by Tim Almstedt, member of Messiah’s Story Team
“Build Your kingdom here, let the darkness fear; show Your mighty hand, heal our streets and land. Set Your church on fire, win this nation back; change the atmosphere, build Your kingdom here we pray.”
Those were the words sung by the 5000+ who were in attendance and led by the Irish Christian folk rock band Rend Collective at the St. Louis stop of the Outcry Tour 2016 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on Thursday, Aug. 18. Also in attendance were members of Messiah’s young adult group, Impact, as they kicked off the first event from their fall events calendar.
Following last year’s successful inaugural tour where over 130,000 people attended, thousands accepted Jesus for the first time, and 7,897 children were sponsored through Compassion International, this year’s tour did not disappoint with the support of musical acts Urban Rescue, Elevation Worship, Housefires, Rend Collective, and which featured Kari Jobe, Hillsong Young & Free, and headliners Hillsong Worship.
Outcry states they are a “movement in progress” whose goal is to unite everyone together “for the purpose of empowering the local church and to glorify the name of Jesus Christ.” The organizers of Outcry say that after meeting with pastors and worship artists all over the country, the tired and discouraged state of the local church was extremely apparent with a loss of perspective on the true impact of the local body of Christ. Outcry took many forms over the years, from everything from a conference to a three-day festival. Over the years the what and how may have changed but the why never changed. Then last year it morphed into a concert tour with the support of many well-known Christian artists, and that momentum carried it into the concert Impact and the rest of the crowd was part of last Thursday.
Even though many different musical styles were represented by the various Christian bands, the theme remained the same. Kari Jobe and Rend Collective started the evening by performing a meditative acoustical rendition of Matt Redman’s huge hit “10,000 Reasons.” From there the electropop group Urban Rescue performed several songs, highlighted by their hit “Kaleidoscope” (“I wanna see what You see, come and rearrange me, let Your love be my kaleidoscope. Change me from the inside, show me what it looks like, let Your love be my kaleidoscope.”).
Elevation Worship, a band from Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC entertained the crowd next with songs from their latest #1 Christian album “Here as in Heaven” and featuring the title track from that album (“Overflow in this place, fill our hearts with your love. Your love surrounds us, You’re the reason we came, to encounter your love.”).
The relatively new acoustic group “Housefires” from Atlanta, GA was next up, whose set was highlighted by their smash hit made famous this past year by Chris Tomlin, “Good Good Father” (“You’re a good, good Father, it’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are. And I’m loved by You, it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am. You are perfect in all of Your ways to us.”).
Next was the widely-popular Rend Collective, who is always fun to see what array of children’s toys and handmade oddities they will use for instruments in their songs. This group loves to push musical boundaries and has done everything from recording a live album on the beach around a campfire to shooting a music video on a fully-operational fishing boat in the turbulent Irish Sea. On this night they had the crowd dancing in their seats, featuring their hits “Build Your Kingdom Here” (quoted above) and “My Lighthouse” (“My Lighthouse, My Lighthouse, shining in the darkness, I will follow You. My Lighthouse, My Lighthouse, I will trust the promise, You will carry me safe to shore.”).
The concert headed down the homestretch with a very powerful set from Kari Jobe. This young worship pastor from Gateway Church in Texas burst on the Christian music scene in 2010 when she was nominated for a Dove award for “Best New Artist of the Year” and never looked back, winning a Grammy award in 2013 for “Best Contemporary Christian Album” (Where I Find You) and nominated for another Dove award in 2014 for “Best Worship Album of the Year” (Majestic). For the next 30 minutes the concert turned into one huge worship service, with the over 5000 in attendance praying to praising God to Jobe’s hits “Forever” (“The ground began to shake, the stone was rolled away, his perfect love could not be overcome. Now death where is your sting, our resurrected King has rendered you defeated. Forever He is glorified, forever He is lifted high. Forever He is risen, He is alive.”) and “I Am Not Alone” (“You amaze me, redeem me, You call me as Your own. I am not alone, You will go before me, You will never leave me.”).
The evening wrapped up with headliners Hillsong Worship and intertwined with their young Christian electro-pop group Hillsong Young & Free starting the set with the dance hit “This is Living” (“You take me higher than I’ve been before, it’s Your perfect love that sees me soar. God, Your freedom is an open door, You are everything I want and more.”). Following Young & Free, Hillsong Worship moved the crowd with many of their well-known hits, which included “Hosanna,” “Oceans” (#1 for 48 weeks on the Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart and the #1 song for 2014), and wrapped up their set with “No Other Name” (“Lift up our eyes see the King has come, light of the world reaching out for us. There is no other Name, Jesus Christ our God. Seated on high the undefeated One, mountains bow down as we lift Him up. There is no other Name, Jesus Christ our God.”). After bringing the crowd back to that same worshipful and very emotional state that Kari Jobe had accomplished earlier in the evening, the night ended with everyone back on their feet and dancing in the aisles to Hillsong Young & Free’s biggest dance hit “Alive” (“You are my freedom, we lift You higher, Your love never ending. You are alive in us, nothing can take Your place. You are all we need, Your love has set us free.”), and which included members from many of the previous bands back on stage dancing as well.
The concert was a fun event to kick off Impact’s fall events calendar, which also includes bi-weekly Bible studies hosted at the church and member’s homes and includes daycare (call for location), monthly volunteer opportunities at the Mary Ryder Home in the city, and Firsty Thursday, a monthly get-together with other Lutheran young adult church groups hosted at local area restaurants. There are additional monthly special events, which include game nights and concerts such as the one featured in this article. Contact Messiah if you are interested in getting their activities calendar and new members are always welcome!