#20 Cultivating Creativity

Jerrod McDaniel embraced his wild imagination at a young age and never let go. While a part of the college ministry at First Baptist Church Sunnyvale, he felt God drawing him into full-time ministry, and, before he knew it, he found himself serving in more ministries than he could count — teaching, leading student ministry, college ministry, drama ministry, video production and scaring teenagers in a gorilla costume. Currently, he serves as the Creative Director for c|life Church. Jerrod hopes to take the creative ministry in his community to new heights.

Creative Director

A Creative Director in a church fosters creativity and initiates collaboration. Sometimes that is for creative elements during a worship service to enhance a message or making videos or social media posts.  

Church Vs. Artist

Creativity Has been stigmatized and put in a box. The problem is that we relegate the arts to one message, the Gospel, and to one department, youth and a children. Pastors don’t see the need for it. Sometimes we do this out of fear.

When we do this, we isolate artists and, because we don’t take them seriously, they don’t take us or our message seriously.

Artsy History

The church used to be on the forefront of the arts. Look at the Renaissance, for example. Artistic excellence was being created in the church and through the church, and, really, it was influencing culture.

Now the church often just tries to imitate popular culture, and often we don’t do it very well.

Finding Balance

It’s a balance. As Christians, we don’t want to offend people for the sake of being provocative and in turn lose our message. But, we also don’t want our art to seem fake and inauthentic.  We have to trust the Holy Spirit to guide us when He tells us to do this or don’t put this in there. I think we need to heed those warnings.

Using Testimonies

The biggest mistake you can make in this whole thing is to try to rush this process! A lot of churches set up a camera record “Joe” over here, let him just stare at the camera and tell his story. But there has to be more. Here are some tips:

  1. Cultivate a relationship with the person sharing their story.
  2. If it’s a video, use “B Roll,” which are pictures or film of the subject just living their lives or in a setting. This will help make the story more interesting than just staring at a face.
  3. Make sure to edit. This is true both on tape or if they are giving their story in person. Everyone can benefit from editing.   

Cultivating Creativity

It doesn’t matter if you, yourself, are creative, there are creative people in your congregation! Find them, invite them and the worship leaders to sit talk about sermons coming up, and come up with creative ways to enhance your message! You don’t have to do it alone, but you do have to do it on purpose! Collaboration is everything! For it to work you are going to have to plan services months in advance, but the benefits will far outweigh the effort.

Resources Mentioned:

Jerrod McDaniel Online

Johnny Power Video Blog

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Photo by See-ming Lee / CC BY



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