This article was written and published by Faith Driven Entrepreneur.
How God Calls Us to Be Creative in All We Do
Human beings are called to create. Many of us naturally embrace that drive, whether we’re decorating our home, coming up with an advertising campaign, or painting with watercolors. Creativity is something many of us do for free. Because we’re called to it.
This is why the first mark of the faith driven entrepreneur is “Called to Create.” We believe that since God created us in His image, his creativity can be expressed in us. God wants to work alongside us. He wants to create with us. He wants to start, share, and complete new projects and ideas with us. He didn’t leave Adam alone to tend to the Garden of Eden, and He doesn’t ask us to work in isolation.
But creativity doesn’t just mean being an artist. To fully grasp how you can embrace your God-given creativity, we need to get creative. And depending on your background, you might consider business and entrepreneurship as the antitheses of creativity. Gray cubicles, monotonous monthly reports, consultants rambling on about economic jargon. But what if we told you that entrepreneurship is one of the purest ways a human being can express their creativity?
At Faith Driven Entrepreneur, we believe in a creative God. The first thing the Bible tells us is that God is a creator. From this premise, we can redeem what entrepreneurship looks like and unlock the creative potential of thousands of entrepreneurs. So, let’s look at what creativity looks like, starting in the Bible and moving on to creativity in business.
Revisiting Our Creative God in Genesis
If we’re not careful, we might skim through the creation story and fail to understand how God’s creativity informs our own creativity. The creation story is a popular topic for sermons, podcasts, and books. We hear the story so much that the deep meaning of Genesis becomes reduced to soundbites and PowerPoint slides, and we lose sight of what creativity can truly mean.
When it comes to humanity’s relationship with work, we need to look at Adam in the garden.
“To Work it and Take Care of It”
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Gen 2:15). Is this a command to creativity? Most likely. God did not put Adam on an assembly line. Nor did He give Adam a highly detailed instruction list that forced Adam to work inside a rigid box.
Instead, God put Adam in a garden and gave Adam a task that would require creative activity like problem-solving, organization, and stewardship. You’ve experienced this if you’ve ever tended your own garden or done landscaping at your home. Taking care of a space requires all sorts of creativity. A few verses later, Adam has to rely on his creativity as he names the animals.
From Adam up until the modern day, we see that work and creativity go hand in hand. Consider the creativity that has gone into technology, data processing, transportation, and human resources over the past millennia. Even stewardship, deciding what we are to do with the fruits of our labor, requires creative thinking. So, when it comes to work, God leaves a lot of the “how” of our work up to us. We’re free to be creative.
“Bear Fruit and Multiply and Fill the Earth”
The call to “bear fruit and multiply and fill the earth” is also a well-known phrase to faith driven entrepreneurs (Gen 1:28). It’s easy to interpret this verse as “have kids” and move on to the next passage. But consider the “how.” To multiply a population requires incredible vision, foresight, and creativity.
You need teachers to educate children. You need infrastructure to provide for basic needs. You need pastors and mentors. You need artists to create beautiful images and stories to advance culture. The list goes on and on.
God doesn’t say to have as many children as possible just to reach an arbitrary number. It’s doubtful that wants a world full of ragamuffin children living on scraps. Rather, we can look to Adam’s call to work the garden and take care of it.
We worship a creative God, and this applies to all areas of life. Creativity is necessary for sustaining work, family, and culture. The question isn’t “Should I be creative?” It’s “How can I be creative?” This brings us to the concept of vocation. What are you called to do? If you’re reading this article, entrepreneurship might be your calling. That, too, takes creativity.
Being Creative in Work and Entrepreneurship
The more we understand our creative God, the more we can understand our own creativity. This is a key piece to the puzzle. The more you understand how God made you, the better you can align yourself with projects and pursuits that fulfill you. Sometimes, we think that “creativity” in entrepreneurship means being an inventor like Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison. While there’s tremendous value in inventing, it’s not the only path forward.
To help entrepreneurs consider their roles in a business, the Faith Driven Entrepreneur team has created a one-of-a-kind video series titled “Called to Create.” This series helps entrepreneurs broaden their concepts of God, creativity, and work. It has also inspired thousands of entrepreneurs to live out their callings – we hope it inspires you, too.
6 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Reflect Our Creative God in the Workplace
The basis of God’s creativity is that He created something out of nothing. As entrepreneurs, we’re not just filling a role in an existing business. We assume risk and create jobs and products that would never exist except for our visions. In a small way, we reflect God’s original act of creativity when he brought the universe into existence.
1. Crafting Excellent Products
Businesses often succeed because they are either the best or most innovative at what they do. The Model T was a new innovation at the time, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any progress left for the car industry. For over a century, engineers and researchers have worked hard to craft faster, more efficient, more comfortable cars.
Perhaps your creative niche lies in excellence. Your passion is to design beautiful and optimized products. These products can range from websites to vacuums – the thing itself often doesn’t matter. What matters is that you use your creativity to make it excellent.
In scripture, we read that creation proclaims the glory of God. And so can our work. Francis Schaefer once said that it’s to the degree we do our work well, that we have an opportunity to witness and be heard. And so, when you create something, do it in a way that you look at the finished project and say, “It is good.
2. Meeting Customer Needs
Innovation is driven by customer needs. Returning to the example of the car, we can easily see how Ford supplanted the horse-drawn carriage by meeting a customer’s need in a new way. You may not have the technical know-how to design an excellent product, but you can think about problems in a creative way. Or you’re simply willing to take risk that other industry players can’t stomach.
Big companies might neglect customer needs due to shareholder pressure. Or large industries might stagnate because of red tape and bureaucracy. Here lies opportunity for the faith driven entrepreneur.
Take Kamau Gachigi, for example. He developed Gearbox to help other entrepreneurs develop and test products. This incubator not only allows entrepreneurs to find the right market fit for their ideas but also serves entrepreneurs, giving them a space to freely express their creativity and innovative drives.
3. Maximizing Efficiency
Do you have a passion for processes? Then your next business might focus on efficiencies. If you can make the same product for less time, money, and effort, there’s value to be captured. You don’t need to design a better product or a new product – just a better system. The global economy is incredibly complex, with thousands of middlemen between product concept to customer purchase.
You can see this type of creativity in action by watching this feature on Movement Mortgage, a mortgage company founded during the 2008 financial crisis to help people get into homes quickly and affordably.
4. Developing Incredible Teams
No startup can succeed without a team focused on a common mission and vision. Working with people, however, takes creativity. As a leader, you need to pay attention to different people’s gifts and talents. Everyone is motivated in different ways. Sometimes a leader needs to reframe a problem in a new way for the team to finally grasp what’s at play.
In an age of e-commerce, digital communication, and shifting generational expectations, you can’t stick to management strategies from the 80’s and expect your company to thrive. Leading people in an ever-changing economy takes creativity and vulnerability. We need more entrepreneurs to step up and help define the next era of management principles.
5. Redeeming the Broader Economy
Sometimes, entrepreneurship is just a stepping stone toward a broader redemptive vision. When we think about a creative God in respect to business, we shouldn’t limit God to business. As we see in Revelation, God will one day judge and redeem the entire world. There will be a new heaven and new earth. Today, we play a small role in that redemptive plan.
So perhaps your act of creativity is to provide jobs for a marginalized group of people. Or, instead of preying on the poor with high-interest loans, you create a sustainable financial product that allows people to experience hope and freedom. Rethink the current status quo regarding how the world treats others.
Pete Ochs realized his business could help others by hiring ex-convicts at his two businesses. Pete had what we called a grander vision. He knew that his business was about more than profits and margins. He used his entrepreneurial creativity to support and care for individuals returning from the prison system.
Unleash Your Creativity
Our creative God is an infinite God. Look around you and see how vast His creativity is. From mountain vistas to silicon chips, He has created a world full of wonder. Every nook and cranny is overflowing with God’s creativity, so don’t limit your own understanding of what creativity in entrepreneurship can be.
The list above is not comprehensive. What other ways can you be creative in entrepreneurship? We want to hear. Find us on LinkedIn and share your thoughts. Or join a Foundation Group to discuss this topic further.
If you feel like you’re in a creative rut, then here are some resources to help jumpstart your vision. At Faith Driven Entrepreneur, we’re committed to providing you with the tools you need to succeed in business and faith.
We look forward to seeing how you reflect the image of our creative God through entrepreneurship. Whether you express yourself by connecting with people in new ways or designing cutting-edge technology, God wants to use you to help redeem his creation.