A Unity of Kingdoms
As I write this, it is nearly September, and I have personally been a part of nearly 25 massive showings of my new film, Father of Lights, across the country. I figured it was about time I stopped for a moment and reflected on what we have accomplished so far here at Wanderlust, as well as what I consider to be the “best” thing about this tour thus far.
Many of you have followed along with us for this entire journey–from coming up with the idea to take this film out on a nationwide tour, to our amazing Kickstarter success to fund the tour, and the unprecedented size of the tour we ultimately created (indeed, ALL of my band friends have been incredulous at the amount and size of our tour stops–I think “insane” has been the most used word when describing their reactions to it), and many of you actually helped fund this thing. You were watching when we set out, with no large expectations, to raise just enough money to get us out the door for 10-15 tour stops. You then rejoiced with us when we blew past our original goal in 20 hours, as God made it clear that He wanted all of these showings to be free. It was also clear that He wanted many more than I was then planning to do. What started as 10 mushroomed to nearly 40 in 4 countries.
That alone would be amazing, but then add to that the fact that these tour stops have averaged over 1000 people in attendance, for a CHRISTIAN DOCUMENTARY, and you begin to see both the absurdity of it all, as well as the fruit of something God decides to breathe upon. Every night we have a showing, and I watch people streaming in to the theater or the church, excitement etched on their faces and expectation simply dripping from their spirits, and I stand there a humble, humble man. I have made no bones about the fact over the years that I don’t think there could be a less deserving man in the world to do what I do for God, and this tour has simply heightened that realization for me.
But it is not the magnitude of our undertaking or the spectacular success of it that excites me the most. It’s not the crowd’s reactions to key scenes, or their roar at the ending when God does a most impossible thing right in front of their eyes, that gives me the most pleasure. In fact, it is my guess that very few would ever guess what of this whole thing makes me happiest.
The truth is, what has brought me the most joy on this tour is the tearing down of kingdoms. Let me explain.
When we first started the tour, we figured that the vast majority of attendees would be people who went to the many large churches where the tour stops were being held. But it has become abundantly clear that quite the opposite has proven true. When asked who does not attend the host church, without fail, between 50-80% of the attendees raised their hands. This was a major shock to us, to say the least. Our marketing budget was next to nothing for this tour, and we had to rely on Facebook, Twitter, friends, and good old fashioned emails to get the word out. The fact that we sold out many venues before the host church had even ANNOUNCED the tour stop to their own congregation also shocked us. My biggest fear going into this was that churches in each community would not want to tell their people to go to another, bigger church in town to attend something. But apparently the desire for God’s heart to fall on their people was indeed stronger than their own desire for self-preservation. That those people will now take back the radical message they witnessed to their own church, and in turn start a revival there, was my greatest hope.
Many tour stops also had bands like Leeland and Jake Hamilton leading worship before and after, and this, too, was eye opening for me in the tearing down of typical kingdoms. These bands carried a servant’s heart, and they wanted no glory for themselves. They believed in the film and the message it carried, and they were simply happy to be a part of this incredible moment. I will forever be grateful to all the bands that have come out on this tour, for they have shown exactly what the melding of kingdoms under the banner of the ultimate Kingdom should look like. No jealousy, no competition, no elevation of status; but instead a simple desire to honor others, deflect personal glory, and focus solely on the greater good.
Make no mistake, this tour has taken it out of both me and my team in ways we never imagined. We are constantly tired, constantly on the move, constantly overworked, and constantly away from our families. But when I am able to stand back and view the things God is doing in our midst, I realize just how incredible this thing is, how much of a miracle it is, and how wonderful God’s kids can be when they let Him fully invade their lives and their focus turns to God’s kingdom as opposed to their own.