Thursday, August 13, 2020

How to Start a Creative Community


Creative community is water for the artist's well. It is important for artists to stay in a thriving community for support, encouragement, growth, and accountability. In 2016 I entered into my first creative community and it was life-changing. I met people there that were an important part of my artistic journey, some for friendship, some for coaching, some for creating, and some just for love. It was an incredible time of growth. I drove four hours once a month to glean from and sit with these women. It was worth every traffic jam!

It took me three years to start my own creative community, but when the time was right I knew it and I couldn’t reason it away or make excuses why I couldn’t, shouldn’t or wouldn’t do it. The moment I knew I was supposed to start a creative community I launched my group. I mean seriously, I created a Facebook event immediately although our first meeting was three months away. It was important to get the word out, hold myself and accountable, and start seeking the Lord for direction.

As soon as I announced it, the Lord was not slow in giving me instructions for the group. My group is called Creative Collective and we meet once a month. Our first order of business was to discuss the Lord’s desire to restore us fully to the creativity He saw in us from the beginning of time. It was a powerful message and gave us a solid foundation. One of our members was ready to give up his art career and get rid of all his stuff before he found our group. I am so grateful he didn’t!

I’d love to share what I’ve learned along the way and encourage you to seek the Lord about starting your own creative community. I had a Zoom meeting today and these are the points we discussed to begin the process of starting your own community:

WHO will you invite?

This is important! Will you invite friends, put it on Facebook and ask people to share, your neighbors, church members? You might already have a sense of who you’d like to include, but don’t limit yourself in any way, be open for the unexpected. I’ve had people blindly message me on Facebook, I’ve met people getting car work done and a host of other ways. 

WHAT kind of group will it be?

The Creative Collective launched as a Christian group because my goal was to encourage believers in their creativity and relationship with God with identity at the heart of it all. I would not turn someone away, but I want them to understand our relationship with God is at the heart of what we do and discuss.

WHEN will you meet?

Decide if you want morning or afternoon, weekday or weekend. I always found it best to have a set day such as the second Tuesday of the month, that way people can plan in advance and block out that time.

WHY are we meeting?

My vision was clear, yours will be personal to your area, your giftings, and your current assignment.

The Creative Collective meets for the purpose of:


Supporting and encouraging each other when we hear from the Lord. Being surrounded by people who will not let us walk away easily when the going gets tough and to confess our faults, so that we may be healed.


Equipping ourselves to do the creative things God has called us to do in an environment where we can give and receive feedback. A place to take hold of the truth of what God says about us and a place to begin practicing who we really are.


Participating in activities where our spirits are being activated in our calling whether through art, prayer, or teaching.


Celebrating ourselves and each other. Many don’t have a safe place or even a group of people for support, we can be this for each other.

WHERE will you meet?

Choose a location! It can be as simple as a coffee shop, your studio, home, church, yard, park, etc. Again, do not limit yourself or God. This is a great time to get creative, don’t give up on a dream of creative community because you don’t have a place to meet. God will provide.

HOW long will you meet?

It is helpful for people to plan if they have a set schedule. When I started I didn’t do this, so we met for three months and then did a book study which had a time limit, which was four months. It gave people an opportunity to commit to the time or not. Sometimes it helps people to say, “I can do this for three months.” Getting people to show up is not your responsibility. Now you can relax and have fun. You do what God shows you and let Him do the rest. If you have a book study you can cut off new members after the first month or so, just to establish a safe and trusting environment for people to share.

Each meeting should have a standard meeting time. I schedule for two hours. It gives us time for one worship song, discussion, and prayer/ministry time.

Reevaluating the group every few months or after a book study is a good idea, get input and listen to what people need and what they are looking to get out of the community. Do not let that be your only deciding factor, as it is important to continually seek the Lord.

HOW many people?

You want to be able to give time and attention to each person, so know yourself. What you can handle depends on your other responsibilities and many other factors. The size of the group is not important. I knew I would have my group each month even if one person showed up.

HOW do we communicate?

I’ve done this two ways. I had one group in my town and we have a private Facebook group where only people who attend can join. Again that is for trust and security. The other group I led was in another town and we had a Facebook messenger group. It was a smaller group and that worked well.

This is not a cookie-cutter process. I share my experience as a guide and not a to-do list. As you take steps in faith toward starting your community God will meet you and exceed your expectations. My prayer is that this is an encouragement for you and gives you a jumping-off point toward your dream of meeting with other creatives on a regular basis to advance creativity in the Kingdom of God.

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