Unlocking Creativity | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
September 2017

Unlocking Creativity

By Betsy Marvin

I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity lately. I’ve read that we cultivate meaning when we are creating. I know that the creative process is messy, chaotic, insightful, and wonderful. I understand that creating takes time we often don’t feel we have and I’ve heard that creativity is the way that something travels from our minds to our hearts.

We can see sunsets and giraffes and know that God is creative. But, often, when we think of ourselves, creative isn’t a word we use. I heard recently that most people stopped believing they had creative ability in elementary school. A teacher or a fellow student criticized their artwork and in that moment, they became defined by those words. Many have vowed to never put themselves out there again. Creating anything involves vulnerability and for so many it’s just not something they are willing to do. Yet, when we are creating we are cultivating meaning. (Brene Brown)

Yet, what if creativity is a way that a truth travels from the head to the heart? Not the only way, but a way.

How about you? Would you say you are creative? Why or why not? If not, when did you decide that you weren’t creative?

Some people are proud they are creatives

As we seek to help students to understand truths, how often do we encourage them to get creative with the truths so that they internalize them?

Memorizing verses is a bit lost today, and my class was struggling to get their verse memorized. In class, I asked the group of students to take a couple verses and get creative with them. They were struggling to memorize verses and I wondered if we actually tried to illustrate or at least rework the verses if they would internalize the verse and therefore at least internalize the message of the verses.

It was interesting to watch. One looked up Pinterest and copied and idea she found there. One got to work but kept her paper completely covered as she worked. Another just got the job done and went to work on something else, and the other three openly tried to get creative as they processed the verses – one in picture form and two in word form.

We cultivate meaning when we are creating.

What about you? When was the last time you allowed yourself space to create beyond the next small group questions or message for Sunday? Although this is creating, I’d love to push you to think beyond work.

So grab some crayons from your kids, go buy a really great journal with paper you can’t wait to write on, grab a camera and look at your world through a new lens, allow yourself to create.

We were created in his image and he is one creative God.

You are creative.

You have a contribution to make.

You can help unlock the creativity in your students.

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!