Last week I had the privilege of attending the Creative Infusion Conference at Daybreak church in west Michigan. Any other readers happen to make it there? It was two days of music, worship, and workshops, all focused around the themes of creativity and worship. The most obvious target audience was pastors and worship leaders, but there seemed to be a good number of designers and technicians in attendance. I won't attempt to go through the entirety of the conference, but I thought I'd share a few poorly-shot cellphone camera photos and a bit of commentary.
One of the more memorable workshops at the conference was the one put on by the good folks of the XXXChurch ministry. If you're not familiar with their outreach to the porn industry (and to porn consumers), stop by their site and see what they're up to. On Friday morning, I drove up to the conference entrance only to be greeted by a gigantic blue elephant guarding the parking lot--a fun way of bringing attention to what they call the "elephant in the pew"--pornography addiction. As part of the conference's final plenary sessions, Craig Gross of XXXChurch interviewed a porn producer who had a "road to Damascus" moment last year and turned his life around--one of the most powerful testimonies I've heard in a long while.
Another workshop I attended was a dialogue on creativity led by Shauna Niequist, who has lots of experience working with some of the most creative churches out there. Among the points she hammered home in her talks was that nurturing creativity involves much more than sitting around waiting for your Muse to inspire you; it means adjusting your daily life in a way that keeps your mind challenged and energized. If I can find an online transcript or recording of her address, I'll link to it. Good stuff.
And last but not least were the frequent worship times led by Daybreak's immensely talented musicians. I've never seen a worship band rock the house quite as hard as this one. Very inspiring--the worship rock band style might not be everybody's cup of tea (I'm a psaltar-hymnal-with-organ person myself), but it's neat to see artists putting their skills to use in a worship context like this.
All in all, a great conference. If you're a beleagured pastor or worship leader and in the west Michigan area, I'd definitely recommend giving this a look when it rolls around again next year.