It was electric. Over 1,000 people attended the School of Creativity here at Bethel Church in Redding, California, as well as many joining through Live Streaming from around the world watched as dancers, spoken word artists, filmmakers, artists, and an array of cutting edge speakers, who are impacting culture. Over 28 countries joined us plus so many Americans from different states nationwide.
Some of the major topics that were discussed during the week long school focused on how God has made us in His image, and how this understanding can help bring freedom to those who are suffering from racial prejudice, shootings, terrorism, as well as the effects of the traumas of abuse and abandonment.
One of the keys to helping others become free is that we become free from the things that prevent us from experiencing God’s transforming presence, love, and acceptance. It is only as we are free, that we can find creative solutions through creative expressions to bring healing to those who are suffering.
Encountering And Expressing The Father’s Heart
I have read countless testimonies from attendees from the school who encountered the Father’s love for the first time in their life through hearing one of our speakers, experiencing His presence during worship, the onstage art and dance, one of the many creative performances, attending one of our many workshops, or being ministered to at one of our creative booths in creative ways like dance, art, fashion, writing, photography, culinary, or drama from one of my team throughout each day.
Many of these attendees, while all believers, had never felt truly adopted into the Father’s care, felt His unconditional love and acceptance, or had experienced the Father’s empowering presence in tangible ways.
As they began to experience the freedom of connection and intimacy with Father, they were able to embrace their creative destiny.
When we are free in our relationship with God, we are free to create, and better able to express His heart through our creativity. Our freedom, then, becomes a source of life to bring others into freedom through what we create.
Here are some of the main points that helped people at the school get set free to create, and in turn, envisioned them to use their creativity to set others free.
Accepting Father’s Value
If we try and create without knowing the Father’s love for us, we will constantly compare ourselves with others or wonder if we are valuable.
Ephesians 1:5 says that, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
As we receive God’s unconditional love and acceptance, we begin to feel secure in our places of brokenness, and it gives us the freedom to create in the way He has uniquely designed us.
Restoring Our Value
We not only need to feel the Father’s love, but we need to speak into the places that have been dead in our own lives, where fear, shame, and rejection have destroyed the fabric of the image of God in our lives.
As I spoke the first night of the school, I read from Ezekiel 37:4-6,
Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! “
As I began to expound upon this passage, people began to weep as they sensed God prophesying life back into the places of their lives that had been destroyed and dead.
There were so many testimonies from the school from attendees, who shared that they were set free from self-hatred, or the fear of failure during the week.
I read countless stories of people who were set free from never feeling good enough to pursue their dreams, or never feeling beautiful, intelligent, or powerful enough to make a difference and find their voice and place in history.
There were people who wept in our fashion booth as they looked in the mirror, and for the first time, declared that they were beautiful and valuable to God. Others were given prophetic encouraging art piece or writing calling them out of shame and hiddenness to fulfill their creative destiny to impact the world around them.
Our theme, “Made in His Image” breathe… believe… become was working into the fabric of every attendee who breathed in the Father’s love, believed in the prophetic words over their life, and then began to become the child of God they were created to be.
Valuing One Another
As we discover our personal worth to God, it only makes sense that we begin to value others in the same way that God values us.
Part of the curse of Adam’s sin was separation: separation from God and others, which led to dis-ease, division, and death (Genesis 3).
We see the effects of this curse destroying families, friendships, communities, and cultures. It’s time for a change in our perspective and in our action.
The creative presentations of spoken word, dance, art, film, and dramatic performances at each general session highlighted the ways in which we can influence culture in positive ways.
True creativity restores relationship: relationship with God and others.
Our creative destiny can only be fulfilled to the degree that we are change agents in culture to restore community and connection in relationship.
We cannot ignore racial issues, sex trafficking, abortion, pornography, and broken family life, which are threatening the wellbeing of future generations, and expect to fulfill the Great Commission to bring the Good News of the Kingdom to everyone.
God wants to restore connection and family to mankind.
Until we understand that we are responsible for our brother, our neighbor, we will never enter into the fullness of God’s vision for ultimate freedom.
Expressing Value To Culture
While the world seems to be in a downward spiral, we must ask ourselves what role we have to play in hearing the cries of those who are desperate for freedom.
Will we be those who turn a blind eye to injustice, or will we be those who will rise up and prophesy God’s love and acceptance through our creative expressions?
Righteousness is making wrong things right.
When we use our creativity to educate, inspire, and challenge culture, we are accomplishing justice, which establishes righteousness.
When we replace fear with belief, judgment with acceptance, and shame with valuableness, we will experience the truth that sets us free, individually, in community, and in culture.
We have an amazing opportunity in this season of history to let our love shine through our songs, art, dance, films, food, and other unique creative gifts. So then, let freedom ring out from the rooftops of our creativity, and let the cry for freedom be answered in our generation through the creative gifts God has given each one of us.
Remember, you are Born to Create!
Breathe, Believe, and Become His Image inside to create the vehicle that bears His Image and beckons others to come!
Enjoy this incredible Spoken Word piece by Phillip Attmore, one of our speakers this year.
For more pictures and videos head to the Bethel School of Creativity Facebook Page