Monday, July 19, 2010
A New Kind of Rock Concert - Boge
This weekend I played in a rock band for the first time in my life. It was a truly incredible experience to share the Gospel in this way.
For the past four years our family has held evangelistic outreach services at the small community church at Victoria Beach, Manitoba. These were fun, Bible-based evenings where we invited people from the community to come hear about Christ. What we found in the fourth year was that the numbers were dwindling and it was largely Christians who were coming.
So, what to do?
We decided that instead of asking people to come to church, that we would go into the community. There’s a band stage set up in the park at the beach and the Beach wanted to have people come and put on concerts. I asked my brother, dad, and some friends from church (including a 14 year drummer!!) and we formed a band.
So how do you reach people with the Gospel at the beach?
We decided to tell the story of Winnipeg Inner city activist Harry Lehotsky by using small one minute segments of his life and bridging those short talks with popular songs. Harry overdosed on drugs in New York City as a teenager, recommitted his life to Christ, came to Winnipeg where he started an inner city church and became a huge force for change in the West End by helping drug addicts, prostitutes and homeless people and confronting drug dealers, challenging the effectiveness of the welfare system and living out what it means to love your neighbor as your yourself.
So we played Tom Petty “I won’t back down” because Harry was never one to back down from a fight. We played the Proclaimers “I met you” which describes Harry’s experience in recommitting his life to Christ after overdosing. We played 500 Miles by the Proclaimers because Harry would easily go the second, third or 500th mile to help someone. Traveling Wilburry’s Handle me with Care. Stand By Me. The Mavericks, The Beatles, The Beach Boys and a bunch of other fun, clean songs that helped people connect popular songs with Harry’s ministry and the Gospel. And we ended off with YMCA because Harry loved to play basketball there.
The event went amazingly well. We set up a couple hours before the concert and in a week full of good weather, Saturday was full of rain. We prayed all day for the rain to stop and ten minutes before the concert started it all stopped and five minutes after the concert it started again.
The next day some friends at the church who were at the concert mentioned that it was an excellent way to help them explain Christ to some friends of theirs who weren’t yet saved whom they invited to come to the concert with them.
It was such a fun way to share the Gospel.
Paul H. Boge is the author of The Urban Saint: The Harry Lehotsky Story
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