crayonsWow. I can’t believe it’s October and I haven’t blogged since the first day of school. That’s called “really behind”! But between five regional training events, my daughter’s volleyball schedule and everything in between, I’ve been a little lax in keeping up!

So, to make up for lost time, my hope is to spend the next few days downloading some things I’ve been working on. I’m teaching at the 2011 Texas Leadership Forum next February and I’ve been developing four new topics. Today, I’ll share with you some simple concepts on developing creativity in your women’s ministry.

Now, before you make the comment, “I’m not creative”, I want to remind you that you were made in the image of God and He is the ultimate Creator. Everyone can be creative. It just may manifest itself in different ways.

First, the secret to creative thinking is to start with the problem or challenge. Turn those challenges into opportunities. After that, creative ideas will surely come. What are your ministry challenges? Can’t get younger women involved? Not sure you’re getting women involved in prayer? Do your women need to be challenged to share their faith? Begin with one topic and follow these steps with your ministry team. (Creativity is best done in collaboration–not in solitude!)

1. Generate ideas. Lots of ideas. Put up large pieces of paper and write them all down. At this point, don’t allow feedback. You just want as many ideas as you can think of.

2. Prohibit criticism when generating ideas. This is not the time to shoot down an idea or give reasons why it won’t work. (or you don’t have money for it)

3. Do not stop at the first good idea. Someone may suggest a good idea right at the first. That’s great! But don’t stop there! Most of the “first ideas” are “obvious ideas.”

4. After you generate the list, pick the top five. Give each idea a “score”. I’ve been in groups when we used the “fist to five” method. Everyone made a fist if they didn’t like it and five fingers meant it was at the top. We even decided to “flush” an idea if we really didn’t like it.

5. Keep a file or notebook of ideas. You never know when you might need to revisit the ideas that were given.

6. Provide a creative atmosphere. Use objects that are colorful. Be in an image-rich environment. Go outside and get some fresh air. Whatever you do, you want the creative process to keep flowing.

Tomorrow’s blog: Tips For Staying Creative.