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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Creating or Controlling

Martha and I had a long conversation the other day about the topic of creating and controlling. She commented that some of her students have within them the creative spark that allows (demands) them to create. She can see it when they are pursuing an idea that demands innovation and doing something new and risky.
On the other hand, some students just want the safe formula that works. They want rules and borders, boundaries and technique, but refuse to take risks, opting instead for the certainty of the known.
That translates into much of life. The creatives try the new, explore the adventure, delight in the unknown, while the controlling stick with routines, patterns and known commodities. I can think of musicians, cooks, and writers in both camps. I can also see faith working in both areas as well.
Some believers want the rules, formulas and prescriptive advice for life, while others are content with a few verities and then improvise. I wonder about my life as a pastor of a church (really the fourth church) and where I'm creative and where I like control. The church bounded by routine, rules and fixed order is safe, but sometimes dull and stifling. We find our spot and do our job and then do it again and again.
Creative types ask questions and think of new ways of loving, worshiping and doing mission. Creative types are not bound by titles and degrees, roles and routines and are, often, disruptive. Control is not a bad thing. It's a good thing to stay within budget and to know what's happening next. But when control dominates faith there is little room for surprise, wonder, awe and adventure.
How do we invite in more creativity without succumbing to chaos? How can controlling types welcome and not be threatened by creative types? How can creative types love and appreciate the gifts that controlling types bring to the church? Where do denominational structures help and get in the way?
It's going to be a fun 2012!

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