April 21, 2024

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“The Experience” Breaks Norms, Holds Virtual Edition

4 min read

House on The Rock quieted a lot of speculation when it announced that the 15th edition of its annual gospel concert, The Experience 15 (The Global Edition), would indeed take place this year. All aspects of the now colossal event have been fully digitized to create and offer a virtual atmosphere for attendees across the globe.

The Christian society was rocked by the pandemic, to say the least. The ripple effect is still being felt even as 2020 rolls to its end. Churchgoers could no longer congregate in auditoriums as leaders sought to comply with the safety rules and precautions enacted by government entities. The situation left a lot of Christians bewildered as to where and how they would get much-needed encouragement. As houses of worship continued to close, alternative means of assembly became necessary. Services and other worship programs had to move online.

This new venture brought with it, a lot of complications. At the core of the Christian community is the gathering together to pray and study the Bible. This stems from the belief of increased strength when large numbers are under the same roof for the same purpose. The new Sunday school format, as well as new praise and worship sessions, would take some getting used to. The majority of churchgoers were weary of the risk of themselves or their loved ones contracting the virus. This inherently meant that more people were open to digital services than weren’t.

On the back end, however,  more than a few tweaks and tune-ups had to be made. A lot of churches and Christian programs came to a complete halt, as they couldn’t cope with the demands of live-streaming their programs. In Lagos, where the highest number of Covid-19 cases were confirmed, it was especially difficult for some programs to take place. As of the 17th of June, there were  7,461 confirmed cases in the state and the government was bracing religious entities for another lockdown.

The seeming dire situation left many stakeholders worried. There were strong indications that the major events that Lagosians, Nigerians, and People around the world have come to expect would not be taking place. The Experience was one of such programs. The event which many inside and outside the Christain community, including Travis Greene, have posed as the largest gospel concert in the world, was looking like it would not hold.

The 2019 edition saw around 1 million attendees, who joined in both physically and through other media. It was unquestionable that a large number of people were looking forward to the 2020 edition. Within the last 14 years, The Experience had become a landmark event, making its stamp on Lagos in December. Amazing music ministers from across the globe, including the US, UK, Jamaica, and many other countries, would come together for a glorious night of praise & worship. Some of the ministers to have graced the Experience stage include Chevelle Franklyn, Donnie Mc Cluckin, Mike Aremu, Nikki Laoye, Rooftop MCs, Ron Kenoly, BeBe and CeCe Winans, and Kirk Franklin, Tye Tribbett, Israel Houghton, Frank Edwards, Sinach, and Nathaniel Bassey.

Dignitaries such as Jimi Agbaje, Segun Agbaje, Mr. and Mrs. Sola David-Borha, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-olu, his wife Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-olu, and Yemi Osinbajo have also been present at previous editions of the event.

With the stakes as high as ever, the House on The Rock Church, led by Pastor Paul Adefarasin rallied together. This was in order to ensure that gap the event had consistently filled, in the hearts and minds of attendees was not left bare. After a time of planning, It was then announced that the event would hold and would be a virtual experience that all could enjoy safely. This would go against multiple predictions made about events in December of 2020.

The Global Edition as it has been tagged will see a magnificent host of gospel superstars lead praise and worship sessions for everyone present to have an encounter with Jesus. The live-streamed event is set to be even bigger than it has ever been, which is saying a lot. Messaging from the House on The Rock has suggested that this year’s version has been designed to be more relaxed and more intimate than previous versions.

Digital worship services have become more attractive than ever, one major reason is that they have brought households closer together. The household unit had seen families gather together in front of one or two screens to participate in wonderful sessions of fellowship. Parents and children who only saw each other at the beginning and at the end of church services found a conduit to spend more quality time together. Pastors Paul and Ifeanyi Adefarasin have urged attendees to get their families together as they participate in The Experience 15, believing that it would make the encounter a richer one for everyone involved.

The Experience has promised an event with a rather impressive lineup of performers, including Tasha Cobbs, Maverick City, and Hillsong United, Segun Obe, Chee, Eno Michael, Planet Shakers, Don Moen, Ana Paula Valadao, Nokwe The Poet, Nathaniel Bassey, Sinach, Ada, Eben, Mercy Chinwo, William Mcdowell, Tope Alabi, Sonnie Badu, Chevelle Franklyn and many more.

General conjecture from the Christain community and the music community around the world has turned into genuine excitement for everything in store for attendees. Previous editions of The Experience have proven to be life-changing. Encounters that provided the kind of impact needed to enter the new year in the most positive fashion. Now viewers can enjoy an uninterrupted experience from beginning to end without worrying about movement and safety.

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