The good thing about busy work is how it helps you feel productive. Â Budgets, forms and emails are all tangible tasks with tangible results. Â You might hate doing them; however, when you clear that pile of paperwork off your desk or you inbox is empty you feel good. Â To get through the busy work you just need to focus.
Then there are those times when youth ministers need to be purely creative. Â There are messages to be written, curriculum to be designed and problems to be solved that demand your creativity. Â Unlike busy work it’s hard to stay focused on creativity because it requires so much more of our emotions and energy. Â To stay creative is a challenge.
To consistently think outside the box is not only a challenge but a skill. Â To keep the ideas flowing and to overcome potential roadblocks you need to be consistently:
- CAPTURING IDEAS:Â Whether it’s writing them down in a notepad or putting them in your Evernote folder you need to be capturing every thought or idea that runs through your mind. Â Even if you do not know how you are going to use it put it down. Â Then take some time each week to review those ideas to determine how you might use them. Â Staying creative means creating a bank of ideas to resort to later on.
- EXPLORING STORIES:Â Readers are learners. Â Doesn’t matter if you what you are reading is fiction, an auto biography or a classic read. Â Exploring stories written by others will open you to new perspectives and thoughts. Â It will give you examples and analogies you can draw from later. Â While it doesn’t really matter what genres you are exploring it’s important to mix it up, so that you can continuously challenge yourself and learn from new paradigms.
- FUELING YOUR PASSIONS: When I hit a writer’s block I love to go out for a run or cook. Â There is something mindless; yet, rewarding about those two passions of mine. Â If you are stuck on an idea or need a new one, go to the things that bring you joy. Â It’s a way of connecting with God that frees you from the burden of a creative cramp. Â A true passion is something that allows you to take a step back from the craziness around you, clear out the junk and focus on the idea in front of you.
- SITTING IN SILENCE:Â It’s so important; yet, silence is something many people fear. Â If you sit in silence either two things will happen. Â First: You might discover that you are tired and need rest. Â If that’s the case go and sleep because an obstacle to creativity is a lack of rest. Second: You might begin to hear God’s soft whisper. Â The reason you need silence is so that you can hear God’s promptings. Â He will guide you and direct you. Â You just need to slow down to listen.
While there is no exact science to getting your creativity flowing, there are definitely habits you can develop to keep them moving. Â Making your creative time a planned part of your schedule; but at the same time give yourself some flexibility. Â It will stink when your mind can’t go further, but trust that God will see you through.
How do you stay creative?