Blog Archives

Future Belongs to the Curious

The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out. – Skillshare

Skillshare is an innovative community that is driven by the idea that everyone has something to learn and something to teach. Their website has a huge variety of classes in major cities that people can take to learn something new. Definitely worth checking out if you live in a major US city.

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Creativity Roadblocks

Why do we block new and creative ideas? Why do we create roadblocks to new ways of thinking that we desperately need? What are we afraid of?

I have realized that part of my current calling is to bring creativity and new ideas into the Church. Our churches desperately need to change if we hope to re-embrace the ancient path of following Christ. I am currently serving in the PCUSA denomination which has shown a membership decline each year since 1965. Continuing to function as we always have won’t help. Something needs to change. How do we remain true to our biblical foundation yet use creativity to meet a changing culture?

This morning I read this post from creativity guru Seth Godin which was a real encouragement to me. Lately I have asked myself if it is just easier to do my job without making changes. Is it really worth it? Is it worth the criticism? Godin encourages the critics of creativity and innovation to stop with the “sharp wit and enmity” and support the creators. But it is hard for people to leave the status quo when the future isn’t secure.

University of Pennsylvania just concluded two studies which point to our fear of creativity. They made the following conclusions:

  • Creative ideas are by definition novel, and novelty can trigger feelings of uncertainty that make most people uncomfortable.
  • People dismiss creative ideas in favor of ideas that are purely practical — tried and true.
  • Objective evidence shoring up the validity of a creative proposal does not motivate people to accept it.
  • Anti-creativity bias is so subtle that people are unaware of it, which can interfere with their ability to recognize a creative idea.

We who are called to creatively envision new solutions have our work cut out for us. It is a constant struggle to help people see a future that is better than the present. We don’t innovate for our parents and grandparents. We innovate for our children and grandchildren.

And we need your support.

Rethinking Sunday School

Our educational system is broken. Culture has changed and yet our educational methods have stayed the same. We invent new disorders to explain why our children can’t sit still in our outdated classrooms. Something needs to change. The same goes for our educational methods in the church. Moving toward the entertainment model with cool videos and a kid-centered worship band isn’t it either. Just because kids are happy and entertained doesn’t mean they are learning.

So what does a new educational environment look like? I don’t know yet but I am driven to find out. I would love for the church to step out and innovate.

Here is a great video that spurred my imagination this morning:

What do you think? What will the new learning environments look like?

Boredom and Creativity

I don’t remember being bored as a child.  Maybe it was because we didn’t have a TV and that we had a huge field outside our back door.  Maybe it was because I thought I was Daniel Boone with my big hunting knife and hatchet. Maybe it was because I am a boy.

Now that we have daughters I am realizing that boredom is alive and well. Especially this last week when our oldest daughter was on Christmas Break. Just tonight Anna, our oldest, asked what we were doing after dinner. We had played board games several nights in a row and entertained them through most of the days.  Anna finally became frustrated and exclaimed, “I’m bored!”

At that moment I was totally ok with Anna being bored. She has new toys from Christmas and multiple things to do around the house.  She can figure out an activity for the night on her own. If we continue to be her activity coordinators, we will just be worn out all the time.  I think our daughters will also lose some of their creativity if we are always programming their days.  Obviously balance is the key here. I found this great article which says that we need to structure “unstructured time” for our kids. Too often we run ourselves ragged trying to program our kids’ lives when what they need most is to be bored. After boredom comes creativity.