That first Battle of the Bands event was great success and a major breakthrough for the Revolution. I felt even more like apostle Paul now, as I went back to my daily grind of juggling three jobs plus pioneering an groundbreaking ministry. At school the following week I was met with a buzz in the hallways about the night’s performances. Each band argued over who’s set was best. The question everybody was asking was: When is the next Revolution event?
For the town of Mound this was something new. Other churches took notice, and parents from other churches contacted me to thank me for providing a stage for their son or daughter to show off their talent in front of their peers. The bands were especially excited to have had the chance to show off in front of their hometown fans.
Two neat stories came out of that first event. First, I was told about a student who earlier in the year had vowed to never step foot inside a church again. His name was Matt. Well, it just so happened that all of Matt’s friends were coming to the Battle that night and so he ended up going along. He had a good time, perhaps rubbed shoulders with a few Christians, and left some baggage at the door when he left. At least we were able to get him inside a church again. He would become a regular attender and participant at future events.
Second, there was Brandon. Brandon told me months later at school that he had come to the Battle of the Bands that night with alcohol in his coat pocket and really down on life. He spent the majority of the concert outside in the parking lot drinking. He said that he later recommitted his life to God in part because of one of the youth leaders he talked to that night from the Assembly of God church. “Ground Zero” had made an “impact” on at least a couple kids that night.
Most significantly for me, several new young adult showed up for this event who had been invited by Bryan Royle, and they would soon become permanent fixtures in the ministry and play supporting leadership roles as we moved ahead. Musicians tend to gravitate towards other musicians like some law of nature. So, all of Bryan’s friends were amazingly gifted musicians as well.
First, there was Joe Timm, a shaggy haired Mound graduate about 19 years old. Joe was volunteering his time with the youth ministry at Maple Plain Community Church just north of Mound. Joe is an excellent drummer, guitar player and singer. He loves leading worship and is gifted at it too. This would come in very handy soon.
Second, there Rachel Hull, the angelic sounding vocalist. Rachel was also a recent graduate of Mound, and grew up at one of the Evangelical churches in town. She was currently attending The Exchange on Sundays, a ministry of Woodridge Church geared towards college aged and young adults. Both Joe and Rachel recalled having me as a substitute teacher back in the day and thought it was awesome how God was now using me to reach the school for Christ. Coincidentally, Rachel was also working at Caribou Coffee with my wife Keri, and the two would become good friends.
Third, there was the uber-talented Melissa Norman hailing from Delano some 20 miles northwest of Mound. She has a stunning voice, plays both guitar and piano, and writes some amazing songs. She could easily make it professionally. Melissa’s entire family including younger siblings Brian and Amanda would become part of our Revolution family as well. They were the most conservative of the group, attending Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth.
Since Bethel Methodist had no other young adults, Keri and I were often feeling quite disconnected from people our age group. Suddenly, God had brought into our little movement a growing number of younger adults. The Revolution leadership core after the first event now included: Pastor Chad, Bryan Royle, Joe Timm, Rachel Hull, Melissa Norman, and Keri and I.
The movement had started and had some good momentum coming out of the Battle of the Bands. We needed to feed off of it and get the next event on the calendar quick.