Hailed as one of Australia’s top contemporary Christian bands, Planetshakers continues to shake the planet with its cutting edge music for more than a decade now.
|CN PHOTO: Michael Chan|
The Festival Of Praise in Singapore is an annual event that gathers believers from all over Singapore for a time of worship with international worship artists and bands, and teaching of the Word of God by guest preachers. This year, the FOP invited Ché Ahn from America to preach the Word. Celebrated producer-musician, Don Moen and the acclaimed band, Planetshakers, helmed the worship segment.
City News caught up with all three guests to discover more about their lives and ministry. This week, we feature the renowned Planetshakers band from Australia and discover their journey with God as a team. Stay tuned for segments on Don Moen, and Ché Ahn from Harvest Rock Church.
The Planetshakers band came forth as a result of a phenomenal teen conference in 1997 in Australia. The event attracted over 300 youths and since then, the annual conferences have multiplied exponentially. Years later in 2004, more than 20,000 attendees packed stadiums in three Australian cities. That same year, they gained momentum, traveling internationally with their music beyond the borders of the Land Down Under.
The Planetshakers band is now based in Melbourne and is the worship band in three teams ministering at Planetshakers City Church. Founded and led by Australian pastor Russell Evans, the team includes Henry Seeley, Samantha Evans, Mike (Rudy) Nikkerud, Mike Webber, and Joth Hunt. From a handful of five members, the music team has now grown to 18.
The group’s first album was released in 2000 and the world has benefited from their 22 albums produced since then. Planetshakers’ style is best described as mainstream rock and pop, with some elements of techno, rap and Latin-pop.
Planetshakers, with its mission to (“empower a generation to win a generation,”) tours annually outside of Australia to the U.S.A., U.K., Europe, South Africa, South East Asia and New Zealand. They have led congregations in more than 25 nations and in church gatherings here in Singapore like the recent one at Singapore’s Festival Of Praise 2010. In some projects teaming up with Worship Central, a collaborative effort led by worship leader Tim Hughes, Planetshakers also trains other worship teams through practical courses, forums and interactive events. Planetshakers talks to CityNews.
Is there a routine that the band does before leading praise and worship?
When we travel, as many times as we possibly can, we would start the day with a group devotion. We seek God’s heart and ask Him what He wants us to do throughout that trip.
What are some of the unforgettable experiences you have had while ministering in other countries?
Last year, we were in this particular nation where the people have grown up in a culture that is restrictive. That meeting went great but when we went back this year, we saw a huge shift in the hearts of the people there. There’s so much freedom and liberty like you’ve never seen before. Thousands and thousands of people were just totally set free and uninhibited. I believe that God’s igniting a huge change in that nation.
Were there instances when things didn’t happen as planned?
It happens all the time. There was this time when we were in America. We couldn’t get on the same flight and the rest of us, with our pastor Russell who was speaking that night, missed our flight due to weather changes and closure of the airport. We arrived at the venue 30 minutes after the event was supposed to start. Our guitar player was up there putting up the best he can. So we walked up the stage and just went for it. The atmosphere was no different from that at any other time. We go to places where people are hungry for God and God meets them right there and then. I’ve seen people getting healed and freed even as we led them in worship.
What makes Planetshakers stay on the cutting edge after all these years?
Our heart is not to be a band that goes around the world. If we were just a part of a band traveling around playing music, we’d be tired, sick and jet-lagged. To understand the meaning of the presence of God and see thousands of people encounter God, it is something like no other. It really refreshes you. The only thing we want to do is pick up what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our church and around the world. Then all of a sudden the songs we write burst out of that. God is always on the cutting edge of everything, He is God. As we keep our relationship with God the central focus of everything, it allows us to keep speaking into people’s hearts.
How do you think Planetshakers is shaping the Christian music scene?
There’s a bit of resurgence in the genre of worship. A lot of people try to catch on to it. But that’s not in our hearts at all. We have always been worshippers and will continue to be worshippers. For us, our styles might change but the heart behind what we do is absolutely 100 percent an act of worship. We started doing albums not to sell albums but for people to take them home and reflect on God and seek a real encounter with Him. It’s all about leading people to where God is.
If all the churches in Asia are hearing you today, what would be your message for them?
Pursue God and run after God. He wants to build His kingdom not just through people on stage but through every single person. He has a plan and a dream in people’s hearts. As you spend time with Him, in His perfect time He will reveal that and open the right doors for you and put you in the right position of influence. That’s what the kingdom of God is all about, having influence outside the walls of the church and affecting everyday society.
Learn more about the band at www.planetshakers.com/music
• When The Planet Rocked (2000)
• So Amazing (2001)
• Phenomena (2001)
• Reflector (2002)
• Open Up The Gates (2002)
• My King (2003)
• Rain Down (2003)
• All That I Want (2004)
• Always And Forever (2004)
• Evermore (2005)
• Decade: Lift Up Your Eyes (2005)
• Arise (2006)
• Pick It Up (2006)
• Praise Him (2006)
• Worship Him (2006)
• Never Stop (2007)
• Saviour Of The World (2007)
• Free (2008)
• All For Love (2008)
• Beautiful Saviour (2008)
• Deeper (2009)
• One (2009)
• Even Greater (2009)