The Creative Process

Roger Lipe
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Roger Lipe shares a valuable lesson he learned from his mentor, Fred Bishop of No Greater Love Ministries. "This one relates to the creative process I use in most every part of my service with the people of sport. Whether writing, creating a ministry event, preparing for a talk, or long range planning, I use this model to shape my thought."

Most of the time this involves lots of reading, observation, research, and investigation. Prepare by asking questions and learning all you can about a subject. One of the best ways to improve one's writing is to read good authors. To improve one's speaking skills, listen to effective communicators. To improve one's design abilities, observe skillful designers. To improve one's musicianship, listen to great musicians. You get the idea. Prepare by watching, listening, reading, and observing with all your senses.

As you prepare and as the process continues, incubation takes place. This is meditation, rumination, contemplation, doodling thoughts, sketching, day dreaming, lying awake at night, and other methods for developing thoughts into actions. One must allow this process to take place. Don't rush it. To proceed without fully incubating a thought or project usually results in terrible failure. This part of the process may take a few minutes, a few hours, a few days, weeks, or years. It depends upon your project.…

This is the ‘Aha!' moment. This is the clicking on of the light bulb above your head. This is the moment that it all becomes clear. Your preparation and incubation of an idea has led to the moment of illumination. You suddenly see the idea clearly and know exactly what to do. One should never proceed to the next step in the process until this occurs. Lots of ideas go out into the world ‘half baked' simply because the incubation process was abbreviated and illumination never occurred. For us who serve Christ Jesus, the exciting thing is that it's the Lord's Spirit who illuminates our minds and reveals wisdom and insight for us to apply.

Finally, the process of preparation, incubation and illumination is ready to find concrete form by applying the illuminated thought to action. We are now set to turn our ideas into text, into music, into an agenda, into a game plan, into a sculpture, into a plan of action, or any other expression of creativity. This is what others consume, read, hear, observe, or the events in which they participate. It may seem simple to the consumer, but it has been born of a simple but wise creative process.

Let's take the pains to prepare well. Let's take the time to incubate thought. Let's take the risk to patiently await illumination. Let's make wise application and thereby create the resources, plans, strategies, art, and processes that lead to Christ-honoring ministry."