British frontman Lindz West was searching for the right words to best describe his edgy Christian band, LZ7.
Is it dance music? Hip-hop? A little bit of rap?
“It’s Toby Mac meets the Black Eyed Peas,” said West, with a nod to American culture.
Whatever the style, it’s working.
LZ7, the headliner for Rock Thurrock on Sept. 24-25, an outreach hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has captured the attention of the UK youth in a way many in the U.S. would find impossible.
This band is working straight away with the high schools through a Christian charity called The Message Trust and an evangelistic project “Message to Schools.”
Here’s how it works:
“We go into the high school teaching religion education, and we take on whatever the school wants us to take on,” West said. “Whether the message is love or relationships or prejudice, we’ll focus on that so it meets the education criteria. And then we’ll put the Gospel in there.”
A five-school speaking tour throughout the week will normally result in an outreach concert by West’s band and, thanks to mainstream radio and television airplay of their hit song ”This Little Light,” which climbed to No. 26 on the UK charts, LZ7 has instant street cred.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said West, who got his start with the World Wide Tribe Band. “Seeing yourself on MTV. That was crazy.
“The kids were like ‘You’re that band that’s been on the charts.’ It’s almost like going through the door before you walk in.”
Combined with the band’s higher profile and Christ-centered message, it’s no surprise to see hundreds of youth commit their lives to the Lord each week, which keeps West and his band mates revved up.
“We build relationships with these kids,” West said. “We get to know them and by the end of the week, we’re on a first-name basis with them. It’s all about relationships. You just love them into the Kingdom.”
The LZ7 Light Tour hits Essex on Sept. 19, St. Helens Sept. 30, Cornwall on Oct. 1 and Reading Oct. 6.
Taking a break the last weekend of September, LZ7 is joining Empire Nation and Beautiful Remnant for a two-night rock event at the 750-seat Thurrock Civic Hall, which will include a message by Will Graham, grandson of Billy Graham and son of Franklin Graham.
Admission is 10 pounds per person each night with a free night on Sept. 23, featuring Will Graham and a praise and worship band.
For West, it’s a full-circle return on a prayer that happened in the mid-70s, although he doesn’t remember it. He was just a week old.
But according to the story, West’s father, Peter, was working for the BGEA’s Eurofest ’75 in Brussels. Born just days before the Crusade began, Lindz was brought from London to Brussels.
At Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Mr. Graham saw the infant boy and prayed over his life.
“Billy Graham spoke a word over me,” West said, “when I was just a week old.”
West, along with his wife, Lucy, have recently collaborated with good friends Beth and Matt Redman to write “27 Million,” a song to create awareness about human trafficking.
West said he might play the new song at Rock Thurrock, where he is excited about how God might work, and honored to be used to help the youth of this east London suburb.
“To tell kids about a love that can absolutely blow their minds, that is our heartbeat,” he said. “Seeing kids becoming Christian is our heartbeat.”
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