Devotion music video brings young people into mission
An impromptu performance by Devotion in Niger. Photo by SIM France.
The challenge of inspiring the next generation into God’s global mission has been faced head-on by our team at SIM France.
They have collaborated with a young urban music band to produce a song and a series of videos, which are now being promoted widely on social media
The band, Devotion, were formed by a group of young people who met in the youth group of an evangelical Paris suburb church. All are French, but come from very different, multi-cultural backgrounds.
They have built a dedicated following among young Christians in France and have more than 30,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel. They are known for being very authentic, very profound and for the way their lyrics reflect biblical truth very faithfully.
Vincent Wastable, head of communications at SIM France, explains: “I’ve known them for some years because two of their members, Jonathan Vanzo and Naomie Michel, went on short-term trips to Benin with us a few years ago.
“I’d been thinking for a long time about how we could connect better with younger people, Gen Z especially. Many build their identity through social media, by watching influencers on the channels. And music is very important to them – wherever you look, young people always have headphones or buds on!”
Vincent approached Devotion in 2020 to see if they would be interested in collaborating. To his joy, they were! They began thinking about a new song for the project, working closely with Vincent to ensure their intended lyrics reflected the reality of global mission today.
The result is the song Aller, which is French for ‘Go’.
A key part of the project was an associated video series, for which the band needed to travel to Africa. That was delayed by a year because of Covid-19, but they eventually went to Niger at the end of 2022.
Vincent said: “A couple of the band are freelance videographers, so they were happy to shoot and edit the footage.
“They spent two weeks in Niger, working with some of our SIM colleagues there, and it really opened their eyes to what mission is about.
“They produced a music video of the song for social media and a series of five videos which go into more detail and include interviews with some of our workers, staff members and the SIM France director Andre Tousch.”
The song was launched in March and the video clip has now been viewed more than 20,000 times – far more than any other content SIM France has ever produced. As a direct result, Vincent and his team were able to host a webinar for 15 young people who wanted to know more about mission and how they might be involved.
The band has just produced a short video trailer to use at summer events and festivals, encouraging inquirers to scan a QR code and so view the song video in full.
Vincent said: “It’s exciting that people are engaging with the content. We’ve had great feedback from other mission agencies and we hope it will help others to connect better with the younger generation.
“We’d love to work more with the band, but we will leave that in God’s hands for now.”
•For the momentum and excitement created by the launch of the song and the video to carry on and even build as it gets more and more exposure on social media channels.
•That the project would inspire more young French-speaking people into mission and that Vincent and the SIM France team would see visible fruit from their work among the churches they serve.
•For the project to have a ripple effect among churches and young people across the French-speaking world, far beyond what Devotion or SIM France could ever have imagined when they first started working on it.