Grace Christian School, a ministry of East Side Grace Brethren Church in Blacklick, Ohio (Chip Heim, pastor), decided to break out of their comfort zone and host Rend Collective, a folk worship band from Northern Ireland, at their school. They had an auditorium with 800 seats, so they thought it would garner a comfortably large attendance.
They sold out a month before the concert.
“We have not hosted a concert like this before,” said Cindy Phillips, administrator at Grace Christian School. The concert, held September 24, also featured artists Urban Rescue and Moriah Peters and featured an acoustic worship session beforehand, open for the general public. A hundred fans had a chance to purchase special pre-concert tickets that include a meet and greet session with the band members.
“Rend is unique in that the members present the gospel message in the middle of each of their concerts,” explained Phillips. “And that is a standard for them. They come across as, ‘We are here for one purpose only and it is to worship Jesus together.’ That’s the best way I can describe it.
“Part of our reasoning for hosting them is that Rend is such an amazing group to bring people who might not ever walk through the doors of a church into an experience like that,” she continued. “Some of the attendees might not come to church on Sunday morning, but they might come to a concert because their best friend has gone on and on about Rend Collective.”
People from all over the country attended the concert…Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and South Carolina, just to name a few states.
“That’s our number one reason for doing this…it’s an outreach in to the community. I’m hearing a lot of really cool stories of people who are using this as a personal outreach to friends,” said Phillips.
“Having a concert with a group like Rend Collective really breathes life into a church and a Christian school. Trust me, we have a bazillion other things going on. It takes so many hands and feet to pull this off… but it’s different from many of the other ministries and outreaches and programs that we do. There’s a level of excitement that comes from hosting a concert like this…it just breathes life into us. We are so blessed and honored and delighted that all of this has come to fruition.”
This story first appeared in GraceConnect eNews. To subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter that includes news and information from congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, click here.