Building a Creative Culture


May 18, 2023
5 min read

Creativity invites us to venture beyond ourselves into a place where we can co-create with God. 


We were designed to create.

Have you ever noticed that the very beginning of the Bible is an encounter with God as a creator? The story of God turning nothing into something is our first introduction to him. The Bible story starts with true creativity on display. 

Everything around us is marked with God’s signature, including you and me. We are walking, talking expressions of his creativity because we are made in his image. Every time we create, our humanity collides with heaven’s divinity, meaning everything we do is an opportunity for creative expression. 

At its core, creativity is turning thoughts, ideas, and experiences into something tangible. It invites us to venture beyond ourselves into a place where we can co-create with God. 

Here’s the beautiful thing: creativity knows no bounds. Whether we view ourselves as creative or not, each and everyone one of us has unlimited access to create. Some express themselves through art and music, others in the way they prepare for a corporate meeting. We are creative in how we raise our kids, lead our teams, and solve problems. Our creativity is limitless because God is limitless. 

No matter where we find ourselves, we can build a healthy creative culture around us. There are three pillars that I believe should be part of every creative space. 

1. Intentional Connection

The key to having longevity in our creative teams is to stay connected to the source.

By continually tapping into God’s presence, we stay connected to divine inspiration. To quote the great Bishop T.D. Jakes, “Prayer anchors your soul, and it releases your creativity.” Communion with God quiets our soul so our tank is refilled, imagination is restored, and creativity is revitalized. We don’t have to maintain our own supply or inspiration. 

I love what Pastor DawnChere shared with our creative team a few months ago. We can aim to follow trends and recreate what’s popular, but the world only offers copy after copy of creative expression. It’s when we go back to God that we are inspired to innovate something new.

2. Honest Feedback

It’s essential that we are also connected to the people we work and serve with. Rather than competing, a healthy creative culture collaborates together. The more unified we are as a team, the stronger we are in our creative process and final product. 

Our first iteration is rarely our best iteration. It’s in the collaborative process of editing, adding, erasing, restarting, and rearranging that our best ideas come to life. We’re capped at our own creative limits when we go at it alone. Inviting others into the process strengthens our skills and equips us to dream bigger, visualize better, and execute more effectively. 

Having space to give positive and constructive feedback is essential to building a healthy creative culture. Learning how to give and receive feedback is key. 

As hard as it can be to receive feedback, the benefits outweigh the cost. Having input from others refines us, pulls us out of a rut, points out our blind spots, and teaches us to lay down pride and offense. We put pieces of ourselves into the work we create; receiving feedback teaches us humility as we separate our personal value from what we produce. 

3. Empowering Environment

As leaders, we are responsible for setting the tone for our teams. We determine the environment and set the culture we want to see. In his book Herding Tigers: Be the Leader that Creative People Need, Todd Henry highlights the essential elements of leading creative teams: 

Stability + Challenge = Trust

Creative teams need a clear vision to follow. A stable environment brings a sense of protection that gives freedom and safety to take risks, think outside of the box, and bring new ideas to the table. It’s okay to embrace failure, learn from it, and iterate again. 

Within a stable environment, creative teams desire to be challenged and pushed. We have to understand what our creative teams need so we can provide it. A strong leader is an expert in what their team needs and can respond accordingly. 

Finding the right balance of challenge and stability is what leads to trust — the ultimate currency in a creative culture. Imbalance leads to the opposite:

High challenge + low stability = an angry team

Low stability + low challenge = a lost team

High stability + low challenge = a stuck team

High stability + high challenge = a thriving team


Our aim should always be for our team to thrive rather than just survive. Building a healthy creative culture means continually broadening the scope of creativity and growing in our understanding of what creativity is. There is no box that defines the level of creativity of an organization. We can flip the script on what a creative team culture can be, ultimately unlocking our potential and unleashing our true creativity.

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