How can we use creativity to bring the culture of Heaven into our sphere of influence? Our friend Micah Yongo, author of the epic fantasy Lost Gods, uses storytelling to challenge the values and customs of the world, and invites people to imagine something greater. Hear him share his thoughts on Kingdom Creativity. Buy Lost Gods on Amazon
My name is Micah Yongo, I’m an epic fantasy author. And I wanna spend a few moments talking to you about kingdom creativity. Because for me, kingdom creativity is just a way of communicating something of the high culture of heaven. Of conveying something of the customs, the values, the truths, the priorities, the norms, the ways of thinking, the rules of inference that ultimately govern that particular culture.
And communicating them in the world in a way that isn’t explicitly Christian necessarily, but that does something to invite people into a place of curiosity. Where they get the opportunity to imagine something of the culture of heaven, without necessarily perhaps being able to articulate that that’s what they’re doing. And so being able to kind of imagine worlds, and ideas, and convey them in such a way that are beautiful, that are engaging, that are actually conversant with the culture that people are already able to relate to. But that are also different and distinctive in some way, that allow people to have their imaginations captured in such a way that allows them to be invited into a process, or into a journey of imagining new realities and imagining new ways even to live, new values, new customs, new norms I think is just a really, really powerful thing and for me, one of the things that have always struck me in my heart as in my approach to writing and my approach to creativity in general. There’s something that Jesus said in his prayer that he taught the disciples when he said that we are to pray for the kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. To actually provide in some way, a conduit, or a currency that joins one reality with the other.
And whenever we engage in creativity, whenever we engage in new, and fresh, and distinctive ways of doing things whereby we’re not relying or dependent upon old norms, or old customs, but we’re actually willing to lean in to the presence of God, and lean in to the Spirit, to allow him to actually communicate something through us or with us collaboratively, it does something whereby it opens people up. Because it’s fresh, because it’s different, because it’s new. And it’s not something that’s kind of stayed and something that’s kind of, they are already accustomed to and used to.
And so it really challenges us, it really challenges me in my approach to writing and in my approach to creativity because it’s not about just resting on old laurels, or resting on old routines. It’s about actually having a space of fellowship with the presence of God. A space of fellowship with the Spirit of God, and inviting him into the writing process. It’s about being in a place of worship. And I think whenever we do that, whether it’s as musicians, whether it’s as songwriters, whether it’s as innovators and whatever context or domain that person is occupying and operating in and it allows the presence of God to breathe on that moment and to breathe on what he’s created. And that’s really where the power is, because that’s really what allows people to be engaged, not necessarily, as I said, just so that they can have the opportunity to meet Jesus, but to be engaged in such a way that it allows their imaginations, and their minds, and their hearts to be changed, and to be invited into a new way of experiencing something.