Director’s 2013 Message
In the racing world, Laguna Seca is world famous as a raceway where tens of thousands experience the thrills, chills and spills of highspeed motor sports. But since 1997 Laguna Seca has also become a place of spiritual and eternal significance where God has changed the lives of thousands at the annual Spirit West Coast festivals.
After missing last year, it sure feels good to “come together” again. Here we are at this coastal oasis to bask in God’s presence one more time. Looking back, prior to 1997 there was no Spirit West Coast festival; the ministry organization simply did not exist. Back in 1995 a very small group of people, with no resources or experience, felt the Lord telling them to stage a large music event to reach people with the Gospel, so the planning for SWC in the summer of 1997 began. Believe it or not, 2013 will be the sixteenth time we are gathering together to celebrate our faith and invite God to impact our lives at this historic racetrack.
Boy has God been good and blessed Spirit West Coast all these years! And more than just His goodness, thousands upon thousands have experienced an encounter with the living Savior at a Spirit West Coast festival, either discovering salvation for the first time or making a conscious decision to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ. If you include the 8 festivals the SWC nonprofit ministry has presented in Southern California, over 10,000 people have made salvation commitments at 23 festivals because of this small, volunteer-driven ministry; that’s an effective evangelistic operation!
But if you think about it, there have been astronomical changes since Spirit West Coast was conceived 18 years ago. 1995 was the last time the San Francisco 49ers were in the Super Bowl. Back then, cd’s were still how music was delivered. In the tech world, there were no search engines, social media, i-phones or i-anything; in fact phones were far from being “smart.” As for the economy, “change” is a gross understatement to explain how differently things are now. Millions are still reeling from the 2008 recession, and wondering if things will ever “return to normal” (whatever that is). I could go on, but the point is, so many things in our culture and society are incredibly different here in 2013 than when SWC started way back when.
To think the tsunami of change that has overwhelmed the world would not impact Spirit West Coast through the years would be naïve; it obviously has. But in spite of cultural and economic seismic shifts, the core purposes of this unique ministry remain the same: to tell people about the Good News of Jesus Christ and provide an opportunity for people to encounter the life changing power of the Holy Spirit.
From day one, Spirit West Coast has been a ministry and organization that has operated by faith in all aspects of what we do: finances, attendance, volunteer recruitment, logistics, operations, seeking God’s will…in everything. Each year when the planning begins the previous fall, we never know how many people will show up the following summer, but we do know that when people get here God meets them because we invite and ask Him to do so.
Faith can be a challenging concept at times. If we knew everything that would happen and had all the answers, we wouldn’t even need faith. But it’s through faith that God wants us to trust Him, to rely on Him to provide and to need Him in all things; that is the way He set up the relationship between Him and His children.
So let’s agree that Spirit West Coast is and has been all about faith in all things. Let’s also actively ask God to place everyone and everything taking place here this weekend in trust under His banner of faith. If we approach BOTH our time here together this weekend and our future with a spiritual expectation surrounded in faith, the Lord will take it from there.
There can be no greater purpose and legacy of Spirit West Coast than to know that thousands of people have let faith in Jesus Christ come alive in their hearts because they spent three days together that changed lives forever.
On behalf of the SWC leadership team,