Yes, that might seem like an odd title for this post, but in thinking about what I wanted to share about our experience at the Rock and Worship Roadshow 2016, this past weekend, which was Miss Grace's BIG birthday experience from me (in lieu of a birthday party), I realized there was some valid points that I wanted to share. Hence the idea for the post! So read on!
1. Just think of the term CONCERT.- you probably started thinking rock/country bands, rowdy people, illegal substances, lighters in the dark..... If that has been your experience, you're there, right?
Is that what you necessarily what for your PRE-TEEN? Probably not. Hence the Christian concert. In theory the rowdiness is at a minimum (ok, there will be those taken by the spirit, but they won't be accosting your kid) and the producers make sure illegal substances are kept out as much as possible. So you won't have lighters, you'll have cell phone flashlights (more on that later) and you might be surprised at the caliber of today's Christian music, but overall, this is NOT what you experienced.
2. You DON'T have to worry about the LYRICS- if you've listened to any modern music, country or rock, you've cringed, and thought 'WHOA!'. Today's lyrics tend to the explicit, where as the ones we had were more allegory. SIGH.
But at a Christian concert you know what the topics are gonna be. Jesus, Love, God, Faith and Support. Huh. Pretty much the things you pre-teen and teen NEED to here right now in their lives, right?
3. You might be surprised at the FAMILY atmosphere- yup, did I mention these tend to be multi-generational events?
At Christian concerts you are more likely to see a whole family together (CONCEPT), or a group of kids from Youth Group with RESPONSIBLE chaperones. Which means less worries for you as a parent, as the atmosphere is pretty much like church, but on steroids. People are friendly, they will look after your kid and help if needed. We ended up trading photos and emails with people around us, so that everyone got to share the experience with friends at home! And really, watching a dad and his 16 yr old son BOTH doing the 'chainsaw' to Family Force 5, is something truly priceless!
4. You can enjoy the music TOGETHER- listened to your kids Christian music lately? You may not realize how much the genre has expanded.
Yup- you now have hard rock, punk, country, world inspired, and more divisions. If there's a beat, there will be a Christian artist for it! SERIOUSLY! Which means if there are say 8 bands/artists, like at The Roadshow, your kid will adore a few, and you'll prefer another couple, and you'll ALL love the rest. Huh, how did THAT happen? And when did Christian concerts look JUST like the concerts of your youth? Yup, all the lights, videos and dry ice fog are there. You won't miss anything! Well, maybe the lighters. There's something sorta sterile about cell phone flashlights....SIGH...
And for me, I found out that those musical genres I exposed Miss Grace to during her very young years apparently left the apple not far from the tree...yup. she leans toward punk rock and ROCK categories. Sorta an eye opener really- getting to see her personality come alive, and out, when she thought we weren't looking..sorta like memory deja vu, if you know what I mean! LOL.
5. You will be amazed at the ACCESSIBILITY- yes the major artists might not be available without a backstage/VIP ticket. BUT the majority of the artists come out AFTER the show to SEE their fans.
Think about that. Your kid can actually walk up to someone they saw on stage an hour previous, have a 'fandom' moment, get their picture with them, and be able to SHARE the experience. You don't see that at arena concerts anymore. Seeing the artists OFF stage, helps kids to understand that the artists are HUMAN. They share the same struggles and hopes, and your kids will realize the one to truly hold up high is God!
6. COMPASSION is always flowing- well literally at The Roadshow, as Compassion International was the primary sponsor for the tour. and many of the artists have special charitable projects that they share with their fans as well.
Which means that your child will not have the sole focus on THEIR experience. For example, Compassion had over 280 kids sponsored the night at our concert, an offering was taken up (just like in church, reminding kids this is all about GOD) for the charity of the night (a local pro-life women's clinic) and Audio Dynamite was selling Haiti Made bracelets to support their mission to Haiti and helping an orphanage. There is something to be said when the first thing your child spends their birthday money on a bracelet, whose proceeds, go to charity.
7. ACCOUNTABILITY is the key- when was the last time you went to a rock/country concert and remembered what the singer talked about months later?
With a Christian concert, EVERY artists shares themselves, and their coming to Christ, with the audience. Not to mention if there was a struggle that God helped them to overcome, they are happy to share and use it as a teaching tool. And key point here. They TEACH. Via their songs and their speaking, they are teaching YOUR kids about how they were accountable to God and how he saved them and changed their lives. Talk about a powerful message! Literally every day since the RWRS, Miss Grace has brought up something one of the artists said, or one of their songs, and we have had a lengthy discussion about it. She wants to work through the accountability and messages. As a parent, I can't help but be thrilled and to be ever so THANKFUL!
Miss Grace wanted me to share Audio Adrenaline's Saints and Sinners video with you, instead of a pix above- she hasn't gotten over hearing it resound throughout the Lakefront Arena, with the ENTIRE audience singing along. I've caught her singing it at random moments and smiling, and going into a severe panic when she lost her Haiti Made bracelet (it was found, whew!)