Question: "What is the Planetshakers movement?"
Answer: The Planetshakers movement is a growing church organization, known for its passionate praise and worship and its “ability to stir hunger in young people for encounters with God, and the frequent outbreaks of miracles, signs and wonders” (from their official website, accessed 7/26/21). The mandate of the Planetshakers is “empowering generations to win generations” (ibid.).
Planetshakers was established by Assemblies of God preacher Russel Evans after he had a “radical encounter with God” in 1997. The movement grew to the point that Russel and his wife Sam founded Planetshakers Church in Melbourne, Australia, in 2004. They remain the global senior pastors of Planetshakers Church today, as well as the co-presidents of Planetshakers Bible College.
Planetshakers Ministries International now has a global footprint, “expressing the Planetshakers mandate, worldwide, through music and touring, international conferences and events, and Planetshakers Bible College” (ibid.). They currently have six church campuses in Melbourne and four campuses internationally, in Switzerland, Singapore, South Africa, and Papua New Guinea. Their sermons are available online. The Planetshakers Bible College is operated out of Melbourne.
The main goal of Planetshakers is that “people find the healing, breakthrough and provision they need as they encounter the tangible Presence of Jesus and His family, in a personal and life-changing way” (ibid.). A major avenue to further their vision is their bands, including Planetshakers and Planetboom, who write music, record albums, and tour.
Planetshakers is a continuationst, strongly Charismatic organization. They teach that an encounter with God involves the filling of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues (ibid.). There are reports of Pastor Russel performing healings among the congregation during services. Russel is a member of the Empowered21 Global Council along with Bill Johnson, E. A. Adeboye, Marilyn Hickey, and others in the Word of Faith and New Apostolic Reformation movements.
In one sermon available on the Planetshakers Facebook page, Pastor Russel uses the biblical account of Jesus rebuking the wind and waves (see Mark 4:39) to say that we also have the power to “bind and loose” things that are trying to get into our lives. Besides being a gross misapplication of the text, the statement is reminiscent of the teachings of the prosperity gospel and the name-it-claim-it crowd Sometimes, no matter how much we rebuke the storms or will painful things to stay out of our lives, they remain because God wants us to endure them (John 16:33; Romans 5:3–5; James 1:2–4).
While we rejoice when the gospel is proclaimed, we reject the emotionalism, the sign-seeking, and the false beliefs of the Planetshakers movement.