What makes the Paradise event unusual is not so much the emphasis on Christ – most praise events can claim that objective – but the de-emphasis on all things not directly to do with glorifying Jesus.
“There will be nothing for sale at Paradise, not one T-shirt or CD, not one pretzel,” Ross said emphatically. “No product tents and no ministry tents. No banners or signs for other causes.”
In essence, it will be a rarity in religion: “No agenda will be raised at all that day; just the undistracted worship of Jesus,” Ross said.
It’s not just lip service. By rule of the event’s constitution, nothing is to echo from the huge speaker boxes except music and scripture. No sales pitches. No sermons, as well-intentioned as they may be. Skilled musicians will be present, including some big names, but those names will not be revealed and they will not be in view.
Perhaps most surprising of all, in this day of bigger, better and best: no attendance figures will be projected or announced.
I think this is an awesome idea! No distractions, no commercialism, no need to boast about attendance – just purely Jesus. And I definitely like the one about the musicians not being revealed and not being in view. It’s all about Jesus!
Singapore has an awesome once in a year praise and worship event called Festival of Praise. But it hasn’t been able to avoid all the trappings and distractions. I know many Christians come because a “famous” band would be leading worship. But praise and worship is all about Jesus, not about who leads worship, definitely not about the music.
“When the music fades… All is stripped away…”