[07.18.08] GOD TV and Fresh Fire Ministries announced this week that Todd Bentley would return to lead revival meetings in Lakeland, Fla., after a weeklong break.
Bentley’s ministry announced July 11 that after more than 100 days of continuous ministry the Canadian revivalist would be taking time off to recuperate. “His leadership team [suggested] he take some time off for rest and family,” said Bill Johnson, a California pastor and leader in the Revival Alliance, an apostolic network that commissioned Bentley as an evangelist in June. “They are very committed to his well being and realize that the kind of schedule he's been keeping is not wise in the long run.”
Johnson said the alliance, whose leaders also include Ché Ahn and John Arnott, supported Bentley’s decision to take a temporary break.
GOD TV had dropped its live broadcasts from Lakeland and directed viewers to its Web stream while other ministers filled in each night. But the global network announced it would resume airing the meetings live now that Bentley has returned.
One media analyst said people across the globe have glimpsed what 21st century revival might look like ever since the satellite-based GOD TV began beaming live broadcasts of the outpouring on April 11.
“From a media perspective, whatever your opinion may be about Todd Bentley or the revival in Lakeland, the media's connection is enormous,” said Phil Cooke, a television producer and media consultant. “In a digital age, the smallest event can become a global phenomenon, as we've seen here with GOD TV.
Wendy Alec, director of programming at GOD TV and co-founder of the network with her husband, Rory, said God directed their decision to set up cameras in Lakeland back in April. She said the step of faith caused the network to immediately break with advertised schedules.
“We took the step of obedience to the Lord’s instruction,” she said, “even though it meant not only some loss of revenue but upheaval on the television side of the ministry as we consistently had to reschedule seven world feeds.”
The result, she said, has been a technological miracle. “For the first time in history, revival is literally being ignited across the airwaves,” she said. “We believe that only the Lord could have engineered this.” —Paul Steven Ghiringhelli