In the past year, FFH has toured with the hugely popular Christian group, Point Of Grace. They have performed on enormous stages in some of the largest stadiums and concert halls in the United States. They have enjoyed album sales nearing the million mark. But they have also been seen playing at small street fairs, state fairs and sporting events. Seemingly a step down in the group’s career path, fans may question why a Dove Award nominated band that just finished its new album, Ready To Fly, would do such a thing.
It might be better to ask why FFH wouldn’t choose to perform in smaller, secular venues. Or why more Christian artists don’t perform in similar settings. If a band’s mission statement is “to reach as many people for Jesus Christ as they can, as quickly as they can,” shouldn’t the members of that band perform in locations where they will come into contact with people who don’t know Jesus?
Michael Boggs (guitar, vocals), Brian Smith (bass, trumpet, vocals), Jeromy Deibler (guitar, piano, lead vocals) and Jennifer Deibler (vocals) make up the group that has made it their goal to do just that.
The FFH ministry not only involves Christ-centered music, but also gospel presentations, salvation invitations, spiritual growth plans, follow-up and accountability. By developing a unique, but simple plan, FFH has put their mission statement into practice.
Find people who don’t know Jesus Christ and go to them
“We knew that going out (on tour) with Point Of Grace was going to be an awesome encouragement to the church,” Jeromy Deibler says. “But we felt that if we were going to spend two months in the church with Point Of Grace, we wanted to spend just as much time, if not more, outside the church.”
So the band sat down with the management team and booking agents and asked them to get proactive about booking the group in non-Christian settings. To FFH, each concert is an opportunity to share the good news with people who might not have heard it before. But, for FFH, it isn’t enough just to tell people about Jesus.
Invite people to know Jesus
“Presenting the gospel and sowing the seed that somebody else might eventually reap the harvest of is one thing,” Jeromy Deibler explains. “Actually giving people the chance to respond right there is another.”
FFH now gives a direct invitation in the middle of each show. It allows audience members to pray the prayer of salvation right then. And in the last two years alone, FFH has witnessed more than 5,000 people come to know the Lord in this way.
But again, it isn’t enough for FFH to just give people the opportunity to receive Jesus.
Give new Christians resources that will grow their faith
Members of FFH realize that it’s a blessing to be a part of a new walk with Christ. They also realize that it is only the beginning. Though they often move on to a new city in a long string of concerts, a bevy of baby Christians-without guidance-would be left to their own devices to grow spiritually.
As a solution, FFH developed a packet of resources that includes a Bible and devotional materials. The band also asks each person who makes a commitment to Christ to fill out a commitment card. This allows band members to connect new Christians with pastors and counselors from local churches to establish accountability.
But it still isn’t enough to tell people about Jesus, invite them to begin their relationships with Him and give them the resources to continue interacting with God. Boggs, Smith, and Jeromy and Jennifer Deibler want their own hearts to be in line with God’s will.
Keep each other accountable
Band members realize that in order to be a part of an effective ministry, they need to base their decisions on God’s Word. Because the chances of them remaining objective in every decision is highly improbable, they have turned to 15 men who have, at some point, been closely involved with some aspect of the FFH ministry. Made up of financial gurus, pastors and family members, the 15 men formed the A-Team (accountability team).
To help with issues ranging from song selection to disagreements over autograph signings, FFH wanted to be able to call on the A-Team at any time. These mentors offer the group wise, objective and biblical advice.
“We know that God has called us here and that our position in music has got to be one of humility,” Jeromy Deibler explains. “We know that He could have picked better singers, better songwriters and better guitar players, but for whatever reason, He picked us. We decided that we wanted to be as blameless as humanly possible. So in areas of accountability, we set up some guidelines for being in FFH. The accountability team is not a policing of these guidelines. It’s more of a mentoring thing.”
Pastor Rich Stevenson, a member of the A-Team, says that accountability is an essential ingredient in understanding how God has set up His kingdom.
“In Philippians 2, the Word says that each of us should not look out for our own interests but even the interests of others,” Stevenson says. “We have to come to an understanding that God set it up for us to depend on one another. And how crucial it is to understanding who God is.”
Producer Scott Williamson has witnessed first-hand the fruits of FFH’s desire for godly guidance. He has also seen the effects of the band’s adherence to the guidelines set forth to direct their ministry.
“FFH has a tendency to gather a lot of people around them and ask them to pray for them as they make decisions,” Williamson says. “When people adhere to an element of accountability, the decisions they make have a tendency to end up bearing out a little better. Each one of the members of FFH seems pretty committed to diligently seeking after God in every decision they make. I think God is really blessing them as a result.”
Check out ffh.net to find out where and when you can bring your unsaved friends to catch the band in concert. That day may be the first in their new life with Christ.
Copyright © 2004 Christian Music Planet, used with permission.
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