Genesis 1:1 / Genesis 1:26-28 / Ephesians 2:10
God’s Innovative Heart
In the twenty-sixth verse of the Bible, God creates humans in His “image" or “likeness”. In the twenty-five verses that precede this, we get a glimpse into the power of God’s imagination as He creates the richly textured world around us. So, if God created us in His likeness, I think it follows that each of us is endowed with an innate desire to create. Interestingly, I think that even people who don’t believe in God sense this fundamental longing. While some people may choose to express themselves through singing, dancing, painting, or writing poetry, many more people desire to express their creative reflection of God in their professional occupation.
Sadly, many of us have been taught by our schooling to leave our creativity outside the office door. Creativity guru Roger von Oech illustrates this with a powerful story. When Roger was in the tenth grade, his English teacher drew a small dot on the chalkboard and asked the class what it was. After a few seconds of nervous silence and many wondering whether it was a trick question, one student finally answered, “A dot on the blackboard”. Relieved, the class sat silently and waited for the teacher to go on. The teacher explained that, one day earlier, she had done the same exercise with a kindergarten class. She got fifty different answers, including everything from an owl’s eye to a pole or a squashed bug. Roger explains:
In the ten year period between kindergarten and high school, not only had we learned how to find the right answer, we had also lost the ability to look for more than one right answer.
We had learned how to be specific, but we had lost much of our imaginative power.
While it may be true that formal education dimmed some of our natural imaginative power, I fully believe that it can be restored in each of us. For Christians, this restoration is essential to being able to fully reflect God’s image.
The first step is to stop limiting creativity to something exclusively done by “professionals.” Creativity is inherent in everyone, not just the worship team on Sunday or that artist neighbor down the street. I think we reflect God’s creativity in our careers by having an “entrepreneurial mindset”, or creating the world the way it ought to be by commercializing innovative solutions to the problems we encounter in our everyday lives. You may know a successful entrepreneur that created a profitable venture, but that’s the end of a story that probably started with his or her vision for some fundamental improvement needed in the world.
This definition of the entrepreneurial mindset goes far beyond twenty-somethings building the next great mobile app in Silicon Valley. Any of us can choose to act like an entrepreneur within our organization, be it a Fortune 500 company, a mid-sized nonprofit, or a high-growth startup.
So, how do you start developing this entrepreneurial mindset and vision? Pray for God to restore this imaginative spirit within you, then start looking for opportunities in your professional context to introduce new products and services to make things better.
Adapted From: Redefining Work - You Version