Our first multiplied student GoCommunity (Missional Community) is called Song & Story. It is driven by the vision that God placed on two student’s hearts. Wyatt Zelle and Paul Clifford are both going to be seniors this upcoming school year. They have each been a part of a GoCo and our ministry for years now. I am not exaggerating when I say it has been a true honor and blessing to be a part of their lives as I have watched how God has worked both in and through them over the years.
About Wyatt and Paul:
One of the best things about watching them mature over the years has been seeing how they have used their passions and gifts that God has given them to bring Honor to Him. They are both very talented musicians and that talent can be seen on display with their band, Good Hours. This isn’t just your normal, local high school rock band. Good Hours won Canton’s local Battle of the Bands competition, as well as the Alive Festival’s Indie Artist Showcase contest. In a nutshell, these guys are legitimate! Despite their band’s recent success and the local celebrity status they are gaining, they consistently remain humble. This heart of humility they carry definitely stems from their desire to use their influence with the band as a way to point people towards Christ. The fact that these two high school students view their band and their talents as their mission is inspiring to me! I love how God is using these guys and how they are letting God use them.
This last winter I sat down with Wyatt and Paul and we began talking about passions. As we talked about passions, without pausing, the conversation went right into God, music, and friends. The conversation eventually got to the point where we were talking about what it looks like to intentionally blend all of those passions together. We talked and brainstormed a little while longer before I asked them to sit on this for and pray about it – to see what God might reveal to them.
After a few weeks of prayer and more conversation, God began to reveal the vision for what would later be called Song & Story. The vision, ultimately, was to create an intentional community where musicians, artists, and poets can come together to share their artistic creations, while receiving encouragement and prayer if needed. The foundational idea was laid and it was great to see these guys rely on the Spirit to direct them in this.
From there we began to ask the Spirit to give them more clear direction for details such as: the name and mission/vision. who would this community be for? what would the rhythm of gathering look like? what would the evening structure look like? where they were going to meet? which other students were they going to actively pursue? And so on and so forth. Another prayer of ours was for God to bring a couple adults that understand this creative/artistic culture to come alongside Wyatt and Paul to invest in them and help provide some more structure to this.
As God began to flush all of this out for us and provide the things we needed it became more and more clear that the idea of Song & Story was exactly what God had for Wyatt and Paul.
Getting the ball rolling:
Now that they felt like they had clear vision for Song & Story, plus a couple adults to come alongside them, they were ready to move forward with this and make this happen.
Some of the practicals of making this happen was to set a date, time, and location for a soft launch. On top of that it was important for them to pursue the other students that God had placed on their hearts that they thought would be good to be a part of this. The final step was to spread the word – social media, texts, calls, posters at local coffee shops, etc. These guys made it happen, with the Spirit leading them. They had their soft launch last month and this week is their first official launch where the students that come will be sharing their works of art.
I am so excited to see what God is going to do through these guys and the lives that will be changed, due in part, of Wyatt and Paul’s faithfulness and boldness to listen to what God was saying to them and then to follow through on it. These guys are disciples that make disciples.
Song & Story
Tagline – Everyone’s Song has a Story. Everyone’s Story has a Song
Mission/Vision – “Song & Story is a community where students can share their creative passions and be encouraged in their artistic growth.”
Rhythm – Formal gatherings once a month. Their rhythm also includes going to local coffee shops and venues to play open mic nights as a community.
Nightly Structure – Students will gather at Wyatt’s house where they will start by hanging out and watch some live music videos that will be playing in the background. Typically, they will share a meal together. After the meal they will gather in the basement or outside (depending on the weather) where they will sit in a circle and begin sharing their artistic creations with each other. If the students want to they will start by sharing the story of where their work of art comes from and then perform it for everyone in the community.
Our next post will include the practical steps that God has revealed to us through this process for multiplying GoCommunities, which will be followed by a series of posts detailing each of those steps. We would love feedback, thoughts, ideas, and questions! If you have any more questions about Song & Story feel free to contact myself or John Moores – we realize we gave the nutshell version of the story. In the meantime, we ask that you continue to pray for Wyatt, Paul and everyone that will be a part of the Song & Story community.