Because Imagination is More Powerful Than Knowledge

It was Einstein who once said ‘imagination is more powerful than knowledge.’

I was responding to Steve’s comment on my own blog last night and wrote this:

‘When we (as the church) start to value spirit inspired innovation as much as spirit inspired preaching then we may have a more hopeful future.’

Occasionally I feel I have moments when I say something worth sharing, or I have a perspective that is worth presenting and this is one of them. I have found myself bemused over the years that certain gifts and abilities rank more highly on the ‘we need that in the church’ rating system than others.

I wonder why spirit inspired preaching is valued more than spirit inspired innovation / creativity?

I am guessing its because its the culture we have created and lived with for so long, so my question that arises is ‘how do we create a culture where fresh ideas and creativity is seen as every bit as valuable as our more traditional foci (preaching/pastoral care/worship)?”

I don’t think there are any magic answers to reaching the western world with the message of Christ, but I would dearly love to see us become a people who ask ‘what if?’

A couple of years back we closed Forge down in WA and scaled back nationally. Since then I’ve been busy leading a church and running a business in the outer suburbs of Perth, and because we are a long way out and life is what it is I no longer have much networking or connecting with others around missionary ideas.

I have lost touch with many of my more creative, and innovative friends, folks who regularly inspired me and provoked me to keep going. Perhaps part of my own struggle lately has been because I have settled back into a space in life that I had intentionally stepped out of.

To be fair I feel a sense of divine leading to this place, but amidst the various demands and necessities of my roles I have found it difficult to keep on the creative edge. I don’t think I’m seeking a new ‘network’ as I have several good friends who I talk with regularly and some folks within our community who also have some creative spark. But I do miss the sparks that fly with wider interaction.

There aren’t too many conferences I ‘must attend’ these days, but I am keen to get to Vose in August to be part of what Scot McKnight has to say as I imagine that will be a good couple of days. Since reading Scot’s blog over 5 years ago now I have found his thoughts to be really valuable and hearing him lead us in the topic of ‘Church in a Post Christian Culture’ is something I could really get my teeth into. To get there we will need to shorten our planned camping holiday up north so its a big call.

I’m constantly conscious that the tug of the familiar is strong. There is much more kudos for a ‘good sermon’ than for a ‘good idea’ and with limited hours in the day its easy to play to the crowd.

I imagine this is the case for all church leaders, but I’m hoping that we can begin to raise the value of the imagination again.

I really believe its a ‘must do’ and not an optional extra for those uniquely gifted.

1 thought on “Because Imagination is More Powerful Than Knowledge

  1. I think preaching is something that has been in such decline over recent times people start asking “what’s it for?” I can understand why people would look for other innovations or means of filling in time on a Sunday morning…but delivered correctly, preaching is a means of Grace….it is the word of God for you to receive and minister to you….I find a good sermon more powerful, more invigorating and faith building than say…a liturgical dance….The word of God, delivered and received is from God and not of man, nor needs his creativities.

    ‘imagination is more powerful than knowledge, but God’s Word is living water’.

    Dr Carl Truman provides an excellent lecture on this very topic: “The Prophetic Word: What Preaching Is (and Is Not)“.

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