Prepare For Battle
My conversation with Bryan Royle in the park had convinced me that the best way to draw a crowd and get the attention the students in town was to host a Battle of the Bands. I immediately began planning the big night.
This is when the Kingdom mustard seed began to grow. This was when all my tentmaking jobs started to pay off. I was teaching in the high school almost daily and used that as an opportunity to get a list of all of the musicians in the school. I was coaching basketball as well, and one of the captains of the varsity team, who was a Christian, really helped spread the word as well.
I began to bend and perhaps break school policies by covertly handing out flyers to students at school. I enlisted key students to place these little postcard sized flyers on windshields in the parking lot and stuff them in lockers in the hallway. Posters were hung on the walls (and quickly took down) and plastered all over town — at Jubilee Foods, Caribou Coffee, Thrifty White Drug, Scotty B’s Restaurant and more.
I created a website around this time as well, and tried to use that as the online headquarters of the Revolution. I made Revolution business cards to hand to students interested in more information about this upcoming Battle of the Bands.
I renamed the basement of Bethel Methodist church “Ground Zero” since I was hoping that God would show up in power and turn that place into what Webster’s Dictionary calls (1) “the impact point of an explosion (Divine encounter), (2) the center of rapid or intense development or change (Spiritual Transformation), and (3) the most basic level or starting point” (New Life in Christ). (The name Ground Zero, by the way, was another name the older folks of the church did not appreciate!) I was a man on a mission, and the Holy Spirit was the wind at my back.
The date was set for Friday, November 17, 2006. The word had spread throughout the school that several local student bands were going to be taking the stage at…yes, that’s right, Bethel Methodist Church.
I went to the local churches looking for support and help promoting the event. I was met with a mixture of both support and polite indifference. Some pastors wanted to know if there was going to be a gospel message and altar call at the end. “Sorry, not this time,” I said. Others wanted to know if the bands were all Christian. “Nope, and that’s kind of the point,” I thought. Some pastors didn’t say it out loud, but seemed to be thinking, “So, what’s in this for our church if we help out?” Again, that’s not the right question to ask.
Thank God, there were many Kingdom-minded leaders in the area who understood the vision and unique opportunity to potentially draw a large group of unchurched teens to the church who would otherwise never darken the door of one. One such leader was Pastor Chad Dvoracek from Mound Assembly Of God Church.
I first found out about Pastor Chad while teaching history for Mr. Humbert at the high school. His daughter, Samantha, was sitting in the back of the room near the teacher’s desk where I was working on the Revolution website design. She caught a glimpse of my screen and asked what I was working on. She could see it was ministry related since the header of the website said, “Revolution: A Movement Following the Way of Jesus.”
She asked if I was a pastor. When I said yes she told me that her dad was also, and that they had just recently moved to Mound from Rapid City, South Dakota, to pastor the Assembly of God church. I told her about the vision of the Revolution, and she give me her dad’s phone number and told me I should meet him sometime. Later that week Chad and I were sitting at Caribou dreaming revolutionary dreams together.
Pastor Chad and his youth ministry sidekick, Darrick, became my Priscilla and Aquila in Mound for the next year and a half. Chad immediately jumped on board the vision of the Revolution and supported it in every way he could. He was a constant encouragement, always willing to lend a hand, and would later open their doors to host some Revolution events.
Conveniently, Chad was also a musician and loved the sound tech aspects of throwing a concert. He loaned us sound equipment and sent his college youth volunteers to our events to help chaperone. Chad was the first person there helping set up and the last person to leave after tearing down everything. He is a true servant of the Kingdom who gave generously of his time and talent to a ministry that did not give anything back to his own church. His focus was on the Kingdom of God, not just his local church. He was always looking outward first, and inward second.