JULY 27-30, 2023 – The Old Orchard Beach pier ministry is an extremely special opportunity to share the love of God with people in a unique way. The variety show that was put on at the bottom of the pier in August 2023 featured music, dancing, magic, and more, but most importantly was all connected through the shared desire of the performers to accomplish two goals: to provide people with a positive interaction with the Salvation Army, and the opportunity to encounter Christ.
One of the groups to perform at the pier this year was Unbound, the USA East Territory’s territorial worship band. The group played 2 sets in the show, and never failed to attract a crowd by performing well-known songs from today and decades past. Unbound’s participation in the pier show was a highlight and served an essential purpose in the efforts of the ministry as a whole. The ability to draw people in to listen, sing, and dance to songs they enjoy allowed other facets of the ministry to impact people to their maximum capacity. Volun- teers, ARC representatives, prayer tents, and more were out amongst the crowd of people and were able to offer a connec- tion to the Salvation Army and to Jesus through positive inter- actions. The group was able to have an opportunity to connect with crowd members themselves after both musical sets, which was an intentional effort to further enhance the minis- try aspect of the show.
The pier show was carefully put together to target certain audiences at various times throughout the night – the presen- tation moved from a kid-oriented show early in the evening when families were still out, to a show geared towards adults later into the night. Unbound was able to help facilitate this as well, as the first set featured songs from today’s current Top 40 charts, and the second set was full of songs primarily from the ‘80s. Not only was the group conscious about performing songs that would appeal to the demographic most likely to be listening, but Unbound also chose songs that had messages that could relate to the mission of the Salvation Army. While the songs and the music appealed to people because they knew and enjoyed them, the group took this as an opportunity to share about the joy, love, trust, and hope of Jesus through popular songs. Unbound also was able to connect the music to the mission of the ARC, featuring songs tha discussed leaving unhealthy relationships, and recovering from bad life situations. One of the most powerful examples of the effectiveness of this strategy came after the band finished a two-song number that discussed walking away from relationships that can hold you back, where three separate women came forward seeking help escaping situations of domestic violence. Unbound, and the pier ministry as a whole, was able to truly make a strong positive impact in the community of Old Orchard Beach and beyond.