Last week I was fortunate to check out an absolutely amazing concert in Hamilton at the FirstOntario Centre (formerly Copps Coliseum). OUTCRY was a collective of different church ministries (ex. Elevation Worship) and Christian artists brought together for the purpose of bringing both believers and non believers to Christ. I went to the concert not knowing quite what to expect but was very pleasantly surprised. The atmosphere was electric, you could feel the power of hundreds of people gathered together worshiping as one. FirstOntario Centre isn’t a massive venue but it was full that night (of people and the Holy Spirit). OUTCRY is touring across 15 North American cities this month and Hamilton was the only Canadian stop. Based on the success of last week’s concert, I’m sure that the remaining shows on the tour were just as fired up and moving.
Their mission is to empower and encourage local churches. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day struggles of life and negative local news that we can forget about the ceaseless love that God has for us and the amazing plans he has for our lives. To help remind us of this, OUTCRY has evolved from a 3-day conference to the tour I experienced last week. This change in direction appears to be working because it’s kick started a movement. Hundreds of thousands of people have attended and many have decided to give their lives to Christ! Local churches are being united and spreading God’s word and his love.
I have to be honest, I wasn’t previously familiar with the artists that performed but have heard their songs in passing. I just didn’t realize who they were. Traffic was horrendous going into Hamilton so the first artists I saw was a group called Jesus Culture. Absolutely….amazing. They had us dancing, clapping and singing praises. I don’t know how many calories I burned during their set but they had me moving my feet. Who said worship was only about clapping your hands solemnly and singing to yourself? Everyone there (from varying age groups) was moving because we were excited about the greatness of God and all that he’s done for us! Kari Jobe was next and her love for God is so very evident and she has such a beautiful voice. I loved the song Forever! We all sang out loud together (believing in the words) and we could all feel the presence of the Holy Spirit moving through the stadium, it was a powerful moment. The night ended with Hillsong Worship and a message from pastor Brian Houston who along with his wife Bobbie, started Hillsong over 30 years ago in Australia. I’ve said “amazing” a few times already but that’s what it was. I left feeling encouraged and full of THANKFULNESS for everything God has done in my life. Like anyone else, there have been bumps along the road but I have faith and a strong belief that there are great things still to come. His word says that he has a plan for peace and a future full of hope not of disaster and negativity for all of us. How great it that?! Things may seem hard but He sees everything we can’t and he’s working for our greater good. We are not alone!
I’m hoping the tour comes back next year and that even more people attend. The next big event is in July. Reset 2016 is a FREE event (yes, that’s right folks) taking place at the National Mall in Washington, DC. Their website says “July 16, 2016, is the day our generation will meet on the National Mall to come together around Jesus in unified prayer, worship, and a call for catalytic change”. I don’t know about you folks but that sounds life changing. It’ll be a great opportunity to “reset” and come together as a generation for great things. See you there??
While these big events are fantastic to attend and encouraging, we don’t have to wait for them to pray and worship. The whole purpose of OUTCRY is to uplift the local church. They reignite the fire and local churches continue to help us sustain and grow. It’s more than a once a week commitment, it’s about living a life that honours God on a daily basis. He’s here for us all of the time and is waiting for you to reach out and ask for his help and love.