October, 2019 Mailing

Dear friends:

What role does creativity play in the life of your congregation? What about the role of creativity in your personal ministry leadership? I am convinced that creativity is a key to helping congregations navigate the challenges of any transition. Creativity is needed for problem-solving, for improving leadership structures, for articulating mission, vision and values, and for nearly every other aspect of congregational life.

This month’s offering of articles focuses on creativity in congregational life and leadership.

The Rev. Clara King, in an article written in 2018, (https://www.flourishingcongregations.org/single-post/2018/04/28/Creativity-and-Resilience-in-Making-Healthy-Congregations), sets the stage for a thinking about creativity and congregational life. She reminds us that, “. . . creativity is much more than simply an asset in our organizational life. Creativity is a core attitude of a vibrant Christian faith.”

In a summary article on the Faith and Leadership web site, (https://faithandleadership.com/innovation-key-church-growth) the author summarizes findings from recent research supporting the idea that innovation (creativity) is a key factor in church growth.

In an article by Brie Loskota entitled, Reimagining Religion: The 10 Qualities of Creative Communities, (https://crcc.usc.edu/reimagining-religion-the-10-qualities-of-creative-communities/), she summarizes research conducted by the Center for Religion and Civic Culture that identified 10 common qualities of congregations she calls “reimagined communities.”

Just to remind you about what creativity is (from a scientific point of view), this article by Kendra Cherry provides a good overview of the psychology of creativity (https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-creativity-p2-3986725).

Finally, for those wanting to go much deeper into this subject, here’s a link to a D. Min. dissertation by Dan S. Poffenberger entitled, Innovation and the Local Congregation: Unleashing the Creative Power of Communities of Faith (https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/dmin/235/)

I hope these articles will remind you, as they did me, that great ministry and ministry leadership requires not just skill and experience, but also imagination and creativity.

Grace and peace to you in your creative endeavors,

Rev. Chris Gambill, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Congregational Health