Thursday, May 8, 2008
Anthem 2008 Report
It's hard to put into words what it's like to be on a stage staring out on a crowd of young people hungry for God. Yeah, I know, you don't put all your stock into a one night event. But it does say something. This generation is longing for God.
The past 3 Anthems have basically been a 1.5 hour worship concert. The first part of this Anthem had a similar feel to it, but we played 6 of our original songs. I think they are great songs, "Count the Cost" "Your glory" "Holy You" "Praise You Lord" "I adore" and "To do your will." You can judge for yourself when we release the Anthem DVD (late summer?). We're talking about a trip to Nashville to record an EP, as our drummer Clint has some connections with a studio there. Regardless, I think we've got a great team of songwriters who are just scratching the surface of their potential.
But for me, the coolest part of Anthem happened when the "concert" was over. Clint (along with drumming, he's a key songwriter) and Miranda (his fiance) were thinking it would be cool to end with prayer, rather than the typical drum crescendo and "thanks for coming!".
So we did, not knowing if anyone would stick around.
Mike Mogard set up prayer stations around the gym:
-a place to get prayed for (we've already heard of some cool things God did while people were getting prayed over)
-a wall where you could write corporate sins (i.e. confession) and then use red paint to cover them
-a place to write out prayers of intercession on a black and white picture of a location from around our region (i.e. dormitory, school, building, etc). Then they were tacked up onto the shape of a cross on the wall.
-a whole corner was dedicated to prayer for the nations (names of countries on the wall)
During this prayer time, I told the crowd, "We'll be up here playing and singing songs on our acoustic guitars for as long as you want to stay and pray." People prayed alone, in groups, on their knees, standing up, arms outstretched, etc. Although some people left, the gym was still packed. Earlier in the day I got a word from the Lord (via my dad, which I already wrote about- click here), from Psalm 32, "let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found." It felt like the power of God was being released in that place. God was hearing the prayers of his people.
At about 11 pm, it was still going strong. There was still a contingent shouting "one more song."
It was a tough decision, but I sensed the Lord had brought us to a place where he was sending us out with "Shalom." In the back of my mind, I was trying to be sensitive to all of our servants who were going to be up late tearing down. The guitar players fingers were also bleeding. Not really, but it felt like it.
Maybe next time we should plan to go all night. I'm not sure. But my hunch is if students can stay up until 2am watching movies, we could at least do that for something with eternal impact. It's another reason college students will change the world! They, unlike me, aren't thinking about their kids waking up at 6 am to go potty.
So I'm not sure what the vision is for the future of this event. I only ask that God would capture the affections of the next generation, and in so doing, would get all the glory.
Soli Deo Gloria.