As with the vision of House on the Rock as a Church, Pastor Paul had another vision which he called The Experience, this vision has experienced exponential growth over the years. But what is The Experience? Simply put, The Experience’ is an all-night gospel music concert hosted by Pastor Paul Adefarasin, the metropolitan Senior Pastor of all House on the Rock Churches.The Experience was birthed out of a genuine desire to spread the gospel globally in a way that had never been done before anywhere else in this world, while at the same time, breaking the barriers of distance, language, race, economic class or denominational nomenclature. This God-inspired vision provides a platform where all can raise their hearts, hands and voices together as one in unfettered praise to the Almighty.
The very first edition of The Experience took place on the 1st of December, 2006, and this first edition garnered a whooping attendance of about 40,000 people and it is safe to say that it has since grown exponentially to hundreds of thousands of worshippers. As a result, The Experience has been labeled (arguably) as the largest gospel concert in the world, now being at its 15th edition The Experience 15 Global Edition .
The Experience has since inception been one of the most talked about events globally and for very good reasons, from the spiritual empowerment it delivers, to the top notch musical groove, to the participants, the volunteers, the organizers, the resources, the artistes (both local and international), the guests and even the logistics involved is a worthy topic of discussion. As a matter of fact, The Experience was once dubbed “a logistical nightmare” by many, because it is obviously no easy feat considering the many parts that are concurrently running, yet Pastor Paul Adefarasin and his teams have been able to deliver The Experience for these many years rather seamlessly. So what’s not to talk about?
Now in its fifteenth (15th) iteration, ‘The Experience’ 15 is 100% a virtual event due to the COVID-19 restrictions, and as such will have hundreds of millions of people from across all 7 continents of the world tune in from the comfort of their homes to worship and praise God from dusk to dawn.
The Men and Women “Behind The Scenes”.
The Experience would probably have only been a vision in the mind of Pastor Paul, if he didn’t have an impregnable army of men and women who were and are still willing to make themselves available to bring a vision into an actionable, tangible and impactful reality. A workforce you can call it. These men and women year in year out, work tirelessly to make the experience what it is. They give their time, energy, resources, intellect, expertise, social network and even certain properties (like cars, hotels, residences etc) to make it all happen. While some of these people are paid staff of the House on the Rock Church, a dazzling majority are principally volunteer workers and church members, giving their all with absolutely no monetary compensation.
Sometimes you see these people, but more often than not, you don’t. However, their immeasurable contributions make The Experience an event that is never forgotten before the next edition comes along. One of our correspondents spoke with one of such people, and this is what he had to say.
“Personally it's been a great journey for me. The work, the efforts, the late nights, the constant learning and having to see The Experience not just put a smile on people's face but to see them glorify God in one voice. Trust me it's a tremendous work behind the scene, there's some kind of dedication and this openness of heart when you hear the drum roll for Experience, like I said there's a lot of work going on behind the scene and it is phenomenal because this is the first of the kind in the history of The Experience and The world..
This year’s experience really taught me a lot, you see, God doesn't need a crowd to do mighty things- He just needs a few people and I believe anyone can be among those few.. "Literally anyone", I'm just grateful to be among the few. TE15 planning started as soon as TE14 was done, from the spiritual to the physical and I personally thank God for Pastor Paul because without the head the body has no direction”. – R. A
The Spoken Word Presentation By Nokwe The Poet
The Experience is majorly headlined by musical ministrations, but for her second appearance at The Experience, Nokwethemba Mchunu, popularly known as “Nokwe The Poet” delivered an extraordinary and mesmerizing performance of a gospel themed poem. You definitely love to see it.
The Various Collaborations between Artists from Across the Globe
For anyone who has witnessed The Experience at one point or the other, one of the things that makes The Experience special, is the array of artists that headline the event. But then The Experience Global Edition took things up several notches, as artists collaborated and created new versions of their hit songs, delivering beautiful medleys and symphonies. One of such was the medley of What a beautiful name and Imela performed by Nathaniel Bassey, Chevelle Franklyn, Donnie McClurkin, Sidney Mohede, LMGC and House on the Rock Choir, London. Another was popular worship song Way Maker by sinach featuring Michael W Smith from Nashville, USA; Sheldon Bangera from Mumbai, India; Travis Greene Columbia, USA; Planetshakers from Melbourne, Australia; Maori Choir Auckland, New Zealand; Martin Neil (Percussion) Chester, UK; Abishal Samuel Sonkamble Mumbai, India; Potters House Choir Dallas, USA, Lawrence Johnson London, UK, Priscilla Campbell-Jones London, UK, Tina Brookes London, UK and Teni Tinks London, UK