HAMPTON, Va. (BP)–With a final benediction prayer, the contemporary Christian band SONICFLOOd wrapped up their 57-city, missions-focused tour in November in Hampton, Va.
More than 26,000 students and young people attended SONICFLOOd concerts during the 11-week national tour, which included stops in 23 states and Canada. Many of them made decisions to follow Christ in missions involvement.
To move students toward missions and teach them about God’s desire to reach all nations, SONICFLOOd partnered with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board to create a concert event that was more of an interactive experience than a musical performance. The show featured plenty of songs, but also incorporated videos and images of mission work, multimedia presentations, testimonies of students working abroad and specific opportunities for mission service.
“We’ve always been eager to travel the world and sing of God’s love, but I believe God is bringing us into a deeper place of expectancy to see His wonders as we worship Him,” said Rick Heil, SONICFLOOd’s lead singer.
Before the tour, Heil said he hoped it would inspire students to think about their faith and examine what it means to follow Christ. Three months later, that hope has turned into a reality for some students.
Out of more than 1,000 decision cards turned in during the tour, 58 students reported coming to know Christ as a result of the concerts. Another 423 made public decisions to pursue God’s call to missions. Hundreds of students expressed how deeply the event changed their lives.
“My decision to receive the Lord as my Savior really came out tonight because of stories, songs and speakers that I heard,” one high school student wrote. “I can feel Jesus Christ changing my heart to believe in Jesus and never give up. I have been saved!”
Another student said, “Something about this worship has opened my heart. It has really encouraged me to think about missions.”
Heil noted that while many young people surrendered to Jesus during the tour, it can’t end there.
“If we are truly God’s people we will have His heart of compassion and desire everyone to enjoy the hope we have in Jesus. Jesus brings life. He brings love, and that is what every heart is hungry for,” he said.
Mike Lopez, director of student mobilization for the International Mission Board, said it has been amazing to watch God work through the concerts.
“Our main objective for the SONICFLOOd tour was to mobilize students for international missions service,” Lopez said. “God blessed this effort in many ways. As SONICFLOOd led us in the worship of God, God began to work in people’s hearts. As people watched the videos, heard the testimonies and learned about global needs, they began to respond.”
Missions is a way to get God’s people out of their comfort zones and into an atmosphere that promotes spiritual growth, Heil explained. “We are commanded by the Lord to take the message of Jesus to everyone, and if we love Him we will keep His commands,” he said.
“When He is worshiped and glorified, He begins to bring people to a realization of His purpose and plan for all nations to have a relationship with Him,” Lopez said.
SONICFLOOd’s music echoes this mentality, as in the song “Cry Holy”:
“Let the earth rejoice, Singing with one voice,
Let the people cry ‘Holy, holy Lord’
Every creature sing praises to the King
All creation cry ‘Holy is the Lord.’”
To explore more about getting involved in missions, go to www.thetask.org. To visit the SONICFLOOd website, go to www.sonicflood.com.