Editor’s Letter: Aiming The Stream

By Karla Dial Published on March 5, 2024

In 2015, James Robison established a platform to help train Christians how to think correctly about the role of moral and political issues of the day. And he did it in the inclusive, Kingdom-oriented way he’s done so many things over his six decades of ministry — by bringing together Christ-followers from every kind of ecumenical background to work together in the supernatural unity for which Jesus prayed, thereby demonstrating the Kingdom of God in power on Earth.

When I first learned about it, I was immediately drawn to the fact that he was inspired to call it “The Stream.” It’s just like Delirious? used to sing:

Do you feel the darkness tremble
When all the saints join in one song
And all the streams flow as one river
To wash away our brokenness

But let’s be honest here. As a media outlet, The Stream is asking you, the consumer, for the most valuable thing you have — your time and attention. You could go anywhere for news and information, and you don’t have to do anything at all to hear someone’s opinion about what’s going on. You’re bombarded with it all day long — on your phone, in social media, on TV, the radio. There’s far more commentary than actual news these days, and it’s exhausting.

So as an outlet that specializes in news commentary, why should you dip your toes in The Stream?

When I was considering the possibility of joining The Stream team, I asked God that question. A few moments later, I felt He gave me the blueprints for a filtration system for the content:

What’s the Kingdom element?

Where’s the hope?

What do you want readers to do with this information?

So that is now our “why” — the process through which we will begin filtering every story idea that lands on our conference table — for the following reasons.

Kingdom Plus Hope Plus Action

As believers, we are all citizens of God’s Kingdom — and that is the only affiliation any of us can have that really matters. Our job in this life is to reveal God’s Kingdom power and purpose here on Earth, demonstrating that culture and those values. It’s not just about knowing something; it’s about each of us doing things within our individual spheres of influence that makes the difference. Jesus told us to occupy this place until He comes back, and that means we are to engage in spiritual battle, not to cut and run. We are supposed to be partnering with Heaven to see Jesus get the full reward of what He paid for at the Cross. We are to retake the ground that Adam ceded to the enemy at the Fall.

We are supposed to be making the darkness tremble — but sometimes, that darkness feels overwhelming, and the saints are tired … and sometimes, even indifferent.

So we need hope — and there’s no place in the world you can find that except where the Kingdom is being built or is prevailing. It doesn’t take skill, talent, or spiritual gifting for anyone to describe what’s going wrong in the world or share their personal opinions or concerns about it, but it does take something special to look through those dark clouds to see the blue sky behind them and say, “Here’s how we disperse those clouds to let the Son shine in.”

Hope is a currency of the Kingdom — the confident expectation of experiencing God’s goodness. And as the gross darkness around us builds, that currency is going to become more valuable than ever. As Steve Backlund of Igniting Hope Ministries often says, “We don’t need hope at the end of the battle, we need hope in the middle of the battle.”

We’ll Be Dispensing Hope in Less-Than-Happy Times

At The Stream, we want to be a dispenser of hope that you can rely on when your reserves run low. Even when we’re analyzing less-than-happy events, we will be looking for the “but God” element in the midst of them, and His strategy and direction on how to use them to our advantage. We want not only to inform and inspire you, but to encourage and equip you to win the battles you are currently facing, whatever they may be. What God has done for others whose stories we feature, He would love to do for you — and then through you.

So I’d like to ask you to bear with us as we begin refocusing The Stream to more clearly and effectively meet those goals. For a while, we might have a little less to say than we have in the past. We’re going to sound a little different (and eventually our website is going to look a lot different). But our core mission will remain the same: to be a river “whose streams make glad the city of God” (Psalm 46:4).

Let me know how you think we’re doing as we go along. You can reach me anytime at [email protected].

 

For such a time as this,

Karla

 

Karla Dial is editor in chief of The Stream.

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