Creativity in Leadership

by Evan Englezos

[6 minute read]

 

For us to flourish in our leadership, creativity is required. Urgently, we need to agilely pivot to the unknowns, seizing opportunities for creativity by letting go of past practices and lead differently as God leads through us. Will you join me?

 

Pivot

Pivot has definitely been one of the buzzwords for 2020. Almost every organisation has had to shift in a very short space of time in many different ways; teams collaborating remotely and communicating internally, organisations engaging and connecting online, churches meeting together online each Sunday.

For most organisations, their purpose and mission has not changed but how they work and connect and communicate has changed. 

I have had the privilege of working alongside many churches and parachurch organisations with their online engagement and digital systems through Covid-19.  It has been heartening to see and hear so many stories of positive change and stories of God’s grace and work in people’s lives.

In what ways have you pivoted and in what ways do you still need to pivot?

 

Unknowns

Yet for each of us, there are so many unknowns…

How long will this be?
When do we return to business as usual?
What will go back to normal?
What is normal?!
What do we keep from the past and what do we leave behind?
What do we learn from this time?
What do we take with us?

We are at the biggest crossroads we have faced together as a nation and as the human race since World War II.

If you know what you know and don’t know what you don’t know, with whom are you navigating the reality of not knowing?

 

Urgency

What’s tried and true and tested won’t keep working for us anymore, or at least not be as effective. If we don’t adapt now, and take this opportunity, we will quickly become irrelevant, out of touch, behind in standards, quality, production. We will lose our faithful followers to other more relevant connections, or possibly old age.  NOW is the time to take major risks, to adapt and harness new creativity.

How are you appropriating your tasks now that decisions are both Urgent and Important?

 

Opportunity

With everything up in the air, we have the opportunity to proactively set and reset the path for our mission. As we do this, I encourage organisations not to only adapt until we come out of Covid-19, but to set their sights on how God wants to position them and set their trajectory for the next ten to twenty years. Not for their sake, but for the sake of the generations to come.

If God is making all things new, how are you perceiving the new opportunities God is orchestrating around you?

 

Agility

We have learned new levels of agility in the last few months and further flexibility required in our working environments and modes of collaboration. For organisations already working remotely and communicating online, it has been an easier transition. For others, it has been a much bigger stretch and learning curve into a new world. To continue adapting and finding new solutions, we need to use our God-given creativity.

What additional steps are required for you (and your team) to become increasingly agile?

Creativity

Creativity is not just arts and craft.
Creativity is in the process, a different way of thinking.
Creativity is planning, communicating, collaborating, in building relationships.

Creativity requires you to embrace who you are.
Creativity does not need to imitate, but
Creativity can borrow and adapt. (Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist)

Creativity requires not having the answers.
Creativity requires time and space.
Creativity requires releasing control to regain it again in a new shape.
Creativity requires looking inside and outside yourself.

If any of these things faze you, then thanks for your honesty. You may proceed...

Knowing that you are created in the image of the creator, how are you reflecting Him through your creativity?

 

Letting go

This will likely require you to release some control, some dreams and plans, and some ministries which you once thought were the major goals. What has worked, tested, tried and true for so long might not be the thing you can rely on or carry into the next season or iteration of your organisation and personal development.

What are you prepared to let go in order to embrace what’s in store?

 

Lead different

Covid-19 has highlighted that traditional leadership has needed to change. No longer can the lone paid church worker do everything. There is an ever greater dependence on technical crew and creatives. We need to share the load even more and put trust in people and roles that were traditionally behind the scenes, less crucial or not even needed before. This does not mean that older leaders are irrelevant but must be bold to adapt and take a new step of faith to lead differently. For most leaders, this means their role is changing, their focus will now be on identifying new avenues and resources and giving new opportunities.

Leadership will be more from behind instead of from the front. Your role will shift to providing vision, trust, opportunities, genuine care and support, training and releasing resources. You will be raising up others to lead in front and behind the scenes. You will need to be open to creativity, even if you’re not the main creative. Above all, love and trust and empower your team.

Help your team to use creative gifts through new creative ministries and creative connections.
Take risks by inviting new people.
Provide safe spaces to risk, experiment, try new things.

Give permission to dream.
Give permission to fail.
Give permission to have fun.

Release new gifting and charge the next generation.
Allow new voices to be raised.
Help new people to step up.

For Sunday livestream services, Caleb Tan from Lead Different uses his visual gifts of sketchnoting to bless his church and infuse his community with new creativity through visual communication.

What in your leadership are you willing to change in order to inhabit the future?

 

God leading us… through creativity

These are not easy changes to make but they are most necessary for our ministries to continue to thrive in the decades ahead.

  1. What are your next steps?
  2. What do you need to let go of?
  3. Who do you need to bring in to help you? 

God is calling us to depend on him more deeply.
God is calling us to draw upon his creativity.

So ask God for His Spirit to guide you, with His heart, His mind, His eyes and ears, His creativity.

God is in everything, including our imagination and creativity.
We can be confident that our imagination and creativity is from Him and is good. 

How have you responded to the three questions above?

 

Prayer

God, direct our mind’s eye, our hearts, our thoughts.
God, open us to your Spirit’s moving and creativity.
May we respond boldly and in love.
For your sake.