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Praise pit to faith -

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ALI MOORE: It takes its roots from African-American spirituals and gospel a cappella but the rise
and rise of contemporary Christian rock has catapulted so called faith music into the mainstream
charts. In Australia, the band of the moment is the Planetshakers, named after the fastest growing
Christian youth movement in the country Shaking the Planet. Its members are trying to do just that,
from a praise pit rather than a mosh pit. Tracee Hutchison reports.

DANIEL FLYNN: There's lots of different ways to worship and I don't have a problem with any, but
this is how I do it and this is how I enjoy it.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: Welcome to the modern church where the house of God is a rock concert and His
teachings are wrapped up in a slick, sophisticated package. There's the band, the music videos, the
DVDs, the website, there's even a My Space page and an annual conference for Christian youth that
attracts over 20,000 young Australians each year.

PASTOR RUSSELL EVANS, PLANETSHAKERS: I believe that the church of God should be the greatest party
on the planet.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: These are the Planetshakers, and the man with the message is Assemblies of God
pastor, Russell Evans.

RUSSELL EVANS: Shake the planet. We're here not just to be local, we're here to be global and we
can have the ability to influence the whole planet.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: Shaking the planet with a mix of social justice and the scriptures is what the
Planetshakers vision is all about.

RUSSELL EVANS: I believe that God has made us with a purpose and the difference is helping people
find their purpose.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: To his youthful constituents, Pastor Evans is almost the main attraction. He's
relaxed and accessible, and it works.

RUSSELL EVANS: Having a good time?

CHURCH MEMBER: Awesome time, great time.

RUSSELL EVANS: How are you doing? Awesome.

ASH GAZAL: I do a lot of youth work within the church so the empowerment that I've seen is pretty
much me helping younger girls. I think we all have our experiences in life and I've had my own
experiences where I've needed God, I've needed something.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: Ash Gazal turned to the church after a death in the family.

ASH GAZAL: I think for me seeing the way that my life has been changed and seeing the fulfilment
that I get, but then coming together like this and seeing other younger people go through the same
thing. For me, that's where it pays off.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: Daniel Flynn grew up with Christian parents and came to Planetshakers with
friends.

DANIEL FLYNN: I find it real. You know, there's not a lot of Christian talk that goes over your
head. I can stay awake and really get into it.

PASTOR: I want to tell you this morning, this is the greatest hour for the church. This is an
awesome, awesome day for God's church.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: While God looms large in the lives of these young people, it's partnerships with
organisations like World Vision that give practical outcomes to their involvement. Last year's
conference resulted in 1,000 new child sponsorships, a target organisers hope will be met again
this year.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: Have you sponsored a child?

DANIEL FLYNN: I have, I've gone in with a couple of friends of mine and we've sponsored a little
girl in India.

ASH GAZAL: I've sponsored a child in the past, but it's not just about World Vision, it's about
social justice. There are so many ways that we can be a difference in our world. It's not just
World Vision, although that is a fantastic cause and a lot of my friends do support that.

REVD TIM COSTELLO, WORLD VISION AUSTRALIA: What I think is occurring is a real struggle for a dream
with young people. I mean, the fact that Planetshakers' young people are there, positive about the
world and their faith rather than doing ecstasy and doing pills, is great.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: World Vision CEO Reverend Tim Costello sees a strong link with Planetshakers and
the global Make Poverty History campaign.

TIM COSTELLO: It's really about awareness, so this generation give me great hope. They have both
the moral commitment and the financial means to make poverty history.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: And while rock stars Bono and Bob Geldof turn music into a global political
message, Pastor Evans is strictly by God's book, despite having links of his own to Australian
politics as the son of Family First founder and Pentecostal pastor Andrew Evans.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: How much of Family First is in Planetshakers?

RUSSELL EVANS: Absolutely none. I'm not political. My deal is to empower young people.

ASH GAZAL: If you want to see positive change in your community then you need to be that change,
you know what I mean?

TIM COSTELLO: I think my generation, babyboomers and older, have really failed. I think we actually
didn't see with moral clarity what this next generation sees.

DANIEL FLYNN: Each day to wake up and have an attitude that I'm going to make a difference just to
someone today, whether it's a smile, whether it's sponsoring a child.