Emerging Churches: Creating as Created Beings

Early Christians believed that Christ’s resurrection was more than simply an astounding miracle. They believed it signaled the inauguration of a new age. In fact, Easter Sunday was the first day in New Creation. In this chapter, Bolger and Gibbs explore the way “Creativity and aesthetics witness to the dynamic and the beauty of the kingdom of God (p. 174).”

Emerging churches strongly value participatory creativity. As emerging churches refuse to acknowledge the sacred/secular divide, they are increasingly involved in exploring God’s redemptive nature in the previously secular world. They refuse to leave visible reality to those who do not follow Christ, and as a result, they are comprehensively involved in celebrating believers’ role as co-laborers & creators (1 Cor. 3:9).

Kester Brewin of Vaux, London talks about offering gifts as worship, “We create because we are created. The act of creation is fundamental to being fully human…We welcome the expression of any gift: dance, writing, film, graphics, installations, meditations, etc. (p. 178)”

All churches can benefit from this emphasis. No matter what context one is located in, there are folks who have gifts and talents they haven’t used in service of God’s kingdom. Sometimes people think they can only use their gifts for God if they use them to ‘convert’ people. I have never heard churches encourage their members to use their skills and talents as an expression of God’s beauty and creativity. For instance, I have a man in one of my congregations who is an amazing painter. Yet, we have never encouraged him to use this gift as an expression of worship. In fact, I don’t know if he has ever considered this as something that would welcomed in the church as an act of worship (even if it was used outside the context of Sunday Morning worship). I hope to approach him, and others, with this concept and see what God might inspire. Who knows what might happen?

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