home_kidsYesterday we looked at some simple steps in developing creativity with your women’s ministry team. Today, I want to give you some tips on staying creative in your ministry. Why? Because we tend to get in a rut! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a women’s “annual” something and they brag about how many years they’ve done the same event over and over again. Plus, the format never changes! The same women are in charge and the decorations are done the same way. Can I give you a hint if you’re trying to attract young women–this has the makings of “boring” written all over it.

So, here’s some practical tips for staying creative in ministry:

1. Surround yourself with creative people. You know who they are. Buy them lunch or hang out with them. Creativity is viral so get around someone who has it and catch it!

2. Start somewhere. Force yourself to begin the creative process. It doesn’t happen by accident. There needs to be purpose behind making time to be creative. This step is not for the procrastinators on your team.

3. Expose yourself to new concepts. Look at different forms of art, read books you wouldn’t normally read, listen to music you’ve never heard. Listen to a preacher you’ve never heard. You never know what new idea will be planted in your mind and in your heart.

4. Never stop learning.  I love the phrase, “Leaders are learners.” Take a class. Keep reading. Try a new recipe. I bought a new cookbook last year (something I NEVER do). It was actually fun trying out some new recipes that my family really enjoyed. I also love to watch television shows that spur creativity. Whether it’s a show about baking cakes or redecorating a house, there’s a lot to learn from watching creative people in action.

5. Meet new people. I hope I don’t offend anyone, but sometimes we get really stuck in our “Christian bubble.” That’s one reason we aren’t reaching lost people. We’re not developing relationships with them. I met a restaurant manager who wanted to start her own catering business a few months ago. It was refreshing to hear someone’s passion and begin a relationship with someone who is open to hearing about the Gospel.

6. Carry a camera with you. And then use it. A lot of you have cameras built into your phone. When you see something that catches your eye or a combination of colors that you like, take a picture.

7. Creativity is a muscle. Use it or lose it. You will need to stretch yourself to think outside the box.

8. When you’re stuck, go exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon. It just means, “get moving.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting at my desk for a period of time and I’ve been stuck in the creative process. A good walk up and down the stairs or a short break to get some fresh air outside does wonders. (so does Starbucks!)

9. Spend time with children–either your own or someone else’s. Children are the most creative people around. They can take the simplest of objects and create something out of nothing. Plus, being around children will just make you smile.

10. Stop telling yourself you’re not creative. Over and over again, women have been caught in this deception. You are creative and God wants you to use this gift in ministry.

Tomorrow: Steps in Being Creative With Your Ministry Ideas