Thursday, September 23, 2010


Reading about creativity (or the lack of it?) in Singapore. There's some arguments and so on about the educational system, etc. Of course, there's the need to define what's creativity in the first place, but I think I'll go by the layman's assumption that creativity is the ability to come up with original innovative ideas to solve problems, and/or create new works of art, things, etc.

You can be creative in pretty much any sector (creativity + IT = Apple e.g... or advertisments etc...).

Anyway, one argument that blames the 'we-ness' of Asian cultures as putting down the individuality... well, I find that argument a bit flawed, 'cos ... if you consider Japan for e.g., its society emphasizes so much on fitting into the norm.. but still, you can't beat the creativity of the Japanese for so many things - e.g. manga, manufacturing and the like.

Just think that it's more about the willingness to let people time and space to explore and suggest solutions.

Thinking about ministry in church... we too can be creative. I think, if you read the book of Acts, you find people serving in the church in so many ways - and making a big impact for God in their own spheres of influence.

And I also say this on a personal level, because I recently heard from a brother how he really wanted to belong in church, but because he felt left out... he is now not in any church. Which is a pity, because he really does have a great creative talent that could have extended the kingdom of God. I think we have to watch out that we don't shoehorn our sheep into certain structures of ministry, but teach them discipleship in the heart, and then after that, help them find the ways that God made them to serve in.

Not like... say, going through the 'normal' channels of being a CL, UL, SDL, etc. Or bringing in lots of people only. That's too narrow a definition of discipleship. We wrongly label the swimming pool as the ocean, and then wonder why people are so dissatisfied with the 'ocean' and leave for other shores. We, in Dorothy Sayer's words, very efficiently pare the claws of the Lion of Judah and certify Him as a safe lap-cat for pious old ladies.

But if we help them see the ocean of God's truth as it really is - to "have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God...."

It's about learning to become a disciple and "whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

Creativity. Not just, as Edward De Bono wisely says, doing things differently, but seeing how we can add value by doing it another way. And I think we can do our best to be creative - in ministry, in discipleship, in work, at home, etc. Creative even in seeking God. Like how Zaccheus the tax-collector wanted to see Jesus, but being shorter than the crowd, had to resort to creative means. (I think he was already 'creative' with the taxes that he collected from his own people... but this time he used his creativity for a better purpose.)  He climbed up a tree to look at Jesus... and the rest is history. :)

Incidentally, the Bible has many examples of ordinary people being creative for God. Bezalus the craftsman, Jacob the shepherd, Isaiah the prophet... Dorcas the seamstress... the brothers who lowered Paul in a basket from city walls... and oh yes, David the shepherd-boy who pwned Goliath with a stone... boomz headshot!!!epic!!1! =)

Yup... just a rambling thought =)

1 comment:

Huanyan said...

I think this topic is very interesting. And I think Singaporeans do express their creativity in their own ways, other than what people would normally expect (e.g. using tissue papers to chope seats...).

The key issue I supposed is not really building creativity into the church, but really how do we disciple our members to think about the various issues in church and figure how to address these issues within biblical parameters. It is easy to be just creative, but it takes more to be creative within a limited boundary. That I would say is a much more higher discipline and more difficult to be discipled upon.

We will also need to look out too for the motives. It's easy to say that we need creativity, but I once learned that it is a different thing saying we want to be creative in the name of God and saying we want to be creative for God. People should be encouraged to use their creativity to solve and address issues, but this part is one that will continually be surfaced if we are not vigilant.