Monday, 13 April 2015

Getting Creative

I recently read Ed Catmull's Creativity, Inc. - the fascinating account of the founding of Pixar and that company's leading role in the development of animation techniques in film-making.

What was particularly interesting was the way in which he describes the importance of a balanced approach to creativity that takes risks, deals with problems and is genuinely supportive.

For instance he stresses the place of risk - "Being too risk-averse causes many companies to stop innovating and to reject new ideas, which is the first step on the path to irrelevance."

He points out that if we insist on guaranteed success every time, we will find ourselves missing out on all sorts of exciting things with which we ought to engage - "To be a truly creative company, you must start things that might fail."

He also indicates how constructive criticism is an essential contributor to developing good things, but warns of the damaging effect of negativity.  "Negative feedback may be fun, but it is far less brave than endorsing something unproven and providing room for it to grow."

I think it is fairly easy to apply all of that thinking to church.  Too often we allow ourselves to be risk averse, scared of failure and wallowing in negativity.

Of course we need to do risk assessments, but let's use them to work out what risks we ought to be taking.  Let's remember that God doesn't give up on us when we fail.  We are not called to be successful, but to be faithful.  And let's concentrate on the possibilities of that half-full glass, rather than bemoaning the lacks in the half-empty one.

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