2 Oct 2013 by Jason Law CM-
The Planetshakers need no introduction among the local Christian circles. The Christian Rock Band, hailing from a youth movement in Australia, has a very solid fanbase in Malaysia. Speak to any local Christian youth, and you’ll most likely find that they are very familiar with the band. And if the attendance at the recent Planetshakers concert at His Sanctuary of Glory Church (HSG) serves as evidence, this fanbase is massive indeed.
The line in HSG was already very long and ‘twice-folded’. Entering the sanctuary of the church, the sense of excitement was immediately palpable, and there were only standing room, with many latecomers finding it difficult to even find a space within the sanctuary itself. Each time a person went on stage, whether it was to test stage equipment, there was a roar of excitement. And when the lights finally went on and it was clear that The Planetshakers were finally themselves on stage, the roar rose to a thunderous timbre.
The Planetshakers started the concert at 7.30 PM with the songs ‘Let Praise Awaken’ and ‘You Are Good’ before introducing themselves, including new guitarist, George Hahn. ‘We’re not here for a concert. We’re here to celebrate Jesus,’ said Rudy Nikkerud. ‘Give a shout if you love Jesus’. And the shouts for Jesus was resounding.
The Planetshakers continued the concert with one of their most popular songs, ‘Nothing Is Impossible’. This song is about how God is always with us and how He gives us strength, and that even blind eyes are opened and strongholds are broken through the power of God. It encourages Christians to live by faith and not to live by what we see or feel. This was followed by ‘Put Your Hands Up’ and towards the end of this song, Rudy divided the room into two camps for, in his words, an ‘old-fashioned praise competition’.
Steven, a leader in the Campus and Youth Ministry, shared about how he along with his friends was first encouraged to invest in God’s Kingdom during a PlanetShakers concert in Brisbane, Australia. The text was taken from Matthew 11:12:
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
Steven shared that this means that God’s Kingdom is always forcefully advancing, and that normality is not acceptable if we want to be effective advancers for God’s Kingdom. We need to go and do the works of God, and go and become committed and passionate Christians. Steven related how he decided to invest in God’s Kingdom eventhough he was still a student at that time, without much money in his pocket. He did it by faith and through belief in Christ. ‘If we go the extra mile, God’ll go even further with you, and breakthroughs will occur in your lives,’ Steven shared before the concert was continued. An example of a person who went the extra mile is the woman found in Mark 14:3-9.
The concert ended with an autograph session, and overall, everyone had a great time at the concert. The church had great equipment complete with strobe lights, the excitement of seeing a popular band in live worship was huge, and the worship was lively. An estimated 300 salvation occurred that night.
Christian Rock bands such as The Planetshakers play an important role in God’s Kingdom. They and their concerts are evidence that Christians are not all bigoted, joyless, rigid and solemn people. That as Christians we know how to express joy in our worship in our own ways, that we have the ability to celebrate diversity, and that we acknowledge that all creative expressions come from God if it glorifies Him. And most importantly of all, they serve as a viable alternative to the less healthy secular Rock bands.
Amidst all this, however, a weighty question arises. Bands such as The Planetshakers may free Christians to celebrate God in their own ways, but when it comes to winning souls for Christ, how effective are they really, and even if souls are won, how grounded and solid are their spiritual foundations? I think this is a question genuinely worthy of contemplation. What I do know is that many Christian Rock bands have won many souls for Christ, often enough to build whole vibrant communities for God. And many of them speak out for God in serious matters of life whether socially, or in personal spirituality. Some examples that come to mind are Hillsongs and Delirious?. We probably should be praying for God’s direction to be upon them, that they may be great testimonies and evangelists for Christ, and build them up if they’re living their Christian roles well.