creative adj 1 inventive and imaginative 2 creating or able to create
Recently I've been painting big pictures in my head on what it would like to see the children and young people of Bunyan Baptist be encouraged to be creative and expressive in their faith; to locate God’s story in their own medium and language. So much of children and youth work is leader-led, the children are constantly on the receiving end. I want to see “craft activities” that are child-led and meaningful - a space for them to create and not the regular "paint-by-numbers" stuff. ‘Too often activities that are labelled as creative … are about filling time, learning a set of techniques or decoration rather than being truly creative, intellectual activities. Pre-printed, adult-directed and mass-produced art work does not lead to creativity. The images that children create using these methods are not their own’ (Duffy, 1998). Back at Easter the art work produced by some of my young people was so fantastic and powerful. It was something more powerful (or perhaps just different) than the medium of words or music.
John De Gruchy,a South African theologian, says 'there is an urgent need for the visual arts to find their rightful place within the life and witness of the church.' I like that. We need a theology of art (see the work of Jeremy Begbie and his gang at the divinity school at St. Andrew's for more). We need “art” which is appreciated and welcomed by the whole church. Another quote says this:
“In opposition to the many destructive images that surround us, art, like theology, may yet offer something different, something life-giving and life-affirming, a critical view of our existence, a call to change, a glimmer of hope, an anticipation of what may be and could be” (Gesa E. Thiessen)
Creative arts which encourage and give expression to a Christian imagination which enable our children and young people to build vision and virtue outside that which is given them.
Pete Ward says 'Where artistic creations are to be used in worship the desire is that God will become present to the whole community through them' (Youth Work and the Mission of God).
This post represents some sketchy theological theory of something I want to read up on more and develop at a greater depth.