Here are the cliff notes for this post:
We are hosting a Ross King concert at the Palace Theater in downtown Bryan on Friday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Prepare to be highly entertained, challenged and even taught some really great stuff about the church, how we need each other, how transparency is always a good thing, how Jesus is our only hope, and lots of other neat things to celebrate and think through as the body of Christ. This concert will be a little different since Ross isn't just up on stage, wearing leather pants, singing some songs. (Hopefully he will wear pants...but of the blue jean variety.) Thankfully he will stop and teach/talk about the thoughts behind the music. They are good thoughts. We think everyone should hear them.
After that, you're invited to walk down to the Hendrick House (walk in groups, you could get mugged...not really...well, maybe...) Ross and Staci King will be here hanging out....so will we...since we live here...and hopefully so will lots of other people you know or want to know better. Come see us! If you stalk our blog (and many of you confess to not only stalking ours, but stalking the King's as well, and lots of other people's linked on the right)...then stop that creepiness, come to the concert, come to our house...and MEET us. Warning: We're not nearly as cool in person as you may think we are. Prepare to be disappointed.
The concert is free...just like car washes are free...as in, you could pay nothing, or you could pay something. There will be a bucket...maybe we could get a KFC bucket. I would like that.
And EVERYONE is invited. We are hoping people from churches around town will come together for this great event! As you may or may not know, Ross has been doing home shows lately. We are hosting this shin-dig because we didn't think we could fit all the people we know and love (who also know and love Ross) into our living room...so we opted for the Palace instead. Invite everyone you know! Drive in from out of town! Fly across the ocean! Get the word out!
Okay...cliff notes over.
Now we have some other stuff to say about Ross, and why we would love for you to join us at the concert and support his ministry.
When Aaron and I were newly married, we commuted to A&M from Madisonville. We lived in Madisonville because that's where Aaron grew up, where we graduated...and hey...we really liked our little small town. Aaron was a part time youth minister at a little church. We loved our job, loved those kids, but honestly felt a God-sized void in our hearts in the area of worship. We knew there was something more. There had to be.
We heard about Breakaway from people at school, decided to stay late one Tuesday night and check it out. I remember walking into Central Baptist, (the old Central Baptist, centrally located in the center of Bryan)...seeing the largest group of people at "church" I had ever seen before...all college students...and I could literally feel the presence of God the moment I walked into the room.
I saw a man named, Ross, walk out on stage. He did not look like he was famous. He really didn't even look like he had brushed his hair. Why were all these people here to see him? I saw a girl named Staci, standing next to him, wearing overalls. I heard them say something like, "Our drummer, Craig Weaver, is a new dad! His wife, just had their first baby." Everyone clapped. I clapped too...because I liked babies...even in the 90's. Then they gave Craig some balloons.
The music started playing.
Everyone stood up.
And I started bawling.
I could not sing.
I could not stand.
All I could do was listen...and look around at all the people...standing...hands raised in the air...worshiping the Lord.
And I mean, immediately...
I knew that what I was seeing...was a picture of what my soul had been longing to do for years...for the first time, everything I had thought and felt about the Lord on the INSIDE...about His worth, about how amazing He was...these people were allowing to surface...to come OUT...it was beautiful.
Aaron and I tried never to miss Breakaway.
We learned a lot from Greg Matte, but little did we know that God was teaching us so much more.
God was using Ross to teach Aaron a great deal about worship...about leading worship.
We loved that Ross seemed like a normal guy...he wasn't a rock star. He looked like someone you would run into at the store, not someone who was on CMT.
We had no idea that years later, Aaron would begin a crazy life of leading worship. No idea. And even when God started that process...affirming Aaron through the body...Ross was the only thing we could really look at and feel okay about what the Lord was doing in us.
How can we lead worship? We're not cool enough. We aren't hip enough. We aren't suave enough. We don't have "stage presence." We don't know how to pick out worship leader clothes. Are there special stores where you buy rock star clothes? We didn't know. Maybe it was like Diagon Alley. We aren't super star singers. We've never been in a band. Aaron didn't go to "school of rock." He wasn't comfortable being a celebrity. I just laughed. How on earth was he supposed to be a worship leader?
So here we are...not any cooler...not any more CMT worthy... just doing what God has said to do.
We love Ross King because he's the real deal.
He loves God...and He loves God's people...and He loves the church.
He writes songs out of the overflow of what God is teaching Him...which means God is teaching Him...he doesn't just write songs that he knows will sound good on his next CD. They do sound REALLY good, but the motivation is so different.
We love that Ross writes songs that are meant to make us think...to make us examine ourselves before the Lord...not just make us feel happy...telling us what our itchy ears want to hear.
A lot has changed since we walked into Breakaway a million years ago and "met" Ross King for the first time.
Ross married that girl, Staci who was standing next to him singing on the stage.
Staci stopped wearing overalls and is now the mother of two beautiful boys.
Craig and his wife Staci now go to our church and their daughter, Avery is old enough to have her own blog, is almost as tall as I am, and recently got her first zit. HOW does this happen? HOW??
But one thing has not changed...
Ross is still our favorite worship leader.
We always have and always will have every CD he ever makes sitting in our house somewhere.
We will forever be grateful for how God has used him, personally, to teach us about authentic, not-out-to-make-ourselves-famous, kind of worship...for teaching us how to lead worship by keeping the Lord and His church as the motivation behind all we do.
Ross is still doing what He's always done...keeping worship real, honest, heart-felt, non-phony, and the church a priority in his life. That stuff matters more than becoming famous. It's why he's playing all his new songs off his CD at house shows. It's why he's giving a "free" (remember, think car wash) concert in downtown Bryan.
NOTE: The songs on his new CD aren't really worship songs. That is, they're not songs that we'd put on a screen and all sing along. They're regular songs. Songs to challenge you or encourage you. Songs to make you think. They're songs about the church...songs about what living as a believer looks like in real life.
Those are the kind of songs he'll be doing at the concert.
Please...feel FREE to advertise this on your blogs, face book it up, slap up posters, get the word out there! We could not be more excited about this!
Can't wait to see you at the concert!
Can't wait to see you at the Hendrick house!