CSC Week #4

Welcome to the fourth week of the Creativity Spark Challenge and 2020 is the best time to start being creative.

After a few weeks of sickness and life just getting in the way I’m back and ready to spark some creativity. If you’re not sure what the Creativity Spark Challenge is or want a refresher on why I’ve launched this challenge go back and read the first post and check out last week’s post. 

PROGRAM CREATIVITY: One of the ways creativity can be sparked is through program CPR (Create, Plan and Redesign) and is an excellent tool to jumpstart creativity. This week I want you to focus on “Redesign”. Your challenge is to simply pick one thing in your ministry that you know could use a redesign. It could be something as simple as how you do announcements, organize your meeting space or take time to redesign a whole area of your program (years ago I redesigned my communication to include the creation of an app). Regardless of what chooses the goal is to just pick one thing, not everything just one thing. 

SPIRITUAL CREATIVITY: I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer as 2020 starts and it’s something I think we can all focus on this coming year. The challenge for most of us is that our prayer life can easily become routine. I think many of us are basically just “going through the motions”. It’s not to say that God’s not working but something about the passion of prayer seems to be missing. Creativity is all about tapping into one’s passions and for 2020 my challenge to you is to pray differently. Try one or all of the following options…

    • Google ways to pray and see what you find
    • Try writing your prayers out in a journal (or bullet journal)
    • One day a week draw/sketch out your prayers
    • Use prayer app like “Inner Room
    • Create a prayer group of friends you trust

PERSONAL CREATIVITY: This week’s challenge is to just go outside and spend time in God’s creation. January is often a cold, grey, snow/rain month and it’s easy to get sucked in the grey. Getting outside, feeling the wind, playing in the snow or jumping in a big puddle can help embrace the season and all that God has created. But remember the golden rule…NO WORK TALK 

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If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

 

CSC Week #3

It’s the third week of the Creativity Spark Challenge and it’s the perfect time to get started.

It’s the third week of the Creativity Spark Challenge and if you’re not sure what the Creativity Spark Challenge is and want to learn more read the first post and check out last week’s challenge.

PROGRAM CREATIVITY: One of the ways creativity can be sparked is through program CPR (Create, Plan and Redesign) and is an excellent tool to jumpstart creativity. This week I want you to focus on “Plan”. Your challenge is to simply plan one of your upcoming events. However, the creative twist is that I want you to add one new element to your plan. It’s doesn’t have to be BIG it just has to be new.

SPIRITUAL CREATIVITY: As the year comes to a close it’s often nice to think about where we have been and what God has been doing over the last year. Your challenge is to get one sheet of blank paper and fold it into three parts. For each section I want you to answer the following three questions as creativity as possible. You can write, draw, sketch or colour your answers. How you answer is less important than taking the time to think about your answers. 

  1. How was LIFE this past year?
  2. How was LOVE this past year?
  3. How was FAITH this past year?

NOTE: If you want to know more about these why I asking these three questions check out the blog post “LIFE, LOVE & FAITH

PERSONAL CREATIVITY: This week’s challenge is to cook something new. No matter your skill level everyone can cook something. It doesn’t have to be a big production and it should be fun. You can check out fatjesse or my favourite food blog Serious Eats. You can get bonus points this week if you do this challenge with friends and/or family. If you find a great recipe consider sharing it on Facebook or tag/follow us on Instagram. 

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If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

 

CSC Week #2

The goal of the Creativity Spark Challenge (CSC) is to spark creativity, stretch that creative muscle and not seek perfection.

Written by Jesse Criss


Welcome to the second week of the Creativity Spark Challenge. If you’re not sure what the Creativity Spark Challenge is or want a refresher on why I’ve launched this challenge go back and read the first post and check out last week’s post. 

PROGRAM CREATIVITY: One of the ways creativity can be sparked is through program CPR (Create, Plan and Redesign) and is an excellent tool to jumpstart creativity. This week I want you to focus on “Create”. Your challenge is to make a bullet point list of as many ideas, themes or events you can think of that you have never done before or always wanted to do. If it helps create a list for each of the categories below. Don’t get caught up in the details the sky is the limit so dream BIG.

  1. Small Groups
  2. Retreats
  3. Sermons
  4. Outreach Events
  5. Community Opportunities 

NOTE: If this topic interests you check out our “Guidebook on Planning Events ”. It goes into this process in more detail and will walk you through the event creation process. 

SPIRITUAL CREATIVITY: In ministry, we often come across “BIG” theological words that need to be broken down for anyone to understand. The following is a list of a few “BIG” theology words. Your challenge is to come up with a creative way to teach or explain one or all of these words. If it helps consider the following question, how would I explain this theological concept to a grade 6 student?

    • Hypostatic Union
    • Trinity
    • Sanctification
    • Grace
    • Justification
    • Predestination 

PERSONAL CREATIVITY: This week’s personal creativity challenge is to encourage one person a day. How you encourage them is 100% up to you and that’s where the creativity comes into play. Try and think about what their love language is (Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time or Acts of Service) to make a bigger impact. However, don’t get too focused or stuck on this part. The goal is to spend the week thinking about others and encouraging those around you. If you need a few ideas, check out these examples.

    • Send a text
    • Write and mail a letter
    • Photoshoot / Sharing a memory 
    • Cooking/Baking something for someone else
    • getting together for some quality time 
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If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

 

GAME: Apple Lego

Check out this weeks free Creative Spark Challenge idea from Fresh Ministry. Hope you like it and stay tuned for more freebies in the coming weeks.

Each week as part of the Creativity Spark Challenge I will be posting some of my creative ideas based on that week’s challenge. If you’re not sure what the Creativity Spark Challenge is or want a refresher on why I’ve launched this challenge go back and read the first post. Check out the game below and consider following along each Monday/Tuesday for the next few months.


WEEK #1 PROGRAM CREATIVITY: Someone drops you off a bag of supplies for Youth Group tonight. Using the contents of the bag plan a game/activity that is 15-30 minutes in length. For this activity, plan the whole event from the title, description, how to play, winning, and leader support. You can use extra supplies BUT you must incorporate everything in the bag. BAG OF SUPPLIES: Apples, wood skewers, brown paper bags, orange cones, pool noodles and string or tape.

GAME NAME: Apple Lego

DESCRIPTION: Teams must relay race their apple pieces through a series of obstacles from one side of the room to the other. Once all of the apple pieces have been moved teams must reassemble the apple back together using only the supplied tape and string. The whole apple must be accounted for and the winner is the team who finishes first OR has the most complete apple. 

SET-UP

  • Cut up 1 apple per expected team into 8 pieces each. Keep the pieces together in one of the brown paper bags. Consider placing the apples in ziplock first then in the bag so apple juice doesn’t wreck the bag. 
  • Set up classic relay race lanes for the expected number of teams you are hoping to have. Using the pool noodles and orange cones create a series of obstacles in each relay race lane that will force students to be creative on how they carry their apple. Consider using additional supplies like tables and chairs.
  • Set up a starting and ending point for each team
    • At the starting point put 1 brown paper bag with 1 apple and 1 wood skewer for each expected team member. 
  • At the ending point have the same amount of string/tape for each team as well as one chair/table they can use to keep their apple pieces for reassembly. 

HOW TO PLAY

  • Divide your group into teams of even numbers and assign them of a relay race lane.
  • When you say “GO” one member of the team must place a wood skewer in their mouth and skewer 1 piece of apple. They will then run the relay race course without dropping the apple piece. If they do they can get it again but they cannot use their hands. When they reach the other side they place their apple on their team’s chair/table and the next member of the team goes. 
  • This continues until all members of the team have moved all apple pieces. If a team has fewer members than apple pieces team members may have to go twice.
  • Once all the apple pieces are together the team must re-assemble the apple using the tape/string provided. 
  • The winner is the team who finishes first OR has the most complete apple. 

FRESH TIPS

  • Consider using an apple cutter to help cut the apple. You should get 8 wedges and 1 core then for the relay race you can use all 9 pieces.
  • You could mix up the apples so each team gets 8 random pieces of apple. It would make rebuilding the apple much more difficult… I’m 100% sure it would work but it would be fun
  • The secret to the game is the obstacle course more than the apple building. So have fun with making it and use the supplies you have. 
  • If you’re worried about the wooden skewers you could use popsicle sticks but they could break the apple easier. 

VARIATION – Lego My Eggo 

  • For this variation, you can use an Eggo instead of an apple.
  • The race part would be the same but at the end of the relay, there would be a paper plate on a chair/table. Instead of putting the waffle back together team would have to run some butter on a plastic knife and syrup on a spoon or in a small communion cup. In addition to the 8 pieces of Eggo.
  • Once the 8 pieces of waffle are together on the plate with the butter and syrup. One member of the team must eat the waffle. The first team to complete it wins.
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If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

 

CSC Week #1

The goal of the Creativity Spark Challenge (CSC) is to spark creativity, stretch that creative muscle and not seek perfection.

Written by Jesse Criss and edited by Sophia Savalli


Welcome to the first week of the Creativity Spark Challenge. If you’re not sure what the Creativity Spark Challenge is or want a refresher on why I’ve launched this challenge go back and read the first post. 

Also, before you begin I want to remind you that you can jump into as little or as much as you want each week. You’re welcome to try one of the creativity sparks or all three it’s 100% up to you. All I ask is that you try, remember the goal is to spark creativity, stretch that creative muscle and not seek perfection. If you want, you’re welcome to email your discoveries with me and I’ll build a master list over time to share with everyone. 


PROGRAM CREATIVITY: Someone drops you off a bag of supplies for youth group tonight. Using the contents of the bag plan a game/activity that is 15-30 minutes in length. For this activity, plan the whole event from the title, description, how to play, winning, and leader support. You can use extra supplies BUT you must incorporate everything in the bag. BAG OF SUPPLIES: Apples, wood skewers, brown paper bags, orange cones, pool noodles and string or tape. 


SPIRITUAL CREATIVITY: Pick one of Jesus’ parables to write an outline for a short talk or devotional. Try to pick one that you have never used or one that you might find a bit harder, but don’t pick your favourite or go-to story. For the outline I want you to write a “news” format. Think of it this way… 

  • Who is this for? 
  • What is going on? 
  • When can this be applied? 
  • Where am I in the story? 
  • Why is Jesus sharing this story? 
  • How does it apply to my everyday life?

PERSONAL CREATIVITY: I want you to make a plan to do something between now and Christmas that you have always wanted to do locally but have never had a chance to do. It doesn’t have to be big, it could be as simple as a walk through a park, eating at a particular restaurant or going on an adventure. I have only two ground rules. 

  1. You need to try and do it with someone else (community) 
  2. You are forbidden from talking about your work (rest). To help hold you accountable tell the person/people you’re going with that you CAN NOT talk about your work. 
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If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.

 

 

 

Creativity Spark

I passionately believe creativity is a muscle that needs to be stretched to grow and become stronger. In a world of “box resources” I think we are losing the creative edge we once had in ministry.

Written by Jesse Criss and edited by Sophia Savalli


Over the next few months, I want to spark some creativity in our community here at Fresh Ministry Consulting. I passionately believe creativity is a muscle that needs to be stretched to grow and become stronger. In a world of “box resources” I think we are losing the creative edge we once had in ministry. I am not saying “box resources” are bad, but when it’s just plug-n-play, we lose the ability to think critically about how that resource, game, study, retreat etc… will work within our individual setting. Strengthening a creativity muscle will not only give you the capacity to re-image the “boxed resources” you use but also give you the confidence to experiment and create for yourself.  

Now I know what you’re going to say, “Jesse, I don’t have time for this, being creative takes too long and I just don’t know where to start”. My push back for you is that taking time to be creative is good for the soul. God is a creative God, just go outside and sit in nature for a few minutes. God’s creativity is all around us every single day. It doesn’t have to take up all your time. If you take small steps every week, over time it will become easier and easier. It will change how you look at and see the world around you. I believe being creative can become natural, you can create muscle memory for creativity, and when that happens creativity will just flow from you. 

However, for some of you, this might be really easy or really hard. Like fitness levels, we are all starting at different stages. Do what you can each week and don’t stress about it too much, this is supposed to be fun. My best advice as you get started is to get out of your head and just go with it. Don’t seek perfection but be willing to try and fail. There are no grades, so you have nothing to lose.  

From a structure point, for the next few months every Monday/Tuesday I’m going to post three creativity challenges. They will focus on Program Creativity, Spiritual Creativity and Personal Creativity. You can do as much or as little as you want but remember the goal is to spark your creativity and stretch that muscle. I am also going to jump into this project and post my creative journey, and I would love for you to share yours.

If I had a BIG DREAM it would be to collect some of everyone’s adventures and share them with the whole community here at Fresh Ministries Consulting. So if you are interested in sparking your creativity, just stay tuned for week #1 and get involved however much you want and consider sharing your creative journey.

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If you would like to know more about this topic or learn how to implement this in your youth program feel free to contact me.