by Christian Ramos
“Pet Night”… I will never forget it… or I should say, some people won’t let me forget it. In my brain it all worked perfectly: people would invite friends to our outdoor amphitheater and everyone would bring their pet. It would turn out to be an incredible time, right? Well, it seemed that most could not see what I was envisioning.
Let me tell you the whole story. Several years ago while our church was trying to find a pastor, our leadership team was trying to reconnect with our community by doing some outdoor events that would bring the whole family together on Wednesday evenings. While we were in the creative meeting to develop these incredibly engaging events, our team leader decided to have us come up with the best ideas we could. I was excited because, as many folks who work with me know, I love to share my “creative” ideas with everyone (sometimes a bit too much). So for several long, grueling and arduous minutes I thought about our community and the importance of an event that would redefine the relationship between them and our church. It was then that I felt a still small voice whisper in my ear and say: “Pet Night”. It was a revelation that could only come from above. It was (in my mind) the greatest and most exciting event our church was about to have. As it turned out, nobody liked the idea and in fact, most people still laugh about it many years later.
After that experience it became easy for me to think that not every idea was a good idea. In fact, that is what I chose to learn. I even thought that some ideas were just flat out bad. I allowed this thinking to permeate my creative process and it even spilled into our creative endeavors within the worship ministry. Unknowingly, “Pet Night’ was still haunting my creative process many years later.
It wasn’t until February of this year after we made the decision to bring some extremely gifted songwriters into our songwriting retreat that I started to think differently. While learning from the Pros I realized that they valued every idea that came out of each person. They chose to chase down ideas that I would have never even considered in a million years. It was as if they knew something I didn’t. It was as if every idea was a good idea. As I worked with them and began to see how intentional they were about making every idea count, I began to change my thinking. I saw our team blossom as they were appreciated for every thought that was shared. That appreciation helped our worship leaders develop a healthy sense of confidence in the songwriting process that we had never been able to achieve before.
As I sat down days later and began to ponder upon the spiritual implications of that lesson in my life, I realized that God has been telling me the same thing all along: Every idea is a good idea. In Genesis 1:27, the scripture says:
“So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.”
God, the maker of all creation, the one who spoke everything into existence, the most creative being of all made us to be like him. He made us to have his characteristics. Every time we are creative we bring glory to God. Every time we write new music or paint a new work of art, or develop a great choreography, we are bringing glory to God by acting like him. The created is acting like the creator.
So when I say that every idea is a good idea, I don’t mean to say that every idea is applicable to every situation or that every idea ended up in the final version of our songs. Rather, I mean that we need to understand that every creative idea brings glory to God because in that moment we are following the example of our creator. In that moment our creativity points to a great God who in His infinite love for us chose to give us a part of himself so that we could, but for a moment, experience the incredible and fulfilling privilege of creating.
So if every idea is a good idea, then even “Pet Night” brought glory to God. I’m starting to think we might be ready for me to suggest it again!
Christian Ramos is the lead worship pastor for Family Church.