Creativity is Not a Luxury, it is Life

Bruce Reyes-Chow
4 min readAug 23, 2021

Our well of creativity has not run dry, we’ve just been taught that the life that it provides is not worth drinking.

Dear Pastors and Church Leaders —

I feel you. It’s been a time.

As I take a breath to reflect on these past 18 months, it has become abundantly clear that, in attempting to faithfully lead a congregation during this pandemic, my creativity has been ever so slowly withering away. In fact, the very act of writing this post on creativity has been painful and plodding with the reading and re-reading my own words straight up making me sleepy.

Not good, not good at all.

The truth is, I have forgotten how to flip my creativity lightbulb switch to “on” and am mortified that I am unable to express myself beyond terrible appliance metaphors. The saddest part is, not that I believe my well of creativity has run dry, but rather I have clearly succumbed to the idea that the life and energy that creativity provides is not worth drinking.

If you are like me, I too often buy into the idea that creativity is an inefficient, self-indulgent, “Only if you have time after all the tasks are completed.” luxury that can only take the form of writing retreats, expensive getaways, or Etsy-level, artistic endeavors far beyond the reach of mere mortals.

But wait, Bruce you have done X, started X, the church you serve has not revolted (At least I don’t think that they have.), and what the hell man, you are giving presentations about all this cool, new, funky, “hybrid church” stuff. Yes, like many of you, I have enjoyed tapping into some skills, gifts, and ideas, but the adrenaline of “crisis breeds innovation” ran out sometime last spring and it has become painfully obvious that my “bag of tricks” probably ran out well before that.

I have been competent, but I have not been creative. Huge difference.

The sad fact is that what most people perceive as creativity has really just been thoughtfulness and competency, and now the drive to deliver programs and the need to manage our way into the future has begun to creep into the realm of toxic productivity.

Bruce Reyes-Chow

he/him | working for the common good: writing, speaking, pastoring, coaching, parenting, seeking, observing, loving, amplifying, marching, laughing, napping.