Aussie movement from Melbourne making waves around the world, with critically aclaimed live CDs, engergetic tours and life impacting ministry.
Catching Baby Waves
Planetshakers have toasted the end of the surfing season with annual conferences held in all Australian states. Their Pentecostal style means that thunderous worship accompanies powerful talks to create a high-energy buzz that provides that wave-catching exhilaration for young people across Australia.
Planetshakers aims to have much greater effects than surfing though, as conference director Russell Evans says ‘It’s about encountering God to make a difference in your world.’ In the past, this has manifested itself as over 1000 attendees sponsoring children through World Vision.
The rock-driven conferences bring together thousands of worshippers for about four days, in a similar style to the Soul Survivor conferences we are familiar with in the UK. Peculiarly, delegates often engage in crowd-surfing during worship sets, as the atmosphere of celebration translates to a great sense of freedom.
Surfin' All Day
In 2004 the Planetshakers City Church cruised into Melbourne to set up a congregation there, Russell and Sam Evans catching a real surge as church attendance grew quickly, cresting at over 6000. Their ministry doesn’t stop with the four Sunday services, but extends to programmes directed at children, youth, students, young adults and business people.
Mighty Men is Planetshakers’ ministry for men, which aims to inspire, motivate and equip men to live more like the greatest ever man: Jesus. Beautiful Women is the female equivalent; it’s focus is on empowering women to complete God’s plans and purposes, shining a light in the world coming from an assurance of their identity in Christ.
Continuing their musical success, Planetshakers have released a number of albums and have toured the world playing in Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, South Africa, the US and the UK. This tide of musical outreach has served to transform Planetshakers into a truly global movement.
Recognising this progression, Planetshakers now host conferences in Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa, with plans to flood the USA with their brand of high energy mass Christian gatherings.
In 2008, Planetshakers were engaged in a perfect storm that surrounded their prominent preacher/worship leader Mike Guglielmucci’s confession that he deceived everyone for two years, creating an elaborate story that he suffered from leukaemia. In fact, Guglielmucci was attempting to create a diversion from the self-hate that he suffered due to a longstanding addiction to pornography.
Scandal, it seems, is rarely far behind mass church movements, with the pressures of leadership inevitably causing people to make mistakes. For Planetshakers, Mike’s confession turned a movement of hope for his ‘healing’ into shock and dismay at the deception. Vince Lombardi notes that we should be judged not on how we fall, but on how we get back up again, and Planetshakers have certainly impressed here.
Bigger Waves to Catch
Apologising and asking for forgiveness after the news broke, Planetshakers have continued to advance the kingdom by expanding their worldwide ministry. It hasn’t been an easy ride, but the approach has been admirable.
The Planetshakers band have released a further four albums, the Melbourne church continues to thrive, the Planetshakers college trains young people in leadership - God continues to bless their work. At the end of the day, Planetshakers is a movement that seeks to love, equip, serve and reach out to people across the globe - that’s a wave worth catching.
March 23rd, 2012 - Posted & Written by Peter Harrison