The culture of heaven is one of great honor. In it we celebrate who a person is without stumbling over who he or she is not. In the atmosphere created by that culture, people become free. And it’s normal for free people to dream. Freedom always creates dreamers. And dreamers impact the world with a more complete expression of God’s Person and nature. The time has come for this expression to become a way of life in the kingdom.
Dreaming is a unique expression of the heart. It shows we’re alive. Truly alive. Children, who typically live without cares, dream easily. And they never dream of being insignificant.
I once read the statement, every five-year-old is an artist. I believe that is true. Tragically, the bent to create gets weeded out by educational systems that applaud only certain kinds of art, while redirecting children away from their creative expressions into cognitive skills only. They then get buttonholed into occupations like law, accounting, engineering, or other similar jobs. Each of those skills is wonderful in its own right, but they are not known as occupations of great creativity. It was never meant to be either/or when it comes to developing the artist within vs. our intellectual potential. The truth is that any skill would be enhanced beautifully by the creative expressions that should be the norm, especially for those who are born again. We are sons and daughters of the Creator. We have an edge; that should be a part of our witness. But latent gifts have no effect.
Born to Create will no doubt have instant appeal to artists and the like. As it should. But that saddens me a bit as it’s a book about freedom more than it is of the traditional subject of art. It should be read, perhaps especially read, by people who don’t consider themselves to be creative. It just might restore the journey each person started on as a child.
Some of the greatest exploits happening in the church right now are not coming from traditional ministry platforms, as important as they are. They are coming from people who love to dream and pursue God in the context of their unusual gifting. So instead of church leaders continually trying to fit round pegs into square holes, they are helping people become free to see how God would use them in their particular place in society. Such freedom is wonderful and contagious. This emphasis is especially conducive to art and entrepreneurship.
Theresa Dedmon has championed this cause powerfully with great success. A lover of God and a lover of people, she uses her skills to reveal the beauty of God to others. Her whole family has a most amazing gift in evangelism. People constantly come to faith in Christ through them. But what surprises me is to see the means God uses to communicate His love through Theresa—art. Theresa’s effect on the non-creative types is equally astonishing. Because of it, I celebrate all the more the culture of honor that brings such freedom. For in the context of such freedom dreamers are raised up. And those dreamers are not afraid to believe they can shape the course of world history through the gifts given to them. Born to Create is a great book. A really great book!
Senior pastor, Bethel Church, Redding, California
Author, When Heaven Invades Earth and Dreaming with God