Yesterday I was able to add one more thing to the list of ‘Things I Never Learned in Seminary.’ Somehow our church had the opportunity to be involved in helping to put on the Toronto show for the Unashamed Tour. It was a blast to get a group of volunteers together and get a ‘behind the scenes look’ at how a show like this is produced.
Early on in the day I had the unexpected privilege getting to meet and chat with several of the artists. Fortunately for me, being as ignorant as I am, I didn’t know who most of the guys were who I was talking to. I introduced myself and we chatted, just like I would with anyone else.
We talked about Toronto, about Canadian health care and income taxes. We talked about food, family, life on the road, and Jesus. The guys were friendly, down-to-earth, real, everyday Christians.
I didn’t expect to get to meet them, but I’m glad I did. It made for a fun lunch.
From Stars to Servants
Contrasting lunch with dinner was fun to me. For dinner one of the other volunteers who had come to serve ordered pizza for a bunch of us. We sat in the empty concert venue and ate pizza, waiting for the doors to open so we could do the next part of our job.
And just like at lunch, I ate and talked. These servants were no different than the ‘stars.’ Some of them I was meeting for the first time, so many of my conversations were similar: family life, conversion, church life, etc.
The people I ate dinner with were, in the truest sense, no different than those I had lunch with. They just had different roles.
First Among Equals
So why the lights? Why the big show? Why make celebrities out of Christian brothers who are just like the rest of us?
Being Canadian, I have a strong natural aversion to making a celebrity out of anyone. But yesterday as I talked with the guys and then watched the show I realized something. The ‘celebrity-ism’ of the day, though it hasn’t changed the artists (they still get tired, they eat weird food, they are lousy skateboarders … well, at least Lecrae is), it is in fact used of God to change the audience.
The guys on the 1-1-Six crew use their music to get people excited about living for Jesus. They are providing positive role models and teaching good doctrine for young Christians. And they are using the hype of the event to speak truth from the Word of God to the masses.
Yesterday’s performance ended with a mini-sermon from Andy Mineo pressing the reality of sin & death, explaining the gospel, calling people to repent, and praying for them.
The show may have started with lights, but it ended with Light. They are using their fame to exalt the fame of the One who deserves it. That’s cool with me.
In the end it was a great show. I got to hang out with famous people and people who will never be famous. But they’re all fascinating to me, all created in God’s image, and all reflecting and glorifying him in various ways. For some people that was selling tickets, filling out surveys, running errands, or driving the artists around. For others it was singing and dancing on stage (one lucky guy even got to dance around on stage in a gorilla suit!).
But the love each had for each other and for Christ was a joy to witness and to feel. I’m freshly encouraged today by the variety of people that God is using and the variety of gifts that he has given. More than anything, I’m thankful for the experience of fellowship with all different kinds of brothers and sisters.