation is, in my opinion, gross negligence and derelict of duty.)

    Creating custom artwork for a series = Secondary importance.  
    (If we have the time, and aren’t putting more important things on the backburner by taking the time to create a graphic, then great.  I’m all for it.  But if taking the time to create a series graphic trumps something like discipling believers, then that’s just plain stupid.)

    Example:  We’re currently doing a series entitled “WEiRD” (based on the book by Craig Groeschel) and are using Lifechurch’s WEiRD series artwork.  However, my lead pastor is taking the time to write each teaching specifically for our congregation.  Yes, we’re using the “theme,” but we are putting the time & prayer & energy into the most important areas.  

    Example2: Our k-12 programming is using Orange Curriculum.  Specifically, in my case, I’m using it for our middle & highschool ministry.  I’ve got full artwork, bumper videos, graphics for every series, as well as full transcripts of the messages.  I’m using the art.  But I’m writing my own message for the students in our youth ministry.  

    In my opinion, we are putting the effort where it’s most needed. As we grow as a church and have more people who are able to dedicate specific time to all of the areas, things like series graphics can be custom created.  

    But at this point, we need to do first things first.  Some might argue that “why use the title/graphics of someone else’s series at all?”  Because, as I’ve stated, it saves time for the more important things.  I really don’t think God cares what we title our February series.  He cares that the shepherd who he’s put in charge of this flock is hearing from Him, and communicating what he feels led to communicate.  

    1. Indeed, there is a hierarchy of activity. However, what if it is about more of who we ARE than just how we organize? Creativity is not just a matter of budgeting time to something, perhaps. What if it is about process more than product? We seem to measure sometimes what we produce more than who are becoming and making. If there were several graphic artists in your church, an efficient organization might be better to empower and employ those people to create custom graphics. These graphic people using their gifts to help innovate may actually make the process of your product more about who you are as a church. Of course, some situations may not have resources. So, it is not wrong to borrow and use other things. It is putting people first over production. After all, is not what we “produce” meant for people anyway?
      The issue behind some of this is a culture we live in that copies as a first knee-jerk response. It would be nice as Christians to be counter-culture in this and many other issues. Sometimes being “relavent” is not helping us as much as we think it is, but that is another discussion altogether perhaps.

      RK

  22. I think there are some things that deserve creative time, and some things that don’t. Let me rephrase – I think that there are things of primary importance and things of secondary importance.  
    Preaching a message that applies to OUR congregation = Primary importance.  
    (Preaching another pastor’s message that was intended for his congregation is, in my opinion, gross negligence and derelict of duty.)
    Creating custom artwork for a series = Secondary importance.  
    (If we have the time, and aren’t putting more important things on the backburner by taking the time to create a graphic, then great.  I’m all for it.  But if taking the time to create a series graphic trumps something like discipling believers, then that’s just plain stupid.)
    Example:  We’re currently doing a series entitled “WEiRD” (based on the book by Craig Groeschel) and are using Lifechurch’s WEiRD series artwork.  However, my lead pastor is taking the time to write each teaching specifically for our congregation.  Yes, we’re using the “theme,” but we are putting the time & prayer & energy into the most important areas.  
    Example2: Our k-12 programming is using Orange Curriculum.  Specifically, in my case, I’m using it for our middle & highschool ministry.  I’ve got full artwork, bumper videos, graphics for every series, as well as full transcripts of the messages.  I’m using the art.  But I’m writing my own message for the students in our youth ministry.  
    In my opinion, we are putting the effort where it’s most needed. As we grow as a church and have more people who are able to dedicate specific time to all of the areas, things like series graphics can be custom created.  
    But at this point, we need to do first things first.  Some might argue that “why use the title/graphics of someone else’s series at all?”  Because, as I’ve stated, it saves time for the more important things.  I really don’t think God cares what we title our February series.  He cares that the shepherd who he’s put in charge of this flock is hearing from Him, and communicating what he feels led to communicate.  

    1. Indeed, there is a hierarchy of activity. However, what if it is about more of who we ARE than just how we organize? Creativity is not just a matter of budgeting time to something, perhaps. What if it is about process more than product? We seem to measure sometimes what we produce more than who are becoming and making. If there were several graphic artists in your church, an efficient organization might be better to empower and employ those people to create custom graphics. These graphic people using their gifts to help innovate may actually make the process of your product more about who you are as a church. Of course, some situations may not have resources. So, it is not wrong to borrow and use other things. It is putting people first over production. After all, is not what we “produce” meant for people anyway?
      The issue behind some of this is a culture we live in that copies as a first knee-jerk response. It would be nice as Christians to be counter-culture in this and many other issues. Sometimes being “relavent” is not helping us as much as we think it is, but that is another discussion altogether perhaps.
      RK

  23. I think there are some things that deserve creative time, and some things that don’t. Let me rephrase – I think that there are things of primary importance and things of secondary importance.  
    Preaching a message that applies to OUR congregation = Primary importance.  
    (Preaching another pastor’s message that was intended for his congregation is, in my opinion, gross negligence and derelict of duty.)

    Creating custom artwork for a series = Secondary importance.  
    (If we have the time, and aren’t putting more important things on the backburner by taking the time to create a graphic, then great.  I’m all for it.  But if taking the time to create a series graphic trumps something like discipling believers, then that’s just plain stupid.)

    Example:  We’re currently doing a series entitled “WEiRD” (based on the book by Craig Groeschel) and are using Lifechurch’s WEiRD series artwork.  However, my lead pastor is taking the time to write each teaching specifically for our congregation.  Yes, we’re using the “theme,” but we are putting the time & prayer & energy into the most important areas.  

    Example2: Our k-12 programming is using Orange Curriculum.  Specifically, in my case, I’m using it for our middle & highschool ministry.  I’ve got full artwork, bumper videos, graphics for every series, as well as full transcripts of the messages.  I’m using the art.  But I’m writing my own message for the students in our youth ministry.  

    In my opinion, we are putting the effort where it’s most needed. As we grow as a church and have more people who are able to dedicate specific time to all of the areas, things like series graphics can be custom created.  

    But at this point, we need to do first things first.  Some might argue that “why use the title/graphics of someone else’s series at all?”  Because, as I’ve stated, it saves time for the more important things.  I really don’t think God cares what we title our February series.  He cares that the shepherd who he’s put in charge of this flock is hearing from Him, and communicating what he feels led to communicate.  

    1. Indeed, there is a hierarchy of activity. However, what if it is about more of who we ARE than just how we organize? Creativity is not just a matter of budgeting time to something, perhaps. What if it is about process more than product? We seem to measure sometimes what we produce more than who are becoming and making. If there were several graphic artists in your church, an efficient organization might be better to empower and employ those people to create custom graphics. These graphic people using their gifts to help innovate may actually make the process of your product more about who you are as a church. Of course, some situations may not have resources. So, it is not wrong to borrow and use other things. It is putting people first over production. After all, is not what we “produce” meant for people anyway?
      The issue behind some of this is a culture we live in that copies as a first knee-jerk response. It would be nice as Christians to be counter-culture in this and many other issues. Sometimes being “relavent” is not helping us as much as we think it is, but that is another discussion altogether perhaps.

      RK

  24. I think there are some things that deserve creative time, and some things that don’t. Let me rephrase – I think that there are things of primary importance and things of secondary importance.  
    Preaching a message that applies to OUR congregation = Primary importance.  
    (Preaching another pastor’s message that was intended for his congregation is, in my opinion, gross negligence and derelict of duty.)

    Creating custom artwork for a series = Secondary importance.  
    (If we have the time, and aren’t putting more important things on the backburner by taking the time to create a graphic, then great.  I’m all for it.  But if taking the time to create a series graphic trumps something like discipling believers, then that’s just plain stupid.)

    Example:  We’re currently doing a series entitled “WEiRD” (based on the book by Craig Groeschel) and are using Lifechurch’s WEiRD series artwork.  However, my lead pastor is taking the time to write each teaching specifically for our congregation.  Yes, we’re using the “theme,” but we are putting the time & prayer & energy into the most important areas.  

    Example2: Our k-12 programming is using Orange Curriculum.  Specifically, in my case, I’m using it for our middle & highschool ministry.  I’ve got full artwork, bumper videos, graphics for every series, as well as full transcripts of the messages.  I’m using the art.  But I’m writing my own message for the students in our youth ministry.  

    In my opinion, we are putting the effort where it’s most needed. As we grow as a church and have more people who are able to dedicate specific time to all of the areas, things like series graphics can be custom created.  

    But at this point, we need to do first things first.  Some might argue that “why use the title/graphics of someone else’s series at all?”  Because, as I’ve stated, it saves time for the more important things.  I really don’t think God cares what we title our February series.  He cares that the shepherd who he’s put in charge of this flock is hearing from Him, and communicating what he feels led to communicate.  

    1. Indeed, there is a hierarchy of activity. However, what if it is about more of who we ARE than just how we organize? Creativity is not just a matter of budgeting time to something, perhaps. What if it is about process more than product? We seem to measure sometimes what we produce more than who are becoming and making. If there were several graphic artists in your church, an efficient organization might be better to empower and employ those people to create custom graphics. These graphic people using their gifts to help innovate may actually make the process of your product more about who you are as a church. Of course, some situations may not have resources. So, it is not wrong to borrow and use other things. It is putting people first over production. After all, is not what we “produce” meant for people anyway?
      The issue behind some of this is a culture we live in that copies as a first knee-jerk response. It would be nice as Christians to be counter-culture in this and many other issues. Sometimes being “relavent” is not helping us as much as we think it is, but that is another discussion altogether perhaps.

      RK

  25. I think there are some things that deserve creative time, and some things that don’t. Let me rephrase – I think that there are things of primary importance and things of secondary importance.  
    Preaching a message that applies to OUR congregation = Primary importance.  
    (Preaching another pastor’s message that was intended for his congregation is, in my opinion, gross negligence and derelict of duty.)

    Creating custom artwork for a series = Secondary importance.  
    (If we have the time, and aren’t putting more important things on the backburner by taking the time to create a graphic, then great.  I’m all for it.  But if taking the time to create a series graphic trumps something like discipling believers, then that’s just plain stupid.)

    Example:  We’re currently doing a series entitled “WEiRD” (based on the book by Craig Groeschel) and are using Lifechurch’s WEiRD series artwork.  However, my lead pastor is taking the time to write each teaching specifically for our congregation.  Yes, we’re using the “theme,” but we are putting the time & prayer & energy into the most important areas.  

    Example2: Our k-12 programming is using Orange Curriculum.  Specifically, in my case, I’m using it for our middle & highschool ministry.  I’ve got full artwork, bumper videos, graphics for every series, as well as full transcripts of the messages.  I’m using the art.  But I’m writing my own message for the students in our youth ministry.  

    In my opinion, we are putting the effort where it’s most needed. As we grow as a church and have more people who are able to dedicate specific time to all of the areas, things like series graphics can be custom created.  

    But at this point, we need to do first things first.  Some might argue that “why use the title/graphics of someone else’s series at all?”  Because, as I’ve stated, it saves time for the more important things.  I really don’t think God cares what we title our February series.  He cares that the shepherd who he’s put in charge of this flock is hearing from Him, and communicating what he feels led to communicate.  

    1. Indeed, there is a hierarchy of activity. However, what if it is about more of who we ARE than just how we organize? Creativity is not just a matter of budgeting time to something, perhaps. What if it is about process more than product? We seem to measure sometimes what we produce more than who are becoming and making. If there were several graphic artists in your church, an efficient organization might be better to empower and employ those people to create custom graphics. These graphic people using their gifts to help innovate may actually make the process of your product more about who you are as a church. Of course, some situations may not have resources. So, it is not wrong to borrow and use other things. It is putting people first over production. After all, is not what we “produce” meant for people anyway?
      The issue behind some of this is a culture we live in that copies as a first knee-jerk response. It would be nice as Christians to be counter-culture in this and many other issues. Sometimes being “relavent” is not helping us as much as we think it is, but that is another discussion altogether perhaps.

      RK

  26. […] been reading a post over at rkweblog that has been fueling a fire that’s been burning in my heart for a while now.  As I’ve […]

  27. […] been reading a post over at rkweblog that has been fueling a fire that’s been burning in my heart for a while now.  As I’ve […]

  28. […] been reading a post over at rkweblog that has been fueling a fire that’s been burning in my heart for a while now.  As I’ve […]

  29. […] been reading a post over at rkweblog that has been fueling a fire that’s been burning in my heart for a while now.  As I’ve […]

  30. Love this post. Copy cat church, if it’s from the wrong motivation, i.e. “envy”, is a losing proposition all around and a crying shame. At best it fosters faux “success”, at worst, it kills the heart of the indigineous church.
    Thanks for putting this out there Rich.

    1. The whole question of motives is a good one. Maybe that is the next frame of this series. Thanks!

  31. Love this post. Copy cat church, if it’s from the wrong motivation, i.e. “envy”, is a losing proposition all around and a crying shame. At best it fosters faux “success”, at worst, it kills the heart of the indigineous church.
    Thanks for putting this out there Rich.

    1. The whole question of motives is a good one. Maybe that is the next frame of this series. Thanks!

  32. Love this post. Copy cat church, if it’s from the wrong motivation, i.e. “envy”, is a losing proposition all around and a crying shame. At best it fosters faux “success”, at worst, it kills the heart of the indigineous church.
    Thanks for putting this out there Rich.

    1. The whole question of motives is a good one. Maybe that is the next frame of this series. Thanks!

  33. Love this post. Copy cat church, if it’s from the wrong motivation, i.e. “envy”, is a losing proposition all around and a crying shame. At best it fosters faux “success”, at worst, it kills the heart of the indigineous church.
    Thanks for putting this out there Rich.

    1. The whole question of motives is a good one. Maybe that is the next frame of this series. Thanks!

  34. Love this post. Copy cat church, if it’s from the wrong motivation, i.e. “envy”, is a losing proposition all around and a crying shame. At best it fosters faux “success”, at worst, it kills the heart of the indigineous church.
    Thanks for putting this out there Rich.

    1. The whole question of motives is a good one. Maybe that is the next frame of this series. Thanks!

  35. […] He rocks on this post Cut and Paste Creativity: Why We Choose Efficiency over Creativity in the Local Church.  […]

  36. […] He rocks on this post Cut and Paste Creativity: Why We Choose Efficiency over Creativity in the Local Church.  […]

  37. […] He rocks on this post Cut and Paste Creativity: Why We Choose Efficiency over Creativity in the Local Church.  […]

  38. […] He rocks on this post Cut and Paste Creativity: Why We Choose Efficiency over Creativity in the Local Church.  […]

  39. Oh snap, dude. You are more right than I realized. I was doing a bit of surfing on other church websites, and found one, a bigger church, who streams their services online – multiple camera angles, the whole bit. They also had their full worship set on there – and dude, it was us. Not “us,” but totally us. Every single song they sang, we sing – and exactly EXACTLY the same way. Honestly, my reaction was “Wow, it’s us. Lame.” Not lame for them, per se. But lame for me.
    I realized that I DO want our worship to be unique – to be ours. And what’s more is, I think God wants our worship to be unique too.

  40. Oh snap, dude. You are more right than I realized. I was doing a bit of surfing on other church websites, and found one, a bigger church, who streams their services online – multiple camera angles, the whole bit. They also had their full worship set on there – and dude, it was us. Not “us,” but totally us. Every single song they sang, we sing – and exactly EXACTLY the same way. Honestly, my reaction was “Wow, it’s us. Lame.” Not lame for them, per se. But lame for me.
    I realized that I DO want our worship to be unique – to be ours. And what’s more is, I think God wants our worship to be unique too.

  41. Oh snap, dude. You are more right than I realized. I was doing a bit of surfing on other church websites, and found one, a bigger church, who streams their services online – multiple camera angles, the whole bit. They also had their full worship set on there – and dude, it was us. Not “us,” but totally us. Every single song they sang, we sing – and exactly EXACTLY the same way. Honestly, my reaction was “Wow, it’s us. Lame.” Not lame for them, per se. But lame for me.
    I realized that I DO want our worship to be unique – to be ours. And what’s more is, I think God wants our worship to be unique too.

  42. Oh snap, dude. You are more right than I realized. I was doing a bit of surfing on other church websites, and found one, a bigger church, who streams their services online – multiple camera angles, the whole bit. They also had their full worship set on there – and dude, it was us. Not “us,” but totally us. Every single song they sang, we sing – and exactly EXACTLY the same way. Honestly, my reaction was “Wow, it’s us. Lame.” Not lame for them, per se. But lame for me.
    I realized that I DO want our worship to be unique – to be ours. And what’s more is, I think God wants our worship to be unique too.

  43. Oh snap, dude. You are more right than I realized. I was doing a bit of surfing on other church websites, and found one, a bigger church, who streams their services online – multiple camera angles, the whole bit. They also had their full worship set on there – and dude, it was us. Not “us,” but totally us. Every single song they sang, we sing – and exactly EXACTLY the same way. Honestly, my reaction was “Wow, it’s us. Lame.” Not lame for them, per se. But lame for me.
    I realized that I DO want our worship to be unique – to be ours. And what’s more is, I think God wants our worship to be unique too.

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