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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.