one month later, i have not stopped thinking…just lacked time to document my thoughts.
at the beginning of April the CEO of Pixar, Robert Iger, was having to respond to questions about the commercial viability of Pixar’s latest film, Up. industry insiders were concerned that it wouldn’t have mass appeal for a variety of reasons highlighted in a New York Times article. Om Malik grabbed this gem of a quote for a blog piece based on the article:
We seek to make great films first. If a great film gives birth to a franchise, we are the first company to leverage such success. A check-the-boxes approach to creativity is more likely to result in blandness and failure.
as i’ve been studying church models recently (including reading Simple Church), evaluating the future of youth ministry (including the Seismos posts on this blog & reading Youth Minitry 3.0), and through a myriad of conversations & thought processes related to my vocational role in ministry, i think the Church has much to learn from Iger’s thought process.
we’ve been too obsessed with mimicking culture, rather than creating it. we’ve been far too concerned with other church’s models of success, more interested in what God is doing in someone else’s “successful” church than what He’s calling us to custom-create in our own space. our church services and programmatic methods seem to be thoroughly marked by a “check-the-boxes approach to creativity,” rather than the messy, organic, wide open Gospel approach we claim to read so fervently in our gatherings.
by the way, it turns out that Up is off to a pretty lofty start, pulling $68+ million in its opening weekend, the third best for a Pixar film, and receiving practically unanimous rave reviews along the way.
when we unleash the God-given creativity found in each of us, then fuse it together in this glorious body we’ve been given called the Church, we realize an incredible part of our purpose as Christians. but when we kowtow to the lowest common denominator, by mimicking practices instead of learning from principles, we deny the the vibrant, full-bodied creation that Christ called the Church to be.
so then…not that we may copy but instead celebrate the variety that is present, i ask:
what expressions of the body of Christ have you seen that refuse the mold of religion & instead stream Christ creatively into culture?