Reinhard Bonnke says he wants to “shake awake” the church. But he’s not talking about just one church or a single denomination. Nor is he talking about all the churches in a country or even an entire continent. He’s talking every church on the face of the globe.

Reinhard Bonnke

ON  A MISSION TO BRING 'FIRE' TO EVERY CHRISTIAN: Reinhard Bonnke at the launch of his Full Flame film series in Sydney. PICTURE: Ramon Williams.

 

"My prayer is to get the church out of the sanctuaries and back onto the streets,” says Bonnke. “Our churches are the most evangelised real estate in the whole world but if you want to catch fish you shouldn’t cast your net into the bathtub - there is no fish. We have to take it out and cast it into the sea and into the rivers, that’s where the fish is."

“My prayer is to get the church out of the sanctuaries and back onto the streets,” he says. “Our churches are the most evangelised real estate in the whole world but if you want to catch fish you shouldn’t cast your net into the bathtub - there is no fish. We have to take it out and cast it into the sea and into the rivers, that’s where the fish is. I feel the church as a whole - in general - is too much concerned about itself. We need to rediscover the...vast majority of people that are utterly lost and on their way to hell who need to hear the Gospel in order to be saved.”

In Australia earlier this month, the world-renowned evangelist launched a new series of eight films he’s developed over the past nine years at the annual Hillsong Conference in Sydney.

Produced by Bonnke’s organisation Christ for All Nations in conjunction with Integrity media, the Full Flame series is aimed squarely at Christians in the hope that, according to Bonnke, they will trigger an “avalanche” of soul winning across the globe as they stir people in passion and compassion for the lost.

When Bonnke talks about an “avalanche” that’s exactly what he means. The German-born preacher, who has lived in Africa for the past 19 years, estimates that he’s seen as many as 42 million people make a decision for Christ and fill out one of the decision cards at his crusades over the past five to six years - a figure he believes may reach as high as 100 million by the end of the decade.

“When I see that, I say ‘Wow, this is wonderful - in one way. In the other way, it is not enough. It is not enough’.”

While Bonnke says it’s mind-boggling to see a million people completing decision cards at a single service, he is quick to add: “But what is that, when we think of six-and-a-half billion people? This is what is follows me day and night.”

The film series includes seven “episodes” - each of which combines the “conversational teachings” of Bonnke punctuated with short allegories and dramas and is focused on a particular theme with visual highlights from a particular country - plus an introductory short film called Lost at Sea in which the passengers on a ship refuse to come to the aid of those drowning in the waters around them.

Industry leaders such as Skywalker Sound, Universal Studios, the London Philharmonic, and Abbey Road Studios were all involved in the production of the movies.

The origins of the series go back to the mid-Nineties when Bonnke says God spoke to him one day and said there would be a fire conference in every church on earth.

“I said ‘ Lord, how is that to be? I’ve only got one mouth’,” he explains. “The Lord spoke to me and said ‘By way of film’. And suddenly I could see - it was as if a parcel had been delivered to my front door. And I began to unwrap it - layer by layer - and it became clearer and clearer.

“I said ‘Yes, of God can help me to bring a fire conference in every church on earth and every home cell group on earth - if God can help me do that by way of film, we can raise millions of witnesses, of soul winners, of evangelists - people with a heart for the lost to be saved’. And that was the moment, the vision was born in my own heart.”

The films - which have taken nine years to make - take their lead from the “Fire Conferences” Bonnke regularly holds at his rallies. While Bonnke preaches to the lost at night, he says the days - during which he holds the Fire Conferences - are reserved for people who are already Christians so he can teach them the “ABCs” of evangelism.

He says it’s key that Christians grasp hold of the Great Commission given to them by Christ.

“God will not just give the whole world to any one man or one woman - we all have to be part of it,” he says. “I believe the whole Body of Christ has to rise to the challenge to have our generation saved.”

Full Flame series

TOOLS TO INSPIRE EVANGELISM: The films come with facilitators' and discussion guides and a CD of 14 songs performed by worship leaders from around the world. PICTURE: Ramon Williams.

 

“Everytime these films are shown, Jesus in the end will step out and make personal contact,” Bonnke says.

While the first seven films prepare the hearts of those watching for evangelism, Bonnke says that in the eighth film, in a pattern similar to that which occurs at his conferences, “Jesus will step out of the screen...and will set these hearts on fire”.

“This is what I believe will happen everytime these films are shown,” he says. “Everytime these films are shown, Jesus in the end will step out and make personal contact.”

The films will be initially available to English-speaking nations but Bonnke says it is intended that, through use of subtitles and dubbing, to translate them into the 54 major languages of the world.

Noting that he’s already has a fantastic response from churches, Bonnke says they intend to sell the films in countries where people can afford them and then have sponsors pay for the films to go into areas of the world where people can’t afford to buy them.

He says the films have also been made not just for the current generation, but for those who “if Jesus tarries”, will follow.

“Let the coming generations see that we, our generation, troubled themselves to win their generation for Jesus Christ. And I hope that will be an inspiration to the coming generations that they should also do something extra special.”

Describing his passion for the lost, Bonnke says that angels don’t dance in heaven when we dance in church “but they do dance in heaven when one sinner repents”.

“That puts exactly the finger on God’s interest,” he says. “If we are interested in what God is interested then God is interested in us. And God’s interest, first and foremost, is to save the lost. That is what took Christ to the cross. Creation cost Him nothing - He didn’t sweat one drop when He created the universe and this beautiful planet of ours but our salvation cost Him everything - His only begotten Son...”

Bonnke - who is returning to Africa at the end of July where he is holding a rally in Sudan - says he is aiming for five million “extra evangelists” to be created through the films.

“And when that happens, then I will say ‘Lord, let your servant depart in peace, he’s done his job”.

• The Full Flame series will be available from 14th August through Integrity Media. For more information and to download the introductory film for free, visit www.fullflamemovie.com.