Tyler Ward & Crew

Leave your burden, weak and weary, I will lead you home
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…

When I led YoungLife we always talked about the fact that something that was different about YL ministry is that we went after high school kids where they were. We went to their school, their sports games, their favorite hang out spots. We tried to meet them where they were in life, and love them as best we could in the world they lived in. A world usually full of insecurity, and very often, a lot of pain. As I stood among 200+ young people last night that all came out to hear Tyler Ward and his crew, I couldn’t help but get that same vision of ministry in my mind. Tyler and his band are meeting this entire generation where they’re at. And loving them really well.

Tyler is my favorite youtube discovery and has successfully built a HUGE fan base that now lets him do what he loves full time, including going on tour across the US and Europe! They cover some of the most popular songs on the radio today (and more often than not, do a MUCH better job than the original!) and put out lots of their own songs. Tyler has turned down a ton of record labels, and has proven time and time again that he is doing just fine staying connected to his fans giving them what they wnat and running his own studio. He and the crew are on their first tour across the country and I was SO excited when I saw that they planned a stop in DC!

They put on such a great show, packed with energy, and made sure to personally meet and thank everyone that came out. You could tell watching them all interact with their fans that they were truly and genuinely grateful for each one of them and thankful to be doing what they love, even though it includes getting no sleep and essentially living in a 15 passenger van for two months. As I was talking to Eppic after the show I was telling him how I can see that this is a ministry for them and he explained how he really wanted to go into leading youth ministry himself, and I looked back at him and said “thats exactly what you’re doing, just in a different form.”

Tyler is a breath of fresh air in an industry so often sending the wrong message. After doing a bunch of everyones favorite covers including Super Bass, Born This Way, and Somewhere With You, Tyler performed lots of his original songs as well, and everyone in the crowd knew each world and sang along. As a somewhat new artist, that has GOT to be one of the coolest feelings in the world, hearing a room full of people scream your own lyrics back at you. The look on his face was priceless as he sat there and listened to everyone sing Falling, Paper Heart, and the best part of the night, The Rescue.

I got to hang out with Tyler for a while backstage after the show (yeah VIP pass!) and I asked him what the best part of the tour has been for him, and right away he responded that it would be singing The Rescue. That is why he does what he does. He gives 100% at every show, and then during the encore he’s able to get up and tell the crowd that there’s a solution, a rescue, from the things that burden them. Hearing a room full of young people sing Amazing Grace, and some of them not even realize what they’re saying, gave me chills.

Well done, friend :0)

one of my favorite shots of the night… pretty sure this officially qualifies him for rock star status: he’s got a contagious smile: 
and apparently sweet dance moves ;0) my favorite moment of the night…
when they sang the first verse of Amazing Grace at the end of The Rescue the crew was just straight up worshipping! 
okaaaay, so this might be my other favorite moment of the night :0)  or this one.. ya never know :0) Thanks for letting me hang out with you after the show! and thanks for setting such a great example of John 13:35: “by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” you guys rock! :0) 
So I’m here breaking down your door
Calling out your name
I want to take away the pain
You know I’m here like I was before
Screaming out your name
Waiting for the change

I am captivated by
The way you look tonight
And I see what you’ve been into

So I will never cross the line
I won’t tell you any lies
I was sent here for the rescue

Leave your burden, weak and weary, I will lead you home
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…

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  1. Hayley says:

    These pictures are gorgeous.
    I was at the show too, and all I can say is absolutely amazing!!
    I can’t wait to see him next year!

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