Years and years ago, my wife and I were given the opportunity to attend a worship conference at a church called Metro Christian Fellowship in Kansas City. We enjoyed most of it - some parts of the conference were kinda' scary, but for the most part, we left feeling refreshed, which we needed at that time in our lives.
While there, our host kept telling us about this House of Prayer thing that Bickle had started; at that time, it was still kinda' new. Kristen and I found the whole idea intriguing and wanted to go check out during some free time, but at that time, the area was by appointment only. Pray-ers and play-ers only, I guess.
About two years ago, I read The Quest For The Radical Middle, a book about the rise of the Vineyard church. The book didn't necessarily paint Bickle in the best light, but I learned a lot from the it. In a sense, I was over Mike Bickle. House of prayer was cool, he was a bit nutty, next topic.
But early this fall, I start seeing all these ads for a girl named Misty Edwards - the exciting new worship leading talent coming out of the International House of Prayer. (Come on...they had to name it IHOP?)
As a worship leader, I have always been fascinated with the "new song," the spontaneous-worship songs that are prominent within the charismatic movement. Spontaneous singing intrigues me on a lot of levels - the idea of worship leaders operating in the prophetic (a little scary,) the ramifications of leading a band during such a time (a little scary,) and what sort of real-time, practical effects that type of worship has on the church.
So IHOP is now streaming their house of prayer stuff. I see an ad in Worship Leader magazine, so I went to the site. And guess what? They want to charge me! There are all sorts of memberships and season passes and download options and all these different "packages" of sorts.
I just wanted to watch some people pray and hear the band, you know?
Everybody's gotta' make money. I just wish they didn't keep trying to make it off me.
On a related note, I have found a way around Mr. Bickle's grasping hands. Since we got all our TVs set up here at the new house, I have a channel that - get this - broadcasts the daily devotional time from IHOP. (Not the pancakes, remember.)
Ha! Ha! Take that, Mike Bickle!
I realize of course that I'm paying for TV service, so I really haven't done anything that great. By the way...expect this new channel to prompt many more posts!