Creative Leadership: Ten Questions To Challenge Your Thinking

I have some questions for you my friends and readers out there. The reason I have been blogging for so long–almost 9 years now–is the dialog with real people. I have prepared sermons, found places to visit and changed my thinking because of the encounters I have had with you. This topic is for us “creatives” out there.

You know that term “creative” is an interesting one. I like it better than “artsy” and it represents more than performing arts. There are programmers, business people and charity workers who are creatives. This tribe is an interesting sort, so I have some interesting questions to challenge the way we think about us. If any of these relate to you, please feel free to answer. Don’t be afraid to have your thinking challenged!

  1. Is creative talent in ministry seen as a commodity to be purchased or an asset to be developed?
  2. Was Tolkien right when he called us as people “sub-creators” made in God’s image to create?
  3. Are excellence and perfectionism often seen as the same with those who lead creatives in the local church?
  4. Being creative is often copying, but that is not the same as “cutting-and-pasting” is it?
  5. Servanthood means submission to leadership, but does it mean I go against my own conscience?
  6. Is it entitlement to look out for myself and my artistic vision, or is this simply what artists do?
  7. Can a creative person also be expected to be an administrative leader?
  8. Does my creativity come from my healthy nature as being human, or a faulted and wounded self?
  9. As a creative, why does it seem that I MUST create in order to be healthy?
  10. Why do us creatives “think backwards” and is that a bad thing?

OK, now its you turn to either answer one of these or create your own question! Which will it be?

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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.

51 comments

  1. O, this is fun!
    1 creative talent can’t be separated from it’s people, and I’m not sure I’d call you a "commodity" or an "asset."

    1. Yes!

    2. Picky, picky. You don’t want your music to be shlock, but slick doesn’t work, either. I suppose your effort to make it as good as good as you can might drive leaders nuts (especially if they can’t hear the difference).

    3. Hmm, rearranging?

      5. I certainly hope not!

    4. Yes, yes, and I would hope leaders and congregation would also do so (I know, dream on!)

    5. I suspect good administration involves creativity, but not everyone can do everything.

    6. It comes from ALL that you are.

    7. Because that’s how God made you.

    8. Whatever works.Though I’m not sure what you mean.

  2. O, this is fun!1 creative talent can’t be separated from it’s people, and I’m not sure I’d call you a "commodity" or an "asset."

    Yes!
    Picky, picky. You don’t want your music to be shlock, but slick doesn’t work, either. I suppose your effort to make it as good as good as you can might drive leaders nuts (especially if they can’t hear the difference).
    Hmm, rearranging? 5. I certainly hope not!
    Yes, yes, and I would hope leaders and congregation would also do so (I know, dream on!)
    I suspect good administration involves creativity, but not everyone can do everything.
    It comes from ALL that you are.
    Because that’s how God made you.
    Whatever works.Though I’m not sure what you mean.

  3. O, this is fun!
    1 creative talent can’t be separated from it’s people, and I’m not sure I’d call you a "commodity" or an "asset."

    1. Yes!

    2. Picky, picky. You don’t want your music to be shlock, but slick doesn’t work, either. I suppose your effort to make it as good as good as you can might drive leaders nuts (especially if they can’t hear the difference).

    3. Hmm, rearranging?

      5. I certainly hope not!

    4. Yes, yes, and I would hope leaders and congregation would also do so (I know, dream on!)

    5. I suspect good administration involves creativity, but not everyone can do everything.

    6. It comes from ALL that you are.

    7. Because that’s how God made you.

    8. Whatever works.Though I’m not sure what you mean.

  4. O, this is fun!
    1 creative talent can’t be separated from it’s people, and I’m not sure I’d call you a "commodity" or an "asset."

    1. Yes!

    2. Picky, picky. You don’t want your music to be shlock, but slick doesn’t work, either. I suppose your effort to make it as good as good as you can might drive leaders nuts (especially if they can’t hear the difference).

    3. Hmm, rearranging?

      5. I certainly hope not!

    4. Yes, yes, and I would hope leaders and congregation would also do so (I know, dream on!)

    5. I suspect good administration involves creativity, but not everyone can do everything.

    6. It comes from ALL that you are.

    7. Because that’s how God made you.

    8. Whatever works.Though I’m not sure what you mean.

  5. O, this is fun!
    1 creative talent can’t be separated from it’s people, and I’m not sure I’d call you a "commodity" or an "asset."

    1. Yes!

    2. Picky, picky. You don’t want your music to be shlock, but slick doesn’t work, either. I suppose your effort to make it as good as good as you can might drive leaders nuts (especially if they can’t hear the difference).

    3. Hmm, rearranging?

      5. I certainly hope not!

    4. Yes, yes, and I would hope leaders and congregation would also do so (I know, dream on!)

    5. I suspect good administration involves creativity, but not everyone can do everything.

    6. It comes from ALL that you are.

    7. Because that’s how God made you.

    8. Whatever works.Though I’m not sure what you mean.

    1. The creative in me says an asset to develop, the entrepreneur in me says a commodity to be monetized. Why can’t it be both? In ministry, I believe a developed and mentored asset is a commodity.
      2. Yes! Like a toddler in his father’s shoes the beauty we create in our art is a small reflection of the Fathers glory.
      3. In my experience perfectionism is the passive-aggressive term used to describe a creative persons unwavering passion towards creating their art the way they envisioned it.
      4. I once heard a successful producer/song-writer describe creativity as “the art of disguising your influences.” I have yet to find a more beautiful definition.
      5. If our conscience is formed by God and his word then going against it is sin. A good leader would help you avoid those situations.
      6. It is what artist do… it’s called character not entitlement.
      7. That is a rare bird, but with help and support it can be an attainable goal.
      8. Mine is undeniably the later trying to work its way to the prior.
      9. I wish I knew; life would be so much easier.
      10. It’s what makes us vital.
    1. thanks Jamin! … #1 I am inclined to say creative talent is not a widget to be scaled and commoditized as much as crafted and shaped like a long-term investment.

      1. Well said.

  6. The creative in me says an asset to develop, the entrepreneur in me says a commodity to be monetized. Why can’t it be both? In ministry, I believe a developed and mentored asset is a commodity.2. Yes! Like a toddler in his father’s shoes the beauty we create in our art is a small reflection of the Fathers glory.3. In my experience perfectionism is the passive-aggressive term used to describe a creative persons unwavering passion towards creating their art the way they envisioned it.4. I once heard a successful producer/song-writer describe creativity as “the art of disguising your influences.” I have yet to find a more beautiful definition.5. If our conscience is formed by God and his word then going against it is sin. A good leader would help you avoid those situations.6. It is what artist do… it’s called character not entitlement.7. That is a rare bird, but with help and support it can be an attainable goal.8. Mine is undeniably the later trying to work its way to the prior.9. I wish I knew; life would be so much easier.10. It’s what makes us vital.

    1. thanks Jamin! … #1 I am inclined to say creative talent is not a widget to be scaled and commoditized as much as crafted and shaped like a long-term investment.

      1. Well said.

    1. The creative in me says an asset to develop, the entrepreneur in me says a commodity to be monetized. Why can’t it be both? In ministry, I believe a developed and mentored asset is a commodity.
      2. Yes! Like a toddler in his father’s shoes the beauty we create in our art is a small reflection of the Fathers glory.
      3. In my experience perfectionism is the passive-aggressive term used to describe a creative persons unwavering passion towards creating their art the way they envisioned it.
      4. I once heard a successful producer/song-writer describe creativity as “the art of disguising your influences.” I have yet to find a more beautiful definition.
      5. If our conscience is formed by God and his word then going against it is sin. A good leader would help you avoid those situations.
      6. It is what artist do… it’s called character not entitlement.
      7. That is a rare bird, but with help and support it can be an attainable goal.
      8. Mine is undeniably the later trying to work its way to the prior.
      9. I wish I knew; life would be so much easier.
      10. It’s what makes us vital.
    1. thanks Jamin! … #1 I am inclined to say creative talent is not a widget to be scaled and commoditized as much as crafted and shaped like a long-term investment.

      1. Well said.

    1. The creative in me says an asset to develop, the entrepreneur in me says a commodity to be monetized. Why can’t it be both? In ministry, I believe a developed and mentored asset is a commodity.
      2. Yes! Like a toddler in his father’s shoes the beauty we create in our art is a small reflection of the Fathers glory.
      3. In my experience perfectionism is the passive-aggressive term used to describe a creative persons unwavering passion towards creating their art the way they envisioned it.
      4. I once heard a successful producer/song-writer describe creativity as “the art of disguising your influences.” I have yet to find a more beautiful definition.
      5. If our conscience is formed by God and his word then going against it is sin. A good leader would help you avoid those situations.
      6. It is what artist do… it’s called character not entitlement.
      7. That is a rare bird, but with help and support it can be an attainable goal.
      8. Mine is undeniably the later trying to work its way to the prior.
      9. I wish I knew; life would be so much easier.
      10. It’s what makes us vital.
    1. thanks Jamin! … #1 I am inclined to say creative talent is not a widget to be scaled and commoditized as much as crafted and shaped like a long-term investment.

      1. Well said.

    1. The creative in me says an asset to develop, the entrepreneur in me says a commodity to be monetized. Why can’t it be both? In ministry, I believe a developed and mentored asset is a commodity.
      2. Yes! Like a toddler in his father’s shoes the beauty we create in our art is a small reflection of the Fathers glory.
      3. In my experience perfectionism is the passive-aggressive term used to describe a creative persons unwavering passion towards creating their art the way they envisioned it.
      4. I once heard a successful producer/song-writer describe creativity as “the art of disguising your influences.” I have yet to find a more beautiful definition.
      5. If our conscience is formed by God and his word then going against it is sin. A good leader would help you avoid those situations.
      6. It is what artist do… it’s called character not entitlement.
      7. That is a rare bird, but with help and support it can be an attainable goal.
      8. Mine is undeniably the later trying to work its way to the prior.
      9. I wish I knew; life would be so much easier.
      10. It’s what makes us vital.
    1. thanks Jamin! … #1 I am inclined to say creative talent is not a widget to be scaled and commoditized as much as crafted and shaped like a long-term investment.

      1. Well said.

  7. Great questions, Rich! Here’s my stab at them.

    1. Seen by whom? As Christians, can any talent God has given us be rightly seen as something to be purchased? I see creativity as a gift to steward.

    2. I believe Tolkien was right. Creating is one of the transferable qualities we have as people in the image of God.

    3. Excellence and perfectionism sure can be seen as the same. But what an unnecessary burden to place on those who serve with their creativity. First, can any offering of creativity be seen as "perfect" when by nature creativity has an element of subjectivity? And second, since we have different levels of abilities, hopefully leaders will gently encourage each creative to do the best they can, imperfect though it will be.

    4. No, copying is not the same as cutting and pasting. It is taking something good and adapting it to your own skills and personality, contextualizing it to the the people you serve.

    5. Submission to Christ is primary. If we are sure that submitting to others will go against what Christ is showing us to do, then we need to seek Him about how to deal with that. But we have to be so very careful that we are hearing Him right. He may give us a great vision for our church, but what He may be speaking to us in the moment is "Wait–not yet (or ever). Love first."

    6. If we’re looking out for ourselves above others, and if our artistic vision is an end in itself, I think it could be called entitlement. But if we’re looking out for these things as a way to serve the Lord and others better, from a healthy place, then it may fall under the category of stewarding those gifts He’s given us.

    7. Creative people CAN be administrative leaders, but it’s not reasonable to expect that EVERY creative has this strength. If a creative with administrative ability is in a position of leadership, it’s important they enlist others to come alongside them to complement their strengths.

    8. This is such a thought-provoking question. I think creativity can come from every place we find ourselves. Sometimes it flows from a healthy place and sometimes it flows from a broken place.

    9. I wonder if all people have some part or themselves that must create? Is this just limited to people who are especially creative? If creativity is a reflection of God, as part of the Imago Dei, it seems to me that creativity is a vital part of life lived in Christ. It may be artistic creativity, administrative creativity, social creativity…

    10. I guess I have to sit out on this one–not sure what you mean by "think backwards."

    Thanks for the thoughtfulness you bring to worship ministry–such a gift to the worship community!

    Jeanelle Reider
    TheOneVoiceThatMatters.com

    1. Thanks Jeanelle!

      I think BACKWARDS which means I see the whole then from there solve the problem. Most leaders see things in progression then reach conclusions. Both are valid, I believe. I hope that makes sense, or it may just be "backwards" and such. 😉

  8. Great questions, Rich! Here’s my stab at them.

    Seen by whom? As Christians, can any talent God has given us be rightly seen as something to be purchased? I see creativity as a gift to steward.
    I believe Tolkien was right. Creating is one of the transferable qualities we have as people in the image of God.
    Excellence and perfectionism sure can be seen as the same. But what an unnecessary burden to place on those who serve with their creativity. First, can any offering of creativity be seen as "perfect" when by nature creativity has an element of subjectivity? And second, since we have different levels of abilities, hopefully leaders will gently encourage each creative to do the best they can, imperfect though it will be.
    No, copying is not the same as cutting and pasting. It is taking something good and adapting it to your own skills and personality, contextualizing it to the the people you serve.
    Submission to Christ is primary. If we are sure that submitting to others will go against what Christ is showing us to do, then we need to seek Him about how to deal with that. But we have to be so very careful that we are hearing Him right. He may give us a great vision for our church, but what He may be speaking to us in the moment is "Wait–not yet (or ever). Love first."
    If we’re looking out for ourselves above others, and if our artistic vision is an end in itself, I think it could be called entitlement. But if we’re looking out for these things as a way to serve the Lord and others better, from a healthy place, then it may fall under the category of stewarding those gifts He’s given us.
    Creative people CAN be administrative leaders, but it’s not reasonable to expect that EVERY creative has this strength. If a creative with administrative ability is in a position of leadership, it’s important they enlist others to come alongside them to complement their strengths.
    This is such a thought-provoking question. I think creativity can come from every place we find ourselves. Sometimes it flows from a healthy place and sometimes it flows from a broken place.
    I wonder if all people have some part or themselves that must create? Is this just limited to people who are especially creative? If creativity is a reflection of God, as part of the Imago Dei, it seems to me that creativity is a vital part of life lived in Christ. It may be artistic creativity, administrative creativity, social creativity…
    I guess I have to sit out on this one–not sure what you mean by "think backwards."

    Thanks for the thoughtfulness you bring to worship ministry–such a gift to the worship community!

    Jeanelle ReiderTheOneVoiceThatMatters.com

    1. Thanks Jeanelle!

      I think BACKWARDS which means I see the whole then from there solve the problem. Most leaders see things in progression then reach conclusions. Both are valid, I believe. I hope that makes sense, or it may just be "backwards" and such. 😉

  9. Great questions, Rich! Here’s my stab at them.

    1. Seen by whom? As Christians, can any talent God has given us be rightly seen as something to be purchased? I see creativity as a gift to steward.

    2. I believe Tolkien was right. Creating is one of the transferable qualities we have as people in the image of God.

    3. Excellence and perfectionism sure can be seen as the same. But what an unnecessary burden to place on those who serve with their creativity. First, can any offering of creativity be seen as "perfect" when by nature creativity has an element of subjectivity? And second, since we have different levels of abilities, hopefully leaders will gently encourage each creative to do the best they can, imperfect though it will be.

    4. No, copying is not the same as cutting and pasting. It is taking something good and adapting it to your own skills and personality, contextualizing it to the the people you serve.

    5. Submission to Christ is primary. If we are sure that submitting to others will go against what Christ is showing us to do, then we need to seek Him about how to deal with that. But we have to be so very careful that we are hearing Him right. He may give us a great vision for our church, but what He may be speaking to us in the moment is "Wait–not yet (or ever). Love first."

    6. If we’re looking out for ourselves above others, and if our artistic vision is an end in itself, I think it could be called entitlement. But if we’re looking out for these things as a way to serve the Lord and others better, from a healthy place, then it may fall under the category of stewarding those gifts He’s given us.

    7. Creative people CAN be administrative leaders, but it’s not reasonable to expect that EVERY creative has this strength. If a creative with administrative ability is in a position of leadership, it’s important they enlist others to come alongside them to complement their strengths.

    8. This is such a thought-provoking question. I think creativity can come from every place we find ourselves. Sometimes it flows from a healthy place and sometimes it flows from a broken place.

    9. I wonder if all people have some part or themselves that must create? Is this just limited to people who are especially creative? If creativity is a reflection of God, as part of the Imago Dei, it seems to me that creativity is a vital part of life lived in Christ. It may be artistic creativity, administrative creativity, social creativity…

    10. I guess I have to sit out on this one–not sure what you mean by "think backwards."

    Thanks for the thoughtfulness you bring to worship ministry–such a gift to the worship community!

    Jeanelle Reider
    TheOneVoiceThatMatters.com

    1. Thanks Jeanelle!

      I think BACKWARDS which means I see the whole then from there solve the problem. Most leaders see things in progression then reach conclusions. Both are valid, I believe. I hope that makes sense, or it may just be "backwards" and such. 😉

  10. Great questions, Rich! Here’s my stab at them.

    1. Seen by whom? As Christians, can any talent God has given us be rightly seen as something to be purchased? I see creativity as a gift to steward.

    2. I believe Tolkien was right. Creating is one of the transferable qualities we have as people in the image of God.

    3. Excellence and perfectionism sure can be seen as the same. But what an unnecessary burden to place on those who serve with their creativity. First, can any offering of creativity be seen as "perfect" when by nature creativity has an element of subjectivity? And second, since we have different levels of abilities, hopefully leaders will gently encourage each creative to do the best they can, imperfect though it will be.

    4. No, copying is not the same as cutting and pasting. It is taking something good and adapting it to your own skills and personality, contextualizing it to the the people you serve.

    5. Submission to Christ is primary. If we are sure that submitting to others will go against what Christ is showing us to do, then we need to seek Him about how to deal with that. But we have to be so very careful that we are hearing Him right. He may give us a great vision for our church, but what He may be speaking to us in the moment is "Wait–not yet (or ever). Love first."

    6. If we’re looking out for ourselves above others, and if our artistic vision is an end in itself, I think it could be called entitlement. But if we’re looking out for these things as a way to serve the Lord and others better, from a healthy place, then it may fall under the category of stewarding those gifts He’s given us.

    7. Creative people CAN be administrative leaders, but it’s not reasonable to expect that EVERY creative has this strength. If a creative with administrative ability is in a position of leadership, it’s important they enlist others to come alongside them to complement their strengths.

    8. This is such a thought-provoking question. I think creativity can come from every place we find ourselves. Sometimes it flows from a healthy place and sometimes it flows from a broken place.

    9. I wonder if all people have some part or themselves that must create? Is this just limited to people who are especially creative? If creativity is a reflection of God, as part of the Imago Dei, it seems to me that creativity is a vital part of life lived in Christ. It may be artistic creativity, administrative creativity, social creativity…

    10. I guess I have to sit out on this one–not sure what you mean by "think backwards."

    Thanks for the thoughtfulness you bring to worship ministry–such a gift to the worship community!

    Jeanelle Reider
    TheOneVoiceThatMatters.com

    1. Thanks Jeanelle!

      I think BACKWARDS which means I see the whole then from there solve the problem. Most leaders see things in progression then reach conclusions. Both are valid, I believe. I hope that makes sense, or it may just be "backwards" and such. 😉

  11. Great questions, Rich! Here’s my stab at them.

    1. Seen by whom? As Christians, can any talent God has given us be rightly seen as something to be purchased? I see creativity as a gift to steward.

    2. I believe Tolkien was right. Creating is one of the transferable qualities we have as people in the image of God.

    3. Excellence and perfectionism sure can be seen as the same. But what an unnecessary burden to place on those who serve with their creativity. First, can any offering of creativity be seen as "perfect" when by nature creativity has an element of subjectivity? And second, since we have different levels of abilities, hopefully leaders will gently encourage each creative to do the best they can, imperfect though it will be.

    4. No, copying is not the same as cutting and pasting. It is taking something good and adapting it to your own skills and personality, contextualizing it to the the people you serve.

    5. Submission to Christ is primary. If we are sure that submitting to others will go against what Christ is showing us to do, then we need to seek Him about how to deal with that. But we have to be so very careful that we are hearing Him right. He may give us a great vision for our church, but what He may be speaking to us in the moment is "Wait–not yet (or ever). Love first."

    6. If we’re looking out for ourselves above others, and if our artistic vision is an end in itself, I think it could be called entitlement. But if we’re looking out for these things as a way to serve the Lord and others better, from a healthy place, then it may fall under the category of stewarding those gifts He’s given us.

    7. Creative people CAN be administrative leaders, but it’s not reasonable to expect that EVERY creative has this strength. If a creative with administrative ability is in a position of leadership, it’s important they enlist others to come alongside them to complement their strengths.

    8. This is such a thought-provoking question. I think creativity can come from every place we find ourselves. Sometimes it flows from a healthy place and sometimes it flows from a broken place.

    9. I wonder if all people have some part or themselves that must create? Is this just limited to people who are especially creative? If creativity is a reflection of God, as part of the Imago Dei, it seems to me that creativity is a vital part of life lived in Christ. It may be artistic creativity, administrative creativity, social creativity…

    10. I guess I have to sit out on this one–not sure what you mean by "think backwards."

    Thanks for the thoughtfulness you bring to worship ministry–such a gift to the worship community!

    Jeanelle Reider
    TheOneVoiceThatMatters.com

    1. Thanks Jeanelle!

      I think BACKWARDS which means I see the whole then from there solve the problem. Most leaders see things in progression then reach conclusions. Both are valid, I believe. I hope that makes sense, or it may just be "backwards" and such. 😉

  12. Rich,

    Love the questions. It got my "creative" mind going.

    10 Why do us creatives “think backwards” and is that a bad thing?
    .
    Michelangelo is quoted as saying, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

    As creative people we see (or hear) the end results in our mind. No matter if it is painting, song or even a block of marble we see, hear,and yes feel the end result.
    In the beginning of any project we know where we are going, just not sure who to get there.That is the part that can get us in trouble. our impatiences of wanting the end result can frustrate us and, if not controlled, can destroy the creative dream.

    It seems the key is keeping one eye on the end result and the other eye on each step it will take to get to that end. Challenging, yes; Frustrating, most-likely; but we must hang on to both the dream as well as the progression so one day others will see what we have seen from the beginning.

    1. "As creative people we see (or hear) the end results in our mind."

      AMEN.

    2. "Creativity doesn’t mean you wear cool hats like Rich"

      HAHA!! Yes, very true and very tweet-able!

  13. Rich,

    Love the questions. It got my "creative" mind going.

    10 Why do us creatives “think backwards” and is that a bad thing?.Michelangelo is quoted as saying, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

    As creative people we see (or hear) the end results in our mind. No matter if it is painting, song or even a block of marble we see, hear,and yes feel the end result.In the beginning of any project we know where we are going, just not sure who to get there.That is the part that can get us in trouble. our impatiences of wanting the end result can frustrate us and, if not controlled, can destroy the creative dream.

    It seems the key is keeping one eye on the end result and the other eye on each step it will take to get to that end. Challenging, yes; Frustrating, most-likely; but we must hang on to both the dream as well as the progression so one day others will see what we have seen from the beginning.

    1. "As creative people we see (or hear) the end results in our mind."

      AMEN.

    2. "Creativity doesn’t mean you wear cool hats like Rich"

      HAHA!! Yes, very true and very tweet-able!

  14. Rich,

    Love the questions. It got my "creative" mind going.

    10 Why do us creatives “think backwards” and is that a bad thing?
    .
    Michelangelo is quoted as saying, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

    As creative people we see (or hear) the end results in our mind. No matter if it is painting, song or even a block of marble we see, hear,and yes feel the end result.
    In the beginning of any project we know where we are going, just not sure who to get there.That is the part that can get us in trouble. our impatiences of wanting the end result can frustrate us and, if not controlled, can destroy the creative dream.

    It seems the key is keeping one eye on the end result and the other eye on each step it will take to get to that end. Challenging, yes; Frustrating, most-likely; but we must hang on to both the dream as well as the progression so one day others will see what we have seen from the beginning.

    1. "As creative people we see (or hear) the end results in our mind."

      AMEN.

    2. "Creativity doesn’t mean you wear cool hats like Rich"

      HAHA!! Yes, very true and very tweet-able!

  15. Rich,

    Love the questions. It got my "creative" mind going.

    10 Why do us creatives “think backwards” and is that a bad thing?
    .
    Michelangelo is quoted as saying, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

    As creative people we see (or hear) the end results in our mind. No matter if it is painting, song or even a block of marble we see, hear,and yes feel the end result.
    In the beginning of any project we know where we are going, just not sure who to get there.That is the part that can get us in trouble. our impatiences of wanting the end result can frustrate us and, if not controlled, can destroy the creative dream.

    It seems the key is keeping one eye on the end result and the other eye on each step it will take to get to that end. Challenging, yes; Frustrating, most-likely; but we must hang on to both the dream as well as the progression so one day others will see what we have seen from the beginning.

    1. "As creative people we see (or hear) the end results in our mind."

      AMEN.

    2. "Creativity doesn’t mean you wear cool hats like Rich"

      HAHA!! Yes, very true and very tweet-able!

  16. Rich,

    Love the questions. It got my "creative" mind going.

    10 Why do us creatives “think backwards” and is that a bad thing?
    .
    Michelangelo is quoted as saying, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

    As creative people we see (or hear) the end results in our mind. No matter if it is painting, song or even a block of marble we see, hear,and yes feel the end result.
    In the beginning of any project we know where we are going, just not sure who to get there.That is the part that can get us in trouble. our impatiences of wanting the end result can frustrate us and, if not controlled, can destroy the creative dream.

    It seems the key is keeping one eye on the end result and the other eye on each step it will take to get to that end. Challenging, yes; Frustrating, most-likely; but we must hang on to both the dream as well as the progression so one day others will see what we have seen from the beginning.

    1. "As creative people we see (or hear) the end results in our mind."

      AMEN.

    2. "Creativity doesn’t mean you wear cool hats like Rich"

      HAHA!! Yes, very true and very tweet-able!

  17. Hey Rich, great post as always.

    1. I’d say BOTH. Why? Because senior leaders who don’t quite have the creative gene have to recognize the creative gene in order to acquire and assimilate it into the culture they’re trying to design, by God’s leading of course…or at least we hope! So I think when you have it in the culture ( no matter if it’s already in existence or if you hired/acquired it) it becomes an asset that can be developed and shared.

    2. Again, I think it’s both. Creatives recognize creativity. They usually can see, as you say, the end result and solve in reverse. So if that’s truly the case then seeing something you want to copy forces you to solve for your unique situation…which is creativity. It does involve a little cut-n-paste, but it’s still got to be birthed at your "house" so to speak.

    I often encourage those who say they DON’T have creativity, and often find that if they are passionate about their craft, they often find that there WAS some creative-gene somewhere in there. For instance, there’s a teen that I’m developing in our student ministry. He’s an absolute genius. Seriously folks, he’s in the 160+ club. He loves lighting/audio/techy stuff. We were looking over a plan for a set re-design and I asked him some questions about what he saw, and he said, "Well, I know how to create this stuff but I wouldn’t call me creative, so I really don’t know what I would do…" I chastised him. Strongly.

    Creativity doesn’t mean you wear cool hats like Rich (shamelessly sending some style love to my brutha). It doesn’t mean you have to fit a certain mold. Seeing problems, and finding a way to solve them requires a lot of creativity, and I encouraged him not to see the limitations on what he could CREATE, but to see the end result and figure a way to solve for that…just like he would in Algebra. He’s now one of the most important people in all of our ministry departments and designed/executed the AMAZING lighting scheme for our VBS stage set and it was. Winner.

    Thanks for the post Rich. Once again, "You’re an oak." 🙂

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