You know the concert is going to be unique when the pastor introduces the group by saying, “You can worship anyway you want to, you can do anything you want … we only ask that you don’t swing from the chandeliers … but if you have to swing from something, I’m sure we can you something!”
That was the way the pastor introduced Wilburn and Wilburn at the First Assembly of God in Mauldin, Missouri. This church was extremely warm and friendly and they sure were ready to hear some gospel singin’!!!
Wilburn and Wilburn kicked off the night with an up-beat number entitled I’m Gonna Move, and with it, the audience
set the tone for the evening – standing and clapping all the way through the song! At the bridge, Jonathan reminded everyone of the home that awaits us, and asked if anyone there is going with them. The crowd responded with a shout that shook the walls! Jonathan was featured on the next song, It’s A Shore Thing. (With their release of Family Ties, I’ve been waiting to see these songs performed live – I wasn’t disappointed!) Jonathan asked the audience to, “Think of what your life would be like without Jesus,” in introduction to Had It Not Been, an old ballad featuring Jordan. (Many artists have recorded this song over the years, but if there were a voice that fits it to a T, its Jordan’s – he makes it look so effortless!) “Because of His sacrifice, one of these days I’m going to be taken out of this place … and you know what I’m going to do?” Jonathan asked – The title of the next song was the answer, I’m Going To Get Carried Away! Half way through the song Jonathan invited everyone to clap, everyone did so, and in addition to keeping the beat, the house stood in a standing ovation. After that song, Jonathan came forward and introduced himself and his son. “What a blessing to be in a church tonight that has some fire in it!” said Jonathan “We are Wilburn and Wilburn, and no, we are not a Law Firm!” The crowd liked that joke! After introducing himself and Jordan, he used this neat phrase, (with a little play on words), to introduce his solo, I Can’t Even Walk – “If I lift you up, I’ll let you down, but if Jesus lifts you up, you’ll never be let down.” (Beautifully said) By the end of the song they had the audience singing along with them! Next, Jonathan looked to a boy on the front row and said, “We’re going to sing this one for you buddy.” A Diane Wilkinson song from their new Cd called, Devil Be Gone, was the number, and it featured Jordan. This up-beat Western style song had everyone clapping, and at the bridge Jonathan reminded us that, “The Bible says that at the name of Jesus the Devil has to flee.”
Afterwards, Jonathan mentioned that it’s good to sing to people that are excited. “Sometimes, they (audiences) look at us like a mule looking at a new gate,” Jonathan stated, then went on to explain exactly what that meant, “Some of you young folks don’t know what a mule looking at a new gate is; well back home, the farmers would put in a new gate to get into another field or something and they have an old mule in there, and when the old mule sees the ‘new gate’ he stops and thinks, ‘Is that supposed to be there?’…We get up here and get to shouting and singing songs about Jesus and the Devil be gone, and guess what we get?” (Jonathan made a face resembling a mule looking at a new gate! – everyone laughs.) Jonathan lowered his voice in a true storytelling way and kept the “mule face” on, and said, “I don’t know if they’re supposed to be up there or not.” Reverting back to his “Jonathan” voice, he continued, “I’ve had folks come up to me and say, ‘We don’t act like that at my church.’” (When he said that, the lady behind me shouted, “WE DO!”) 😀 Jonathan went on, “Well, guess what? We ain’t at your church tonight! … How many of you ever stayed at a hotel? That’s a dumb question, ya’ll probably have stayed at one! Do ya’ll know what a ‘do not disturb’ sign is? You know, there are Christians that come into the house of God, and they have their ‘do not disturb’ signs on. You know, if you put that ‘do not disturb’ sign outside your door, they won’t knock on your door, they won’t call your room, they will leave you alone. You put that ‘do not disturb’ sign on your heart and the Holy Spirit, He won’t knock on your door, He won’t call you up, He’ll leave you alone. Folks, I’m going to ask you to do something – just take that ‘do not disturb’ sign off your heart. Let the Holy Spirit do a work in your heart tonight. You’ll leave here different than you came…and you’ll thank God for it.”
I loved that illustration from Jonathan! How true it is. After his story, he had Jordan come sing a song that tells what the cross means to him – A Cross Became My Saving Grace. The father and son team pulled up two stools and sang this ballad seated. Following, Jonathan introduced a special song called Mama, saying, “This is a little song I want to do and dedicate to all the mothers.” At the turn-around Jonathan prompted, “Let’s just give all the mothers a hand.” Everyone clapped. “What a wonderful mother, the mother that Jesus had. She went through pain and suffering, outcast from her family.” As Jordan came to sing Mary Did You Know, Jonathan mentioned the song is in perfect timing for the season we’re going in to. The music, lyrics and vocals send chills down my spine every time I hear it! A big “Amen” followed!!! “Amen!” Jonathan agreed, “And when He comes back…I’m going to fly away.” If you guessed When He Calls Me I’ll Fly Away was next, you’re right! An instant standing ovation! “I like what that song says, I’m going to keep walking until He calls my name,” Jonathan pointed out, “Ya’ll are fun to sing to! How many would stay here until midnight if we were to keep singing?” A thunderous applause and shouts of agreement echoed around the sanctuary in response.
“We sang over in Dyersburg, TN this morning for ‘old timers’ day at a church,” Jonathan began, “I sang in a pair of overalls, and you know what I found out? God can bless in a pair of overalls just as good as He can in a suit coat. It’s not what’s on the outside. It’s not how you cut your hair, it’s not how you look, but it’s what you have in the inside. It’s not what you think, it’s not anything you can say, ‘look at this TV,’ the only thing that people have to look at is how you conduct your life … day after day after day. I heard a song the other day that said, ‘does your bumper sticker reflect your life?’ You’ve got these bumper stickers that say ‘I love Jesus’ and ‘John 3:16’ – when people get out of the car they know you’re a Christian, can they tell it by how you live?”
Jonathan continued to use a different kind of word picture to lead into the next song. He began talking about what it was like to visit his Grandma’s house. He said, “You didn’t go to Grandma’s house and not eat – she’d be offended. If you asked for country style ham, she’d say, ‘Now, you know I have country ham.’ If you asked for homemade biscuits, she’d say, ‘You know I have homemade biscuits’ … and if you didn’t eat what she fixed you – she’d be offended. You know what? I believe when the Holy Spirit is here tonight, and if you don’t pull up to the table and feast on the good things of the Lord, I believe God is offended.” Jonathan encouraged us to “feast on the blessing that God was setting in front of us,” and asked us to listen to a beautiful song from their new Cd, called Jesus Will. This one featured Jordan also, and he put a lot of emotion into it.
At this time in the concert, Jonathan began telling everyone about their new Family Ties Cd, and how Jordan and he
have been singing together for 9 months already. He explained how he went off the road for three years, and what caused him to come back on the road with his son. After singing on the road for a substantial amount of time, Jonathan decided he wanted a “normal life” – he wanted to sleep in his own bed every night, have a “real job” and so forth. So he did! Then, one day God tapped him on the shoulder at work and said, “Enough of this playing around – get back out there and do what I’ve called you to!” He continued, sharing how at that moment he tried to bargain with God and tell Him how to do this! He asked the Lord to give him a quartet – the Lord said no. So, Jonathan said, “Well, I like that trio Greater Vision, and the Booth Brothers and Karen Peck and New River – God, give me a trio.” The Lord said no again. Then he realized he was supposed to sing with Jordan, his son. After he made this decision, a person called him up on the phone, and after Jonathan mentioned that he was going back out on the road, the person said they would (and they did) send him his salary for a whole month. On a Facebook post, a guy from a sound equipment store messaged him and asked if they needed equipment. The guy said, “Come down and pick out what you need.” After these examples, Jonathan exclaimed, “I’m not bragging…well, I am! I’m bragging on God’s provision! – Jesus Will!” There wasn’t a more perfect example to lead into Wilburn and Wilburn’s radio single, I Ain’t Givin’ Up On Jesus. Jordan sang this one, and there is no way to describe what happened at that church than to just say the house came down! Many were shouting, “Thank you Jesus!” – others, such as “Hallelujah” and more accompanied it. The next song Jonathan introduced with, “Here’s a little Bluegrass for ya’!” The song was You’ll Still be There. They shared some fun antics on this one! Afterwards, Jonathan looked at his watch and said, “I bet ya’ll are saying, ‘I hope he’s going to get us out of here in time to see St. Louis play.’ A lady from the audience exclaimed, “They won’t win anyway!” (Everyone laughed) Jonathan looked at that lady and asked, “What did you say? They won’t win?” Then, laughed along with everyone else.
Jonathan began to share that he received a letter from a Grandmother saying how thankful she is that his son, (Jordan) is involved in SGM. She told how she has been trying to get her 16 year old son interested in Gospel Music, but he just wasn’t. One day, while driving her grandson to the Mall, she put on a Wilburn and Wilburn Cd (seeing as she had a “captive” audience!) , and now, she said she’s going to have to buy another Cd because she can’t get hers back!
Jonathan opened the altar during the next song, When God Ran, and many came down to pray or just lift their hands in praise. Once the song ended, Jonathan sang Through It All and kept the atmosphere focused on no one but the Lord Jesus. The night ended too soon, but alas, their final song followed, and could very well be the most important one of the night – it was Family Ties (and is the title song from their new project). Jonathan was featured on the verses and on the chorus he and Jordan put their arms around each other, illustrating the theme of the song.
Conclusion: I can’t brag enough on how great this concert was! – So I’m going to let someone else do it. Immediately after the closing song Family Ties, the pastor came up and said these very words, “I can’t remember the last time that I’ve been able to sit in an atmosphere like this one here,” then turning to Jonathan and Jordan, who were then sitting on the front row, said, “you have blessed this pastor, in this church.” I must agree! Everyone walked out of that building blessed beyond measure. Not just the singing, but the personalities, the encouragement they offered along with the music – all of these combined together for a very special evening. I’d dare say that Jonathan preached just as much as he and Jordan sang! He had something spiritual to say about every song they sang. There is nothing more encouraging to me, than to see artists get so excited about Who and what they are singing about…that singing alone isn’t enough. I love it when the singer expounds upon the song, and explains what it means to them. It adds character and meaning to the song. The listener not only gets to view the lyrics through their own experiences, but also through the eyes of the artists, if you will. Thanks guys, for giving of your “normal” lives to go out and minister to those all over the country and keep encouraging us to never give up on Jesus…cause He ain’t giving up on us!!!
“There is nothing that takes the place of the real thing – what God has in store for you.” – Jonathan Wilburn
If you would like to have Wilburn & Wilburn minister at your church, contact Michael Davis at the Dominion Agency: 828-454-5900
Purchase Wilburn & Wilburn’s brand new project, Family Ties here -> http://www.wilburn2.com