God is creative. Only five words into the Bible and we discover the first of His attributes. He took the formless and void and filled it with stars, planets, and life. Everything was created by His word.
Everything except mankind. In an incredible act of attention and care, He formed us out of the earth and animated us with His breath. He created us in His image.
In bearing His image, we are also creative. We have been hardwired to create—to make art, music, and leadership that reflect the creativity of our God.
For centuries, the church was central to the process of creation, serving as the hub of these creative culture-shaping activities. Museums are filled with church-commissioned art that communicated, in beautiful and sometimes broken ways, the story of God to the world.
Somewhere in our recent history, the church drifted away from that creative work. God predominantly became the Creator of knowledge while the process of innovation and creativity became the work of society.
Today, that leaves Jesus' church with an incredible opportunity.
More than two million people call the Portland metro area home, making it one of the fastest growing communities in the United States.
Situated between Seattle and San Francisco, we have become a community of creatives, taking everything from industry and technology to coffee and food and turning it into a work of art.
Population by generation of PDX metro area
Of those two million people, more than half are comprised of people under the age of 40, a demographic that embodies this creative culture.
This is a demographic that desperately needs to be connected to the church. While the decline of youth in the church has been widely discussed, the reality is dramatic. According to the Public Religion Research Institute:
- America's youngest religious groups are all non-Christian
- 38% of those ages 18-29 nationally claim no religious affiliation, up from 25% in 2012
- Additionally, Barna Group discovered that only 37% of Millennials identify faith as central to their identity.
Churches around the country are trying to figure out how to reach this creative generation, and we believe one of the keys is for Jesus' church to step back into how God designed us as creatives and called us to express His creativity. That is why we are launching Kingdom to Culture, a creative initiative of Good Shepherd Community Church designed to find and foster a creative community through intentional environments and gatherings.