Creativity has been used for centuries in the worship of God. We see evidence in the stained-glass windows of our churches and the poetry of our hymns. Scripture is full of examples of God’s people using creativity to glorify him, from Miriam’s exuberant dancing1 to Bezalel’s glorious bronze work in the Tabernacle2.
The current explosion of creativity in society and church has brought colour and celebration to our public and private acts of worship. Embroiderers create magnificent altar-pieces; songwriters write lively choruses; artists depict Christ in contemporary settings. Their creativity enriches our worship.
Whilst we often use this creativity of others in our worship, how often do we use our own creativity during services? Many churches have times of open prayer where people express themselves to God through their words and language. Charismatic churches invite worshippers to clap their hands or sing their own ‘new song’3 to celebrate God’s goodness. Physical space is created for those who wish to praise God through spontaneous dance or by waving banners expressing their joy of the Lord through colour and movement. More recently, some Christian gatherings are now inviting worshippers to draw and paint during extended times of sung worship. Sensory Prayer Spaces invite pray-ers to ‘speak’ to God through their colouring, collage and poetry.
The process of creativity invites concentration, contemplation and connection with God. As the language of our hearts finds outward expression in the symbols of movement, shape, colour and texture, we often make a deeper connection with Jesus than we can through using words alone. Creativity’s therapeutic nature helps us to be receptive to the activity of the Holy Spirit and if the results of creativity are displayed, then other worshippers are encouraged to reach out to God in new ways.
There are so many ways that we communicate in life, so why limit ourselves to a few prescribed forms when communicating with God? Creativity helps us worship in body, soul and spirit, connecting our whole being with God in wonderful, multi-faceted praise.
- Exodus 1520
- Exodus 388
- Psalm 981