“The bottom line is that cities need a people climate even more than they need a business climate. This means supporting creativity across the board – in all of its various facets and dimensions – and building a community that is attractive to creative people, not just to high-tech companies….”success lies in creating a place where the creative experience can flourish.”” Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class.

This quote is from Florida’s chapter entitled, “Building the Creative Community.” In this chapter Florida talks about what cities and companies must do to attract and keep the creative class. I couldn’t help but wonder how well my own denomination is doing with attracting and keeping their creative class. Particularly as I’ve been informed by or heard of or had conversations with some very creative pastors of churches who are considering leaving the PCA. I’ll be honest those conversations have been discouraging. There is a cost to the way we maintain community. When we bolster those who have community boundaries that exclude creativity or exploration we open a social wound that’s bleeding our creative class out of our bodies. (Though I may just be speaking out of discouragement here.)

Looking at my own ministry, my denomination, my theological tradition; I’m left asking myself what can I do to contribute to our success, to create a place where creativity and the creative experience can flourish? It is a nagging question that I’ve seen seminary professors stress over, that has carried over into Jess and I’s family discussions. 

I believe Its time to consider the support of innovation and creativity as a mark of a healthy and relevant church. Especially if Florida’s right and the Creative Class is the new burgioning community of young American’s. (A word of balance here, not creativity and innovation at all costs without thoughtful backward reflection on tradition should be supported, but rather creativity and innovation of a kind that is biblically sound, historically matured, and culturally literate…)

If we don’t celebrate creativity are we really celebrating God, are our churches supporting a “people climate”? 

(Photographic art by Krazze, piece title “Creativity”)