Would Jesus go to Bonnaroo? That's the question one ministry is asking ahead of what was one of the largest music festivals in the world.
The internationally known event is filled with things Christians are supposed to flee—debauchery, drugs and various forms of immorality.
But ministry LoveReach says that's exactly where Jesus would be, and the Great Commission commands that believers be there also. Not to be of the world, but to show attendees just how much God loves them.
"If Jesus said go into all the world, then Bonnaroo would definitely be considered the world," Bob Perry of LoveReach says in a newsletter.
His team went to the music festival in 2017 and came home with incredible testimonies.
"Jesus was there touching heart's for salvation, healing broken lives, setting those in bondage free and speaking life into those who seemed to have no hope. He did this and much more through those who were willing to give of themselves, in order to serve the Master," Perry says.
He's not the only one.
Denise Hughes of Transformation Ministries also saw God moving among those she ministered to.
"I have never been in a place where the fields were as white for the harvest, as at Bonarroo," Hughes says. "Thank God we lifted up our eyes ... away from the culture of drugs, immorality, the clothes they were wearing and their actions, to see their hearts crying out for more. As we saw them, they saw us. In that connection, they encountered the love, acceptance and grace of God with every hug, prophetic word and prayer. A year ago, I marked my calendar for Bonarroo 2018 and here we go!"
The festival begins June 7 and lasts through June 10. Performing artists include Eminem, The Killers, Muse, Future, Khalid, Old Crow Medicine Show, Paramore, Sheryl Crow and more.
The highest year for Bonnaroo attendance was 2011 when there were 85,094 tickets sold. In 2017, the festival sold more than 65,000 tickets, according to the Tennessean.
"Last years outreach to Bonnaroo brought in a Harvest of much Fruit," Perry says. "Even though we could share many more testimonies about last year, our heart is 'Moved with Compassion' out of Matthew 9:36 for this year's harvest. We have been praying, fasting and trusting Jesus as we call for the Lord of the Harvest to send out His workers in this great harvest."
Charisma News columnist Larry Tomczak previously attended the festival and shared his experience in his article, "Evangelism Explosion Rocks Many of 65,000 at Bonnaroo."
The content of the gospel never changes. Strategies for connecting creatively and effectively with every generation require "wisdom from above."
Under the banner of "Love Bonnaroo," Christians came together from churches and ministries to engage in intercession, worship and creative evangelism. My friend, Bob Perry, coordinated intercessory prayer for extended periods before the event and during the four-day period.
After the saints prayed for favor, the proprietor reduced the $5000 site fee for ministry tents to $1000! He liked what was planned for festival-goers passing by on their way into the festival.
Tents with these banners attracted curious passersby hearing the dynamic worship:
- Spiritual Readings
- Dream Interpretation
- Praise With Prophetic Songs
- Holistic Healing
- The Father's Blessing
- Personalized Face Painting
- Prophetic Prayer
My wife and I engaged with other committed intercessors in prayer "covering" during the event and reveled in the results as leaders gathered in our home afterwards to share thrilling testimonies and watch a video of what God did.
Nashville leader Jerry Bryant was so overjoyed that he said, "It felt like we were back in the Jesus Movement!" He's a veteran of that awakening and knows firsthand of what he speaks.
Scott and Sara MacLeod, who lead Nashville's Thunder School of Ministry, were amazed at the spiritual hunger so evident among the people. They exclaimed, "It was like fish jumping into the boat!"
At the vortex of the main staging area, people described feeling "a sense of evil... darkness." The drugs, drunkenness, sensuality and scantily clothed revelers caused people to admit experiencing an overall sense of "heaviness."
As people drifted into the area of worship and compassionate gospel sharing, numbers of participants remarked, "This is a different atmosphere! It feels clean and light."
One girl high on drugs fell into a ditch near the ministry tents. After the Christians rescued her, she received a personalized prophetic song. We watched a video of her melting, feeling overwhelmed by the love of Jesus. Subsequently she heard the gospel, wept and came to faith in Jesus, making Him her Lord and Savior. The team also prayed for her to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit. After she returned to her friends transformed, they came by the tents to find out what had changed their friend!
One young girl walking with her dad entered the "Personalized Art" tent for face painting after being warmly invited by a greeter. The father agreed to her getting painted as he stood by observing.
Aglow after her experience, the little girl pled with her dad to get his face done. After a number of her pleas he reluctantly yielded.
After the first swipe of paint under his eye, Maddie, the prophetic artist, whispered to him, "God sees you as a good father." Upon hearing this, a tear trickled down his cheek.
After the second swipe, Maddie whispered, "God sees you as one who does not quit."
The man's hardened heart softened. Slowly he succumbed to tears.
His little girl said, "Daddy, what's wrong? Are you OK?"
He reassured his daughter then confided to Maddie, "Today was my last day with my family. I was planning to walk out today and leave them forever. I want you to know that I am going to stay. You saved my family!"
Scripture records in Malachi 4:6,"He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."
The prior verse foretells of this Elijah-type ministry coming before the "great and dreaded day of the Lord" (v. 5). Let's all see ourselves as part of this end-time ministry stirring God's people to be His ambassadors, even if it be in a remote field like at Bonnaroo.
"Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest.' Listen! I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest" (John 4:35).
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