The nights on this tour when I am hosting the event are pretty hectic-but it’s the time of day when I come alive. Today’s schedule in Wichita Falls, Texas looked something like this:
5.45pm Rush from Third Day’s tour bus where we have been watching episode 3 of the Band of Brothers series.
5.50pm Arrive at the VIP question and answer reception to meet the guests, invite them to submit a question to the artists, and ask them to consider putting in a silent auction bid for one of the paintings from the Gateway School.
6.00pm I welcome Third Day, Peter Furler and Trevor Morgan, to the Q and A session. It’s a particular thrill to welcome Peter. I first worked with him and Newsboys back in 1995 (one of his current band was only 5 years old at the time.
6.02pm Begin asking questions to the guys, and round the session of with a short devotional thought and a prayer. Tonight I took the liberty of sharing some personal testimony of the faith steps I took all those years ago when beginning to work with Newsboys and then Third Day. The point? God wants us all to step into the purpose and the place he has for us, and the longest of journeys often start with the shortest of steps.
6.30pm Dash down to catering for some food, on the way I meet Jay, Peter Furler’s road manager-turns out he used to live in Newport, Wales about 15 miles from me. I sit with Scotty Wilbanks and eat beef, pork., mixed vegetables and mashed potato. As always, I gulp it down too quickly. 6.55pm I walk over to the backstage area ready to welcome the audience to the Make Your Move tour, just before the sound guys come hunting for me. I’m introduced to a local radio guy and I suggest he opens the night in prayer.
7.00pm On to the stage I go to welcome the crowd, give them a taste of what the night holds in store and then hand over to the radio guy to pray.
7.03pm I introduce the opening act-Trevor Morgan-who comes on for 3 songs. I listen by the side of the stage.
7.15pm Back on to thank Trevor and to promote Grand Canyon University, one of the tour sponsors. Tai and Mark from Third Day are currently completing their college degrees through GCU’s online program.
7.25pm Get to introduce Peter Furler, the first time we have shared a stage together since Newsboys played in Cardiff about 7 years ago, and the first time in the States since 2000.
7.27pm I’m back in catering chatting to Trevor Morgan and eating the dessert I didn’t manage to get earlier. I also text the winner of the Gateway School painting auction- tonight’s winner paid $200.
7.45pm On my way back to the stage I find our merchandise manager Melissa, and remind her to meet the painting winner and I in the intermission, so as to collect the payment.
7.50pm By the side of the stage to worship along with Peter Furler as he sings ‘He Reigns’.
8.00pm Back into Third Day’s dressing room to check they have signed the painting.
8.05pm Peter just finishes his final song ‘I’m Free’ so I go back onto the stage, get the crowd to applaud him once more and then I begin to talk about World Vision child sponsorship- the crowd is perfectly silent as I share Luke 2.52-And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Then I invite them to take hold of a child profile and raise them in the air with me as I pray over them.
8.15pm It’s intermission so I run back to Third Day’s dressing room and grab the painting and take it over to the merchandise table and thank the winners-an older couple-for their generosity. On my way back I give a quick hug to some of the front row hardcore Third Day fans.
8.20pm Back to read the Bible and pray with Third Day before they go on stage. I’ve been leading the guys through selections of God’s words to Jeremiah and tonight I read from Jeremiah 23.5 onwards- a great messianic prophecy about Jesus as the King of Righteousness. Mac, Tai and David lead our prayer time, and the band are out of the door ready to perform.
8.40pm As Third Day begins I wander over to the World Vision table to ask Brendan how many children have been sponsored. 43 so far, which is a good percentage from a comparatively small crowd tonight. Brendan is the World Vision rep, married to singer Rachel Lampa, and he has become a good buddy on this tour.
8.50pm Pop into the Production Office to see Lott our tour manager, and he tells me Peter Furler is riding our bus tonight. That will be fun!
A manic 3 hours-but it is what I live for, what I am here for, and what an incredible privilege to be part of this.