Rick Warren to Kick Off USA's LifeLight Music Festival

Kicking off LifeLight Communication's largest yearly event is best-selling author and pastor Rick Warren, featured speaker for the Labour Day LifeLight Christian Music Festival in the USA.

|TOP|The faith-based organisation is featuring an "awesome" lineup of speakers, as LifeLight co-founder Vicki Greene described it, for the end of the summer fest with an outreach message geared toward every generation.

Evangelist Luis Palau, TeenMania founder Ron Luce, founder of Kanakuk Kamps and Kids Across America Joe White, and actor Stephen Baldwin will be joining Warren at the free event that has grown larger than ever.

Taking the church outside the walls, LifeLight serves both the Christians and the unchurched in a three-day and night festival entirely funded by individual donations, church support and business sponsorships. Open to the public free of charge in Sioux Falls, S.D., the event draws hundreds of thousands from the city as well as out-of-state. And it's completely "volunteer-driven," said Greene.

"The festival can't be done without them [volunteers]," she commented.

|AD|LifeLight has continued to outgrow venues since it began on a church lawn in 1998. Since then, the festival relocated to larger fairgrounds and soon spilled out to their current venue Wild Water West water park, home to the festival for the past two years. Attendance numbers grew to a record breaking 275,000 last September and Greene expects at least that many this year.

"Our goal is to reach the unchurched," said Greene. "It's an encouragement to believers as well in their walk." But for the most part, "our purpose is to bring the lost to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ."

Greene described the joint church worship service as the highlight of the weekend. More than 40 churches had relocated their Sunday service to worship together at LifeLight Festival.

"We asked the churches in town to join us," she said, "and they've just been really gracious. They've caught the vision to take the church outside the walls."

Literally taking the church beyond its borders, the joint service also "sends a message of unity to the unchurched," Greene added.

The 2006 festival will feature 100 bands including Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, Kutless, Tree 63, Rebecca St. James, Audio Adrenaline, Foolish Things, Super Chick, Casting Pearls, Go Fish, Remedy Drive and more on six different stages. Campgrounds, which draw thousands every year, are available.

For more information, visit www.lifelightfest.com.

Lillian Kwon
Christian Today Correspondent