• Charity Bowman-Webb

Streams Creative House: The Vision Continues

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

When John Paul first began his ministry, he had a vision that never left him. In January 2015 he released the last partner’s letter he would write, which outlined his vision for a new training school called Streams Creative House. He wrote:

This place was unique in that it wasn’t your typical school. It was a place where spiritual gifts exploded, and people saw unique creativity at jaw-dropping levels. It was a place where every expression of art occurred—music, plays, creative worship, painting and training for all facets of television. This training…created a spiritual atmosphere unlike anything I have ever experienced.

He also saw media as a crucial tool in reaching people across the earth to raise up their prophetic and spiritual gifts. Although he longed to see this vision fulfilled, this did not happen in his lifetime. John Paul is not the first person to be given a vision by God that was intended to be fulfilled over generations. Abraham did not see the entirety of God’s promise fulfilled, and the Old Testament prophets often proclaimed events they would rarely see. God’s picture is so much greater than ours.

As we look back, we can see that Streams has woven the essence of John Paul’s vision through their journey: from the many expressions of media, with television programmes such as Dreams & Mysteries, Beyond, and Conversations, to their interactive use of social media, collectively receiving millions of views. Streams has also embraced the arts and pointed toward creativity’s direct link with revelatory gifting. Prophecy and dream interpretation are themselves full of the highly metaphorical and pictorial language of God.

My Story

Meanwhile in a land far, far away, the DNA of Streams has been growing. In the year 2000, John Paul traveled to Scotland to teach The Art of Hearing God outside the USA for the first time. I was barely saved, yet I found myself in this course and my life calling exploded. Like many others, I devoured the material and a new hunger was fanned to flame. A creative, evangelistic army emerged. We grew in diversity and spiritual gifting, joining with other nations in the adventure, reaching people outside the church through teams in workplaces, at festivals and events, on the streets, and more. Scotland saw a wave of evangelism sparked by Streams courses that was truly inspiring! The DNA from Streams has continued to flow, maturing what has happened in Scotland and beyond.

I wasn’t saved until my late twenties, and up 'til then my world was saturated with a love of creativity. I trained as an artist and designer Inevitably mingled with worldly perils, it was also full of exploration and possibility, passion and colour. I wrestled through such a life till God rescued me from the mess, and I entered the altogether different culture of church. I was delighted to find the family of God and life of the Spirit, but I couldn’t understand where all the creativity had gone! Back then in our church (and many others), a couple of dusty banners and a lonely vase of flowers held the ground. It was clear from popular church teaching that innovation and the arts were low on the value list. This was very different to the world of cutting-edge design and blue-sky thinking I had come from. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t seem to get one fundamental question to lie down and die: “But, God, why did You make me and others so creative if it can’t be used to further Your Kingdom or express You to the world?”

In 2009 another wave of awakening began for me. It was as if an alarm had shattered the status quo and revelation began to flow, causing my question to rise again. God took me deep into His Word for answers and asked me to write some of the journey in a book called Limitless. (I didn’t know about John Paul’s vision for Streams Creative House before Limitless was written.) God also called me to develop a ministry called Blueflame and help raise up a creative team for our national ministry in Scotland, which became a place of convergence for others who were also waking up. Spilling beyond our nation, a new creative family has been gathering from a collective of nations, becoming a place where people can be equipped to explore and express their own creativity.

God the Creator

Many believers understand creativity as referring to mainly artistically gifted people. However, in the first line of the Bible, God reaches out with an initial introduction that reveals a particular part of His character. He chooses from 365 characteristics and names in the Bible to reveal He is “Creator,” in the act of forming His “creation.” Before we leave Genesis 1, He proclaims that all His children should be made in His image. Yet all He has done up to that point is demonstrate His creative ability, highlighting its crucial importance in the mix of His other attributes. This significant insight is pivotal in our understanding of one of the most powerful gifts God has given us and one of the gifts most contested and diminished in the church.

Unlocked Divine Creativity

We live in a highly creative culture today. In fact, in this age of technology it is recognised that as technology replaces many jobs, our human creativity and innovation will cause us to thrive in new ways. This is something machines cannot replace. A new era of evangelism stands before us, one that invites us to be part of transforming culture just as Joseph and Daniel did. To achieve this we need to allow freedom for the Spirit of God to move more fully in our church culture so we can be equipped to impact world culture with Kingdom. God is not one or two expressions; He is not always neat and tidy by our standards. He is “manifold” or “multifaceted.” This word is used in the context of God’s wisdom (Eph. 3:10). It’s interesting that some of the first people highlighted in the Bible as being given this divine, multifaceted wisdom are craftsmen and artists for the building of the Tabernacle pattern upon the earth, which itself is full of artistry (Exodus). Skill is not enough; intelligence is not enough— we need this manifold wisdom of God to infuse what we already carry.

Bob Jones prophesied that creativity would be the key to the great harvest. It’s time for change and restoration. Unlocked divine creativity is not only a touch point for new levels of healing and freedom, but it is also a powerful weapon in the hands of God’s people. God intended for every believer to become a dynamo for creativity: in originality, vision, strategy, problem solving, invention, artistry, and more. It is a critical key in your ability to reach people and change the area of culture you are called to work in and influence. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, church leaders, artists, dancers, inventors, businesspeople, and many more are discovering that this dynamic of divine potential can be activated with liberating results.

This is the vision for Streams Creative House in the days ahead. We seek to honour all that has gone before and stay true to the vision God gave John Paul at the start of his ministry. We aim to train and build family across the globe who will be part of a restoration of revelatory and creative gifting. We want to equip people and see them receive strategy and revelation, inspiration and innovation, that will carry the wisdom of God into the areas of culture He is calling them to.

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