The Cost of Worship: Bethel's Booming Bonanza
by Bud Press, Research Consultant,
Christian Research Service
May 12, 2012

According to the Bethel church website, the Bethel School of Worship is charging a $775 tuition fee to students who want to spend ten days learning how to, uh, well, hone their worship skills.

Added to the $775 fee is a $20 application fee, which brings the total to $895.
Surely, the almost $900 fee will include breakfast, lunch, and supper prepared by a local Five-Star chef?

Nonetheless, the classes will be taught by Senior Overseers Brian and Jenn Johnson, both of whom are passionate about leading their students "into open heaven encounters that will ultimately have great impact on the local church."

Hmmm, "open heaven encounters"? Who or what do they think they will run into? Maybe Todd Bentley stuck in a super-duper portal, or John Crowder levitating and talking to animals, or Joshua Mills covered in gold dust as he ascends to an astral plane?

Maybe, just maybe, as part of the supernatural entertainment, the "open heaven encounters" will feature Bill Johnson's sudden appearance in a foggy cloud, where he sprinkles the Bethel students with gold-colored pixie dust, and pre-cut plastic diamonds, and "angel feathers" from nesting birds in the air conditioner vents.

That would be a sight to see.

Although the classes aren't scheduled to begin until June 25, 2012, Brian and Jenn Johnson are confident that "The Lord will be bringing the worship experience 'up a notch' and we want to equip worship leaders for that purpose."

$895 for ten days is $89 per day. Bethel's "lord" will need to do more than bring the worship experience "up a notch" to make it a worthwhile investment.

Do the math and figure how much money the Apostle Paul could have made had he charged the Ephesian elders $895 for ten day classes--not for just ten days, mind you, but for three years (see Acts chapter 20).

The cost of worship at Bethel is a booming bonanza. But in the end when the study manuals are closed, other books will be opened, and the eternal price to be paid may end in total separation from God (Revelation 20:11-15).