For anyone who has ever seen Big Daddy Weave live, you know what I mean when I say it is far from your normal concert experience. With a true passion for seeing people set free from their sin and brokenness through a relationship with Christ, the band puts together a powerful night of worship and incorporates a special time of prayer at the conclusion of every show, where they invite the crowd to come up and receive prayer.
As they gear up for the Set Free Tour this fall with special guests We Are Messengers and Micah Tyler, we caught up with BDW's Mike Weaver at a show in North Carolina to talk about his expectancy for the tour and the importance of ministry on the road.
Let's talk fall tour. Tell us about the heart behind the Set Free Tour and why you're looking forward to these nights.
So this is the second leg of the Set Free Tour. We did all spring long with Zach Williams and We Are Messengers and it was beautiful. Now we're picking back up where we left off. The idea of "Set Free" is that the Lord says, "who the Son sets free is free indeed" and "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."
But here's the deal--what we've been learning the last few years is just that we know so many things about what Jesus gave us, we have a knowledge of what He gave us but we don't really walk in that reality very often. So I think, inasmuch as we are set free, and it was once and for all, there's this process for us now to learn how to walk in what it is He finished.
When He stretched His arms out, He said "it is finished." The reality of Heaven, the reality of the Kingdom is complete in Him and what He has done, but for us, we're like, "That's amazing, but how do you have it?" So there's this lifelong process of learning how to really receive and walk in what it is that's available to us in the cross.
That freedom that He talks about; how do we walk free? How do we live free? That's a process for all of us and so hopefully today I'm walking more free than I was yesterday because hopefully I'm receiving more of Him. But what that costs us is the old us, because you can't receive something if you're holding something else. That process is sometimes not fun to our physical selves, but there's life on the other side of that when we learn what it is to die to ourselves and really have what it is that He bought for us.
For you guys, this is more than just a show; it's ministry. The whole night is ministry-focused, but especially when you close the night by praying with your audience. How did that get started and why is that so important to you to continue?
About six or seven years ago, around 2010, we were just burned out. I was at a place in my life where I was just kind of finished and I told a friend one day, just out of frustration, "Sometimes I just want to shut down everything at the end and just pray for people. Forget about the music, forget about songs and just pray for people." And he goes, "Mike, you should do that." I was like, "Aw, dude, I was just talking big; I didn't really mean it." But I held this guy in such high esteem that my pride actually wouldn't let me not do it that night.
So it came to that time and I see him sitting out there. I said, "We're all hurting from different stuff, so if you got stuff that you brought in here, we'd love to just stand in agreement with you." I just went down there by myself, not really expecting anybody to move around, ready to move on to the next song, honestly. But then people started coming and it caught me so off guard, but when we just began to agree together with them... I mean, God began doing things in them, but God began doing things in us.
The very next night, we did it again and I remember getting ready backstage, I was literally washing my hands in the restroom, and the Holy Spirit says, "They're out there. They can't have children. They've tried and they feel like I've forgotten them. Tell them I've not forgotten about them and they are loved and that I'm going to touch them." And there were three of them! At first I thought I was going crazy, like, washing my hands, God? But then He just started to move and every night for the next months after that He would just say these things and they were always there.
At first it was just me going out, then it was me and the rest of the opening band coming out. Then it was me and the opening band and J-Dawg, then Jeremy came down, then we were all down there and left poor Joe up there with his keyboard just keeping everybody appeased. Even the ones who weren't coming down, it was like there was still this thing happening to them.
It's not the traditional "if you want to be saved" kind of thing, but it was just dealing with specific things. God was changing us as we were allowing Him to concern us with others and that was a beautiful thing. So now it continues. It kind of has grown and morphed and it's a little bit different every night, but we've seen some pretty amazing things and the stories after the fact of God doing incredible things.
So you've already talked about Micah Tyler and We Are Messengers a little bit, but how important is it for you guys to find people to come on the road with you who have that same heart for ministry?
It's essential. But it's crazy, sometimes even the ones that have that heart are a little bit nervous about that part of it. Like, do you have to have some kind of special gift? No man, you just have to allow Him to fill your heart with compassion for other people. You don't have to be a spiritual giant--and thank God, because I wouldn't be included--but really just have a heart for God. I remember when BB, our drummer, first joined the band. He came from a completely different background and he had never been around anything like that. He was praying for people and I remember one night I finally asked him, "BB, what are you praying over these people?" He goes, "Honestly, Mike, I don't think I really know how to do this very well so I've just been asking God to give me the words to say over them." I was just like, "Good job, BB! I need to make sure that I'm doing that too."
That's really all it is, man. We're all in this together. We're all in the same boat. There's not a hierarchy of you being more saved than somebody else. You know what I mean? We all still hurt, we all still go through things. We need each other. I love that God loves to use people. That would have never been in my plan because I give up on all of us so quick, but He uses people in the lives of other people and He's real pleased with that.
What's the coolest story that you have from that prayer time during the show?
Man, there are so many. There are some crazy ones. There are ones that I went home and told my friends and my friends acted weird toward me for a little while. Ha!
J-Dawg prayed for this dude one night, and the Lord uses him in a powerful way. He prayed for this guy who had come to the show and his kidneys had been failing. He had a third kidney surgically implanted in him to try to give his other kidneys a rest and instead of that happening, his kidneys failed and this third kidney was operating at only about 25 percent, so he was really sick.
It was crazy because they prayed that night, and Jay heard back about a week later that the guy had actually been touched. He called Jay on the way home from the doctor and said the doctor told him he had three 100 percent working kidneys. They actually put him on a reverse donor list to give back one of the kidneys. Only Jesus can do that.
There are stories of people who--gosh, this one lady. She came up one night and it wasn't even during the prayer time; it was after the show. She was just talking about the song "Redeemed" and she said, "I was held captive in a basement for about a year. I just got involved with the wrong people and this guy kept me in his basement for a year. After some of the most terrible moments of my entire life, there was a radio down there and I would turn it on to Christian radio and hear the song 'Redeemed.' After these things that were threatening to define the rest of my life, God would remind me who I am."
As I was completely flabbergasted in that moment, she reaches down in her pocket and she pulls out this huge nail and said, "I carry this around in my pocket so when the devil tries to tell me who I am, I remind him what's been done for me. I can't necessarily forget about what's been done to me, but I don't have to spend the rest of my life holding that against the guy." So she wrote him a letter in prison, forgiving him. It was the most incredible story and those are just God doing His thing because He loves people.
Is there a moment in your live set, other than the prayer time, that you look forward to every night?
The other thing I enjoy is we get to share on behalf of World Vision. As a musician, I guess you ought to have some sort of musical moment--and there are plenty of those--but I think for us, the music has really just become a vehicle for communication. World Vision and sharing on behalf of these children--whose faces literally haunt us--we are literally haunted by their faces have become some of my favorite parts. It's my favorite thing to sit down with the people there and to share about what we've seen in the world and God's heart for the world. I love those times the best.
You're always praying for people, but how can people be praying for you in this season as a band?
Just that we would not operate out of what we have done before, because I think the most dangerous thing for me is finding something that works and then you just want to do that thing. We just need to hear from the Lord; we need to be open to what He says. Just that we would continue to be led, because when we stop doing that, there's a stagnation that happens wherever we go. People aren't going to receive life that way, and that's what we want--for people to receive the life that Jesus has. The only way they can receive it is if we walk in that life, not just out of something that we did before.
Caitlin Lassiter is a North Carolina girl that loves Jesus, music, concerts, writing, C.S. Lewis, and sweet tea... She's also a worship leader dreaming of traveling the world to share God's love.
NEW!BEHIND THE SONG
#1091 - Fireflight
Dawn Michele shares the inspiration behind the band's latest ballad
NEW! NRT LISTS
Christmas 2021 Preview
We take a look at 10 upcoming holiday albums and singles
NEW!A TRINARY REFLECTION
#3 - Songs About Faith
Three songs relating to faith in Grace's 'A Trinary Reflection' series
NEW!THE CHH DROP
#71 - Propaganda...
What's new this week in Christian Hip-Hop/Rap
NEW! EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Lead singer Sean McCullough talks about their decade-old debut album