I don’t know about you, but about this time each year—as the calendar turns from August to September—I often find myself approaching burnout. The ministry year is around the corner, and it can take a lot of creativity to launch it off the ground.
So I was grateful for the opportunity to review a book that promised to recharge my creative batteries. Created for More: 30 Days to Seeing Your World in a New Way by Jonathan Malm did not disappoint.Jonathan Malm is a multi-talented graphic artist, stage designer, and writer perhaps best known for creating the online Sunday Magazine and Church Stage Design Ideas. This book is intended for creatives—writers, artists, photographers, videographers, problem solvers—both within and outside the church, to help us see the world differently and get out of a creative rut.
The book is set up as a 30-day devotional. Each day contains a passage of Scripture, followed by a commentary particularly applicable to creatives and a short prayer. Then Malm shifts gears with a section called “Change the Way You Think,” which presents a fresh perspective about our work. Finally, each day he issues the reader a challenge.
Some of the challenges are truly brain crunchers. For example:
- Choose one project you’re working on, then cut your resources or your timeline in half.
- Trade projects with someone outside your area of expertise.
- Come up with an intentionally bad idea, then find three ways that bad idea could actually be a good idea.
While the book is structured as a 30-day devotional, it can be a one-month, 6-month, or year-long journey. Malm encourages each reader to choose a schedule that suits their individual situations. I’m planning to use this as a book study for our church’s creative arts team.
“The act of producing things is a very spiritual thing,” says Malm. “Too often we make it about ourselves… when it’s really a chance to commune with and experience the very nature of God. He has given us the chance and the drive to be part of something bigger than ourselves.”
This little gem of a book belongs on the shelf of every church creative. It contains a high-impact combination of prayer, God’s Word, and practical ideas, explosive enough when strapped together to break through even the deepest creative rut.