God and the multi-plug

John Cameron always had faith. It just took a brand-new suit for him to find it.

It was an 18th birthday present, and he wanted to wear it straight away. But, as a teenager “mucking around … wasting potential” in west Auckland, he was dressed up with nowhere to go – but church.

“I just turned up. And I pretty much haven’t missed a Sunday since.”

It’s a “funny story”, he knows. “But when I got there, it was just real. I was connecting with God, I felt His presence, and I felt that was what was missing. Out of that, faith became personal for me.”

But that service was “nothing like this”, Cameron agrees, nodding his head towards the source of thumping bass on the other side of the wall.

We’re sitting in a changing room at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua, which is serving as a makeshift green room – complete with a rider of Phoenix juices and scented candles – before Cameron takes to the stage to give his sermon as lead pastor of Arise Church.

“Sermon” may not even be the right word for it. An Arise service is part rock concert, part variety show, part stand-up gig (“To quote from Bruce Almighty…”).

It’s hard at times – like a five-minute tangent when Cameron pulls a pastor on stage for an impromptu rendition of the Frozen theme – to pinpoint just how and where the Bible fits into this slick, enormous production.

There are volunteers to guide you to a car park and a seat in the stadium; a 14-piece band, featuring seven enviably confident and well-dressed young singers; a camera crew, a smoke machine, a big screen.

God works in mysterious ways, and many of them demand a multi-plug. Continue reading.

Source: The Wireless

Image: Arise Church

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