Listen: Brooke Ligertwood talks to Laura Bennett about CREATR Online and fulfilling your potential
Lockdown may be a bugbear but, in many ways, it’s been a season of adaptation, innovation and growth for church communities around the world.
From converting services to livestream formats and training teams to lead worship in remote settings, the potential of the church – and the social challenges it faces in the future – have been brought to the fore.
Global Hillsong Worship head Brooke Ligertwood is a Grammy winning songwriter, producer and worship leader, and believes church leaders need to be well equipped for the future they’re building into.
This belief prompted Brooke and some of her fellow Christian creatives to launch CREATR Online, a digital masterclass resource that gives people access to video lessons, courses, and conversations from leading worship and creative voices, all designed to help release your potential.
“[CREATR] is an ever-widening collection of people from all different parts of the church, who all have a heart to see this generation and the next generation of leaders of creativity in the church [well-trained] as church builders,” Brooke told Hope 103.2.
The pandemic provided a unique opportunity for CREATR contributors like Brooke, and artists including Phil Wickham, Brandon Lake, Jackie Hill Perry and more, to produce the series, given they would normally be on the road or involved in other projects.
What all the contributors are trying to do, Brooke said, is give people a place to practically hone their craft, while also refining their theological understanding of worship and art.
“In the age of social media and there being so much that’s visible, sometimes there can be a distortion of how Jesus designed gifts to be applied within the church,” Brooke said.
“The heart of CREATR is absolutely to help practically upskill people, but also to help people both grow in their faith and deepen their tenderness toward Jesus’ church as a whole.
“I teach a course about redemptive art, and the power of art that is created within, and propelled from, the church and then missional through art.
“Sam Lopez (pastor of Hillsong LA) breaks down ‘calling’, which is something that can be really misunderstood for all Christians, but particularly for creatives: if I think that I’m called to be a worship leader, well what does that mean for the other 138 hours of my week?
“Does that mean that I’m not called the rest of the time or does the Bible teach us – and does Jesus offer us – a different perspective on what it means to be called?”
While CREATR will no doubt help subscribers grow in their gifts, behind the scenes it did the same for one of the team, who sadly passed away before its launch.
Stephen Harmon was a research assistant for CREATR who tragically lost his life due to COVID and its complications a week before CREATR was launched.
Stephen Harmon was a research assistant for CREATR who tragically lost his life due to COVID and its complications “one week to the day” before CREATR was made public, which for Brooke and her husband Scott carried mixed emotions.
“It’s bittersweet because obviously we will miss him, but it’s sweet knowing that the last months of his life he felt so passionate about what he was doing, and was filled with so much purpose,” Brooke said.
“He would been absolutely over the moon to see this thing take off – he had such a passion for it.”
View this post on Instagram
At the time of Stephen’s passing, Scott said, “Stephen and I spent the last few months working extremely close. Most days it meant he and I working together, just the two of us, in a room for hours poring over scripture, researching and writing”.
“He would come into work everyday and tell me that this was his ‘dream job’,” he said.
“Throughout our years of friendship he would share that he believed his life’s mission was to teach.
“In six days we will be introducing the world to the project we’ve been working on, and one that Stephen has played a vital role in shaping. And as we launch it, we will also be launching Stephen’s legacy and the fulfilment of his dream to teach.
“I sit here this morning and as I connect these dots, I’m again reminded that God never works the way we think He will. Jesus taught that greatness is to serve. With that being the truth, I can wholeheartedly say that Stephen is greatness.”
“I’m again reminded that God never works the way we think He will. Jesus taught that greatness is to serve,” – Scott Ligertwood
Reflecting on CREATR and the teams’ vision for it, Brooke said, “We pray it’s really freeing”.
“We pray that the Lord really meets people through it and there’s lies that are displaced, and that there’s really practical equipping and encouragement and inspiration for people who just have a heart to build the local church through their gifts.”
CREATR Online is now available.
Listen to Brooke’s full conversation with Laura Bennett in the player above.