Experiencing God’s Presence at Bethel Church

Experiencing God's Presence at Bethel Church by Larry Sparks

Right now, I am sitting at a Starbucks in Redding, CA, gearing up for a day of filming with Bill Johnson at Bethel Church.

Over the next two days, we are recording a DVD-based curriculum series based on his teaching, Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind. We are approaching this project with great expectation, as there is strong potential for Christians across the denominational spectrum to embrace the principles that Bill shares, and as a result, begin to walk in the supernatural as a normal, sustained lifestyle.

The Secret to Bethel’s Supernatural Success

In the meantime, I am personally still “recovering” from Bethel’s wonderful Sunday night service. Bill Johnson shared a timely message about Joy and Peace. Kari Jobe led worship with Brian Johnson. Definitely a power-packed evening!

It is easy for people on the outside to look at Bethel, and think, “Wow, God obviously favors that local church! Look at all of the amazing things that are going on there.” Bill and the leadership team are very intentional about not making the focus Bethel Church or any of their ministries. In fact, they present what they are experiencing at Bethel as something that God desires for all believers and all churches to enjoy as as normal Christian life.

The key? The single pursuit of God’s Presence. It’s that simple. The teaching is consistently revelatory and the worship is always incredible, not because the team sets out to wow and awe. They are not sitting around and racking their brains, reading all of the latest books on Church Growth (and there is definitely a time and a place for this). No. It’s all fruit. It’s all the overflow of a God-ward focus.

The Miraculous Power of a God-Focused Life

This sounds so simple because it is. The problem is that so many of us have complicated the Christian life. We get sidetracked by good Bible principles, ministry strategies, projects, programs, methodologies, and the like. None of these things are bad. Bethel has them. However, in the context of Bethel’s church life, these programs and outreaches are all marked by the pursuit and encounter of God’s Presence.

When Jesus is front and center, everything else comes into its proper order. Heaven’s blessing flows freely. God’s power is present. Miracles, signs, and wonders are supernaturally natural. God trusts the people who live to watch Him. He loves everyone the same, but when it comes to entrusting communities of people with a frequent release of signs, wonders, and supernatural phenomena, I do believe God is looking for those who will not become distracted by the blessing and remain focused on the Source.

We watch what God is doing, just as Jesus modeled to us. Remember, He only did what He saw the Father doing first (see Jn. 5:19). We have all be invited into this same model and relationship. Jesus gave us the example. When we watch Jesus, and follow His example, we are – in essence – watching the Father and doing what He is doing, since the Father and Son are one.

More updates to come from the Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind video shoot!

Larry Sparks About Larry Sparks

Larry Sparks is host of Life Supernatural, a weekly radio program that features bestselling authors, emerging filmmakers, and key ministry leaders. In addition to serving as the Director of Curriculum Resources for Destiny Image Publishers, Larry is president and founder of Equip Culture Ministries—an organization that equips believers with tools and resources to experience a life of sustained victory through the supernatural power of God. He lives in Florida with his wife and daughter. You can visit his website at www.lawrencesparks.com and follow him on Facebook Larry Sparks or on Twitter @LawrenceVSparks.