The Creative Generation
What does it look like to unleash creativity in the next generation? In a generation made up of multitasking, multi-talented individuals who are full of passion and being raised in a social media-immersed world, creativity is anything but scarce. According to USA Today, Generation Z is the most creative generation yet. It is powerful and hopeful to know that Gen Z is highly creative. However, suppose it is only recognized but never put to action. In that case, we will miss the opportunity to bring much change and beauty into this world.
Creating a Beautiful, Solution-Driven World
If we believe God, the greatest Creator, made us in his image, then we should also think that creativity is never scarce or out of reach. If we can acknowledge that there is no scarcity, then we can assume that the key to seeing this ideal world is found in the unleashing.
In a generation made up of multitasking, multi-talented individuals who are full of passion and being raised in a social media-immersed world, creativity is anything but scarce.
There are many ways leaders can cultivate environments that spur the next generation to unleash their creativity. This unleashing requires a partnership between Gen Z and its pastors, mentors, and leaders. Each needs to understand their responsibility in the collaboration and what creativity looks like from the next gen’s perspective. However, there are specific things that Gen Z needs from their leaders for this partnership to work.
Unleashing Creativity from Next Gen’s Standpoint
Gen Z creates with a purpose for a purpose. Because entertainment is at their fingertips, they are rarely interested in creating things that lack meaning and purpose. There is a deep desire to use their creativity to communicate, problem-solve, and unify. Social media has taught them that anyone and everyone has the opportunity to create. Furthermore, it has provided a variety of platforms to do so. However, because creativity is second nature for the “creative generation,” there is the dangerous potential for them to mistake their creativity as merely a common trait among their peers rather than a powerful gift waiting to be unleashed.
Recognize and Affirm Creativity
Most of us were raised to think that if everyone can do something, it is not impressive. On the contrary, when it comes to creativity, it’s all the more powerful when each person participates. In a world where everyone seems to be sharing their creations, leaders need to remind Gen Z that their creative voice is still needed. No two people create the same. Even if every person had the same gift, the presentations would still be different. They need to know that there is still room for their unique creativity. They need leaders who will speak life into them and draw their creativity out.
Gen Z creates with a purpose for a purpose.
Teach the Sacredness of Creativity
By nature, social media pressures this generation to share everything. While there is no better time than now to unleash creativity, there are also moments that call for creating for no other reason than to create—without sharing it widely. This generation can be the most innovative, world-changing group if they master the balance of practicing creativity and simply enjoying its gift. They need leaders that will help discern when creativity should be practiced, shared, or is a sacred and intimate moment with their Creator.
Give Permission and Opportunity
Gen Z will do what they set their minds to; this is a beautiful thing and dilemma. They are not waiting on permission to create. They are, however, waiting for an opportunity. If the pastors, mentors, and leaders in their life do not encourage their creativity and allow them to use it, they will find a place that will. There is a huge opportunity and responsibility for church leaders to invest in and be a part of the unleashing. Where there are young people, there are writers, speakers, visionaries, filmmakers, and many more. They are waiting for their leaders to cultivate environments that allow them to explore their creativity with the freedom to fail and a challenge to conquer.
There is so much power, impact, and strategy for change waiting to be released, but Gen Z cannot unleash it on their own. So, what does it look like to unleash creativity in the next generation? It is a partnership between Gen Z and its leaders, resulting in a more beautiful, solution-driven, unified world.
Kiersten Abernathy is a singer, songwriter, and self-taught guitar player. She is as a Generation Distinct Cohort Facilitator who is using her music and writing to glorify God and love others.