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Ed Young Jr. on 11 Statements for Creative Change

At Seeds Conference, Ed Young Jr. of Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) discussed 11 statements for creative change.

Anytime there is change, there is creativity. Creativity and change are inseparably linked. When you change, often it is an innovation or something different.

I believe that God is cheering to us, “You’ve got it! Now use it!”

Some of us deny having the ability to be creative, but that is not true. God made us unique. And He wants us to be who He planned for us to be individually and collectively.

Here are some creative statements that God has brought forward in Ed Young Jr’s life and in the leadership culture at Fellowship Church.

#1 – You be you.

In every area, be yourself. Do not try to be like any other minister. Do not try to be like any other church.

#2 – Work for the weekend.

The weekend is the most important thing we do in the church. So goes the week, so goes the weekend. So goes the weekend, so goes the week. If you make the weekend the thing, most people show up on the weekend, and you can connect with them there. Creativity is stopping something and starting something else. Why should the church be boring? It shouldn’t. So the weekend is where you can be creative. So often the small tweaks will take you to the giant peaks.

#3 – Have a seat at the table.

At the head of the table is the pastor with the food. The first chair is for people who do not know Christ. If your church is doing what it is supposed to do, then 1/3 of the church should be lost. Chair 2 is baby Christians (another 1/3). The third chair should be mature followers of Christ who share and serve (the last 1/3).

#4 – Sign up for group therapy.

Creativity is best done in a group. Everyone is a creative genius, so in a group, there is no telling what creative thing will come up. Critique while you are planning. Critique while you create. Play idea ping pong. You will not believe the ideas that go back and forth.

#5 – Get your “ask” in gear.

Always seek knowledge. Some are afraid to ask questions because of insecurity. Don’t be afraid. When you talk, there is a rhythm. You need to talk then ask then listen. We ask two questions in our creative process: (1) What if? and (2) What is? Delegation without investigation is an abomination. What if? plans the thing. But What is? investigates the thing. Also ask, “Who am I reaching?”

#6 – Hire “yes” men and “yes” women.

“Y” stands for yielded to God. “E” stands for encouraging. “S” stands for strong. The with you’s help you. The for you’s cheer for you. And the use you’s make you think they are with you, but they really use you and abuse you. When you let God take care of haters, He will take you to a whole ‘nutha level.

#7 – Get on the stairmaster.

Everytime you ask the right people the right questions to get the right answers, you will ask a lot of the wrong people, too. So you are always climbing. You are always moving.

#8 – Become a creative criminal.

Steal ideas unashamedly. Rip them off. Of course, make them your own. God gave you eyes… plagiarize.

#9 – Surf the wave.

Fade awaves are the waves that hit the coastline of our conscious and then fade away. Try to harness your creative ideas. Build in rest periods during the day.

#10 – Go through labor and delivery.

You’ve got conception (getting the idea). You’ve got pregnancy (incubate the idea). You’ve got to give birth. The reason many churches die and lose their creativity is they forget about the lost person.

#11 – Join the comedy club.

The majority of our creative ideas come out of laughter. You have to build in blocks of time to laugh and create. And if laughter doesn’t work, argue! Debate it out if necessary.

You’ve got creativity. Now use it!

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Kent Shaffer is the founder of ChurchRelevance.com an online resource created to inspire and train ministers to be more relevant and effective. He also co-owns BombayCreative.com, a ministry-oriented design firm, and AcreScout.com, a commercial listings site.