Creativity and College Students

When I was in college my life revolved around music. I never took a class in the music department (a fact that I now deeply regret) but even still, music consumed my life. I played in several bands and constantly sought new partners for collaboration. With friends and strangers I attended concerts near and far. Once I drove ten hours to a place I had never visited in order to sleep in my car in below freezing weather for tickets to a show. Yes, you might say I was a crazy moron for music. Above all, I made countless mix CDs. This was at the dawn of Napster and Audiogalaxy. Of course, all the downloading and burning I did was fully legal (or at least hopefully the statute of limitations has run out). What was even better than making my own CDs was the trading and sharing of music with others. It is safe to say that my music catalog has never been as rich and diverse as it was during my college and graduate school years.

But after this time, I got a job and settled down. I was around some creative people, but the atmosphere they inhabited was not the same as mine. And so much of my voracious consumption of music tapered. In the past few years, as I started working full time in ministry with college students, I have found my creativity climbing. Once again, I share music with them and vice versa. Several students have even sent me songs and mix CDs, and experiencing the new music and desire to explore and share more is exhilarating.

I feel that a lifestyle of creativity is desperately lacking and needed in the Christian Church. Many churches I visit have no college students that are regularly connected with them. Thus, the fresh blood of new ideas and the passion for exploration is sorely missing. If a church has been without this for many years it may have no idea how much it is missing out on the newness and excitement of those whose lives revolve around creating and sharing. But if we are on a journey with the God whose first image to us in scripture is that of Creator, perhaps we should make it more of a priority to celebrate students whose lives are making new things and making things new. God only knows what new ideas and practices would emerge if we diligently cultivate the creative life in everyone.