4th Annual Come Alive Gospel Music Festival
By Fred Comella
Well Whatta ya know, more about some local Christian music event coming up… Not sure if my editor is trying to tell me something or not, but I suppose with the summer now upon us, there’s no better way to get with God than to go out and catch a nice open air Gospel concert, share some of “The Good News”, and relax with some friends, maybe even bring some folks over to Jesus.
Lord knows breaking the ice and spreading the Word as He would have us do can be a difficult task sometimes. Even when we think we have the right moment or venue, finding the right words or avenue of promotion can be difficult at best. Call it our natural fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, or just the fear that people may think differently of us. Hey, Jesus told us it wouldn’t be easy. Notwithstanding our own inhibitions and hang-ups however, there is one constant where people tend to drop their guard. One gift He gave us that draws us together. I don’t know about you all, but even in the days when I wasn’t saved, music and more so concerts, seemed to create an environment conducive to more social interaction. Now keeping in mind, that much of my “social interaction” back in the day at a concert, might not necessarily get the seal of approval from my Lord and Savior today. With that said, and as I’ve been very candid about in many of my recent articles, the right music, in the right venue, can make for the right experience to be sure.
I guess for me, any apprehension I may have harbored with regard to Christian music faded away when I heard how well the artists of today could bring both the older styles of music and the newer music together in one show. I guess the central “Theme” if you will, of the music, makes that a bit easier. I remember this very distinctly from my first show, and how all the bands combined the historical feel of traditional Gospel music, with the newer more modern approach. Moreover, I was astonished at how the crowd, (including me), loved all of it.
I think I’ve also mentioned in one of my articles about that first concert being plagued by dramatic technical difficulties through no fault of the promoters or performers, and how the crowd’s mood and enthusiasm never waned, not even a little. It was an amazing and life-changing moment for me. And as I watched these Christian artists adapt and overcome with grace and their own God given talents, I was moved in a way that I may not have been otherwise sitting in Sunday service. This is not to say that those quiet moments of prayer, reflection, and a good pastors input are not important, but taking our faith and happiness and applying it to the other more social facets of our lives is I believe, a uniquely Christian trait.
Eileen Daffron of Newport Rhode Island is of this opinion as well. Now promoting the 4th Annual “Come Alive Gospel Music Festival in Kings Park Newport this August, Eileen told me when we spoke this week about how in 2012 she had a vision that led her to bring the musical gift of the Gospel to Aquidneck Island’s Queen Anne square for the first time. Each year local churches and worship teams, soloists and musicians are invited to participate. Over the last three years Eileen says the crowds have gotten just a little bigger as like-minded folks from all over the surrounding area come together to hear some great Gospel and contemporary Christian music, all while giving glory to God. There will be prayer tents and children’s tents as well and Eileen hopes families will pack a lunch and some soft drinks and come out to the gazebo in Kings Park for a day of fellowship and praise music. The event is advertised in the GNT this month so look for official event dates and times in the following pages.
While Eileen and I chatted about the upcoming concert and I filled her in on the role of Christian music in my coming to the Lord, I thought about how great it was that we were getting this message out to all those who would pick up a copy of the GNT this month and next. Better yet, how great would it be if every Pastor held up a copy for their congregation and encouraged them to stop by Kings Park and enjoy with their fellow believers? Ya know I’ve long felt blessed for the fact that Christians around the globe enjoy the power of numbers. But I’ve also felt conflicted about why we don’t get together more as a larger group to promote that power in Christ. I think that’s where the music and the performances can bridge the divide, both in terms of our mutual beliefs, as well as any collective effort to spread the Gospel to as many as we can.
The day to day hustle and bustle is certainly a grind. Mortgages, car payments, dinner quandaries and little ones with the sniffles make for the realities of life we face every day. But if there is one thing that has always been an equalizer for my soul besides Jesus himself, it has been music. And from the Gospel hymns of a time long past, that touch us deep in our hearts and remind us that He is listening, to the upbeat and driving modern day Christian tributes to a Savior who loves us unconditionally, Christian music is providing an ever-wider bridge for us to use to get folks to Jesus.
So why wouldn’t we use all the tools at our disposal to facilitate that conversation? Why wouldn’t we take every opportunity to share something beautiful and life changing with someone else? Maybe the answer lies in our ability to step outside our comfort zone for just a moment and realize exactly what He desires of us. Maybe it’s time to put aside the complicated weekend plans for a change and pack the cooler for a short ride to a beautiful spot. Maybe even encourage a neighbor to come along. Better yet, bring a copy of the GNT opened to the page displaying the ad for the 4th Annual “Come Alive Gospel Music Festival” to your Pastor during the next few Sundays and ask him to spread the word and use the power of numbers to give glory to God. All fishers of men are in invited. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Frankly, I can use a break… See you there…