When I go to meet artists on tour, there also seems to be a meeting of reality and perception. That meeting usually houses some good things I hadn’t realized, but some sad or bad things I had not thought existed either. This time, while traveling to the East Coast then coming back toward the Upper Midwest, was no different. Each tour is a new revelation.

I worry a lot about not having the perfect strategy or program for these artists, and my wife and I laugh about how before every tour, I stand in front of my bookshelf for a while, hoping to find some strategy, system or curriculum that will be the perfect thing to bring along. I once heard Youth Cartel president Mark Oestreicher say at a youth pastor convention, “YOU are the curriculum,” but I often forget this.

Anyway, as we were saying goodbye at 1:30 a.m. one night on tour, one of the guys mentioned his apprehension with my coming on board their bus—their “home.” They’d all discussed me being out with them, whether it was OK with everyone ahead of time. He said he was expecting me to come on with a five-step program, and this whole “thing” they were going to have to do. Instead, he said, it was really refreshing to have me just listen and learn, and then respond. I still believe there is a place for strategy, program and educating, but for LightsOut, it isn’t primarily on the tour bus.

Through this experience, I really think God showed me that care begins with connection, continues with community, and is sustained through intentionality. But without God at work in the relationship—a true sense of longing for the Holy Spirit and finding the Spirit together—there will not be a desire to see it grow, and the relationship will cease to be. I am working to be intentional, to hold community, and to be connected, but it is only by the Holy Spirit’s prompting and being found in relationship that any of this is possible, and because of the presence of the Spirit, all of this is probable. In the meantime, we are listening for our next revelation on the road.

Dave Decker, Jr.,  founder of LightsOut