BY: JAYSON EVANS
The creation story, in Genesis, shows us how creative God is. Like an artist putting brush to canvas, a world of spectacular beauty was created. We serve a creative God, who uses extremely creative methods to show us who He is and how He loves us.
With that being said, we have tremendous opportunities to add creative elements to our weekly services that can inspire, teach and point people toward Christ.
What do I mean when I say “creative elements?” Simply put, anything that might be added to your service in addition to your normal schedule. This could be doing a special song to open service, or adding countdown videos. It could be a sermon bumper or video announcements. It could be a spoken word or live painting...I think you get the idea.
Knowing that there are virtually limitless creative ideas and elements to implement, I just want to share a few things I’ve learned when adding creative elements to a student service.
Do Something That Fits Your Culture:
First and foremost, when adding creative elements, do something that fits the culture of your ministry and students. In much the same way that you will speak to students in a way that connects culturally, you must do the same with creative elements.
Find creative elements that will appeal to your students. What style of music are they drawn too? What TV shows or movies do they watch? As the student leader, you have a great understanding of how to reach your students. Use that same understanding when developing creative elements for your service. Make sure it connects to your students.
Allow Your Students to Take the Lead:
I remember being the student leader who did everything. Every week, I was on the latter hanging lights. Every week, I was the one trying to set the sound and then run up to play drums. Needless to say, I had my hand in everything...perhaps like many of you.
Then, one night, during setup, it hit me; “these students need to take the lead.” That evening was the last evening I ever led set-up or tear-down. Within a couple of months, we had an entire team of students devoted to it. About that same time, we trained a couple of student sound engineers, meaning I didn’t have to run back and forth. Admittedly, all of this was originally done for selfish reasons, but I quickly saw how valuable involving your students is. Soon, they were starring in our countdown videos, leading worship, announcements and more.
If we can empower our students to act and think creatively in our services, you will be amazed how much ownership they take. And, they will love every minute of it. It won’t be work, like it might have been for you; it will be fun.
Nothing Creative Can Be a Substitute for Pointing People to Christ:
While adding all these awesome creative elements to your weekly services, remember why you are in ministry. To point people to the saving power of Jesus Christ. It’s not hard to get so lost in creative work that we lose sight of what we are really doing. Looking back on my time as a student leader, I can think of several fun or great creative elements that really had no spiritual significance at all.
In developing creative works that help point people to Christ, using scripture and Biblical teaching in your videos or art is a great way to make sure you are pointing students in the right direction. Sometimes, if we are not careful, we can be so artistic that the message gets lost. Make every effort possible to keep this from happening.
Sure, you will have funny videos, non-spiritual elements and such, but when it really comes down to it, make sure that your kids remember hearing and seeing about Christ over anything else you might do creatively.
This list of things I’ve learned it definitely from a broad perspective, but I believe each of these three things can serve as a foundation for how you might bring creative elements into your ministries. By developing to fit your culture, training students and pointing people to Christ, we can develop a creative ministry that brings people closer to Jesus.
Resources for Creative Ideas and Elements:
Jayson Evans is the Media Director for the Oklahoma Assemblies of God District Council. He is also the founder of the CREATE:initiative. The CREATE:initiative serves to connect and resource Creatives in the Local Church. Jayson also serves as the Director of Media/Production for Century Leadership. Be sure to stay connected with Jayson through his blog – Worthwhile Thoughts.
// Twitter: @jaysonevans