Posts Tagged ‘brainstorming’

YOURENOTCOVEROkay this is almost as bad as the original lie, that you’re not creative. Of course you have ideas, even the idea that you don’t have any ideas is, you guessed it, an idea. Ideas are everywhere. A lot of them are bad ideas, but they’re ideas nonetheless. Now when I talk about bad ideas (because I’m about to encourage you to have them), I want to be clear what I am not talking about. Criminal activity is a bad idea but it’s not what I’m talking about. Picking a fight with a ninja is a bad idea, I’m not talking about that either. I’m not talking about anything that will get you hurt, killed, incarcerated or that will destroy your key relationships or reputation.

I’m talking about ideas that will make people shake their heads. Those are all around you and they’re a great place to start. Why? Because not all bad ideas are really bad ideas. Some of them are actually the seed of a really great idea. Often, when we say we don’t have any ideas, what we really mean is we have ideas, but the inner critic or one of the billions of external critics has dismissed them as bad. We actually often talk ourselves our of things that could really be great for us and we have to stop doing that.

The way to overcome “having no ideas” is to brainstorm. Brainstorming is the act of coming up with as many ideas as you can as quickly as you can. I know what, you’re thinking (or at least I have an idea, see what I did there?). You’re thinking”…but my problem is I don’t have any ideas.” I refuse to believe that. What you mean is you don’t have any good, feasible ideas, and that may be true, but in thinking that, you are overlooking the first rule of brainstorming, which is, at this phase, there are no bad ideas. When you brainstorm, you turn off the inner critic and silence the outer ones and you record EVERY idea—every last one—good bad or indifferent. You’ll refine later, but for now, write them all down. Do your best not to edit yourself or dismiss anything at all. This is al about getting as many ideas as you can.

Now, and this is important, once you have all the ideas together, look at them as open-mindedly as you can. Some of the worst ones will start to filter out, but some others that at first glance seemed improbable are probably starting to trigger imagined possibilities. Highlight these for further study. What will eventually happen is the winning ideas will start to surface. These are the ones you will develop further. What do you do with the rest? File them, you never know what will surface in the process of development.

I had my first meeting with the arts folks at The Foundry Church in Wallingford, PA. Also I am working through a book called Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century
, which challenges the reader to come up with ten ideas a day on a variety of topics. After listening to old and new friends share their hearts for the creative vision God has for their church I decided to put my idea machine training to work for The Foundry. These may not all apply to your situation, (I’m not even sure they will all work at the Foundry…) but my hope is that they will trigger some ideas in you.

I decided to make today’s ten ideas be about The Foundry and the creative arts. Most of these are based on our discussions yesterday and a few are just things that popped into my head. If you think any of these are good, feel free to run with them.

1. Viral videos. We are blessed to have more than a few people in our group with skills and gifts in the art of visual story telling. What if we made short, funny clips that would be spreadable and tagged them with the church website. Some could be church related and some not. Just enough to draw attention to the website.

2. What’s so great about The Foundry? (and/or The Forge) same feel as number one but more targeted. Still funny but with an endearing quality at the end.

3. Performance/exhibition venue. It seems to me the upper room would have some real potential as a coffee house/performance venue. The “sanctuary” has this potential as well, but with the stage and backstage space it could make a really good secondary venue.

4. Let people know what you’re doing. You guys are doing a lot for the community, likewise many people are really into community service both inside and outside the church. Perhaps some of these service opportunities could be entry points to the church.

5. When you hand out food at the pantry, do you place any kind of invite in the bag? It would occur to me that people who are being served might be interested in something more.

6. I’ve seen all these brush with success types of things popping up, where people pay money to come in and learn to paint a painting. The instructor has an example already prepared and teaches everyone how to do that painting. There are snacks and things available. A lot of people use the as a fun date night. What if a gifted painter prepped something like this and you offered in the upper room on an available evening? Charge a fee for it and use the funds to fund the arts group or some other ministry, (perhaps a split with the teacher???) You could publicize this at the art show if you could get it together in time.

7. It strikes me that there are a lot of transferrable skills among the people in the group. What if we hosted a creative church conference, where we invited creatives from other churches to come in and learn. There could be a fee associated with this where some of the money would go to the teachers and the rest to support a ministry of the church?

8. Kids event. Create creative opportunities for children and have a day of open creativity for the neighborhood kids and their families. Invite the families to the church for a special program. This would be a great way to build a children’s ministry.

9. This was my dream for AMOKArts and it never really gelled but the skill set in the group may make be able to it happen. My original goal for AMOKArts was to hold performances and exhibitions at the church that could be presented to the community. Participation in the exhibition/performance would be open to churched folks and unchurched folks alike. The idea is to build relationships between people in and outside of the church to the glory of God. The performance/exhibition itself could also be intentionally evangelistic offering people the chance to come to know Christ.

10. Regular special programs on college campus or at the church to invite the community to.