The Kingdom Light Worship Experience – Calling an Entire City to Gather!
Worship Pastor Natalie Ryan Runion of Cincinnati, Ohio, is calling the entire city to come together in Worship. Her gathering is The Kingdom Light Worship Experience. Is the third time the charm?
The Kingdom Light Worship Experience is based upon Revelations 21:23: “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”
According to Worship Pastor, Natalie Ryan Runion, “A revival is coming. There’s such a hunger today for the Holy Spirit. People want an authentic encounter with their King! Too many churches are just getting people in and out between services. Many churches don’t even have the time for an altar call. I want to bring that back for an entire city with Kingdom Light!”
Natalie Ryan Runion, is the founder and driving force behind the Kingdom Light Worship Experience. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Natalie is the daughter of a pastor. She began leading worship after college. Natalie felt a calling four years ago when she vacated a full time position to better understand what was taking place in the body of Christ in Cincinnati. She founded the Natalie Ryan Music Ministry to help churches in times of transition and to assist with temporary staff replacement.
Why did you start The Kingdom Light Worship Experience?
“I started leading worship some fifteen years ago. Every church was doing something so dynamic for the Kingdom of God, yet there was nothing to bring the church together—to intercede for the city, to stop being individual lighthouses, to come together as one single light for a night. I felt the Lord was charging me with such a task in Cincinnati. I felt God say, ‘Look, for fifteen years you’ve been to all these different churches and experienced their needs and strengths. Pull together the churches!’
“What has happened in 2013 had been quarterly worship sessions. We came together, hosted by a different church each time, and worship as one body, one lighthouse.
“The focus is the entire body of Christ. This is not just church staff; we want the entire community of Cincinnati to come together. This is not a church thing, this is a kingdom thing. To quote my pastor, ‘Religion isolates, but the Kingdom infiltrates!’ Each Sunday all the churches go to their own corners to do their own thing, but when the kingdom comes together and actually begins to infiltrate the world with the message, that is when we become most effective like Jesus! That’s why this expo is so huge. We’re not just coming together in a room and worshiping; we’re discovering more ways we can bring the kingdom here in Cincinnati.
“It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had some resistance. Some pastors don’t like meeting at other churches. But this is bigger than that. It’s all about how we as a community and city can support one another, utilizing each other’s resources while at the same time coming together with no agenda, no announcements, no church politics. We just worship the Lord and are the Light.
“We have had two events so far. The third will be September 20, 2013. Our focus is to cover the city of Cincinnati in prayer.”
What are your criteria for finding a host church?
“The church which hosted the first two events was chosen because the pastor had a very unique vision to see unity in the body. I consider proximity, capacity, and how well known the church is in the community. For this upcoming event I contacted pastors and shared my vision. If they reciprocated my vision, I asked them to prayerfully consider hosting an event.”
What should someone expect who will be attending the next event?
“We will have a [joint] praise band. Each event has a compilation of church praise team members and music directors from all denominations across Cincinnati. This one will be a little different from the previous two. The last two were very worship focused. We are changing the focus from an all-city concert to celebrating the ministries in Cincinnati that are fulfilling the scriptures of Acts—those who are going out and being the light, locally, nationally and globally.
“At 6:00 PM the doors will open for a Ministry Expo. We will be showcasing ministries for everything from Gospel missions to jobs! These are ministries which have been cultivated in Cincinnati and are now reaching out to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. People can learn about these different ministries so they can give or serve. There is no cost to enter the doors, and no cost for those with tables or booths. The hosting church provides the tables and for the needs of those attending. We are spending no money on publicity. This is very grass roots. Our only publicity is Facebook, personal invites and contacting churches directly.
“At 7:30 PM we are having our first all-city worship choir. Whoever wants to be part of this can simply show up and participate. The choir will lead the people instead of a worship leader. I’ll be up there on stage, but the focus is not on one person. Because worship is both vertical and horizontal, we’re looking at that vertical and horizontal worship exalting the Lord while we’re [encouraging] one another. We will be allowing our individual testimonies to lead others into worship.”
I imagine this can be a costly endeavor. How are you covering your out of pocket cost and time?
“We did a live DVD recording at our last conference. We’ll offer it for purchase so people can take back to their churches to share. We used Tri-State Productions of Northern Kentucky to record the live show. They provide the staff and any additional audio supplies needed, including ambient micing to pick up the crowd singing. As long as I can sell fifty CDs, there will be no additional cost. I’ll sell CDs at this upcoming conference and only ask for donations. For me this has been an investment I’ve been asked to provide for the Kingdom. Knowing my reward may not be here. There is a business side and a faith side, so I must operate responsibly and with wisdom. For me to go out of pocket means I am willing to do what I’m asked.
“I have taken on some cost, but it is the churches who are hosting the event who are absorbing the majority of the expenses via child care, sound production staff, etc. I only ask if we can use their building and utilize their sound [system]. Anything else they want to provide—communion, greeters, etc.—the churches have taken responsibility and ownership of those costs and services. It is a huge blessing!
“Approximately five hundred attended the first Kingdom Light Worship Experience, and that was just from word of mouth. This next one will be held at a church named Landmark. It is known for its outreach as well as hosting many national Christian concerts. My prayer is that we have about the same or more [attendees] as in the past.
“I am willing to walk this out for as long as the Lord is willing. I long to have happen in the United States, what is happening in other parts of the world—people gathering just in the name of Jesus!”