Creativity, God and leadership

By JASON REYNOLDS

Today’s column is about Ken Wytsma, who has some thoughts on creativity and leadership.

Wytsma, a pastor in Oregon, is the founder of the Justice Conference, an annual event that aims to help Christians better understand and engage in social justice. More information is at thejusticeconference.comken.

Wytsma also is the president of Kilns College in Bend, Oregon, and the author of “Create vs. Copy.” In the book, by Moody Publishers, Wytsma shares his ideas about creativity.
The book talks about the theology behind creativity. Ken shares practical ways to fan the flames of creativity and not simply copy the latest leadership trends. Readers of this book will learn to live creatively even when change feels unwelcome in their environment.

“From a leadership concept, if you copy, you’re never at the front end of leadership,” he said. “If someone else has blazed the trail, and you’re following behind, you’re never really going to make the innovation or lead the change or whatever it might be.

“Certainly we borrow, certainly we copy best practices, we learn from rote memorization … but somehow life is best lived when we take the building blocks and we create our own story. We all have that creativity (in us).”

The Renaissance artists borrowed from the antiquities, Wytsma said. They transformed the antiquities to create something magnificent themselves. Creativity is something that God has given each person.

“We know that God is a creative God in the sense He once made something, but we feel He has been bored ever since,” he said. “We don’t think of a creative God who is active.”
But Wytsma points to the book of Isaiah in which God says He created the blacksmith who created the weapons of war.

“Seeing God as someone who’s actively, dynamically a creative being and realizing we’re made in His image, we bear a trace of that creativity that when we really nurture, we allow that to flourish in our lives. It’s going to be remarkably different than when we just close ourselves off and fall into the routine.

“You know the artist through the artist’s creation. Creation teaches us about God and our own creativity. We are made in His image; the more we exercise that, the more we know who God is.”

More information is at kenwytsma.com.

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