Eight years ago, my wife Sharon and I were at a crossroads. We were leading a church in the suburbs of Los Angeles and running a House of Prayer steps away from the old historic Azusa Street Mission. We had seen the Lord move in some significant ways as we prayed for another outpouring in the city that we called home. At the end of 2010, our spiritual mom, Cindy Jacobs, gave us a word that it was time for us to step into the heart of LA (which we knew was Hollywood).
We were comfortable (and seeing fruit) but we felt a transition coming. As we began to pray into this, the Lord began to speak clearly that it was time for Hollywood to walk into its destiny. We knew it was a city that touched the world through music, film, and media, but we also knew it was a city that many Christians had left for dead. As we spoke to some of our family and friends, many of them discouraged us from moving our ministry to Hollywood. One of them even asked, “Why would you give the prime years of your life to a city that God has abandoned?”
Winds of Change
Over the course of the first few years at Radiance International (our Hollywood House of Prayer ministry), our community set our hearts to prayer and to release the atmosphere of the Kingdom over Hollywood. We began in the original CBS Studios and then moved to the heart of the Sunset Strip 18 months later. We shifted into 24/7 prayer beginning in September 2011, and for over 40 months there was unceasing worship and prayer lifted to the throne room on behalf of the Arts and Entertainment capital of the world.
When we started 24/7 prayer, we received a prophetic word that the answers to our prayers would begin to take place in 2-3 years (the average span of time that it takes for a movie to go from vision to production to the theaters). (Photo via Pixabay)
At the beginning of 2014, one influential, secular publication in the city declared 2014 to be “The Year of the Bible.” Since that time, 8 of the 10 top grossing Christian films of all time have come out and there are many more in the works. Kingdom content is beginning to touch not only film but music and media in a way that we have not seen for decades.
God Is Touching Influencers
Some of the most specific prayers that we have prayed have been for celebrities and influencers. Beginning in 2011, we dedicated about 20 hours a week to pray for celebrities by name. God has burdened our house with specific people in certain seasons and we have joined with many intercessors , ministries and organizations across the nation to bring these ones before the Lord.
We believe God is encountering influencers as His people pray RIGHT NOW. There is a special invitation for people to partner with Heaven and pray for some of the greatest transformational stories of our lifetime. We believe the life of one person that has encountered the love of God can literally impact millions. We are living in that moment now.
A New Expression of Stadium Christianity
Some of the most amazing experiences in my life have been at massive gatherings such as The Call DC (1999), The Call Nashville (7/7/2007), and The Call Azusa (4/9/2016). We believe the Church will continue to gather to birth movements and send out laborers to the nations. There's nothing like it.
However, in 2017 the Lord showed me a vision of a massive stadium gathering that looked very different than the ones that I had become familiar with. There were different people on the stage and some very different people in the stands. The Lord told me that there was a new expression of “Stadium Christianity” that was about to birth. It would be a movement where tens of thousands would come (the majority would be non-believers), hear the Gospel, and respond at the altar by giving their lives to Jesus.
The Lord also showed me that these stadiums wouldn't be filled over a period of months or years, but in a day. Imagine…a FREE CONCERT at the LA Memorial Coliseum and the stands being filled with 90,000 people in 24 hours. Some songs are sung, a testimony is shared, and tens of thousands stream to the altar. It's starting to happen!
Kanye West and the Beginning of a Revolution
As some of you have heard, Recording Artist Kanye West had an encounter with Jesus earlier this year and is now doing Sunday services all across the nation. Tens of thousands are coming to these gatherings and the Lord is moving powerfully.
One of our worship leaders is currently traveling and singing with Kanye at these services and listening parties (where the majority of the audience is unsaved). She describes these gatherings as “authentic, pure, and full of the presence of the Lord.”
An Invitation to Partner with Hollywood
We are at the beginning of a great move of God that is going to sweep the globe. Many have been praying for revival but the answer to these prayers may look different than we imagined. The Billy Graham of our day could be Kanye West or Justin Bieber or someone who will encounter the Lord in these coming days.
The greatest testimonies are going to come through lives that have once been empowered by the greatest darkness. As the Church of Jesus Christ, we need to pray and not judge, believing that Jesus is the great Transformer and that “He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it.”
It is my prayer that the Church will ARISE in this hour and pray for the influencers in Hollywood to encounter God, rally around them, and pray for an inner circle that will disciple them selflessly. Our UNITED prayers are powerful and will bring change to the lives of the voices in this generation.
The harvest truly is plentiful! May God raise up His laborers and may this be the beginning of the awakening that we have all been crying out for. The time is now!