July 24, 2010
Holy Warriors at the Border
Last night we had the another concert in the youth center (our front room). Have I mentioned that here, they call any get-together place--even ones that don't involve alcohol--a PUB? So we spend all week inviting young people to our Friday night pub, where they come hang out in a salon (the word for any large open room). It's kinda weird to say, even after this long.
A group of the "regulars" here who have been digging in a little deeper in the ministry, have a garage band (okay, no one has a garage, but you get it... they have a hammock-patio-brick oven band) that plays Christian heavy metal. Well, they call it heavy metal, but it's not really so heavy by our standards. It's not bluegrass, but it's not really heavy. So the garage band that doesn't have a garage plays heavy metal music that isn't so heavy, in a pub that isn't actually a pub. Anyway, they really want to use their band as an outreach to fringe youth. Their vision is right in line with ours, so we've joined forces to step it up a notch and use Friday nights as a targeted evangelism night, sort of incognito. Am I making any sense?
The jist of it is that the band comes and does a mini-concert, including some songs they've written, some praise and worship stuff that's familiar here but with a new musical style, and some music without lyrics, for the "fans." Afterward, Ken has a short devotional sort of talk, geared to those who aren't familiar with Christianity or the church. Last night he talked about having life abundantly. Then we have a meal together, hang out, play UNO and Playstation, and start conversations with the new folks.
Normally our Friday night attendance is mostly the youth from various churches in town, with a few unchurched kids mixed in. For these concert nights, we've had more of the "never darkened a church door" crowd than the typical Christian teens. This is really exciting in terms of outreach. We have had between 25-35 in attendance each night.
We've got a sort of informal group going, including the members of the band, the Tapé Missions team (i.e. us and Saul), and another young couple. Naming things in English is really popular right now, so they've named this group Holy Warriors and the Friday night event, The Border. The premise is that we live close to enemy lines, engaging in warfare for the souls of those who live over the border, so to speak.
The room is a bit small once they plug their instruments in and crank it up, but the response is great and we are praying that God uses this to reach a group of kids that are shunned and overlooked in normal ministry. We're also excited at how God will utilize it as a means of involving these youth in the group further in ministry, as they use their talents for the Kingdom. If you're free on a Friday, swing by!