Ichthus 2008

I drove to Wilmore, Kentucky Thursday afternoon to meet the youth group (and my wife) at Ichthus.  Ichthus is a Christian music festival that has been hosted by Asbury College since 1970.  There are about 20,000 people attending the event this year.  Like many other large music festivals, you sleep in tent city at night and reside in the venue all day listening to music and speakers.  There are four stages at this year’s show.  We had 34 in our group (26 youth and 8 adults).


Thursday, 6/12/2008

I arrived at 10:00pm, so I missed all of the acts on Thursday.  The youth said that Skillet put on a good show.


Friday, 6/13/2008

Justin Lookadoo – Amanda wanted me to listen to Justin Lookadoo with her.  This is the first time I have heard him speak.  There is an edge to his message that most youth and young adults need to hear –


  • Girls like guys that actually do something, so guys need to quit playing video games and start getting a life.
  • You are going to get treated like you are dressed.  Girls can not be selective at who they want to “notice” them when they wear clothes that accentuate their goods.  You will have guys from age 8 to 88 staring and maybe creeping you out.  Guys can’t go into a job interview bustin slack in their pants with a hat on backwards.  You will get treated like a punk kid if you dress like one.


Matthew Sleeth – Dr. Sleeth lives in Wilmore, KY and is a visible part of this festival.  His daughter, Emma, goes to Asbury college.  Dr. Sleeth’s book Serve God, Save the Planet is the best book that I have read on creation care and why Christians have to lead this cause.  His book presents Biblical evidence of our mandate to care for the Earth.  He breaks the current creation care problems down into many different areas (water pollution, energy efficiency, technology, air quality, toxins, …) and describes the situation without being preachy or political.  Anyway, he was a breakout session speaker.  His message was content taken from his book, good but nothing special. The Q&A afterwards was really good.  I also spent about two hours Friday and another two on Saturday volunteering with the recycling group that was sorting plastic bottles and cans from the trash.  Its amazing how much bottled liquid we waste.  I would say on average, a plastic bottled had 20% of the liquid still in the bottle in the trash (water, soda, etc).


Philmont – Great band I saw at one of the smaller stages.  They sound like a mix of Jimmy Eat World, Blink 182, and the Get Up Kids.  Pretty energetic sound that doesn’t sound manufactured in a garage.  I bought their EP and listen to it while driving home. 


Saturday, 6/14/2008


I wondered around the venue quite a Saturday morning and afternoon.  Some of the shows that kept my attention include


Building 429


Family Force 5 – Wow!  First time I had seen these guys.  Pretty heavy music (picture Linkin Park, White Stripes, Beastie Boys), and the crowd was into it.  I in the middle of the crowd bouncing like a fool.

David Crowder Band – I really enjoy David Crowder.  They performed for almost 1.5 hours.  Great mix of music from the latest cd and their older stuff.  It was cool singing lyrics with 20,000 others in the crowd. 

Casting Crowns – Good show.  I only know a couple of their popular songs.  They closed on Saturday night.


I have to admit I was pretty surprised by some of the bands.  I typically do not listen to Christian radio stations, the radio music sounds too fabricated.  Some of the bands at the festival were really talented.  The lyrics were a little more sophisticated than just trying say “Jesus” more than 12 times a minute.  I will probably download some of the music I heard over the weekend.


Other notes of interest:

  • The seven year locusts hatched during the festival, the bugs were everywhere.  Three of our youth ate one on a dare.  Scanning the crowd, it looked like people were breaking into a new spastic dance trying to swat them off their bodies  It was a pretty funny site.  One lead singer for one of the bands kept screaming like a girl in the middle of his songs every time one landed on him.  Funny!
  • Family Force 5 had a roadie that danced during every song.  Not, bouncing like we were, but a strange kind of interpretive dance – to really heavy music.  He was very strange.  Even funnier was the young lady that was “signing” the lyrics for the hearing impaired.  The energy of the band had here bouncing all around, while trying to sign the lyrics.  I still don’t know how you sign screaming.
  • A very bad storm blew in Friday night.  Rain, wind, lightning, thunder for a solid 4 hours.  We left the festival and ate dinner at a Pizza Hut.  It was still raining when we finished so we went and hung out at Wal-Mart.  After the rain stopped, we went back to the camp site and found out all of our tents leaked soaking all our sleeping bags and clothes.  It was almost midnight and some of the youth started breaking down (sleep deprived after spending the week performing missions work in North Carolina). The youth leader told us all to get a dry pair of clothes and get in the van.  We drove to Lexington and slept in a hotel for the evening.  Excellent decision.
  • For anyone going on a mission trip in the near future, remember to pack rope and duct tape.  Two utility items that you will use at some point.
  • We really have a great youth group!  The kids know how to have a good time, but also know where the limits are.  I really enjoy spending time with them.  The leadership is also very special.  Tony Akers and Amanda (ok, so I’m biased here) really care for these kids and do an incredible job leading them.  


Filed under church, Missions, music

15 responses to “Ichthus 2008

  1. Don’t forget (which we did) the important lesson Steven learned at Boy Scout camp — Pack clothes in large plastic ziploc bags in case your tent gets flooded!

    Glad you were there with them. Laura was pumped when she got home!

  2. Melissa

    I totally agree with your comments about Philmont. They are awesome! I have their EP and can’t wait until the full-length CD comes out. Their myspace page is really cool too…lots of funny videos!

  3. sigmugi

    Sherill, That is some great wisdom that you could have instilled in Laura pre-Ichthus. I’m glad she was pumped when she got home, I was exhausted! I had a great time.

  4. sigmugi

    Melissa, Did you see them at Ichthus? Keep me informed on their full length release – I think its a while off.

  5. James

    Larry, sounds like a blast. I don’t know how you keep up the energy!

    I was wondering what your general thoughts were on the crowd at this festival. Oshkosh, WI hosts a very large Christian music festival, which I never attended, but would hear that the crowd was often overboard in their dress/appearance, as if they were trying too hard to not be the Christian stereotype.

    Also, I’m enjoying Sleeth’s book. While I feel that many of his ideas seem so extreme, I definitely feel like he has challenged me to take a close look at how we live as a family. I think this would be a great book for a small group discussion.

  6. Eating locusts??? What kind of church are you… wait, I mean- are WE???

  7. sigmugi

    James, I am confused by your question. What is the Christian stereotype dress that they tried to avoid? I didn’t notice anything too far out of the norm of clothing for youth these days. Most people wore shorts and T-shirts. Not too many sleeveless tops or short shorts. You had your share of punk/goth looking kids, but they even looked fairly normal.

    What chapters in Sleeth’s book are you liking the most?

  8. sigmugi


    We had heavy rain and locusts – the first two plagues. If I saw frogs falling from the sky, I was out of there.

    Mayo was the first to eat one after I told the youth that morning that the future food supply was bugs and that locusts had one of the highest protein densities (I have no idea if this is true). Later Logan and Davis ate one at the same time. Typical male high school/college activity. Actually I’m quite proud of them – I would have done it at their age (and probably now if I would have been challenged).

  9. James

    Larry, I guess I’m curious about the bigger picture of appearance/dress. Like Justin said, you’re going to get treated like you dress/look often times. Is this right…I don’t know. I think it’s acceptable to celebrate individuality and express yourself through clothes, but at some point appearance does have an impact on how others will treat you. As Christians should we look a certain way? Should we not pierce our bodies, paint our skin or color our hair? I haven’t worn a tie to church in 10 years. In fact, I’ve worn shorts whenever warm enough outside. Does God care? Does this change His love for me and my worship of Him? For me personally, I’m a conservative when it comes to dress code, but I try to not let other’s appearance effect how I treat them.

    As for Sleeth, I think the chapter on rest is the one that I want to employ the most in my life. As a teacher, I constantly spent Sunday’s stressed over what I would do the next week. Saturday was usually my day of no work, at least school work. Still, this didn’t seem to fit with my desire. I want Sunday to be a day of rest because it seems to fit with Sunday morning church. It’s still a work in progress.

    I also want to dabble in providing some of our own food. Jen has informed me this is called a farmette (sp?). I’d love to have a nice big garden and even some chickens. Not sure if I’m ready for a beef cow or dairy cow.

    I just finished the chapter on population. I’ve heard the arguments for birth control, but I never really thought about it from the other end…death. We use modern medicine to extend life, is that really any different from planning pregnancy. I don’t believe so.

    BTW, I posted on Weekend in Vegas.

  10. James

    I finished the last chapter of Serve God, Save the Planet. I have to be honest, I was a little thrown off and confused by the story about wanting a dog, but deciding that it wouldn’t bring him closer to God. I’m sure there’s more to the story, but the whole book was about creation care and it seems that adopting a dog and providing a loving home would fit into that picture. It was just a couple of paragraphs, but it just didn’t seem to fit.

  11. sigmugi

    James, I can see you taking issue with that passage. In my opinion, he tries to make too many points in one paragraph and loses them all.

    – Our pets are fed better than a lot or people throughout the world.
    – Pets are a big responsibility that may keep you from doing the things you did when you didn’t have pets (similar to children). You have a logistics tail that you have to consider in all your decisions.
    – Sometimes people use God to rationalize their desires to possess things. When a pet is really just a possession, it probably better you don’t get one.

    A lot for one paragraph. In the end, giving an orphaned animal a home is a good thing. I hope this passage doesn’t taint the entire book for you. The invitational message to imagine a world that encourages you to consume less instead of fighting to maintain our inefficient (wasteful) ways is very attractive to me.

    Next reading assignment: “The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture- How Media shapes Faith, the Gospel, and Church” by Shane Hipps. Excellent book!

  12. Hi, my name is Dustin and I work with a Christian environmental organization called Christians in Conservation: A Rocha USA. Since you mentioned that you helped with the recycling at Ichthus, you may also remember me as one of the volunteers there–I have a beard and was wearing a blue bandanna. Anyway, I saw your post about Dr. Matthew Sleeth, and I thought that you might like to know that our organization sponsors him as a “creation care evangelist.” We would love for you to check us out at our website, en.arocha.org/usa. You might also be interested the website for Dr. Sleeth’s book “Serve God, Save the Planet,” which can be found at http://www.servegodsavetheplanet.org.

    Also, we occasionally ask those who post extremely favorable reviews of Dr. Sleeth’s book to repost those reviews on amazon.com, cbd.com, or any other on-line bookstores they might have accounts with. If you have accounts with any of those sites, would you be willing to post your review on them? I know that Dr. Sleeth will be very grateful for your support if you are able to do so.

  13. sigmugi

    Dustin, We met in the bottle sorting area. I am the guy from Huntsville. I believe that you are from Huntsville as well. I enjoyed working with you guys. What would it take to get Dr. Sleeth to come down south to speak? I will write a review on Amazon.

  14. from what I once read, the dancing guy from FF5 uses the interpretive dancing as a cover up…… he plugs in wires that get torn out during their shows and fixes other broken things…how hilarious!

  15. tasha

    guys i’ve been going to ichthus since i was 10 one of the first things i learned since i’ve been going is to pack all clothing,towels,makeup,…etc… in a large storage crate.

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