Jesus Culture In Nashville — Not A Concert But A Passionate Worship Experience

It looked like a concert, but it wasn’t.  Several thousand people (mostly under 30) gathered last night at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville to worship with the band, Jesus Culture.

With the energy of a rock concert, the crowd passionately expressed unrelenting praise and worship to Jesus; standing, waving, dancing, swaying, singing, and shouting for more than two hours.  The presence of the Holy Spirit was almost tangible.  Across the arena faces were glowing with the ecstasy of His light.

The songs were not just sung about Jesus — they were sung directly to Him (like He was in the room — which He was).  It was free-flowing and spontaneous, beyond the realm of human agenda and control.

However, after about two hours, there was a shift.  People were told to sit down (which they did, suddenly shifting from an active role to a passive one) while someone talked for quite a while.

At that point there was a very noticeable change in the atmosphere.  There was a visible shift in the meeting from God’s leadership to human leadership and the sense of God’s Presence began to fade.  Spontaneity shut down.  The energy level fell drastically. I saw many people yawn.

Eventually they shifted back to a God focus, but it seemed like the Presence of God never got back to the same level as it was before the talk.

The first two hours of the gathering amazingly demonstrated, beyond words, how the real Presence of God can come in and control a meeting.  Perhaps the talk was an unnecessary diversion of attention away from actively experiencing Christ to theorizing about Him.

It is not information that transforms people, but the Presence and control of the living Christ.  We know plenty of information about Christ and the Bible, yet we often lack His ongoing, transforming Presence.  We know how to experience Jesus occasionally, but perhaps we don’t know how to live in His Presence,  overcome with awe of Him 24/7.

Can Christian gatherings “work” without a talk or sermon?  Yes! Christ, Himself, will teach, not through one human directing a meeting, but through many people openly and freely sharing what God tells them to. (See I Corinthians 14:26).  We just need to give Christ a chance to be the one in charge.

Every Sunday morning in Nashville a group of believers gather with the desire to let Jesus run things with as little human agenda and human control as possible.  The results?  Jesus shows up.  Come and see for yourself what Christ can do when allowed the freedom to run a meeting — gathering at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, 37207.

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
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5 Responses to Jesus Culture In Nashville — Not A Concert But A Passionate Worship Experience

  1. terry1954 says:

    that would be something to experience this in a large group of people. god was surely in their presence

  2. findingtheway777 says:

    I love Jesus culture but they have been doing this long enough to know how the Holy Spirit is flowing in their events. Could they have not spoke at the beginning and then preformed and let the Holy Spirit do His work during the concert? I love the Presence but we need the Word even
    more. So many people are so quick to read books from others and praise them for there great words. People have to get back to the actual bible. Reading the living Word and letting the Holy Spirit reveal to them what He wants. When you are in spirital warefare and feel no presence, one of your strongest defences is the Word of God, that is what Christ used in the desert. We have to be so flexable to the leading of the Spirit in whatever direction He would have. Preach only, worship only, do both, whatever He would have for us at the time. Thank you Lord for your presence but my we be truely grounded in your Word.

  3. bfawbush says:

    Steve, I’ll have to respectfully disagree. . I was there last night, too, and I have to say my experience of the power & presence of the Holy Spirit came during the song, “You Won’t Relent” which was played immediately following the message. It was actually during the first half of the worship time when I was feeling the most tired (ashamedly so). Yet, God met me in a powerful way during “Relent.”

    R.C. Sproul once told the account of a worship service in which he felt “dead,” felt the message was “dead,” and that the communion service was “dead.” At the end of the service, as he was shaking hands with people as they left the service, an elderly woman came up to him & said, “I have never before in my life experienced the power & presence of the Holy Spirit as I have today–thank you.”

    Our experience of what God is doing is not always the experience in the same way of what he is doing in the lives of others.

    • Steve Simms says:

      Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your perspective. It is so easy to just go with my perspective, so I appreciate the balance you have presented. God may be using something that isn’t touching me to be deeply touching someone else.

  4. Angel says:

    I believe that the message & the worship were great. I recieved what God intended for me through both. The presence never left the room & I pray you never allow yourself to live out of his presence.

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