Thursday, 26 August 2010

Jesus Culture

For a while now I have been listening to some outstanding worship CDs from Jesus Culture.

One of their songs has been a great comfort to me during a tough time.

Low and behold they are appearing up the road in Wolverhampton next month, suffice to say, we are going, along with a fair sized posse of people.

And yet, I am a bit nervous. "Big American Church / Ministry tours UK" presses all sorts of buttons.

Firstly: I want it to spend an amazing time in God's presence, as I have when listening to the CDs and worshipping quietly, and don't want to be disappointed. I literally have been overcome with emotion while watching the DVD that came with one of the albums, during the Revelation song, the spontaneous worship that comes from it, it was extraordinary.

Secondly: I don't want the teaching side of it to be poor. Visits to some events/churches in the past have always been let down by the teaching, not least a tendency towards the prosperity gospel.

Thirdly: Linked to the teaching, I don't want to be asked for money, or be asked to "sow into a revival", or to "lay up my treasures in heaven" or anything like that. I am there to worship God, not join a band of "covenant partners" who get mailshots and gift aid forms.

Fourthly: I want any prayer for healing or desire for miracles to be done in a way that empowers and encourages those gathered. I don't want to feel it is over-hyped, and I want the stories / testimonies to sound really robust and clear.

So I have to sit tight and wait and see. I would recommend anyone who can get to one of their tour dates to do so. Their worship opens up a whole raft of sponteneity and spiritual gifts and brings such a freshness to some really old songs.

If their CD is anything to go by, this could actually be a life changer.

That is a bold statement and hope like that is reckless and yet shows an underlying expectation I have, an underlying desire, for more of God. I have glimpsed something through their worship that I want some of. My faith is not in some band or youth meeting or "generation of revivalists" or whatever they choose to call themselves.

My faith is in God. My heart is for God. And there is something about what happens when they worship that I want to experience and I want to let shape me and change the way I worship God.

The big challenge is opening myself up to let that happen requires me to take off some of my defensiveness about other ministries / moves of God / tours I have experienced which I have found disappointing, oddball, or in some cases downright dangerous.

Yes, I will be reporting my experiences!


Mark Heath said...

Agree with everthing you say there. Jesus Culture are coming to Southampton so I'll be going along too if I can get out of babysitting duty.

Mark said...

It's worth pointing out that Jesus Culture is a branch of Bethel Church, Redding, California, headed up by Bill Johnson. There are some very serious concerns about Johnson's teaching, which has been described as "scripture twisting". Supposedly there have been lots of miracles at his church, but there's no hard evidence. And, of course, he promoted Todd Bentley during Lakeland and is involved with Todd's new organisation. Whilst I don't know anything specific about Jesus Culture, I would be extremely cautious about anything associated with this church, and I can see that you are also a little wary. Do let us know how you get on.