by Lisa Hardwick
A few weeks ago, I taught a class on podcasting to rising third-sixth graders at our church’s MAD (Music, Art, Drama) Camp. Although I know the basics of producing a podcast, my main goal was to get these kiddos to find joy in their creativity. After all, we are made in the image of the original Creator—the one who must have enjoyed making the jeweled peacock and the comically disproportionate giraffe, my favorite pink cotton candy sunsets, and bursting spring tulips.
If God values creativity, there must be something to it.
During this era of screens and automations we could even argue that creativity is more important than ever. Let’s also consider the benefits that creativity provides for our mental health. Dr. Cathy Malchiodi shares, “Being creative can increase positive emotions, lessen depressive symptoms, reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and even improve immune system functioning.” *
Pretty cool, right?
For our podcasting class we divided the kids into groups based on what topic they wanted to cover in their podcast, and we told them to choose a subject that they found interesting and exciting. We had two groups who wanted to cover animal facts (did you know elephants live between 48 and 70 years?), a video game comedy routine, a basketball podcast, a group that covered their favorite travel destinations, and we even had one group cover a theater performance complete with a song from the play.
We provided the kids with a basic format for their podcast: Make an intro, interview each other, and then create a closing line or two. We asked them to keep it to about five minutes and then we let them run with it! Their wheels immediately started spinning, and smiles were coming out.
They didn’t need any special equipment to create; we gave them notebooks and pens. They had each other. That’s enough!
Created to Create
They had their naturally creative minds, and with a little guidance here and there they absolutely nailed it. We didn’t have to ask them to practice their lines. They acted diligently and went over their scripts even after the class was over, because they wanted it to be excellent and they took pride in their work.
On Thursday of MAD Camp week, our students were able to use the professional recording studio at our church, complete with microphones, stage lights, and all the cool shiny equipment that made them go “Whoa!” Thanks to their diligent preparation, when it came time to record their podcasts, they all sounded so natural and comfortable—totally at home in their creative little world.
That’s the joy I was talking about.
These moments and experiences shouldn’t be limited to children—adults are also created in the image of our Creator and maybe we just need to dust off our art smocks. It doesn’t need to be complicated, and certainly shouldn’t be competitive. It doesn’t need to take a whole week, but maybe every once in awhile we can take a few moments to take in and breathe out the beauty God has graced us with.
Write. Sew. Paint. Dance. Play music. Whatever it looks like, just do it.
With such darkness surrounding us in this present sinful world, the ability to create beauty is a gift we should not take for granted. What beautiful minds the Lord has given us, and what a blessing it is to use them to shine his light to others.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).
*Creativity is Your Secret Advantage for Mental Health and Well-Being” by Dr. Cathy Malchiodi, 2015. https://nyctherapy.com/therapists-nyc-blog/creativity-is-your-secret-advantage-for-mental-health-and-well-being/
Lisa Hardwick is an author, public speaker, and business owner of A Life Postpartum. You can check out her writing here: alifepostpartum.com