(pic credit: ‘Heaven Comin’ In’©2017 by crisbaj. Used with permission)

My wife and I are recovering from 3 intense days at the Bethel Music ‘Heaven Come’ 2017 ‘event’. With over 12 HOURS of corporate worship times, and another 12 hours of main-speaker, talks and studies, we are just now re-learning how to speak English post-event.

Held in a big LA venue, with corresponding big-priced access (tickets, transpo) and necessity costs (motel, food), there’s the needed recovery from fighting it out in the ‘urban jungle’ of LA. However, there were so many ‘went really well’ things that deserve a shout-out:

<>it was totally clear that corporate worship was THE keystone to this gathering. Yes, 12 hours over 2 ½ days ‘conference’… yeah, voices are a bit tired

<>the staging and lighting were ‘big industry’, but done with tasteful visuals and artistic beauty. The multiple back-panels used abstract digital and photo images that added to the esthetics. One speaker called it ‘constructing the beauty of the modern cathedral’.

<>the large screens with images from the ‘live TV feed’ always had the well-prepared lyrics to the songs up-and-ready… not an easy task to fulfill! We always could sing along, no on-stage solos.

<>the ‘spirit of a rock-n-roll show’ had been cast far from this gig before the first chord was strummed, and pushed away until after the lights went down on the event finale. There were great amounts of joyful outbursts and movement on-stage… there was a lot of ‘intense musicianship movement’ going on, especially with the Bethel Music Collective band… BUT it was never ‘hey! Look at me!’ rock-n-roll jiggling, but clearly God-directed.

This is huge… HUGE…

During the worship times, the person with the main mic for the moment rarely spoke to the crowd… they led the tunes, and spoke FOR us in prayer… oh, yeah, they spoke out prophetic words and insights that focused us on the Lord in our Midst (and judging from the responses in the room, spot-on words)…

Musicians, lead-worshippers, singers did NOTHING to try and draw attention to themselves. They exhibited great disciple in ‘being transparent’ as lead-worshippers. Eye-contact, body language, posture, gestures… There were no ‘solo moments’, but everything drawn into a corporate, all-of-us-in-the-room wringing every drop of passion, song, energy and focus on Jesus and The Father. The Holy Ghost was called upon (frequently) to move freely, and do whatever HE wanted.

One massive contribution that Bethel is making to the ‘modern worship’ world is showing us how to be doing these band-stage worship encounters and maximize the ‘congregation connection’ with the Living God, minimizing the pit-falls of the stage-audience + big rock show set-up. Having been at a number of Bethel events, it’s clear that they are all tooled and trained in this difficult area. Well done, friends!

<>there was a huge team of people available for individual prayer and ministry throughout the event (you go, BSSM!), but the entire room turned into a Ministry Team multiple times thru the event. I’ll bet that, by the end of the gig, most people were laying hands ON people asking for a touch from God, and were ALSO the recipients of the laying-on of hands to receive… the mystical, powerful, wild and wonderful Body of Christ doin’ the stuff

<>there were a number of times that Bethel clearly behaved like the Bethel brand wasn’t the focus, but the work of God was the bigger deal. What was the song that captivated the conference and got sung a couple of times?? A Hillsong-penned tune, “So Will I (a Billion X’s)”. There were Vineyard and Hillsong and other-ministries on main-stage. Oh my goodness, are we finally going to move towards ‘unity in the faith’ and away from rabid Chinese-warlord stuff between ministries and movements?? Please, please…

<>The sub-text of the teaching and talks given were not “ain’t it maximum-awesome what we’re doing here”, or ‘ain’t we cool with all the music and stuff, no?” but rather “coming into God’s Presence in every aspect of our lives, every moment of our lives is THE crucial call, THE important thing for us to focus on”… “go from this place, connect with the Living God, and follow Him to change the world…”   Spot on.

This was a Big Worship Event that went really well.


In the light of this gig ‘Done Really Well’, there were only two ways people left the 2 ½ days un-touched by God… either they didn’t have a pulse and left in a body bag, or they spent the whole time out in the lobby on their cell phone…

(whew, time for re-entry into the post-event Glory… time for all the homework the Lord spelled out for me… opening my Bible to Psalms 73…)

written by crisbaj

© 2017 by crisbaj/  All rights reserved.

All Scripture references from New International Version unless otherwise indicated.

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