This past weekend we were able to host our fourth annual Battle of the Bands. When I took over the Student Ministries I knew that I would have to make a call on whether we were going to do Battle of the Bands again. I wasn’t sure if it was really what we wanted to spend our time on and whether it was something that matched up with our missions statement.
Then through the winter I was greatly convicted that we could greatly use this event to minister to the bands and the visitors in a way that we never have before. As far as evangelistic events, this one wasn’t a great atmosphere for an upfront sharing of the Gospel, and I wanted to change the way we looked at it. Instead, we should them Christ through our actions, still gave a short Gospel message and gave some of our high schoolers the opportunity to brush up on their street evangelism. I figured that would be a more beneficial way of doing this.
There were a lot of things that we decided to do to make this event special. First, we decided we weren’t going to take any money from this it was all going to go to the bands and a special guest we invited. We also decided we weren’t going to sell water bottles like we did in the past. We’re going to give it away. We set a bunch of cookies and free water out for our guests. We were able to provide free pizza for the bands, as well as a stage that many of them were not able to use. Most of these kids play around in small coffee shops or clubs, not big rooms with big sound systems and room for hundreds of people. It was great to give them this opportunity.
Lastly, we invited the group “invisible children” to join us. We gave $2 from every person that came through the door and then they also had merch they were selling. We ended up being able to give them $480! “invisible children” is a movie that was made by three surfer guys from San Diego. They went to Sudan to find film what was going on there, but when they got there, there was no one to be found. They made their way south to Northern Uganda and discovered a heinous crime that was being committed. they discovered the LRA.
Now the LRA is something that I remember from my time in Uganda. They are the Lord’s Rebellion Army and they are savages. They kidnap small children and make them into killing machines. They commit horrible atrocities and dream of over throwing the government. They have connections within the government itself so no one is taking action on behalf of these children who are getting kidnapped, raped, and murdered. Hence ‘invisible children’.
These guys have done some amazing things. They have been able to show this video to many in our government and have an increasing voice in this cry for help. You should all follow my link to the right to invisible children and check it out for yourself. We’re going to be hosting a showing of their new ‘professional type’ movie hopefully in January. There, they will answer questions and talk about what is being done to interject ourselves into what’s going on.
Having ‘invisible children’ there made such a huge difference. the kids were able to see that this was about something greater than them and even though they were having fun, they were able to support this great cause. We had 8 bands, over 240 people, and a whole lot of fun and good music. Now we’re prepping for next year and how we can do this thing better and better show Christ to our visitors.