The Bible says that God created all things and that he created humanity in his image. This means that we are all created in the image of a creative God and that humanity is, by nature, creative.
Human creativity manifests itself in countless ways. Art, design, writing, music, math, science, architecture, fashion, urban planning, linguistics, mechanics, and film only serve as broad categories to describe the incredibly diverse and nuanced practice that is human creativity.
At Converge, we believe in cultivating and activating human creativity for the glory of God. We want to see not only artists, designers, writers, and other creatives—but also engineers, teachers, accountants, and gardeners; all grow in excellence, inspiration, and worship. We believe that God, in this hour of history, is taking back the creative industries for His purposes and for the honour of His great name. We believe that this coming season of the church will be marked by excellent, beautiful, and spirit-breathed Christian innovation that will draw both believers and non-believers into a fresh encounter with a dynamic and personal God who deeply loves each one of them. We want to be a leading voice in this movement.
There are some primary passages of scripture that inform our Philosophy of Creativity at Converge.
This passage of scripture establishes the model of the creative method. There are three primary actions of God within the creation of the world. On days 1, 2, and 3 he divides, creating space and bringing order out of chaos. On days 4, 5, and 6 he fills the spaces that he divided on the first three days, bringing life to the void and creating a vibrant, diverse world of life and lights, plants and animals, and of course, people. On the seventh day, he rests.
These three actions, dividing, filling, and resting, continue to form the creative method. Creativity divides; it creates order from chaos, it distinguishes itself from its surrounding context and creates a space for something new to happen. Creativity then fills the space that it creates; thoughts, ideas, colours, emotions, declarations, stories, formulas, materials and chords fill the boundaries of good innovation, bringing something new into the world. And finally, creativity brings rest; it causes people to pause, to consider, to think, to feel, to change their perspective, to have a task made easier, or to experience something new.
Order from chaos, life to the void, and rest: this is the creative method.
The name Bezalel means, “In the shadow of the Almighty”. While the name Oholiab means “in the Father’s tent”. Both of these names connote intimacy and communion with God, indicating that fellowship with our creator is both the true source, and goal of human creativity.
The designers were tasked with making the tabernacle and all its furnishings. This was to be the place where the presence of God would rest among the people, at the centre of the camp. We believe that human creativity should serve the same purpose as the biblical tabernacle. That is, it should create a space for God’s presence to dwell at the centre of a community. Just as God created the world as a place for humanity to dwell, so now humanity creates spaces for the presence of God to dwell in our midst.
The image that informs our understanding of this passage is the communal nature of the building itself. The entire congregation brought resources for the creation of the tabernacle. Human creativity should get people involved. Creativity, whatever that may be, is a communal effort. It also creates wealth. That is, when people see value in an enterprise, they become willing to contribute resources towards said enterprise. There is incredible value within each of us in the form of our dreams and ideas. The goal is, through the help of the right community, to manifest those ideas as realities. Once this is done, those ideas become vehicles to generate wealth, which can be used to improve not just our lives, but the lives of everyone around us. All this is done to the glory of God and with the purpose of bringing heaven to earth.
Image by Jerry Zhang