Last weekend, I went to see Chris Tomlin at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The Bowl is an outdoor amphitheatre, and the primary big concert location here in town. I had wanted to see a concert there, and this was the perfect combo -- an artist I knew that I vaguely wanted to see together with cheaper tickets. It turned out to be better than just a way to see what the venue was like.
It was like going to church on Friday night for three hours with 4500 of your closest friends. I know that doesn't sound great to most of you, but for me it was just what I needed. The sermon touched me, but mostly it was just knowing that there were other folks in town that wanted to go to church on a Friday night that recharged me spiritually.
We came in and got settled in our side floor seats, and justified that they were good once we found some that were worse. As it got dark, the music started up. They put all the words up on a screen at the back of the stage, so even you only knew some of the words you could sing like you meant it. It was great for songs I'd never heard before, too, because by the second chorus I could join in. He was a worship leader before he started his singing career, and you can tell. He sure knows how to get people singing loud and proud, from easy tunes and powerful lyrics to just the right amount of repitition so everyone can feel like they have it down, these songs are designed to have you singing them in your car or while you do dishes (which I do all the time these days). In the resinging you find new insights and the music just continues to make an impact well after the concert is over.
In the middle of the concert, Louie Giglio, the pastor traveling with the tour, got up and preached one of the longest sermons I've ever heard. It was a generic sermon about how big God is with this whole universe he created, and yet he cares about each of us enough to be involved in our little lives. And yet, it was a topic that was welcome in my brain, one that made me think and re-remember the enormity of God and all the little details that are His business.
When it was all over, I wished it wasn't, and I only then noticed just how cold it had gotten in the dark. So, I think I can say it was a successful concert, and I imagine I will be back to the venue, even if not for church next time.
16 hours ago