NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Swift, a contemporary Christian band, announced plans to give proceeds from their Oct. 15 concerts to the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. The concert, which coincides with the Southern Baptists’ Beat Hunger Weekend Oct. 10-12, will be held at an inner-city ministry club in Nashville Tenn.
"The Swift is a wonderful group of young men with a real heart for souls and a real love for the Lord," said Steven S. Nelson, director for hunger concerns for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "I've been very impressed with their spirit as well as the quality of their music. They've been a part of the World Hunger Fund for about two years and have visited a couple of the World Hunger sites and shared that they had been deeply moved by what they saw."
Britt Edwards, the Swift’s lead singer, said his most humbling experience was when he stepped out of a van in front of the tiny Victory Chapel in Cleveland, Ohio.
"It was a long shot from an auditorium, far from a mega-church campus, and certainly not the result of a successful building fund drive," Edwards wrote. "Nonetheless, it ministers daily the love of Jesus in ways that some churches can't even fathom."
According to Edwards, the rooms were crammed with stacks of bread crates, clothes and folding chairs, that were used as a ministry center several times a week for the poor in the community.
"Most of us have so much that we lack for nothing," he wrote. "And the problem is that we've grown to depend on all the stuff that we've accumulated. Then we think that we are somehow in need if we are missing an ingredient for a recipe necessary to complete the evening's three-course meal. Oh, how backwards! How far can we run from the words of Jesus in Matthew 25? 'Depart from me, you cursed, ... for I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink.'"
The rest of the members, Chris Byers, Mike Simons and Trae Drose, said they came to uphold and challenge the Christian music industry to maintain a seriousness for ministry.
"The more we got involved in the ministry side of music, the less we saw of artists actively sharing the Gospel and pursuing audience members at concerts," Edwards said. "We felt if God could use us as salt and light, we could help raise the standards for Christian artists. I know we're new and young, but we still want to be an example to Christian bands like others have been to us. It's a shame that some groups and singers have captive audiences every night, and the audiences are walking out the door the same."
Admission to the concert is one canned food item and an optional “love offering” for the World Hunger Fund. The concert will also broadcast live from seven to nine p.m., at www.beathunger.com
"We're supposed to fulfill the Great Commission," Edwards said. "And either we accept responsibility for that duty now or be held accountable later. As a Christian community, we're responsible for each other. We need to encourage each other in that direction. This is what we've seen the Lord do for us, and we want to do it for others."