by Kelinda Crawford
Kelinda: BJ, thank you for sharing with us today. Planetshakers has become quite a phenomenon and truly is shaking this planet for Jesus! Would you tell us a bit about how this group began? I understand it has its roots in Adelaide?
BJ: Planetshakers started out as a youth conference in Adelaide, Australia. From the late 90s to the mid 00s, it went from an attendance of 200 to over 30,000 people. It truly was a time of revival. The founder of PS Conference and the Senior Pastor of PS Church, Russell Evans, felt the Lord say for him to capture the sound and release it. That’s where our music started. Little did we know it would end up being something released across the world, helping people have their moment with Jesus. What a privilege! In terms of a ‘group’ called Planetshakers, well that’s not really how it works. We are a church based in Melbourne, Australia and have been now for 10 years! God is so good! God has brought amazing men and women together under this mandate of empowering generations to win generations.
Kelinda: So, Planetshakers began as a church band and now has a following around the world. What has this been like for you and your fellow band members? How do you stay grounded?
BJ: Jesus shows us in the Bible that discipleship is such a huge part of Christian life. We all need a relationship with the Holy Spirit, but the Bible also talks to us about submitting to our leaders. We have had many discipleship opportunities within the life of our church at ‘Creative Discipleship’ where our senior pastors, Ps Russell and Ps Sam Evans, speak life into us. They’re amazing role models and apostolic leaders. We’re more than blessed to call them our spiritual parents.
Kelinda: Did you ever think, when you joined Planetshakers, that you would be traveling the world, inspiring multitudes of people to worship God? How does it feel to know that is the case?
BJ: Ha, not at all. I was a university student who had just finished working as a Taxi driver! I had notebooks full of songs and loved our church, but had no idea what God was going to do. How does it feel? It’s amazing that God would use people who are least likely to have been successful on their own accord. I guess that’s how we know it’s God and not me.
Kelinda:What compels you and the rest of the group to keep touring the world? I’ve seen your schedule: looks like it could get pretty exhausting at times! What keeps you going strong?
BJ: The mandate. There’s a lost world out there. We’re not doing this just because we like it. It’s a calling and a ministry. We exist to empower generations to win generations. That’s what it’s all about. Jesus and His people.
Kelinda: Could you share a bit about how you came to be a member of Planetshakers? How has this impacted your life?
BJ: I became a Planetshaker in 2008. My wife and I were newlyweds and had moved to a new town without jobs and no real plan, except I needed a qualification so I went to university to study business and psychology. My wife and I searched for a new church family to belong to and we couldn’t find anything that fit the desire in our hearts. My wife, Marla, suggested “Honey, why don’t we try Planetshakers?” It was over 60 miles away! I admittedly thought it was too far, however we ended up going and being ruined for anything else. We had such a powerful encounter with God. We had no idea he was setting us up for a life of faith-filled adventure.
Kelinda: What is Planetshakers’ vision for the future? Where do you see yourselves in five years? Anything you hope to be doing as a group that you’re not doing now?
BJ: There’s so much ahead but you’ll just have to stay tuned.
Kelinda: You have quite a diverse group of band members. What are some of the things you do together when you’re not touring?
BJ: We love church, and we spend a lot of time together just hanging out with each other’s families. We love food and coffee, so any time someone finds a new place to eat or have coffee we’re usually one of the first to find it.
Kelinda: Planetshakers’ music is energetic, joyful and uplifting. What is it like for you to look out over a stadium full of people and know that your music is the avenue that is drawing them into praise and worship?
BJ: It’s amazing to watch someone’s vision come to pass. It’s more than music for me. It’s knowing this is what Ps Russell was branded with in the Spirit, and now we’re seeing it come to pass in the flesh. Yeah, seeing people jump up and down is great, but seeing people (whether it’s five or 200,000) encountering Jesus in a real and powerful way is an amazing sight for sure.
Kelinda:Let’s talk about your new CD, just released Sept. 30th. Tell us a bit about “Overflow.” How did this album come about? And what is the intention behind it?
BJ: Every year, Senior Pastor Russell Evans declares a prophetic statement over our church. Year in and year out I have seen miracles, signs and wonders in accordance with what he declares. It’s amazing! This year was the year of ‘Overflow’ so everything we write, speak/do agrees with that word. It’s not a marketing strategy. It’s prophetic and the Bible teaches us that where there’s unity, there’s a commanded blessing. So as writers, leaders, staff members and every area of our church agrees, we see supernatural faith released and see what’s declared come to pass. That was the whole purpose behind the name of the album and content of the songs. We want to provide people with an access point to that attribute of God’s character through the vehicle of praise and worship.
Kelinda:Planetshakers has had four Dove Awards nominations in the past three years. Congratulations: That’s awesome! What has it meant to you and your fellow band members to be recognized by the Dove Awards? Where do you go from here?
BJ: We are humbled and grateful that God is using what is created within our house to touch the lives of others. More than awards or prestige, what an honor it is to play a part in helping someone have their moment with Jesus. It’s precious and will always be a privilege. Where to from here? Well, there’s a big world out there that really does need Jesus. I guess we better go give them an opportunity to encounter His presence and His power.
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Purchase Your Copy of Planetshakers’ latest album, Overflow, online or in major retailers everywhere.