Archives For Creativity

On February 23, 2012

Painting in Black

So last night at Highland we observed Ash Wednesday.t’s no secret that the younger generations appreciate more and more the ancient aspects of our faith, but it was a joy to watch people from all generations participate in this ancient tradition. And so, in that spirit, I’d like to post some of the thoughts from last night.

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On November 9, 2011

Below the Line

Christians may not always be the one to produce to content, we won’t have creative control, or even a say (and granted there are lines that we should not cross). We may be forced into situations that we are not in control of but we can still be Faithful.

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On November 2, 2011

Why I Stayed

Christians are in Exile, which means that we are no longer telling the dominant story lines in our culture. And the only places that Christians generally feel comfortable really being in, are the ones where we can still have a semblance of control over the reality around us. But there are a lot of Jesus-followers (especially among younger generations) who are trying to wade into the grey areas of our society and be a blessing in whatever small ways they can.

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On October 6, 2011

What Could Be (Repost)

Yesterday, as soon as our flight to Atlanta landed, we heard the news that rocked the world. Steve Jobs, the man who changed the world, had died. It’s amazing to see how deep the emotional response is to this news. Perhaps it’s because Steve gave so many of us the gift of being able to tell our own story more artistically. Maybe it was because he inspired us to see what creative excellence could look like. But I think it was because he was one of a few true visionaries that our age has seen.

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On September 15, 2011


This is a video that we showed at Highland a few weeks ago as we kicked off the new series EXTRAS. I read an article last year about the myriad of people who are in front of the cameras but behind the scenes in all of your favorite films and TV Shows. Most of them will never get discovered, they work hard and are paid little. And the question that kept coming back to me was…”Why? Why would anyone do this?”

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On August 30, 2011

Imagination Over Politics

Artist haven’t been created in our churches because politics don’t mix well with imagination. And when the political narrative becomes the main one in our blood stream watch the artists start to die off, or go away.

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On August 15, 2011

Provoked, Not Offended

One of the greatest temptations in our Christian sub-culture is to try and train people to avoid the “wrong” in culture, instead of how to effectively engage and contribute to it. But you can’t hit a target by focusing on what you shouldn’t hit.

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On August 8, 2011

The Art of Lament

We live in a culture where to be unhappy is a thing of treason. After all, the pursuit of happiness is literally on our charter. And after a while that stopped just being a line on some document in a museum, and started to become our lives’ mission. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for happiness. I love to celebrate, and I think the Christian faith should be pioneering the way in showing the world pure joy. But….

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On October 8, 2010


So I’ve spent the better part of this week in Atlanta, with most of the Highland Staff. We’re at the Catalyst conference, and it is seriously rocking my world. It’s been great hearing speakers like John Ortberg, Francis Chan, Andy Stanley, Seth Godin among many, many others. The Worship has been amazing too…imagine singing with 13,000 other Christian leaders who are worshipping out of a life of wounds and triumphs.

But the best part is this: Innovation. Continue Reading…

On November 11, 2009

A Theology of Creation

The other day on 30 Rock, Kenneth (the backwater Christian) who is my favorite character on the show, was asked what his favorite subject was in school. He said “Science…Because I love the Old Testament.”

Now the show is known for taking light hearted jabs like that to all different kinds of tribes, but behind every joke….

When I was growing up in Homeschool/Highschool one of my assignments was to do a lot of reading, and then give a speech on Creation Science. I read apologetics, and Genesis, and plenty of obscure references in the Bible that probably meant something else, but if pressed and taken out of context could prove exactly what I wanted. (Sons of God, and daughters of men anybody?)

At the end of my speech I had the feeling that I had definitively proven that God created the Earth (in the particular way that I laid out). Since then I’ve learned that Genesis is not really addressing a post-enlightenment worldview. It’s actually teaching something that is much bigger. But I was right about this, the main point of Genesis is that God Created.

It’s the first words of the Bible…God Created, and then the way that Genesis tells us about this majestic event is, well, Creative. It’s a poem. Than the next chapter is the same story, told from a different angle and with a different beat or rhythm.

This weekend before church a woman came up to me and told me that her mom was coming to church with her for the first time in 37 years. Which is quite a streak to break. The woman’s mom was the Cal Ripken Jr. of not coming to church. But what I found impressive was the reason this mom had decided to come to church.

She said that she was coming because she had seen such a drastic difference in her daughter since she started following Jesus. And so she wanted to see what had caused this.

The best way to show others what you really believe has always been to put skin on it.

I have a feeling that if the average person was to walk into the average church without any pre-conceived bias’ their first thoughts probably wouldn’t be, “This place is so creative.” I don’t know anything about the above video clip. I’m sure it’s probably done by well-meaning people with a great heart. All I know about it, is that it was sent to me by a pagan friend who thought it was lame.

And he was right.

One of the dangers of our Christian sub-cultures is that we tend to evaluate poor things poorly. We say something is good if it just doesn’t use cuss words or show the “good characters” drinking. But the problem with that is that it undercuts the very things that we say we believe.

Namely, that God created, and what he created was good.

See a Theology of Creation, like everything else we believe, has to be embodied.

I think that churches should be the most creative, most innovative places on earth.

And I’m not just talking about our powerpoint slides. I think that what the world needs is a group of people who are connected to the Creator God and are looking at everything from the war in Darfur to Nuclear Weapons to the AIDS crisis.

People who don’t just fall into the partisan lines that their political parties draw. But find a creative third way to communicate and enact change.

People who haven’t lost hope in the power of a God who is still creating.

And it is good.