Hi, I'm Erik Stephen.
Full-time tour life kicked off for me and my family in April of 2015.
I’d been doing Christian hip hop music on a more local level since 2002, and had gotten the opportunity to learn and grow in my craft as I worked hard to put out seven albums.
By October 2014, my wife Michelle and I were feeling restless. We’d both finished college and been in the workforce for a couple years, trying to make a living while pursuing our creative dreams on the side. God had been blessing my music ministry and we were often gone several weekends out of the month doing shows throughout the Southwestern United States. It was good, but we wanted more.
We had the opportunity to do a small tour in the Midwest through an amateur booking agent we’d met online. The actual tour was a total disaster -- canceled shows, deceptive promoters, etc. How God managed to break through all that and whisper in our ears that tour life was for us is beyond me, but He did. My wife Michelle’s background in international missions actually proved a huge help as we began to raise funds, plan a tour, and step out in faith to God’s call.
It took about six months to get everything ready. Looking back, I have no idea how it all possibly could have come together outside of God’s hand being on everything. We had no idea what we were doing! Sure, we’d toured locally and done shows before, but this was a whole other thing. We had no specific education or background in what we were about to do, but we had lots of background trusting God for daily provision and guidance. It turned out that was all we needed.
Many of our plans were thwarted. We’d initially thought we’d hook up with a larger tour group along the way, but when that didn’t pan out we learned very quickly on the road how to book and advance our own shows, some of them last-minute.
One thing never changed -- not because we never wavered, but because God didn’t -- we looked at the music as 100% ministry, not something we did for profit or status. Our living was (and is) made from voluntary love offerings and donations from people who believed in what we're doing. It’s not too different from the lifestyle described in the Bible of the earliest missionaries like Paul, who traveled to cities free of charge to minister, and who were provided for by mature believers who were moved by God to give.
We now have roughly two years' worth of tour history jam-packed with amazing stories of God’s providence and power, some of which you may hear at shows, via social media, our blog, or Youtube series. Someday if we have time we may write a book or three or ten about it.
When we set out in the beginning, we didn’t know much of the “why” behind what we were doing. Now through observation we can see that God has called us to partner with churches and community leaders in every part of the United States and beyond who have a heart to reach their areas with the Gospel. This partnership is important, because we’re only able to minister in each place for a short time, but the leaders left behind must continue in that work. However, we can and often do get the opportunity to speak truth into lives, pray with people, even see the power and transformation of salvation. We love those moments.
God willing, we will continue to live this dream for many years to come. If you are interested in booking us for a music-centered outreach in your town, please check out our booking page or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.