QUOTE: "We have not succeeded fully yet. But what has been accomplished has been done by living a life of, and teaching on, generosity. Prosperity is often the result of doing things right. … We don't ever want to project the idea that Bethel is the answer, especially as compared to some other great churches in town. This city has some amazing churches and I'm good friends with a lot of pastors around here. What [God] is doing in Bethel He's doing in similar churches around town and that's fascinating to us. That's wonderful. … Bethel is part of a bigger [picture]. I want Redding to be a safe place. I want it to be a place where families work, where marriages work, where kids don't get abused, where businesses can thrive, where there aren't unemployment problems. We have a role that we play." —Bill Johnson, senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., whose church continues to gain secular media attention for its positive impact on the surrounding community. A local news service even ran a story this week commenting on how Bethel's conferences, which draw tens of thousands of out-of-town visitors each year, generate millions of dollars of revenue for local businesses. Johnson offered a more simplistic yet deeper explanation for why people converge from around the globe to be training in activating the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit: "The conferences are a way that we can train people that either don't have the ability, time, or money to come to our school. We love to train and equip people to do what Jesus did and commanded us to do. … People need practical training, not just theories." [redding.com, 1/16/10]
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