The gift of imagination

The Big Bible Storybook appears in this video by kind permission of SPCK

What are the top ingredients that you think of when it comes to fuelling God’s mission?

  • Prayer?
  • Faith?
  • Spirit filled people?

We’d certainly agree.

But how about…. IMAGINATION?

Not what you were expecting us to say?

We are made in the likeness of God. He’s designed us to reflect his nature and characteristics and that includes his imagination.

Two baby platypus being held by a human
If you need proof of God’s imagination just take a look at a platypus! By Faye Bedford (NSW DPI on Flickr)

Throughout the Bible we see people using their God given imagination to carry out his purposes.

When David offered to fight Goliath with his sling and five stones, he and Saul imagined the situation very differently…

“You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth,” says Saul.

But David replies: “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

One situation, two men, with two different ways of imagining what is possible with God.

Or how about Paul who encouraged the Galatians to imagine a body of believers where “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female.” That was a pretty radical vision for the time, but God gave Paul the necessary imagination to see how the church could be that way and no longer be slaves to a narrow view of the world.

That’s why at Church Mission Society we really value and encourage this God given gift of imagination. CMS people in mission are putting this gift into action all around the world.

In Uganda Helen Kisakye has a vision for a culture where those with disabilities are understood, accepted and valued.

That’s why she founded SPLASH dance company which enables those with disabilities to learn and perform dance alongside their able bodied counterparts. This is something which many would never have imagined in Ugandan culture, which can often view disability with fear and suspicion.

After one performance a member of the audience admitted that he had expected to feel pity for the performers with disabilities, “but it was nowhere”.

When we exercise our imagination it rubs off on those around us. Helen believes that the creative medium of dance accomplishes a refreshing visual message of strength and agility rather than one of inability.

British woman and Ugandan dancers, including wheelchair user, pose
Imagining a different life for those with disabilities in Uganda

New CMS mission partners Jennifer and Kevin Cable are imagining something new for St Peter’s church in Jaffa, which has been closed for over 70 years.

In 2021 they will be moving there to reopen the church so that once again it can become a place where God is worshipped and the community is served by the body of Christ. Their vision will join with that of the Archbishop of Jerusalem and the local Christian community who have imagined this moment for many years.

They can’t see the details yet, but God has given them a vision and they will need his creative imagination as they navigate the path from vision to reality.

closed up and run down mediterranean style church seen from road through locked gates
Imagine what St Peter’s church in Jaffa could become
contents of CMS's "Imagine" box:postcards, pen, fridge magnet etc
By setting up a regular donation of at least £5 per month you will receive the new CMS imagine resources

We have all been given imaginations by God as a tool to use in building his Kingdom, and so we want to help you and your church to develop and grow yours.

After the experience of the past year we have all had our imagination stretched as we have learned to do things differently, and seek new ways of living and serving in our communities. We all, at some point, have said or thought “I never would have imagined this a year ago!” So as we look to the future, we could all use a fresh infusion of God’s imagination to help us navigate what’s ahead.

That’s why we’ve created the imagine box which is full of inspiring stories, practical tips and imaginative ways to pray for God’s mission. And there are a number of ways that you can share this with your church.

  1. Show our new imagination video in your church service
  2. Invite CMS to visit your virtual church service (or we can hopefully come in person later in the year)
  3. Encourage people to sign up to receive the Imagine box
EventsEmail updatesLocal groupsOnline hubsThe CMS communityFundraisingAdvocatesCMS in your church: physically or virtually?Imaginative action by God’s global churchResearch – and imagination!The gift of imaginationImagination is never locked down!What is Partnership for Missional Church?Advocates in Action enquiryJobs

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