Four Roles of Creativity

When I joined the Campus Innovation team here in Indy last year, I knew I’d have opportunities to use my creative skills. After all, Innovation’s mission is to create fresh, new ways to connect people to Jesus. But what I didn’t expect was that our ministry leaders would ask us to also train others to creatively address the ministry challenges they face. My training and coaching background fits in perfectly with this new addition to our mission!

Since January I’ve written and led two workshops for our Innovation staff on creativity, based on the work of Roger von Oech. He writes, “To be successful as a creative thinker, you need to adopt a different creative thinking role during each stage of the creative process.” Here is a quick overview of the four roles he discerned, plus an example of how you may see this in your own life.

The Explorer is the role that searches for new information or raw materials. For example, if you’re planting a flower garden, you use this role when you find out which flowers will grow in your climate, which ones need full sun, and which will thrive in the shade.

The Artist is the part of you that comes up with ideas to make use of what the Explorer has found. For your flower garden, one idea may be to plant only red and white flowers, and another may be to plant colors in rows like a rainbow, and another to plant them randomly.

The Judge is your decision-maker. This role evaluates the various ideas and chooses which to use and which to toss. You’re using your Judge role when you decide to go for the rainbow idea in your flower garden.

The Warrior implements the chosen idea. You’re being a Warrior when you till the soil, buy the seeds, plant and water them, and cultivate the flowers as they grow.

I got great feedback from these workshops, and I look forward to doing more in the future!

Prayer and Praise

  • Praise God for how He has prepared me with skills that are needed for role He has led me to in Innovation. How like Him to do that!
  • Pray for wisdom for me during my summer assignment with our online Institute of Biblical Studies. (Since we work on an academic calendar, we often do something different for the summer.) I’ll coach a small group of Cru staff members in Bible Study Methods and assist with grading for two other classes.

Thank you for praying!


Denise DiSarro

View posts by Denise DiSarro
I am a staff member with Cru, a caring community passionate about connecting people to Jesus Christ. I work on a creative team in the Indianapolis area.
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