Last month my husband and I went to a Christian concert featuring the bands Tenth Avenue North and MercyMe. Honestly, I didn’t even know Tenth Avenue North would be performing…it was MercyMe that I went to see.
Tenth Avenue North was a huge surprise! Once they started, I discovered almost every song they performed was familiar to me. Plus, I had no idea they were such incredible entertainers. The lead singer, Mike Donehey, was all over that stage! He had the moves.
When Mike was a senior in high school he suffered near fatal injuries in a car wreck. Broke his back in two places and was told he might never walk again. It was while flat on his back for two months that he picked up a guitar for the first time, since there was little else he could do. Now, here he is. Giving his testimony on stage. Night after night. Plus limber and agile as ever!
Then, to top off the night, MercyMe took the stage. I had no idea the band had been together for 24 years! Lead singer, Bart Milder, announced they couldn’t play all of their hits, but would do their best to play some new songs, mixed with some of the more popular, older ones. They even threw in a few old hymns.
Bart also told the stories of pain behind some of the lyrics. Brokenness leading to one hit after another. Testimonies of grace and redemption. My music-loving heart was filled to the overflow with each and every song. Especially my current favorite, “Even If.” Here’s a video of Bart telling his story for writing the inspirational song, along with the band’s performance:
Then it was over. All in the auditorium were thanked for coming. The band bowed and left the stage. I understood they couldn’t perform EVERY song they ever recorded, but there’s no way they were going to get away without including the most-played contemporary Christian song of all time (according to Wikipedia).
The crowd didn’t budge. We wanted more. We came to hear “I Can Only Imagine”.
Instead of the band coming back on the stage for an encore, a movie trailer popped up on the big screen where song lyrics had previously been displayed. The movie trailer to a new movie opening March 16. Titled I Can Only Imagine, it is an American drama based on the story behind that most-played song. Here’s the movie trailer we saw:
Not to disappoint, when the trailer was over, the band reappeared. Bart informed the crowd that within 48 hours of the trailer being out on social media, there were over 30 million hits. Something that garnered the immediate attention of the folks in Hollywood.
Bart went on to say the box office revenues during that first week a movie debuts is what Hollywood looks at to determine if a film is worthy or not. He urged all in the audience to jam the theaters during that first week.
He also urged us to spread the word. So I am!
Let the not-so-godly folks in Hollywood take notice that there is a need for Christian movies. There are people who will pay money to see something wholesome on the big screen.
I hope you will be able to attend the movie. Take your spouse or invite a group of friends. Be part of the moment to impact America with I Can Only Imagine.
Tickets are on sale in movie theaters across the country. Check the website below to see where it is showing near you:
By the way, MercyMe ended the night performing their iconic hit, “I Can Only Imagine.”