Bill Johnson conference in Reading, Berks

Published four years ago, but worth a read…I’ve just come back from a challenging two days with Bill Johnson, who is the senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, Northern California. There is a bit of a sense of linkage with Redding Ca, pop about 100,000, and Greater Reading, Berks, UK, with a population approaching 250,000, but that is by-the-by. Bill does not hype things up, thump, shout or exaggerate. He is low-key. But he sees things happen in the church he leads and on travels around the world, that are far from low-key. I have for years taught that we do not generally see the instantaneous miracles which were part of Jesus’ ministry and described throughout the gospels. Well, I did see them on Sunday and Monday last! After a relatively short and uncomplicated healing session at the end of the evening on Sunday, 121 people reported that a pain or other definite symptom had gone. Another 49 (or was it 50) reported the same on Monday night. Was this the effect of the great man, praying great prayers from the platform? Bill was a catalyst and a superb coach, it has to be acknowledged, but he had his conference-goers praying for each other while he directed us to use a pattern of praying declarations or decrees, in the manner of saying, “Your kingdom come!” rather than petition prayers. To put this into a context, there was a lot of Bible-focused teaching about understanding the Father heart of God who is looking for an excuse to give and to bless – and who is as likely to do this to encourage those who are not walking with him, as the more self-righteous ‘pharisees’ among us. I don’t know whether any of the folk who were healed at the conference were backslidden ‘bad bozos’ but there were a lot of stories of things that happened in the mall or in prison or selsewhere, where some pretty ordinary people came into an experience of the extravagant generosity of God.

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