We need to remember the whole first phrase from the Westminster Shorter Catechism:
“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
Once we have established the right attitudes, we may minister with and be ministered to simply through laughter, joy, and celebration.
How many limitations Christ experienced, and what an example of simplicity He set. He told His disciples, “…foxes have holes but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head…”! Yet what creative solutions He found to extend hospitality to a world which sought Him out: bread for thousands from a few loaves, wine from water, all disabilities turned into opportunities.
To all who came, He gave Himself, rest for the weary, food for the hungry, water for the thirsty. Can we, too, learn to think as adventurously? Can we discover that hospitality is not what we have, but what we are? Can we give out of our limited resources only to find creativity rising out of that struggle “with and against that which limits us”?
You may be convinced that you are not creative. Or perhaps, you wish you could develop more in this area. Read the following list of roadblocks to creativity. Then, check the areas in which you think you are weak.
[ ] Fear of failure—drawing back; not taking risks; settling for less in order to avoid the possible pain or shame of failing.
[ ] Reluctance to play—overly serious approach to problem-solving. Fear of seeming foolish or silly by experimenting with the unusual.
[ ] Resource myopia—failure to see one’s own strengths; lack of appreciation for resources in one’s environment.
[ ] Over-certainty—rigidity of problem-solving responses; stereotyped reactions.
[ ] Frustration avoidance—giving up too soon when faced with obstacles; avoiding discomfort associated with change.
[ ] Custom-bound—overemphasis on tradition, too much reverence for the past; tendency to conform when not necessary.
[ ] Impoverished fantasy life—overvaluing the so-called objective, real world; lack of imagination in the sense of being able to pretend or ask, “What if?”
[ ] Need for order—Inability to tolerate disorder, confusion or ambiguity; dislike of complexity.
[ ] Reluctance to let go—trying too hard to finalize solutions to problems; inability to let things incubate or happen naturally; lack of trust in human or supernatural capacities.
[ ] Fear of paradox—not making sufficient use of contrasting ways to reach the meaning of things; tendency to polarize to opposites, rather than knowing how to integrate the best of both sides; lacking perception of wholeness.
Take your checked areas before the Lord and ask Him to help you change, so that you might think and act more adventurously.
Karen Mains has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This microfinance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.