Yesterday I attended what is probably the most unique church service I ever heard of. It was a Creative Worship service. The entire service was devoted to unleashing our creative spirits as an act of worship. If you have read some of my earlier blog posts, you will know that I believe creativity can be an act of prayer, worship and service to others. However, I generally viewed this as something that is more of an individual, meditative quiet time. Until yesterday, I have never seen it done corporately within a church service. Most of the chairs were taken away. There were stations set up for different forms of creative pursuits. There were a few easels set up in one station along with a table with various paints, markers, brushes, paper and canvases. There boards to display the art work and allow them to dry. Another station was set apart for those who brought musical instruments so that several people joined together to play worship songs, while others danced or watched and worshipped. Another station was made for meditation with floor cushions. Another station was set up for prayer and giving with a table for donating food for our local food bank charity. Another small section was set up with note pads, paper and pens.
You may think it would have felt a bit chaotic but on the contrary, there was a feeling of wholeness. While we were each doing our own thing, there was a strong sense of unity and harmony. We were all in one accord, one purpose – to worship God creatively and to serve, love and bless each other through our prayers and what we create.
I think some of us were a bit reticent and still others self-conscious to start, but some time early on, all fears banished. Though many there were talented artists, many still were not and yet they still managed to be creative. I saw words of wisdom written and decorated. A collage made of papers and autumn leaves, simple drawings with profound messages. There were dancers and those that were just moved to dance. I was moved by beautiful music played on a recorder and met a talented painter whose pictures spoke spiritual volumes.
While we created and watched those who created, our spiritual senses were awakened. We were aware of God’s presence. We were attuned to God’s voice. Just outside the large windows in the room were grey clouds and a torrent of rain yet inside it was luminosity that was perceived. The atmosphere was harmonious with an air of brotherly beneficence so that all (I think) felt accepted and not insecure.
I had come to church with no expectations. I left with a feeling of joyous wonderment. Though I had known creativity was a way to give birth to one’s spirit and a way of quiet meditative worship and a way to serve others, it hadn’t occurred to me that this could be done as part of a church service. To worship God through creativity requires that we use our mind, body and spirit (or biblically our body, soul and spirit). We are therefore worshipping God with our whole self. To worship God through creativity within a church service requires the unity of every spirit there. It is wholeness multiplied. Can you see why this was so effective? With a full heart, my spirit resounds, “It works! It works!”