Becoming the person that God created you to be; that is the main theme behind RUSH 2013, which will be held at The Rock Ranch May 3-4, 2013. The theme for the weekend focuses on the Bible verse Ephesians 2:10 which says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This year’s event promises to bring several great artists and speakers, including David Crowder, Switchfoot, Kristian Stanfill, Tony Nolan and Brad Jones; not to mention everyone’s favorite rednecks, Willie Robertson and Uncle Si from A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.”
According to Marc Pritchett, founder of RUSH Ministries, Willie, Si and the rest of the Robertson family members are true examples of being who God created them to be; which is one of the reasons they reached out to the devout Christians to see if they would be available for the event.
“When you take the story of the Robertsons and “Duck Dynasty,” they are just everyday people who did what they were called to do and did it so well they became millionaires,” said Pritchett. “Their show is a story of normal folks who live their lives and share their faith. People can really make a connection to them.”
It is that connection that the ministry hopes to use as a tool to reach those who might never attend church or hear the Word of God, which is the basis of RUSH (Reaching Unchurched Students for Him). Each year those who work to coordinate the weekend try to find a way to tap into what is going on in the world to be able to use it as a tool for sharing their beliefs and there has been no bigger explosion in the entertainment business in the past year than that of “Duck Dynasty.” When the show premiered in 2012 it quickly became A&E’s most watched series, but has since skyrocketed to the number one unscripted television show on cable.
“Our hope has always been to try to stay sensitive to what is going on in the world and God has always been faithful to bring us the right people,” he said.
With that in mind, Pritchett took a leap of faith and contacted the family’s representative to make an offer for the weekend about seven months ago. He knew that it was a long shot, however in a mere two weeks they had accepted and the planning began. Pritchett feels those at RUSH will be getting the best of both worlds when they hear the men’s testimonies, due to their vastly different personalities. Willie, who serves as the CEO of Duck Commander (the family’s business) tries to keep everyone in line, while Si is everyone’s favorite crazy uncle whose antics often instigate the goofing off. He also noted that Willie’s wife Kori will be coming to the event and the rest of the Robertson clan could show up as well.
In addition to enjoying the weekend, RUSH Ministries is asking everyone to bring in their old cell phones, regardless of their condition, to be donated to their Cell Phones 4 Life campaign. The mission is to refurbish phones to sell and uses the funding to help educate, promote advocacy and restore victims of sexual crimes through the building of safe houses in Georgia, the United States and abroad. The group that brings in the most cell phones for the cause will have the opportunity to meet one of the artists of their choice who is coming to the event.
This year marks the ninth year of RUSH and record numbers of attendees (between 6,000-8,000) are expected with seven states being represented so far and a group coming all the way from Toronto, Canada. In addition to the speakers and concerts, there will be several games such as paintball, dodge ball and volleyball and a fireworks show at end of the weekend. Pritchett noted that the weekend would not be possible if it were not for the generosity of the sponsors or the help of the 250 volunteers.
“If it weren’t for those people, we wouldn’t even be able to break even. “It still amazes me that in times like this people are still willing to give. We couldn’t do it without them.”
There is still time to register to attend RUSH 2013 at The Rock Ranch. The cost for the entire weekend is $50 per person, which includes your conference backpack, journal, all sessions, concerts and games and there is graduated pricing for those coming only one day of the event. You can also register at the gate the day of the event, but are not guaranteed to get all the supplies or make it into the ranch due to the high number of attendees. For more information visit www.rushministries.com