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Bethel Music buzzes at Hillsong

Spontaneous worship moments drive a memorable Australian tour

One of the biggest names in global Christian music, California’s Bethel Music is currently doing a brief Australian tour – visiting five cities in one week. Hosting “Worship Nights” around the country, they’ve already been to Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and last night they played in Sydney at Hillsong’s 3300-seat home, at Baulkham Hills.

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Wrapping up the tour tomorrow in Adelaide, Bethel Music’s Hillsong special event attracted a full house – and the American powerhouse didn’t disappoint. From the start, the atmosphere was buzzing. Before Bethel Music took to the stage, the huge crowd was reminded by Christian charity Compassion of the connection between worship and justice. This was a great introduction to what proved to be a memorable night of bringing together the power of a worship service with the Jesus-centred motivation behind it.

These “spontaneous worship moments” are one of my favourite things about Bethel Music.

Bethel Music’s Kalley Heligenthal, Leeland Mooring and Paul McClure led the first worship set. (Stay tuned for Eternity’s video interview with the delightful Kalley – who we caught up with behind the scenes). The first set went for more than an hour, and there were some beautiful moments of “spontaneous worship” – a notable and unusual expression session that Bethel Music has become well known for.

These “spontaneous worship” moments are when the lead singer begins singing what’s on their heart. They break out from the lyrics of a particular song and the band supports them, going with the flow of where the worship leader takes the team.

These “spontaneous worship moments” are perhaps one of my favourite things about Bethel Music.

Everyone in the crowd was still on their feet, passionately engaged in worship.

Bethel Music founder Brian Johnson and Corey Asbury led the second set. I have seen Bethel Music perform many times but I had not seen Corey before. He really brought an energertic and entertaining vibe to the stage.

Towards the end of Bethel’s worship night, there was an opportunity for prayer – and an “altar call” too. Corey led the final song, which Brian introduced jokingly as one of their few “faster” songs. It was a fun way to end a great night.

It was wonderful to see that after more than two hours of worship, everyone in the crowd was still on their feet, passionately engaged in worship.

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