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 March 14, 2011

The Creative Genius

Part of my job is to write. It’s not my favorite part, I like preaching more, but writing is certainly up there for me. And here’s why: Long before a sermon ever climbs up into the pulpit with me, it’s hammered out on my office IMac. It’s there that I preach it for the first time, and what I’ve found true for a lot of preachers that I know, is that this writing time is really when we first preach the sermon.

It’s a creative process, of dreaming and wrestling and questioning. Sometimes it takes days, sometimes hours. And sometimes…minutes.

There have been times that I was doing something else, driving along, having a conversation, sharing a meal, when suddenly it was as if an idea externally came into me. I remember my favorite sermon ending of all time was like that. I was pulling into my driveway at home, and suddenly it was all there. One minute I was thinking about butterfly’s, and the next I knew exactly how I wanted to start and end, down to the letter.

Now that’s not to romanticize the creative process, more often than not, it’s laborious, it involves wrestling with God and words. But every now and then something like this happens, almost as if to remind me that I’m not doing this alone. Continue Reading…

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…