For the last two weeks, a band called Liz and the Lions from Herrnhut, Germany, has been doing musical outreach in London. Last night, the band performed at Kahaila, a local café on Brick Lane. Members of the folk-rock band have been collaborating for about a year and a half and have been on several tours. “Music speaks to all and is in every culture,” says band manager Taylor Pool. The band has been working with an Arts ministry called Pick a Pocket, which raises awareness for injustice in the areas of extreme poverty and sex trafficking. The band is accompanied by a group of artists who create work that further highlights the plight of the unjustly treated.

When asked “Why come to London during the Olympics?” band member Joshua Goins answered, “This is a place where people gather from all over, people from all walks of life,” reflecting one of the main emphases of the Forever/YWAM Olympic outreach. Ruth Spreadborough, a member of the band and a UK citizen, says, “It’s an incredible honour [to be doing outreach in my own country].” The band has done several performances since being here. At one of the events, where the band collaborated with a church, over 100 people came up to accept Christ. “It was a group effort of all the music and creativity,” Joshua says. “People were inspired to go further with God.”

All the band members have similar passions for music, but most importantly for God. “[Music is] the talent God gave me,” states Liz Mannchen, lead singer of the band. “Art is the biggest tool to reach our generation,” she continues. “Our audience is really anyone who is open,” adds Taylor. The songs that the band write are reflections of their stories as well as the stories of people they’ve met. “[Music] is the best way to tell a story and everybody has a story,” says Joshua, revealing how the band is in tune with the prevailing post-modern mindset of storytelling and everyone having a valid story to tell. “There are so many voiceless people, their stories need to be told.”

The band’s latest album is called Learning to be Dangerous. This name came about because Liz was learning about chasing after things that scared her but were good. She was learning about taking risks. “I want to be surrounded by people like lions. I want to be fierce, crazy and wild. I want to be surrounded by people who will push me towards Jesus,” Liz says. Using art and music as something more can be very intimidating. However, Liz and the Lions are living on the ‘wild side’ and are radically serving others and Jesus through their love of music.

“I went to school for art,” says Ruth, “but the arts became very self-focused. I didn’t like what I saw, and I thought, ‘There has got to be something more.’” Joshua adds, “So many artists see what they do as something for entertainment.” He hopes that their band will be able to show them otherwise. “When they see that it can have value, they will be inspired to take their art to the next level.”

Never before has there been so much opportunity for artists to use their craft for influence. Now is the time for artists and musicians to dig deeper. “[There is so much more to art] than doing art for art’s sake,” says Ruth. “When people have a passion for others, the world, and Jesus it will reflect in their creativity,” Josh says. “[I hope that we] inspire the next generation to care.” Liz then encourages us: “Find what you are passionate about, and ask yourself how you can use that to serve others.” Jesus called us to love our neighbour, and Liz finishes by challenging us to ask ourselves: “What are some creative ways you can love your neighbour?”

For more about Liz and the Lions, visit: http://lizandthelions.bandcamp.com/

For more about Pick a Pocket, visit: http://pickapocketart.webs.com/

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