Moving Knowledge from Heads to Hearts | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
August 2018

Moving Knowledge from Heads to Hearts

By Betsy Marvin

In an interview about being creative, author Brene Brown made an interesting statement. She said that creativity was a way for what you know in your mind – moves to your heart. For me that means that when we are creative we build a bridge for knowledge to move to our hearts.

This made me immediately think of my family. My husband is incredibly artistic and he has given that gene to our kids. For me, creativity is playing with words. As I write, I form ideas, new interpretations, etc.

If creativity builds bridges for truths to move to our hearts, how often are we creating space for this to happen with our students?

A few years ago, probably motivated by my own kids, I put together a chest of supplies. Paper, pens, paint, markers, play-doh, journals, pastels, and more. Every so often, we create space for kids to just draw, write, mold, listen, be.

When we think of being creative we often think of art, and it is. It’s also writing, acting, music, speaking, and so much more. By definition, creativity is original ideas or using our imagination to form something whether physical or thoughtful. Creativity doesn’t have to just be thought of in terms of art, it is also an approach to faith.

Think about it. Creativity is defined as the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. It’s originality, progressiveness, or imagination. That means that creative spirituality is when we take the traditional verse, topic, or theme and create meaningful, imaginative ways to look them. How often do we let kids get creative with a truth so that they internalize the truths?

I think this gives us one of the best ways to see what’s going on inside a student. What they create gives us a window into what they believe. Spending the time to create opens the opportunity to resonate, process, pray, and internalize the topic or verse.

We recently had a retreat where the topic was Be Still and Know – we focused on doubt. The art and words that come out of the weekend were amazing. The different ways that each person… For the past few years, as we plan our high school retreat, we’ve created a space to get creative with the topic of the weekend.

Creativity is messy, a bit chaotic, and insightful. It gives us a look into the variety of ways to look at lesson, verse, or topic. It gives us a way to move something from our head to our heart.

Betsy has worked with students for over 26 years and has served at Cornerstone Church in Caledonia, MI for nineteen of those years. Currently, Betsy is the Director of Family Ministry while still holding the high school ministry hat. Betsy also teaches women’s ministry at Grace Bible College as an adjunct professor. Betsy has been married for 29 years with a son in college and daughter in high school. In her free time, she enjoys reading, laughing with her family, and date nights!