Summary: Why we celebrate creativity and innovation

Word association: Think of a creative, innovative organization (pause). Now raise your hand if a church or church organization came to mind.

* What adjectives to people usually associate with churches? Why is that? Is that the way it should be?

Let me share with you a few of my least favorite phrases:

* "We’ve never done it that way before" [Answer: Why not? or "There’s a first time for everything"]

* "We tried that once and it failed" [Answer: Then let’s figure out why it failed and try again]

* "It can’t be done" [Answer: It can be done.]

Are you a possibility person? Are you a person who sees obstacles and labels them "challenges to overcome"? Do you tend to see difficulties or opportunities? When you hear a new idea, do you immediately think of ten reasons why it’s impossible, impractical, inadvisable - or do you start thinking of how it could be made to work?

Well, this is a possibility church. This is not some "power of positive thinking." We believe in a big God who calls us to accomplish big things, and who gives us the resources to do them. We believe that when God calls us do something, He makes it possible. He provides the tools, the people, the finances, the skills, the opportunities - everything we need.

When we come up against a difficult problem, a seeming impossible situation, we remember that God’s wisdom and knowledge and intelligence are greater than ours. Even if at first glance, there seems to be no solution, we trust that God will make a way. Because we have an infinitely creative God, and he delights in confusing and confounding His critics and naysayers.

How many of you have ever been surprised by an answer to prayer? How many of you have ever had the experience of asking God for something, having no idea how your prayer could be answered, secretly thinking that probably it wouldn’t be answered, and then being completely blindsided when God met your need in a way you hadn’t anticipated and couldn’t have predicted.

[Example: Acts 12:1-16, Peter being released from jail in response to the church’s prayers]

The title of my message is "An Appreciation for Creativity and Innovation". We’re going to look at why we, as a church, value creativity.

We value creativity because we serve a creative God

Some people think of God as dull, boring. Nothing could be further than the truth. It is a lie and a deception that sin and and evil are creative and exciting, while following Christ is boring.

* Consider all the forms of natural beauty in the world. Who created mountains, valleys, rivers, oceans, beaches? Who created sunsets? Light and color?

* Consider all the different kinds tastes and smells and sounds. Who created music?

* Consider the method that God came up with for human reproduction. Would a boring God have come up with that? Makes you wonder what He’s working on next, doesn’t it?

Just look at the diversity of the natural world. If we want to be like God, we must value and enjoy diversity.

* There are at least 350,000 species of beetles [If I were creating beetles, I probably would have stopped at 100,000]

* More than 230,000 species of flowers and flowering plants

* 4,629 species of mammals (from the Bumblebee Bat, 2 grams, to the blue whale, 110 feet long. / 190 tons).

Consider the diversity in size, from tiny subatomic particles with names like quarks, muons, and neutrinos all the way up to the Milky Way galaxy, containing 200 billion suns with a diameter of 100,000 light years. There are approx. 125 billion galaxies in the universe.

Consider the incredible complexity of creation, not only the complexity of individual organisms from the cellular level on up, but also the complexity of the way they all interact and inter-relate within an ecosystem.

The Bible begins with the creation of the "heavens and the earth" and ends with the creation of the new heavens and new earth which are to come.

We value creativity because we are inherently creative

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" -- Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

God is a creative being; we are made in His image; therefore, we are inherently creative. This is not a matter of being "gifted," there is no gift of creativity. It is a matter of expressing the creativity that we all inherently possess.

What is creativity? Is it wearing funny hats? Is it being goofy or wacky? Is it being strange or unusual? No. Creativity is simply our ability to make something new, something that didn’t exist before. The ability to do things in a new way. Creativity happens anytime we stop doing things the way they’ve always been done and think of how to do them differently. Whether to do things differently is a matter of wisdom and judgment.

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