Creativity, Excellence, and Vulnerability

I was sharing a pizza with my friend Jonathan Reuel, and he had this idea that fascinated me. He originally drew this out on the back of the pizza box. (which, of course, is how all great ideas start)

He said that an artist, I need to be working on these three things all the time: Creativity, Excellence, and Vulnerability. I need all three of them. Most people or groups are better in one or two, but something is lacking when one isn’t present. Imbalance in these may not cause problems in the short term, but they will sabotage your long-term effectiveness.

Creativity includes pushing the boundaries, growth, taking risks, and not settling for what you know and do well. If you have creativity without excellence and vulnerability, you become inaccessible. If you lack creativity, you become boring and ignorable.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams

Excellence involves honing your craft, maintaining artistic integrity, and relevance (the art of using what is timely to illuminate what is timeless). If you have excellence without creativity and vulnerability, you become shiny and veneered. If you lack excellence, no one will listen to you for very long. You become endurable. (ew!)

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” Steve Jobs

Vulnerability expresses brokenness, guts, passion, transparency, and boasting in weakness (as Paul does in 2 Corinthians 12:9). If you have vulnerability without creativity and excellence, it’s just messy. If you lack vulnerability, you don’t inspire us to open our hearts and become unapproachable. 

"Vulnerability: the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say, “This is me.” @aplusk

Let’s have all three as we pursue our calling to create spaces where people can meet with God!

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