I meet very few people who have not been influenced by Bethel Church in some way over the past ten years. Bethel Church resides in Redding, California and is Pastored by Bill and Benni Johnson. Bethel Music has influenced Christian music in great ways to say the least. In addition to the musical influence, Bill Johnson has served as one of the leading voices in the message of Heaven coming to earth. Bill gets persecuted a lot for what he preaches. He is a thought provoker and pioneer on teaching people the works of the Father.
My wife and I did not know what to expect from the people at Bethel Church. We even hesitated to go because we did not want to be around an over-hyped culture surrounding the release of the Movie, "Holy Ghost." How wrong we were. We are so glad we went.
I was able to meet with some of Bethel's Leaders and what I found was humility, kindness, gentleness, and sincerity. As I processed the weekend with my wife, Wendy; we both agreed that our biggest take-away from meeting the cast of "Holy Ghost" and the Leaders at Bethel was that everyone we met is genuinely kind.
I have seen Charismatics get bashed over the past ten years by people who are over-confident in their rigorous doctrine. What is so ironic to me is that the more I meet these global leaders who are charismatic, the more I realize just how kind they are. I can't say that, about the people who are doing the bashing.
I have been at a major crossroads for the past year in my walk with Jesus. In my personal relationships, I have often been squeezed and I have not liked what has come out of me at times. I have noticed myself being anything but kind. I have taken that to the cross and asked Jesus to rip it out of me. He seems to love that prayer.
If I can lead, preach, prophesy, pray, heal the sick, raise the dead, and write books that help people but I am not kind, I need to resign. The Lord told me recently, "I don't care about your sermons if you do not love." Point taken.
I want to be a kind person. Because God is kind. (Rom 2:17) I want to be like Him. We are all in process and thank goodness that God is patient. My trip to Bethel Church reminded me of what is possible. It's possible to be influential and help the Kingdom advance while at the same time being kind. I am truly thankful for my time in Northern California and for the opportunity to meet some of the most humble and loving people.