CreativeI never thought that I was a creative person. It just wasn’t in my personality. And then I read an article about schools that kept telling children to be creative while still colouring in neatly and accurately within the lines. The article explained that although we try to push our children to be creative using selective criteria, we are actually encouraging them and grading them to follow a rigid set of rules. Could this have been the environment in which I was educated?

Then it dawned on me that Jesus had a similar problem with the religious leaders of His day. It is possible that Jesus was the most creative person that ever lived and yet He was continually being hounded by the religious leaders who wanted Him to live like them and strictly colour between the lines. They were out to kill every creative instinct that God had placed within the hearts of people by establishing hundreds of laws of their own that people were required to obey.

By contrast, Jesus chose to simplify life without compromising God’s standards. When asked by a teacher of the law which of all the commandments were most important, Jesus replied that we are “to love the Lord our God with all of our heart and with all of our soul and with all of our mind and with all of our strength” and to “love our neighbour as ourself. There are no greater commandments than these.”  Matthew 22: 37-38
As I grew in my relationship with Jesus, I found that He was no kill joy, rather He had come to set me free and to inspire me to live life in all its creative fullness. Along the way I came to understand that:

  • I was created in the very image of God who created the heavens and the earth. I was created to live creatively.
  • I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the most creative person in in the world.
  • As I follow the prompts of the Holy Spirit, I am continually being taken beyond a world of colouring between the lines to a world of new opportunities and discoveries.
  • At strategic times in my life, the Holy Spirit was leading me to march off the map of the world I had become familiar with into new worlds that were waiting for me to discover.
    The time has come to…MARCH OFF THE MAP | Rod Denton (
  • I was becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable and being continually taken out of my comfort zone.
  • In the process I was learning to walk more and more by faith in a God who was trustworthy and who in turn was willing to trust me with His creative purposes.
  • My life of creativity was purposeful. It was given to me for the purpose of bringing glory to God and to advance the purposes of God in the world in which I lived. It was never meant to be an end in itself.
  • As I looked at the world in which I lived, I was growing in my ability to see creative possibilities and opportunities that never before existed in both people and places around me.
  • We all have an inbuilt creativity that God has placed in us waiting to be lived out on the canvas of our lives.

As I look back now, I see a gradual trail of creative initiatives that has flowed from the prompts of the Holy Spirit. They include:

  • Preaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and then ordaining all my congregation to be ministers and giving them a Certificate of Ordination.
  • Inviting key Christian leaders from around the world to come and teach in my church.
  • Sending construction teams from my church around the world to serve in strategic places. One team built a new church building in Mongolia, another team built homes for a mission in Thailand for orphans whose parents had died of AIDS, while another team travelled to an Aboriginal community in outback Australia to convert a disused school into accommodation for tourists. This initiative opened a door for teams to regularly spend extended times with this outback community to bless and serve them.
  • Inviting leaders of our State (Governor, Mayor, Politicians) to be guests at key celebrations of our church.
  • Sending missionary basketball teams to Asian countries to share the gospel and plant churches in these communities.
  • Relocating our church wide prayer meeting from our church building onto buses that could take us to strategic locations in our community where we could pray on the spot for important needs and groups in our community.

How sad it would be to live your life without realising that you were created by the Creator to live your life creatively. What if you had spent your life colouring between the lines and not following the prompts of the Holy Spirit to create your own masterpiece on the canvas that God prepared for you? What if you resorted to duplicating what other churches are doing and missed the unique purposes that Jesus, the Head of the church had planned for you?
Instead, take to heart the words of Paul to the Ephesians, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10