It’s been a little while since my last post so I thought I would do a little update on all that I’ve been working on lately. It’s been a crazy last few weeks but the Lord has been so amazing. I have so many stories to tell and I’m not sure my little blog can contain them all.
Many of you know that last week was the Bonnaroo Music Festival held in Manchester, Tennessee. While there are certainly good people who go simply to enjoy music, the reality is that most seem to come to partake in various forms of immorality. Basically, it’s a massive 4 day party. There are drugs of all kinds everywhere. The entire festival smells of marijuana. Many choose to wear limited amounts of clothing and there are open displays of sin all around. With all that being said, it’s perfect….
This is the perfect place for the mercy of the Gospel to explode. That’s exactly what I saw last week. I gathered together with 400+ volunteers last week for what we called “Love Bonaroo.” We set up at a local church just outside of the festival and did 100 hours of continuous worship & prayer. We also set up a large tent right outside of the entrance of the festival where most of the participants camp. There we did live worship from 2:00pm-2:00am everyday. In addition to this, we set up several smaller tents for various forms of ministry. We had a “Spiritual Readings” tent where we did prophetic ministry. We had a “Physical Healing” tent where we prayed for the sick. We had dream interpretations, and personalized songs where we sang prophetic songs over them. We also set up a table where we did free body art, had a charging station for phones, filtered water, and sunscreen. While all of this was going on, we had several teams walking inside of the festival, praying for people and sharing the gospel. It was unlike anything that I’d ever been apart of.
There are way too many testimonies to share here but I’ll share a few. We saw nearly a 100% success rate in praying for peoples bodies to be healed. As people came to the “Spiritual Readings” tent the Lord began to blow them away as our team was given words of knowledge about their lives, situations, family members, etc. I heard the words “That was spot-on!” time and time again as our team would minister through the prophetic. After the Lord revealed things about them, we would begin to pray with them and see them get breakthrough and deliverance. Many began to weep under the power of God as they encountered His love for them for the first time. So many were delivered and set free as God began to encounter them at our tent.
Likewise, many began to weep as our team sang songs of love over them. As they began to sing over one girl she began to cry and then later said to me through her quivering lips, “I never knew God felt that way about me.”
Many who came to get high, trip on psychedelics, and enjoy music found themselves dancing in the presence of the Lord in our tent. Some even told me that they missed the bands that they came to see because they were enjoying themselves too much at our tent. It was truly remarkable.
Multiple times I saw people sober up almost instantly as we started praying over them. I saw them sit straight up and give their lives to Jesus. Many of them had been hurt by the church and ran from God but had a glorious returning this past week.
One of the things that was really impressive was how often kids would come back with their friends. They so believed in what had happened to them in our tent that they had to show their friends. It was truly a moment as we see in John 4:29 when the woman cried out to her city, “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did!”
Perhaps my favorite story was the man and his daughter that came to get their face painted. As a girl at our tent painted the man’s face she gently leaned over and whispered to him, “God sees you as a great Dad.” The man began to shake under the power of God and as he cried he explained to the girl that he had made plans to leave his family forever after the weekend was over. After hearing the word of the Lord, he decided to stay. That is only one example out of countless others whose lives were changed at Bonaroo this year. I was told that there were over 700 salvation’s in all and 1000’s that were ministered to over the course of the festival.
There are many more stories that deserve to be told but for now, I’ll leave you with a couple of points.
1. This came out of a place of devotion. All of this started with a few people gathering in a prayer room. Even now with over 400 volunteers, we still would send people out of the presence of God. They would come and spend time in the prayer room before going out to do evangelism. Even there on the grounds, the presence of God was hosted first. You will not be able to duplicate this outside of devotion to Jesus. The presence of the Holy Spirit stewarded in a persons life, or a ministry’s life is the only thing that will produce real kingdom fruit.
2. As I began to ask the Lord why these things didn’t happen more often I believe I heard the Lord say this, “The church is too busy being irritated with sinners while My heart is breaking for them.” How often do we get so annoyed when we see sin? Some of you probably began to roll your eyes as I described some of the things that take place at this festival. I am so guilty of this very thing.
As kids would come to our tent, sometimes with beer or marijuana in their hands as we prayed for them, God would miraculously break in. One kid cussed while I was ministering to him and apologized for it. I explained to him that God was not afraid or offended by who he was but that God was in love with him even in the midst of his sin. He began to cry as he felt the love of Jesus.
As Christians, we need to begin to ask ourselves, what do we really expect from sinners? We act as if they are supposed to know better but they don’t! They are blinded by the veil of darkness. The message of the cross is foolishness to them. If I couldn’t even get myself out of sin, how could I ever expect to get someone else out of their sin? The solution is always love because love covers a multitude of sin.
The fact is, there are many more that are just like those that we met at Bonnaroo that desperately need to encounter the love of Jesus. Too often I have been unable to love them because of their sin. Too often I have been irritated by their behavior and have chosen not to reach out to them. I’m asking the Lord to soften my heart for the lost. I’m asking Him to give me the grace to represent Him well. I’m asking Him to teach me how to love Bonnaroo.