Three “Creativity Killers”


Creativity is a MUST in Kids Ministry.  It takes creativity to capture attention and illuminate the gospel to a young mind that is bombarded with flashy, glitzy attention-grabbers all day from a world whose message is less than spiritually healthy.

We all want to be more creative, but we often fall prey to one or more of the three CREATIVITY KILLERS in ministry…

1)     PROCRASTINATION

There’s an epidemic of procrastination in Kids Ministry.  I can’t believe how many times I hear people saying that they don’t even begin to start their preparation for Sunday until Saturday Night.

Nothing will kill your ability to be creative like procrastination.

YOU CAN DO IT!  Work ahead!  Prepare.  Make time for creative thinking.  Get alone with God and pray.  Allow the Spirit to inspire you NOW for what He wants to do down the road!  It is THE most important part of the creative process.

2)  DUPLICATION

This phenomenon happens quite often in the church world.  We go to a conference, attend a seminar, watch a YouTube video, or read a blog as someone shares a great concept or strategy.  We think, “What an amazing idea!”  Then we run straight back to our church and try to duplicate it.

We hear reports of what God is doing in the church down the street or the “hot church” in our denomination, and we try to chase their ideas instead of asking God for His ideas.  We do this for a lot of reasons:

  • Duplication is easier

When we opt for duplication, we avoid the tough work of seeking God for a vision and strategy to grow our ministry.  It’s a lot easier to steal someone else’s “good idea” than invest time seeking a “God idea.”

  • Duplication is faster

It doesn’t take any time at all to get plenty of cool ideas from church leaders in every kind of ministry.  Type the words “Children’s Ministry growth ideas” on your browser, and you’ll get over 19 million hits.  There are books upon books and conferences upon conferences that provide a ton of great ideas.

Don’t get me wrong.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with books and conferences.  I’m a firm believer in attending conferences, networking with other ministries, and reading great books. However, books and conferences can easily become a substitute for seeking God and trusting Him for guidance and creativity.

You see, duplication may be easier and faster, but the problem is…

  • Duplication rarely produces eternal results

Jesus told His followers, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).  What do we “seek first”?   Is it conferences, books, message boards, and ministry networks, and then do we go to God only when all those things begin to lose their punch? Instead, we should begin on our knees, seeking for His idea that will change our lives and ministry.

3)  DISQUALIFICATION

Some immediately disqualify themselves and say, “I can’t do it!  I’m just not wired that way!”  They allow themselves to believe the six word lie that I despise.  Here are the six words – “I’m just not a creative person.” 

Many Kidmin Leaders sell themselves short when it comes to their ability to think creatively and innovate.  They have decided that God only gifted a few key leaders to be able to create and innovate.  We have turned the innovative process into some mysterious, spooky, hokus pokus type of activity.

Listen – YOU were BORN for creativity and innovation!  Somehow, we allowed society to suppress our creative juices and we began to be conformed to the mainstream.  We are afraid of getting outside the box.  We allow fear to dominate our minds and hearts and we never become the Kidminnovators God wants us to be!

We serve a Creative God with limitless creative ability!  Even the most naturally innovative and creative minds are finite.  The term finite means “having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.”  But God is infinite.  He is “far above all,” not limited by any boundaries at all.  When we draw only on our own creative resources, it’s like drinking from a thimble instead of the Great Lakes.

I believe the time is coming when every Kidmin Leader will believe in God (and themselves) enough to be able to tap into the creative innovator that lives in each of them.  When that happens, we will change the world!!

8 thoughts on “Three “Creativity Killers”

  1. thanks for this, it’s great, but I wanted to note duplication isn’t a bad thing. I’ve watched groups flounce and fail because they tired to be original in everything, just as much as those people who insist that if it’s not straight from a shiny package then ‘you are doing it wrong’. I think duplication needs to be both targeted and flexible, targeted to a specific need that you share and flexible to be abandoned when the needs evolve.

    • I agree, Kate. My point was more towards “blind duplication.” You know, simply taking an idea because it seemed to work elsewhere and putting no thought, prayer, or planning into it. But, I like what you have said here!

  2. Pingback: Three “Creativity Killers” | Worship Leaders

  3. This was a great article. I’m soooooo impressed. We met at CPC 13 San Diego. (Just in case you need a point of reference) I too thought for year that I wasn’t that creative. I’ve uttered those 6 words you despise. I had it in my head that I wasn’t creative. But you know what, no one ever told me or indicated that I was creative until I was developing DC4K. The graphics arts guy said, “You are really a creative genius!” WHAT?? I was thinking did I hear him right.

    I began to take note of things I was creative in, flower arrangements, writing, speaking and working with kids. I realize that for years little kids have automatically followed me around. I mean I can be at the grocery store and little kids will start talking to me. Then I remembered back to the seventies (yes, I’m old) when I as a children’s ministry director and I designed our church’s nursery and preschool area. That was creative and it was bathed in prayer just like developing DC4K. All prayer – all day long – and into some long nights.

    So perhaps some times kidmin type people just need to be told they are creative. And now after your article we can explain what they need to do to get there.

    THANK YOU. Love, love, love this post

    Linda Ranson Jacobs
    DC4K Developer and Ambassador
    ljacobs@dc4k.org

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