United recently had the opportunity to travel to the USA on the west coast leg of a tour/festival called Winter Jam. We usually do tours where it is just us travelling alone, so the prospect of being on a tour with 10 other bands was quite foreign to us. This was what made it so different from any tour we have done before. Sure, we have played at events with other bands at festivals but this was a 2 week tour on the road with 10 other bands and worship leaders that we were going to be living very closely with … (most of whom we had never met until we arrived in Albuquerque where the west coast leg of Winter Jam kicked off)
SEE ALSO: THE FINGERPRINT OF A SONG
We weren’t really sure what we were in for over the two weeks to follow, but we were ready to have some fun, create some new lifelong friends, and worship Jesus with the west coast of America.
What we quickly found out about the other artists was that they weren’t any different from us. Most, if not all of them, had grown up in their youth ministries playing music and just doing what they loved. Everyone that I met was still very connected and active in a local church that they called home, and when they weren’t touring, they were at home serving in those churches, just like us.
Doing the tour together kept getting better and better as it went on! I’m not just talking musically, but as people, as we got to know these guys on a more personal level. It was only 2 weeks but it was like a family travelling together. One stand out moment for me was sitting with Russ Lee from Newsong. It was great to hear the heart of a generation that have led the way before the rest of us on the tour. Not only have they led the way but they are still as passionate as ever about what they do and about Jesus. I’m not the wisest person on Earth but if I had any wisdom to give it would be listen to the wise and let their wisdom make you wiser. I took this particular opportunity to learn a thing or two. At the end of our conversation the one thing that stuck with me more than anything was that this generation could get it right… if we were to get down on our knees daily and truly seek Jesus and pray, we’d see the world changed.
That for me is what Winter Jam was all about. About 20 years ago, the guys from Newsong decided they were going to start doing events in big venues for very cheap ticket prices. The goal was to allow everyone and anyone to hear the Good News, to make Jesus famous amongst their generation. And they are still doing it today and it’s only getting more and more momentum with each year.
I was inspired by this trip, by experiencing what others are doing outside of our own tours … to see the Church operating cooperatively, and collectively achieving something together with one goal in mind – to share the Name of Jesus with all who would hear!
It was a short trip, but one with long lasting memories. I came home with a great sense of pride in the global Church. Knowing that together we can accomplish so much more, and that there is so much more to do. And that we need to do it together.
The best is yet to come!!