My friend, and former ministry parter, Dave Tilma started blogging a while back. I added him to my side bar for those who want to visit regularly and don't utilize RSS feeds. Today I'm stealing a post of his for the first time. had a great post outline some principles for getting in the "flow" of creativity within a ministry context. Take a look or see the reprint below:

Steve Pavlina recently shared his seven rules for maximizing your creative output. Learning creativity is possible. So the next time your ministry needs to be creative, consider the following rules

  1. Define a clear purpose.
    Decide what you want to create and why. Don’t overqualify your purpose. You need enough clarity to give yourself a direction but not so much as to put yourself in a box. You purpose should be an arrow, not a container. Adding too many constraints can stunt your creativity by limiting your options.
  2. Identify a compelling motive.
    In addition to a goal for your creative session, you need a reason to be creative. Why does this task matter to you personally? What difference will it make if you can be creative? Why do you care? The more compelling the motive, the more likely you are to summon high levels of creativity.
  3. Architect a worthy challenge.
    To awaken your full creative potential, the difficulty of your creative endeavor must fall within a certain challenge spectrum. On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is trivially easy and 10 is impossible, I’d say the optimal creative range is 5-9 with a 7-8 being ideal. Tackling something that’s too easy is like strength training with weights that are too light. It’s mind-numbingly boring and won’t produce results. Being properly challenged is more fun, helps you grow, and yields a meaningful sense of accomplishment.
  4. Provide a conducive environment.
    The optimal environment varies from person to person, so you’ll need to experiment to find what works best for you. Different workspace layouts can have a noticeable effect on your creative output.
  5. Allocate a committed block of time.
    Imagine your mind is like a computer. The more you can take advantage of the computer’s resources, the more creativity you harness. To free up the most resources for your creative task, you first need to unload all nonessential processes. It’s better to allocate too much time than too little. Feel free to schedule your routine tasks into 30-60 minute blocks, but give yourself as much time as possible for highly creative work.
  6. Prevent interruptions and distractions.
    You must do whatever it takes to prevent unnecessary interruptions during your creative periods. Make arrangements to ensure you won’t be disturbed except in an absolute emergency. If you can’t maximize your creative output, you’ve lost your greatest leverage for producing value.
  7. Master your tools.
    Even though it may take years, you must achieve basic competency with the tools of your trade before you can consistently enter the flow state (your maximum creative output). Of course there are degrees of mastery, but the more you develop subconscious competence with your tools, the easier it is to enter and maintain the flow state. Get the creative, right-brain part done first. Then go back and do a logical, left-brain pass to make refinements and correct any problems.

Creative ministries are built one creative idea at a time. Learn the principles behind these rules so that you can maximize your ministry’s creative potential.

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