This post is part of Summer Ministry Vlog Week 2016! What the heck is that, you ask? Check this out.

Hey pals! Earlier this week I shared five tips that have been really helpful for me personally on how to be, and stay, more creative – especially in youth ministry. But to add onto that conversation, I thought I’d tell you about a few books I’ve read recently that have helped fuel my creativity, both personally and in ministry. So, okay, here we go.

A CURIOUS MIND

BRIAN GRAZER

I actually listened to the audiobook version of this book, and it was awesome. If you’re looking to be inspired by someone super creative, Brian Grazer is a great place to start. He’s responsible for a ton of amazing movies and TV shows from basically every genre imaginable. He was the guy behind movies like A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, 8 Mile, and The Nutty Professor… plus TV shows like Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, 24, and (my personal favorite), Arrested Development. This guy is unbelievably talented, but here’s the cool thing – he credits much of his creativity to his decision to simply be more curious. So this book is packed with tons of peeks into tons of conversation Brian’s had over the years with really interesting people and what he’s learned about the power of curiosity.

STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST

AUSTIN KLEON

This is a tiny little book that’s full of doodles and scribbles and handwriting and all sorts of fun things. And it’s all about the 10 things nobody told you about being creative. Stuff like, “You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself.” It’s a super fun read, it’s inspiring, and it’s really helpful and practical too.

HOW TO BE HERE

ROB BELL

Now this isn’t a book about creativity – at least, not in the same way these first two books were. But here’s the thing I love about this book – in it, Rob challenges all of us to think about creativity a little more broadly. Creativity, he says, isn’t just limited to our work or our fun little hobbies. Creativity is part of everything we do – it’s in how we approach life, especially the painful or difficult parts, because creativity is simply choosing to make something new out of what’s in front of us. When we look at life that way, everything in life becomes a creative act. And that’s pretty cool.

BIG MAGIC

ELIZABETH GILBERT

I’ve got the physical and the audio versions of this book, guys, and I’m not sure which one I love more. Liz actually reads the audiobook herself, so maybe that one? I don’t know, I can’t decide. But this book is so great. It’s about creative living beyond fear. It’s funny, it’s inspiring, it’s packed with Liz’ own stories about creativity and fear and failure, and it’s really practical sometimes too.

THE INEVITABLE

KEVIN KELLY

This one might sound a little weird to you, but trust me – it’s awesome. I went audiobook style on this one too. It’s about the 12 technological forces that will shape our future and it will make your head explode. Kevin is an unbelievably smart dude and a futurist – which basically means he studies current trends and advances in technology and science and mathematics, then makes predictions about how those trends are going to change and evolve in the future. If you’re into stuff like articficial intelligence, and robots, and economics (and even if you’re not), check out this book. It’s crazy.

 

So there you have it – five books I’ve read this year that have helped spark my creativity. I loved them and I hope you will too. Now let’s talk about it – maybe swap some book recommendations or something.

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