[This post is part of the ¡Arriba! series]
<>Preface: I Wish, I Wish…
What we are about to embark on is… well, kind of hard to explain in words.
I wish that, instead of words and descriptions, there would be a way that we could all meet at a location for 2 or 3 days, and just throw ourselves into a Tent of David worship event.
We wouldn’t get much sleep.
We will run out of Kleenex.
Meals will be weird and sporatic. Actually you may not want to eat much.
We’d be standing under a very big tent, with hundreds… maybe thousands!… of others… probably on grass or dirt.
Standing? Moving. Dancing. Kneeling. Face buried in the dirt.
Sitting? Not really.
Our Bibles would be well-used and well-referenced, but not the way modern pulpiteers would direct us towards.
We each would probably have some notebook that we would filled with scribbles and phrases that came to us along the way. Perhaps, art work.
We would experience ‘Harp and Bowl’ worship.
There would be so many beautiful sounds, and songs, and colours, and dance, and artwork, and banners, and… and…
There would be people on a platform, leading songs and singing and ‘canticos nuevos’… occasionally, the people would be well-known ‘worship leaders’, but for the most part… not so well known…
Lyrics would be up on a screen, but don’t worry… most songs would go for 15-20 minutes, so you’ll only need the screen a little bit.
The whole platform-people will not be in some kind of concert format, but in some circular format… possibly even the band in the center, and ‘in the round’…
More than anything else, the main pursuit of everyone gathered together is to worship Father, Son and Spirit, and actively seek the Manifest Presence of God.
One thing for sure; going after that with a hungry, surrendered and humble heart, and HE always walks into the room… and when He manifests His Presence, all kinds of things start happening… signs, wonders, miracles, healings, deliverance, freedom, breakthrough, renewal… so much love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…
When HE shows up… all kinds of things start happening, because Heaven has invaded Earth, and… well, the experience can and will mark each of us for the rest of our lives…
…the main pursuit of everyone gathered together in a ‘Tent of David’ context is to worship Father, Son and Spirit, actively and passionately seeking the Manifest Presence of God… frequently for 24 hrs a day, as many days as can be…
This is the introduction to the modern-day worship and devotional movement in the Church that I will be calling ‘Tent of David’.
As mentioned in the Tent of David Preface blog, participation is a “slow-but-sure explosion, now in 125 countries around the world, on all continents and world-regions, and involving around 20,000+ groups and gatherings, representing MILLIONS of Christians participating”.
Yes, this is big stuff.
Many North American church-goers are relatively unaware of this new stream, and how powerfully it is flowing… and growing day-by-day.
Many in Charismatic-flow churches are relatively unaware of this new stream that is flowing powerfully. The ‘Charismatic media’ and on-line information flow hasn’t quite realized that they are seeing a powerful ‘New Thing’ rising up. There are hundreds and thousands of Tent of David activities going on internationally, with tens of thousands of participants every day!
If this will all seem new to you, you are in good company, but… time to get up to speed.
<>’Tent of David’?
Yes, these gatherings are called ‘Tent of David’ or ‘David’s Tent’. ‘Tabernacle of David’ or ‘David’s Tab’ are also frequently cited. Many of the ‘House of Prayer’ movement is actually built on the Tent of David flow.
For simplicity, I will use ‘Tent of David’ throughout the Blog.
Calling something a Tent of David event has meaning that would distinguish the intentions of that specific gathering with distinct expectations, activities and approach to ‘worship’.
Many local churches in the US have begun to host occasional ‘Night of Worship’ events, which is usually 2-3 hours styled as a ‘extended Sunday Service’ with preaching and sharing around extended times of song-service. Unfortunately, these mostly don’t quite fit into the Tent of David flow, and won’t be discussed in this extensive drill-down.
‘Tent of David’ is not like Church services or gatherings, especially what many call ‘Sunday Worship’… even though some local leaders are trying to claim alignment.
Distinctions include length of time, congregational activities (or lack thereof), creative and performance arts, song and music, and amount of speaking/preaching.
Tent of David events are usually 24-hrs long, for many days (or continue on-and-on). There is little distinction between congregation and leaders. Music, instrumental music, singing, spontaneous song, dance, banners, prophetic painting… just about continuous. There are occasional and short directions given to everyone in the room. There are the occasional sharing of ‘Spirit-inspired-in-the-moment’ portions of Scripture or prophetic words [with leaders giving discernment].
The vast majority of Tent of David events have NO planned preaching or message segments.
A ‘Tent of David’ event or location will be very, very, very different than most Christian’s ‘church-gathering’ experience and history.
Oh, yeah, they usually involve a ‘tent’…
<>Objectives and Expressions
The model of Tent of David activities is to fully revive and experience the ancient ‘Tent of David worship’ formed together around 1000 BCE in Jerusalem by the newly-seated King David.
All the elements that came together in that season are a bit complicated, and are as much a blending of God’s movement in Old Testament history as they are related to forms and formats of worship.
Future AdoreTheLord blogs will outline this Old Testament history, and show how the New Testament sets this up as a genuinely Biblical calling in our modern day.
Birthing in the early 2000’s, the modern Tent of David international movement has grown and grown, even during the COVID pandemic. It is international in nature, and has groupings, locations and activities in all regions of the world.
It is multi-cultural and multi-lingual.
Tent of David is mainly a movement within the Charismatic-Pentecostal flow (‘Spirit-filled’) traditions and groups. The highly- experiential nature and focus on ‘intense’ worship doesn’t fit well with conservative Evangelical or Liturgical traditions, although I have heard confessions of hard-liners from these two flows ‘secretly participating’ in some of the Tent of David events and activities.
No, there is not one central coordinating effort.
No, there is not one individual, group, denomination or entity that is acting as a coordinating force or ‘clearing house’ for Tent of David activities.
No, there is not a singular ‘web site’ to direct you towards.
Yes, there are various leaders and distinct persons who are ‘spark-plugs’ and shepherds of Tent of David events, gatherings and locations. As I’ve interacted with these folks (no name-dropping here), or read their back-story, you would begin to feel the definite thread is that somehow GOD spoke to them to launch into this radical and unique movement without having connected with anyone else… but thousands of other leaders in the ‘TofD flow’ also heard a call to go for it…
… just a Breath from God to ‘go for it’, and a small group of on-fire-for-Jesus believers willing to ‘go for it’ with them…
As this new flow is coming alive, some modern leaders are even beginning to use the words ‘early-stage international Revival’ when talking about ‘Tent of David’ exploding around the world, and what happens there…
<>Houses of Prayer
Have you recently heard of a ‘house of prayer’ coming together in your area? No surprise, there are now thousands of these all around the world.
Many ‘Houses’ are slowly working toward a goal of 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week prayer, worship, intercession in a continual environment of the Manifest Presence of God.
Most are linked to Tent of David flows and streams.
<>Tents and Camps
The idea of ‘tent’ is built into the historic Biblical Tent of David, with the idea of putting up a big tent and ‘going for it’ 24 hrs/day.
There are 3, 5-day and 7-day events popping up in the UK, US and Canada.
Later, AdoreTheLord will list out some of the larger groups and events that are actively up-and-running. Those mega-events all have one thing in common with the smaller, local expressions: put up a tent and worship, worship, worship.
Many of the events will offer camping on-site or camp-style cabins, to facilitate 24-hr participation.
If they call it Tent of David, it will always be trying… trying… to be around-the-clock… much like the Tent of David in the Old Testament.
Given many local municipalities have laws about all-night events outdoors, the Tent of David coordinators have found ways to ‘go unplugged’ and quieter during the wee hours of the morning, but then go with amplified sound when permitted… 10am to 10pm, for sure…
<>Feast of Tabernacles
Since ‘tent’ and Old Testament blend nicely into the Hebrew ‘Sukkot’, or Feast of Booths every year, some of the Tent of David people have declared that annual time to be a great slot to hold local and regional events. This usually falls every October in the Western calendar.
In 2019, ‘Tent America’ coordinated over 700 ‘Feast of Tabernacle-David’s Tent’ 2 to 5-day events around the US, all 24-hour worship and prayer.
We would have to say the history of long-haulers reaches back to the Old Testament, with that Tabernacle of Moses in the desert between Egypt and Palestine in the 13th century BCE… probably at Mount Saini.
Then the Tent in Jerusalem, around 1000 BCE.
Today there are some very significant ‘Tent of David movement’ groups that started off wanting to go 24/7.
I call them the ‘long-haulers’.
The 24/7 thing is really tough to pull off… logistics, staff, safety, support, facilities… but some have pushed thru and got there.
Here are two examples:
IHOP-KC [International House of Prayer-Kansas City], under the leadership of Mike Bickle, has been at 24/7/365 worship and prayer since 1999… 23 years now!
A ‘David’s Tent’ event just outside Washington DC, launched by a group in 2015, and continues in 24/7 worship to this day. To facilitate the on-going nature, YWAM has made it a mission base, and it continued 24/7 worship and intercession thru-out COVID.
There are now hundreds of such efforts gaining foothold, all with the intention of becoming ‘long-hauler’ Tent of David events…
There are some groups that have grown in their ability to host large Tent of David events… large like 5000+ people show up… like David’s Tent UK…
These events, very different than your average festival or gathering, have carved a path for other smaller, local events to follow.
I love their billing:
David’s Tent is an independent body comprised of Christians from across many different denominations and church expressions. It is not ‘owned’ or financed by any particular church stream but is a grass-roots organisation that has grown organically over the years.
View the 2018 preview viedeo:
<>Lack of Well-Known Personalities
One thing about Tent of David gatherings is THE primary focus is the Lord, and not who is playing on the platform. Yes, you will see some well-known names on the ‘bill’… mainly from the ever-growing Modern Worship Movement… but also, most of the time-slots have skilled and anointed lead-worshipers and excellent support bands, but… BUT… pretty much unsung-heroes of the craft.
Yeah, I’m constantly blown away by the massive scope and size of this Tent of David thing.
Must be… God!
Next up: Section Two will offer a perspective on the Tent of David movement.
written by crisbaj
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