It is imperative that we who desire to serve the Lord with our creative gifts remember is that it’s ministry and ministry needs to be biblical. Here are ten Bible passages that are crucial to anyone involved in creative ministry. All these passages come from the ESV.
1. Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Did you realize the first thing we learn about God in the Bible, perhaps beyond His eternal nature, is the fact that He created? It’s true, God is the Creator of all things. As such He is THE Master Artist and the premier role model for creative people. This knowledge is important for a plethora of reasons. First, He designed everything and knows how everything works. This lends tremendous credibility to His Word. We may have our thoughts about the way we think things should be, but God knows. We may be living this story we’re in, but He is the Author, knowing the end from the beginning. This knowledge should make us faithful and obedient.
2. Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
If we are created in the image of God, then, among many other things, it could be argued that creativity is in our DNA. In a world where so many people argue against their own creativity, we are clearly told we are created in the image of the Creator. This means, contrary to popular belief, our creative dreams, are not pipe-dreams we can do until we get a “real job.” They are part of the Creator’s design for us. If you are a person who lives and breathes creativity, you can be confident that is was God who made you that way.
A Creative Job
Case in point. Did you know that one of the first jobs God gave to humanity was a creative job? It’s true, Genesis 2:19 tells us God also gave Adam a creative project. “Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.” One of the first assignments God gave to Adam was the incredibly creative job of naming every creature he saw. There are many people in our world who will try to talk you out of creative pursuits in favor of a more “practical” life, but what if God created you to create? God has a good plan and purpose for your life, as we’ll soon see. Your creativity is part of that plan.
3. John 1:1-3
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
The first thing we learn about God in the Bible is that He created. The first thing John tells us about Jesus is that He is God, and the second thing He tells us is that Jesus is also the Creator of all things. Once again, as a creative, this puts you in mighty good company. Our Savior and Lord, our greatest example is a creative. Ask Him to help you put your creativity to work for His Kingdom.
Representing the Creator
In 2 Corinthians 5:20, we are told, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” As Christians we are called to represent Christ, and that God is making His appeal through us for people to be reconciled to their Creator. This seems to mean that the gifts and talents we have been given are given so that we can creatively represent our Creator, so that we can point others to the salvation that is found in Him.
4. Exodus 31:1-5
The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.
Were you aware that the first person proclaimed to be filled with the Spirit of God in the Bible was an artist? And the Spirit was given to that artist so he would have the skills to make God’s tabernacle. Bezalel was gifted to do God’s creative work here on earth.
Is There a Difference Between Gifts and Talents?
I once had an editor that wanted me to differentiate between gifts and talents, saying that gifts are Spiritual while talents are worldly. I’m not sure that is the case. I come from a different school of thought. Sure there are people who have talents that they do not use for good, but I see our gifts and talents from a James 1:17 point of view. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” As people gifted by God to create, the gift clearly comes from God. Our calling is to use those gifts in a way that brings Him glory. Not all will choose to do that, but that is not a reflection on the gift. It is a reflection on the character of the recipient.
5. Matthew 25:14-15
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.”
This passage comes from Jesus Parable of the Talents. I’ll be going more into depth with this parable in a later column, but for now I want to key in on the last six words, “to each according to his ability.” That is how God distributes talents to His people. The great new in that is you don’t have to compare your gifts and your work to anyone else, which is good, because comparison often leads to either discouragement or pride and neither of those is helpful. This leads us to another verse from the same parable.
6. Matthew 25:21
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
God knows what He gave you, and He knows your level of ability. You’re not responsible to be better than anyone, and you’re no less valuable if someone else is better than you. You are simply responsible for faithfulness—bringing your best to everything He has called upon you to do. God is not comparing you to someone else. He knows you better than you know yourself, and He has strengths to make up for any of your weaknesses. You simply need to offer Him your best, and if you do, in Christ, you will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…”
7. 1 Corinthians 12:17-20
If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The Bible calls the Church the body of Christ. We are all parts of that body. As with your individual body, each part has a different function. Each of us has a different part to play, but all the parts are important. God has created us to be dependent on Him and interdependent on one another. Think of a symphony. Some of the instruments carry the melody, others the harmony. Some instruments play a part that is recognizable as the tune, others do not, some have big parts, some just a few notes, but only when they play together does the piece really “sing,” and so it is with the Church. We all bring something different to the table, but only when we all come together and serve to the best of our God-given abilities, is Christ truly reflected in His body.
8. Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Each of us was made by God on purpose for a purpose. We were create to do good works that God planned for us before we were born. Again God is the Creator of all things. He knows the end from the beginning and everything in between. You, and the creative gifts and talents He has given you, are part of God’s plan for this world and beyond. Put them to work faithfully for the good of the Kingdom and trust God to do all that He wills to do with your faithful offering.
9. Philippians 1:6
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
A lot of times people are hesitant to serve out of their gifting, for fear that they are somehow insufficient. So right now I would like to ease your mind. You are insufficient, but that’s okay. God is more than enough to make up for any perceived weaknesses we see in ourselves. This thing that you feel called to do, if it is truly a calling, you need to know it didn’t start with you. This verse reminds us that God began it in us, and God will be the one to bring it to fruition, causing it to do whatever He planned for it to do. Our job is not to bring about the success. Our job is to do what He has called us to do with faithfulness, offer it to Him and trust Him to do what only He can with it.
10. 1 Peter 4:10
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
This is the verse that started my whole ministry, and I pray it speaks to you as well. Each of us has received at least one gift from God, and some have many. Our job is to take those gifts and talents that God has invested in us and use them to serve others. When we do that we become instruments of grace, because when we serve others faithfully with what God has given, we point them to the One who cared enough to send a gifted person to help. We are called to use God’s gifts to point others to the Savior who saves us by His grace.
These are 10 Bible passages for creative ministry. They are great passages from God’s word that can guide and inspire any creative to use his or her gifts to God’s glory. Is this a complete list? No, but it’s enough to get us started. Put what God has given you to work in service to Him and then watch what He will do.