On any given week, you’ll find Rickey Lumpkin II, Director of Creative Arts Worship Ministry at Newsong Los Angeles, on his knees seeking God’s guidance.
But not for what you might expect.
“I spend time in prayer before I design the look of the sanctuary,” Rickey said, “and after that prayer time, something emerges. What you see is just a result of that connection.”
The connection, of course, is between God and our creative expression.
See, when speaking life into existence, God demonstrated His creative genius. When He spoke life into the lungs of mankind, God invited humanity into His creative story and ordained His once lifeless beings to partake in His brilliancy.
Sadly, however, since the dawn of time, we’ve misused His artistic hand for our glory.
We’ve painted erotic temptations and composed degrading songs. We’ve prostituted Eden with selfish drillings and stained our oceans with lazy pollutants.
We’ve turned creativity upside down. And, perhaps, it’s because we’ve forgotten where creativity stems from in the first place.
“God is so diversely creative,” Worship Leader Philip Tiu said, “that expressions of His love can never be confined in a box of familiar routines, styles or custom.”
In order to partake in His beauty—His majesty—we need to understand that God is the original creator and all of life’s wonder, glory and artistry point back to Him. Creativity, we need to understand, also transcends the arts (what we normally would understand creativity to be) and encompasses life in its entirety. Anything less is falling short of grasping His splendor.
Speaking words of encouragement to someone, for instance, is the creative expression resulting from our revived conversations with God. Music then becomes a dialogue between us and our Creator and the product is a melodic intonation of our co-written song together. When designing the look of a sanctuary, the final piece was birthed out of us sitting at God’s drafting table and sketching His revelatory vision.
“All that my creative self is doing is expressing what it is feeling at the time,” Rickey said. “So when I’m playing the keyboards, sure I might be playing a common song, but those notes are connecting me to God. And, all of a sudden, when we are communicating back and forth to each other in this musical worship, what was playing in my heart somehow goes to my fingers. And that relational connection is now shared with all who are listening.”
See, the reality is, we’re all creative simply because we’ve been created by God. We may express our connection with Him in different ways, but that’s the beauty of His diversity. Whether through artistic means (in the traditional sense) or by way of a simple conversation with someone, we all get to share, with others, what God is doing in our lives through the various vehicles of expressions He’s provided us with.
We’ve limited creativity for too long and, in doing so, the negative effects we deal with, today, are the results. Let’s redeem creativity. Let’s, first, connect with God and let His outpouring guide our artistry. Let’s allow God to move us into creative realms we’ve yet to explore.
“His creative works around us,” Philip said, “prove His infinite desire to see us come up with new things.”
* Find out more about Rickey Lumpkin II and Newsong LA at http://la.newsong.net