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Cultivating Creativity to Worship God

Sarah Martin

Live It Out
Updated Feb 27, 2014
Cultivating Creativity to Worship God
I want to encourage you to use your unique creative talents to make much of Jesus.

Two years ago this spring, God began a new thing in me. This new thing rearranged my perspective. This new thing opened my eyes. This new thing allowed me to see the world around me with a new lens––fresh color and awareness. This new thing started when I took an art class.

After coming off of a life-altering job change, I needed a diversion, so I signed up for an intro drawing class. I have a tendency to live passionately and throw all of my energy into projects and work, so this diversion helped me to back off my over-the-top intensity and allowed for quiet space in my brain and a valve to let out steam. As we put pencil to paper, our new art teacher, Junelle, guided us with prompts to sketch simple scenes and capture what she called the “sparkle” in the world around us. With the freedom of carrying a handy white eraser in one hand, I began to search for things in the space around me to sketch and paint.

Armed with a new perspective, I began to notice God’s glory all around me and made art from it. When I stepped out for the day with the purpose of taking note of the beauty around me, God did not disappoint.

My art was not always pretty, but I enjoyed seeing how my conversations with God via pencil, paper, paint and messy hands stretched and matured my artistic talent. The act of noticing the goodness of Jesus, the practice of making much of Him with my art, was more meaningful than the end result on the canvas. Thus, my regular practice of worship via creativity began.

You might be reading this and thinking, “Yeah, that’s nice for you, Sarah. But I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” Oh yes you do, friend! Because we are all made in God’s image–– the ultimate Creative––creativity is engrained in us. It just takes on different mediums for each of us.

You might have a hidden talent for putting words to paper. Look in your journal!

You might have an interesting ability to look through the camera lens to capture quirky angles and funky lighting.

You might be one to think outside of the box and create solutions to problems.

You might have a special talent of saying just the right thing to a friend who needs soothing words.

We are all creative beings. It is up to us dig deep and recognize it. It is also up to us to cultivate that creativity in order to capture God’s goodness and share it with our world.

This year, I’m trying to do a better job of documenting life happenings. The past few years have been so hectic that I’ve neglected to record and take pictures and journal. But instead of feeling defeated, I decided it’s better to start now and move forward. My inspiration for cultivating my creativity comes from the Old Testament idea of Ebenezer Stones.

In the Old Testament, we read that Samuel called out to the Lord for help as his army of Israelites fought in battle. Samuel erected a stone––an Ebenezer stone–– as a memorial to the goodness of God and His faithful help in their time of need. (See 1 Samuel 7:12-14) Throughout the ancient accounts of the Israelites, we read how they would recognize God’s miracles and create stone alters or memorials as a means of remembrance and worship.

This is how I’ve begun to look at my sketchbook and canvases–– a collection of Ebenezer Stones. It feels so gratifying to open my eyes to God’s awe and wonder around me (even with in the seemingly mundane) and make much of Jesus by using my God-given creativity.

I encourage you to do the same by starting your very own “stone collection.” It will look different for each of us as we all have individual creative talents and perspectives. I want to leave with you some prompts to think through as you begin to live creatively and make much of Jesus.

  • Make space in your weekly schedule to sit quietly. Pray for God to bring to mind ways He is working in your life and showing up as your help, your leader, your mercy-giver, your Creator. This quiet space will free you up to stop and think about happenings in your life.
  • Think about times in your past where you absolutely could not deny God’s work in your life, His provision. It’s important to recall these times to find encouragement that He showed up then and He will show up now in your present trial.
  • Think about ways you enjoy expressing yourself. Photography? Writing poems? Painting? Making music? Writing letters? Graphic design?  The list could go on and on as there is no limit to how we might use our God-given talents to express our gratitude to the One who is our ever present help.
  • Start doing those things you listed out. Just do it! Be brave. Set aside fear of failure. There is no failure when it comes to expressing our worship.

By collecting these “stones,” we will rearrange our attitude about our present life drama and expect to see God’s goodness at every twist and turn. It is there for the beholding! Let’s capture it!

Join Sarah in The Stone Collective {A Community Making Much Of Jesus}. Read more at LIVE IT OUT! Blog: The Stone Collective and add your Ebenezer Stone to the community. #TheStoneCollective

Sarah Martin loves encouraging young adult women to LIVE OUT! the Kingship of Christ in everyday life. She is the author of the book Stress Point: Thriving Through Your Twenties In A Decade Of Drama. Read more from Sarah at LIVE IT OUT! blog.