Part 1 – What Is It?
For the last 23 years, I had the privilege of serving as the Pastor of Youth Development at my local church in Decatur, Georgia. During that time, God did some amazing things. Students who were hurting, experienced healing. Those who felt alone and abandoned, experienced acceptance and community. Most importantly, students who were lost, experienced the redemptive love of the sacrifice of our Savior! Watching those students weekly cross over the threshold from death to life was one of the greatest joys I experienced during my ministry journey. Many of those experiences happened when we were at a camp, conference, D-Now Weekend, or mission trip. There was something special that seemed to take place when my students would come out of the comfort zone of our weekly youth service. My ministry team and I eagerly looked forward to those events with great anticipation because we knew there would be some type of life transformation and testimony that would take place!
One of the reasons I was extremely honored and humbled to join the SLU Team was because of the heartbeat, passion, and vision of the LIFT Tour. It was exactly the type of event that my students would have LOVED to attend because of the life change that takes place! As I prayed through making the transition from my church to SLU, I was beyond excited because I thought to myself, “If God could do what He did with a few hundred students from one church in Decatur, I can only imagine what He could do in a few hundred churches with nearly 20,000 students! That is something I want to be a part of!”
I’m sure many of you might be wondering, what is the LIFT Tour all about? Well, the LIFT Tour a world-class weekend experience that will challenge your students at all points in their spiritual walks to forsake selfish dreams, desires and demands, and embrace authentic Christ-centered lifestyles. It was birthed out of the passage of Scripture found in John 12:32, when Jesus said, “And I, when I am LIFTED up from the earth, I will draw all people to Myself.”
During the LIFT Tour, students and their leaders will experience three fundamental elements:
Engage Scripture through Biblical Preaching – We want your students to fully experience Scripture. We believe they can handle it. We think students can handle more, not less. Our communicators will engage your students in ways that won’t make it boring or dry. They will walk your students through the Word of God in a very real, relevant, and practical way. We want your students to encounter Scripture in a way that encourages sustainable faith that will stick with them for life.
Exalt Christ through Christ-Centered Worship – In an effort to focus on the truth that unites us verses the opinions that divide us, we intentionally point students from all walks of life, cultures, and backgrounds to Jesus through a time of worship. Our corporate tie of worship will be led by Liberty Worship Collective, Forever Free, Shane Schauer, and LA (Love Alive). These groups are some of the best and the brightest worship groups. They are all passionate about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and encouraging believers in their faith. Each group plays in a wide variety of venues across the country and provides a great amount of diversity to our tour.
Equip Students with a Real-Life Application – This is the take-a-way! LIFT doesn't just provide an incredible experience; it promotes a God-honoring lifestyle! We want your students to walk out with a plan of action in their hands. They will acquire the necessary tools and information they need to grow deeper in their faith journeys. We don’t want your students to just have a great weekend; we want your students to understand the reality of what it means to be game changers who can impact and influence a generation. Over a two-day period, we believe your students will have an experience that has the potential to be the defining moment in their lives.
I pray you would consider joining us in one of our 2017-2018 tour stops! We would love to partner with you as you invest in the lives of this emerging generation! We kick off the tour this fall in Augusta, GA and Kansas City, Kansas on November 10th-11th. If you’re interested, check out our website: www.theLIFTtour.com. Stay tuned for the Part Two and Three of this blog series entitled, “The LIFT Tour from Start to Finish” as we dive into programming elements and what our theme “CRUSHED” is all about!