People often ask to if they can “pick my brain” about all sorts of creative things. Brainstorming is one of my favorite activities. Combine it with storytelling, art and faith, and it feels like I have hit the Jackpot!
With the onset of Lent, people from different parts of the USA have been reaching out with emails, messaging and phone calls. Even Willow Creek Church (a not in my denomination congregation in Chicago) contacted me couple days ago about an outreach event I crafted with meetup.com. (Click on the link to check out the class!)
Now, I love talking “faith” shop with people and almost always respond. But many people ask where I get inspiration for creative storytelling and innovative ideas. When I need to spark my creativity, here is what I do to be inspired:
Start with the Story. Google any idea and up pops thousands of images to scroll. Pinterest can help get your mind rolling, but I prefer to start with the story. Listen to the text first on biblegatway.com using the King James Version. It’s the only translation that tends to the orality of the text. Let your brain ruminate on the words for a day.
Find your tribe. I rarely ever miss Wednesday morning text study. These are my people. Together, we rip apart the text, study the story, and ask inquisitive questions. It’s funny because I thought I was fine on my own until we started meeting. It was only then did I realize what I was missing. Find a group of people to study and brainstorm with, and make it a priority.
Collaboration. Most of my ideas come to life because I have collaborated with other people. Carpentry, drawing, and engineering are not part of my wheelhouse. But my congregation is full of people who can build, plan, and draw when needed. Below are a few examples of what we have done together: a VBS all ages seed art mosaic, a storytelling advent wreath, a Christmas Eve prayer drop, giant creation God’s eyes, and an interactive Good Friday cross.
Wanderings. When my mind really needs a creative lift, it is usually time to wander. I spend an enormous time outside walking, skiing, or biking. This often helps! But sometimes I need new material to touch and gaze upon. It’s amazing what you can do with hog fencing, chicken wire, or 4×4’s.
Prayer. Probably the most important step in anything done, but often it is overlooked. It really should all begin here. So my prayer for you this Lent is to be inspired to do something new. Craft a study group, create a new idea, or simply carve out time to feed your creative soul. It is one more step to take, but it will be worth it in the end.