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Last night was on creativity, we had some poker and Olive Garden planned so I didn’t get a chance to blog and the wireless wasn’t working at the hotel. Last night Bell talked about creativity and gave a few pointers on how to stay creative. I found this refreshing to see him give us a peak of the way they think here at Mars Hill. Things like elimination, risk and tension are all values in their quest for being creative. You want to eliminate things that don’t directly relate to your main theme. Besides, Rabbis try to say the most in the fewest words, it’s a form of practice for them. It’s the art of elimination that is very key to putting things together, the more you have to eliminate the easier it is to know that you are actually putting in the time and will have good quality.
Tension was another major point that he brought up. Jesus leaves things unresolved, and he invites his listeners to find themselves in the tension instead of explaining everything away. Jesus trusted that his story was told well enough that people will be able to relate and find themselves within these stories. After all, we are talking about these stories 2000 years later.
The art of risk is a key component. You can’t fail by just doing. We need to come down from the mountain and say “hey I think these stones might be from God.” Nothing (even what we think is failures) is wasted on God’s economy. We also risk being criticized and explained how to handle it. He posted a letter that he received from Zack (Jimmy Eat World’s drummer) and the encouragement that it was to him because he encouraged him after the reviews started rolling in about his book Velvet Elvis. The last line read something along the line of “for every critique out there is hundreds and thousands of those who you are reaching with your words.” When you risk, you are not just risking what you think may be failure but risking people ripping into you who don’t know you and probably hurting you. Keep friends around you that will tell you they love you and don’t be afraid to risk.
It was a good session overall and confirmed a lot of thoughts that I’ve had on creativity and really a lot of ways I try to be creative. Though I’m still extremely new at trying to be intentionally creative I’m starting to understand how things like elimination and tension have massive impacts on the listeners. These things start to just unfold in my writing (tension is definitely a major part of this blog) and I notice that some people cringe at it but most start to take part in it and the outcome is always favourable. The art I think is not in creating tension for the sake of tension but the art is found in managing the tension and keeping a delicate balance. Swinging hard in the opposite direction to stir a pot will create tension but all sorts of other things that aren’t that beneficial, but doing it purposefully and out of integrity I think helps uncover truth because its based in honesty and not rebellion. Those are my thoughts and not Rob’s. More to come on this mornings session of “Who’s in and Who’s out: Thoughts on hell and judgment and salvation”