CreativeChurch Arts Conference 2018 Update

Every couple of years I have the privilege of co-producing (through the New Renaissance Arts Movement) The CreativeChurch Arts Conferences, gatherings for leaders and artists who want to see creativity, beauty, imagination and the arts flourish in the local church.   These events are inevitably full of joy and creativity. Here’s a video recap of our conference at Saddleback church, October 18-20.
I believe that the future of the church is creative, that God’s inherent creativity must be operating in our congregations in order for us to accurately reflect his character, know him and worship him more fully. We explored what that could look like at the Saddleback CreativeChurch Arts Conference, through myriad art forms, multiple interactive experiences, a plethora of practical workshops, and main sessions with creative leaders. Thursday morning, Jason Leith, Marlita Hill, Arianna Caligulari, and Ray Basile, brought us the beautiful Vessels Experience, full of live painting, storytelling, original music, and dance.  That evening Theresa Dedmon lit up the stage under the Purpose Tree with encouragement to push into divinely inspired creativity. Jason interviewed Get Weird author CJ Cassiota as we opened Friday morning, then Luke McElroy delivered an excellent word about creative connection, and dancer Saara Taina responded with a beautiful dance. Friday night under the Purpose Tree the Saddleback worship team led us in another rousing session of worship, then Rick Warren brought a pastor’s blessing to the artists and creatives in the church, throwing his full support behind this growing movement to welcome creativity and the arts into our churches. Kutter Callaway and Maria Fee from Fuller Seminary brought insightful perspective and inspiration to our Saturday Morning Session and I delivered the final message Friday night about the gift and power of imagination, after a phenomenal presentation of playback theater by Brianna Kinsman and Illumine.
Honestly, its difficult to comprehend all the wonderful things that happened over our three days. So much beauty, creativity, joy, and connection. Experiences like the Katherine Ervin's Treasure(ish) Hunt Soon, Jerome Gastaldi's giant interactive mural, the even firepits by the lake, and evening sessions under the glowing Purpose Tree made the conference feel like a magical experience. Slices of what we saw, heard, and learned will be available on video for you to partake in soon. I'll let you know when that happens. (Subscribe if you don't want to miss it.) Here are a few pictures I took with my phone. I'll add more that they become available.


3 Responses

  1. claire
    | Reply

    Im working on things in the UK, its been a lifetime.. like to work with others with creative + vision..form a team..happy to dialogue about its a lot about growing. 3/4 there just finding the core team.

  2. Lu MacDonald
    | Reply

    Wow! Wonderful! I missed this, will there be one next year?

    • J Scott McElroy
      | Reply

      So sorry you missed it, Lu! We do them every other years, so the next on will be in 2020. BUT video recordings of all the sessions and over a dozen workshops will be available in the next few weeks at

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