I sat down with SALT Community’s own Luke McElroy to talk about the story behind and release of his new book Creative Potential. Luke is the founder and visionary behind Orange Thread Media, the parent company of SALT Community. This is Luke’s third book, following Environmental Projection released in early 2016.
How did you first recognize the opportunity to write a book and tell SALT’s story?
“Over the past few years, I have had countless people share with me how God was using the SALT movement to unlock some things in their life. For some it was a vocational revelation, or creative insight. But for most, they shared with me that God was reminding them that they have a purpose in this life, and that God has given them specific gifts to transform the world. This was the spark that caused me to wonder how many more people would step into the fullness of their God-Given Calling when we recognize the powerful principles God lays out in the Bible when it comes to finding our creative potential. So I started writing.
What I didn’t expect is the response I’ve already started to get. From friends, to family and now I’m starting to hear from many of my own hero’s who have read excerpts of the book, that it’s impacting their spiritual and creative journey in profound ways. And I still don’t think I’ve fully realized what God wants to do through the story I share in the book of my finding my purpose, and stepping into my own creative potential!”
Where did the ‘for you’ mindset come from? How/where did you see a need for it?
“It started with a conversation a few years back, but was confirmed during the 2016 election. I read a statistic that blew me away. Pew Research Center had conducted a study on the reason that people voted for a particular candidate during the 2016 Presidential Election. The result: The number one reason that someone voted for either candidate was that they were NOT the opposing candidate. TO put it another way, The number one reason people voted for Hillary Clinton was that she was NOT Donald Trump, and vice versa.
And then I see what’s happening on Facebook, social media and other online outlets. People are leveraging any and all of their platform so that their voice can be heard. Which isn’t inherently bad, except that we’re in a culture that makes our voice for what we’re against louder than the voice of what we’re for. And that causes relational dissonance.
When you look at Scripture, the overarching theme is that Jesus came to not be served (as King of all Kings) but instead to serve everyone. That’s someone who embodies a mentality to making His voice loudest for those he is For, rather than against. So the whole “for you” mentally came from desiring to see those who set the table for the environments of weekly church gatherings to be passionately in love with the things of Jesus and not caught up in the temptation to be “against” everything, like the world is. So in many ways, a “for you” person is someone who is a “for Jesus” person, because He modeled it so well years ago!”
“27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Mandid not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:27-28 (NIV)
You talk about “establishing [your] creative gobstopper” in the book, can you explain this concept?
“Absolutely! I was so grateful when God gave me this picture. In the book, as you know Megan, I unpack the four biblical principles of finding your creative potential, and I use the gobstopper as the picture of how those four principles interact with one another. First, at our core, we must recognize that we are truly unique in the image of our creative God. Not recognizing our core identity as unique will prevent ourselves from ever seeing that it’s our creative potential that God desires for us, not someone else’s creative potential.
Then we look at what the Bible says about being the best you, that you can be, through the lens of excellence. We look at the differences that the world tries to pin on that word “excellence” and how scripture seems to be a bit counterintuitive when it comes to being our best. After we are the best selves, then we look at what it means to create and live in the context of a community. So our third layer of the Gobstopper is “Collaboration”. And it’s in this chapter that I share one of the greatest revelations I came across in the study of this material… that no one, including God, was designed for isolation and creative independence. No one!
Lastly, we look at the layer of the gobstopper that impacts the world: contagiousness. I share the difference between Kingdom-minded creative potential and worldly vitality, while exploring the intersection of life change and creative impact. As we finish the concept of the gobstopper, I leave you with a few things that are often limiters of our creative potential, by talking about the role of fear, pride, success, fame, etc as we step into our creative potential.”
I know you had a long process trying to pick the cover of the book, tell me how that started and what your process and reasoning was for the cover you ended up with?
“The cover was so important to me. I know they say “don’t judge a book by a cover”, but the design of something speaks so loudly to the story that is told within, and I knew that this book had to have the right cover. So we went through a good 8-10 versions before we landed on a concept that was right. In many ways I find that this same process is related to the story I share in the book of finding my own creative potential… it simply takes time.
We can’t rush God with the timing He has for our story, because with Him it’s about relational intimacy over effective products. We have to be diligent with the gifts He has given us (that’s being a good steward), but through the process of waiting, we show God that we care more about the one who calls us than the call itself. This is a cornerstone concept in the book and something I spend a great deal of time writing on throughout.”we show God that we care more about the one who calls us than the call itself Click To Tweet
What is the one major thing you hope people take away from the book?
“I hope people take a few things away from reading this book. First, I hope it helps people recognize their own creative abilities. Since we’re made by a creative God, and in the image of that creative God, I hope we too see that He made us to be creative as well! Second, I hope it helps people run with a fervency toward their calling, like never before. As I share in the book, when we identify that our calling in life is from the God of the universe, you’ll start to run with the confidence of the cross behind you. This will change your entire path in life, you entire purpose in your existence and hopefully draw you nearer to God in the most intimate of ways.”
How can I pre-order?
“Amazon! But I’ll also hook everyone who pre-orders up with a bunch of bonus resources. If they head over to this site after they order, they can fill out a form so I can email them all the bonus resources!” Click here for that link.