Attempting to be 'Faithful Meg'

Contemplation on life, faith, ministry, and motherhood; Knowing I don't always get it right

3 Myths About Creativity In Worship & Learning February 26, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithfulmeg @ 4:26 am

As I continue my series on providing Imaginative Encounters with God, we move from some initial thoughts on why using all our senses matters in drawing those we minister to, as well as ourselves closer to our glorious Creator; to some myths that tend to come along with the term “creativity”.  I’d love to hear some other myths you’ve come across when it comes to the word creativity.

 

Myth #1 Creativity is Synonymous with Artsy.  

That is, what is often considered to be artsy.  Things that are pretty, involve craft kits, and that would be the envy of everyone on Pinterest.

Confession:  I don’t even have Pinterest envy, because I’ve been to scared to even go near Pinterest out of my fear of being overwhelmed by all the ideas I know I couldn’t accomplish.

Creativity doesn’t have to be pretty to have an impact.  As far as I’m concerned, the messier, the better!  It’s about using our imaginations to problem solve, and to discover was to ensure that learning and worship are interactive and engaging in ways that go beyond words- but it doesn’t have to be the perfect drama production, neat little craft kits, or a beautiful mural.  It doesn’t mean that something should be overly elaborate requiring fancy supplies.  Creativity is at its best when we turn ordinary objects and use them in not so ordinary ways.  This can be in games, lesson illustrations, or even in worship practices.  Just because you hear the word creativity- that doesn’t always mean its time to pull out the art supplies.  Sometimes, yes! I hope that we all utilize visual arts in our ministries, but creativity is not just about art projects.

 

Myth #2 Creativity is Girly 

First of all, I think that we need to stretch our definitions of masculinity, and the Church should be a safe place for guys to feel safe not to have to live up to what mainstream media deems “appropriate masculine behavior”  However, this ties into the first myth about creativity and artistry.  We can find engaging ways to utilize the senses- and even use art projects that relate to the ladies and the gents without taking the guys too far out of their comfort zones that they disengage!

 

Myth #3 Creativity in Teaching is Only for Kids

As we work with teens and adults, we assume that as they grow in the ability to handle abstract thoughts, the need for hands-on learning is no longer needed.  Just because the ability to handle abstract thoughts exists, it doesn’t mean that simply listening to sermons and reading texts will be the strongest learning method for all that we are serving.  When we use the senses all we teach can then be solidified and have a longer lasting impact on all- kids, teens, and adults alike!

 

Are there any other myths about creativity in learning & worship that you would add to this list? 

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Providing Imaginative Encounters with God Series Intro! February 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithfulmeg @ 7:14 pm

I recently had the honor to share some thoughts about providing imaginative encounters with God at Youth Cartel’s Open Boston.  (More thoughts on that great experience in later posts) Since my slides were more of a guide for me to stay on track giving my presentation, I am fleshing out the sections of my presentation in a series of blog posts on the topic! Here’s what I hope to explore in this series:

~Myths about creativity in learning & worship

~ Scriptural examples of multi-sensory teaching and worship

~Great resources to help with the WHY we should engage the senses beyond just written and spoken word

~Some important Do’s and Don’t’s to consider as we engage our students and congregations

~A forum of great ideas that have been shared and experienced in a variety of settings over the years (most recently at the Open Boston Seminar I led)

 

My mission to empower ministry leaders to take steps in towards engaging their faith communities with imaginative learning and worship has its roots in my childhood.  I was blessed to be brought up in the liturgical traditions of the Episcopal church, where I truly think all the sitting, standing, kneeling etc.  was exactly the type of environment which allowed me to engage with what was going on in church in meaningful ways from a young age.  We didn’t do all the singing all at once, and then have to sit and listen to one person talk up front for the rest of the service.  We sang, we prayed with congregational responses, we heard scripture (again with more congregational responses). We stood, we sat, we knelt.  The Gospel text was read from the middle of the center aisle.   I was known as a little one to even start dancing in the aisle during hymns- and people let me!   At the church I attended in middle and high school, the prayers were led from the center of the sanctuary, not from the front.  We also had the occasional  use of incense – truly helping all of our senses to be engaged in our worship experiences.   The place I grew up learning about God the most was at a Christian summer camp where staff and campers alike spent time learning about God through creation, through community, and utilizing all the of the creative means we had access to being at a great camp facility!  As I’ve grown, I have been extremely blessed to discover myself in different communities filled with people who have wonderful imaginations that help them discover ways for others to experience all that God has for us in the five senses we’ve been blessed with in addition to the written and spoken word.  The list of amazing mentors who have helped shape my understanding on this topic goes on for days. I can’t take too much credit for all of this, but to praise God for allowing me to find the right ministry and educational partners for the right seasons of my life!

 

When our whole beings are able to sense the wonders of our glorious Creator- how much more heartfelt would our worship be?  

When we are able to experience the love of Christ with fresh perspectives that go beyond words-

how much deeper could our walk with Jesus become?

 Join me in this great conversation!

 

Attempting a “Faithful Comeback” to the blog! February 11, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithfulmeg @ 10:41 pm

Well… that was a long hiatus from writing, honestly, I do miss it quite a bit.  Later in this week, I will begin a new blog series based on what I taught in a workshop at Open Boston this past weekend.  Right now, I want to give a brief update on what’s been going on leading up to me finally re-launching this blog.

Jumping into the world of actually feeling like a “grown-up”

Masters degree, turning 30, taking a temporary (but not as temporary as expected) aquatics director position at a local Y.  I became an official member of the local Young Life volunteer Leadership team.  I got a few more chances to preach at my church while my Pastor was away.  I am connecting with New England Regional Leaders with the National Network of Youth Ministry.   My husband and I just bought a house (!) and I’ve been blessed with the honor of being part of the speaking team at Open Boston this year.  All while still serving in my part time ministry position! I was so worried about what to do after graduating seminary not having to spend hours on trains, in my car, in class, reading, and writing papers, I think I overcompensated a bit.  I’m working that out now, and figuring out a better balance.  Trying to do a better job of following my own advice I wrote in previous posts.  That being said, I have also generated a better sense of vision for this blog, and how I could it as a resource for others on this journey of a life of following Jesus, especially (but not limited to) those in ministry!  Here’s some thoughts on what I want to write about in the months to come- any suggestions or offers of guest posts welcome!  Also- if you want a guest post for your blog- don’t hesitate to ask!

Coming up on the blog:

Imaginative Encounters with God: A Series on Multi-sensory learning and worship

Dealing with Trauma in the Midst of Ministry:  How can we be best prepared to support students and families in our ministries who are dealing with trauma.

Revised and Continued Reflections on the Events surrounding the Boston Marathon Bombings

My leap into the world of Young Life ministry!

Thoughts on the unique small-church nature of ministry in old New England churches.

Any other suggestions?