Creativity is my Superpower
An interview with Josie Gamble, founder of the Christian Creative Network.
I look down at the little black and white sticker in my hands and read it to myself: ‘CREATIVITY IS MY SUPERPOWER’.
I look up at the face of the person who gave it to me, who is beaming from ear to ear, and I know I’m in for an interesting conversation.
It’s a rainy Tuesday morning and I’m sat in a home-office in Tettenhall, listening to Josie Gamble explain to me the vision for the Christian Creative Network (CCN), a fast-growing, national organisation that was birthed right here in The Black Country in 2017 by Josie and her friend Gemma Dunn.
“We were both passionate about creativity and we wanted to get Christian creatives in the area together to connect, share ideas, grow and encourage one another,” explains Josie, as we sip hot tea and chat.
They had clearly identified a niche that needed filling and the group in Wolverhampton quickly gained momentum and attracted people from all over the region and beyond.
“We would meet monthly and network online through our Facebook group and it became clear that CCN was not only needed but could easily be modelled elsewhere.”
The growth of the relatively young network provides proof for the pudding. CCN is quickly morphing into a national movement, with branches continuing to open all over the country.
“Each local branch is led by a branch leader who facilitates the online and face-to-face network. Branches host a monthly ‘meet’, provide affordable workshops and run creative events. As well as a network of local branches CCN is currently developing a national Christian Creative Directory, which will enable individuals, businesses and projects to list their creative services.”
It all sounds extremely impressive yet I’m still finding my wondering what exactly a ‘creative’ is. I probe Josie for more explanation. She’s obviously been asked this question numerous times before because her answer is immediate.
“A creative is someone who expresses themselves through any form of creativity, both as an amateur or a professional,” explains Josie. “This includes artists, designers, dancers, sculptors, crafters, musicians, film makers, photographers, writers, thinkers and many more besides.”
As I listen to Josie talk, I find myself comparing CCN to other groups I know. Networking outside of the church is nothing new. There are all kinds of creative networks, communication networks and business networks out there. I’m personally part of several. So the obvious question is, why do we need a Christian version? What does creativity have to do with building the kingdom of God?
“We truly believe that creative communication is key to effectively sharing the good news of Jesus Christ,” explain Josie. “As creatives are empowered and encouraged in the body of Christ, they will help usher in revival.”
Josie’s passion is tangible. The more she talks, the more animated she becomes.
“We want to see creatives reaching their potential and influencing their world, through championing creativity in the church. When creative individuals get together exciting things happen; collaborations take shape, passions are ignited, skills are shared, opportunities are created and ideas are expanded. CCN creates an environment to meet and network with like-minded local creatives who face similar challenges and to journey and grow together. We’ve seen people grow in confidence and come alive, creative businesses start, churches engaged and communities impacted.”
That’s quite an impressive resume for a business in its infancy, yet Josie has dreams for even greater things.
“We need more creatives to join our current branches and more Branch Leaders to rise up in other parts of the country, so that Christian creatives can be connected, supported and equipped.”
Networking within the Body of Christ is a growing trend. It seems that the need for togetherness is crucial for every part of the Church, whether that be leaders, youth and children’s workers or, in the case of CCN, those using their creativity to communicate the gospel.
It strikes a personal chord for me, a communicator and writer by trade and I’m wearing my new sticker proudly, knowing that there are many others out there who share my “superpower”. Creatives of the UK Church, Unite!
If you’re a “Christian creative” and would like to know more about the work of CCN, you can connect with Josie by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website. You can also follow CCN on social media on Facebook and Instagram.