A team of Calvin students is organizing with Circuit Riders, a ministry of Youth With A Mission, to bring their Carry The Love tour back to Calvin in spring 2022.
Circuit Riders is a Gen-Z-powered and Gen-Z-targeted movement that blends the historical legacy of 19th century travelling revival ministers with the media skills and personal style of a Vans commercial. The group describes themselves as “modern day missionaries,” willing to do outreach everywhere from high schools to abroad to their own backyards.
CR has been partnering with Calvin students to host annual Carry The Love tour events since 2016, according to junior Joel VanZanten. CTL tours involve CR teams travelling to college campuses and high schools across North America, typically from January through May. CR is based in Huntington Beach, California, where their TikTok-like Media House hosts student interns. CR produces podcasts and other media that cover a wide variety of issues but have a shared underlying commitment to youth revival.
In 2019, a CTL service on campus drew a crowd of about 200 students and featured impassioned worship experiences.
Last year, CR transitioned to mainly online events and services. They are planning an in-person live tour in 2022, however, and that tour will include a stop at Calvin.
VanZanten, a pre-med student, told Chimes that Carry The Love “is designed to bring the gospel to college campuses across the U.S., and to bring students involved in ministry in many different circles on college campuses together, to join students together to make way for the Lord to move on their campus.”
VanZanten attended a conference CR recently held in Grand Rapids and said, “It is clear that they care about empowering believers to serve others and share the gospel through word and deed.”
Fellow student Alexandra Wagner is part of the Ministry Leadership Cohort at Calvin, as well as part of the Met by Love team. Wagner attended a summer program offered by the Circuit Riders and said she “witness[ed] their genuine desires to teach students about Jesus. They were genuine in their worship and honest in their messages.”
VanZanten has found faith communities at Calvin via Gospel Choir, chapels, Bible studies and Met By Love, and said he senses a growing “hunger” for God on campus. “Helping lead for CTL has been exciting,” he said. The Calvin leadership team includes students of a variety of years and majors, with some deeply involved in ministry and others having no ministry experience at all.
According to Wagner, Carry The Love “is an opportunity for more students to learn about the relationship we are able to have with Jesus and how freeing a life with Jesus is. It’s incredibly important because oftentimes people will go their whole lives knowing who Jesus is but never knowing him at any deeper level and Jesus desires us to know him more.”