Saturday, May 31, 2008

David Pierce at CheckList today!

Well, as antecipated, David Pierce blog tour happens today here, please find below some prior questions I have sent him, feel free to post more questions to him at comments, remember though that New Zeland hour is the opposite time now

Luis Fernando - As you have been here in Brazil, even recently at Tribal Generation, what kind of idea you have of the overall church here and some efforts to build a relevant witness to our generation?

David Pierce - First of all, I want thank you for having me on your blog, Luis. It would be great to see you when I am in Sao Paulo next October.

From my limited experience in Brazil, I have the impression that there are a lot of great churches reaching into the emergent generation. In fact, I think Brazil is a leader in that area in many ways.

It was great for me to be at Tribal Generation (along with Sandro Baggio and Aaron) and to see all the different ministries that are happening in Brazil and South America.

Luis Fernando - With this kind of itinerant ministry around the world, I imagine you might go to places you will never have the opportunity to return again, how can you assure the fruit of your witness are having the proper follow up on evangelism or discipleship?

David Pierce - It’s my desire that everyone we reach as a result of our evangelistic efforts are equipped to become mature enduring mature members of the Body of Christ. That is why we are extremely committed to working with local churches and ministry partners to ensure that new believers receive proper follow up and ongoing discipleship. When necessary, we work to develop new churches because it is common for us to ministry in areas where they are very few or no churches at all.

However, I disagree with the idea out there that unless you can ensure that direct follow up will occur, that you shouldn’t proclaim Jesus. All day long, people are constantly hearing lies, through the media, newspapers or where ever they go. So if I have the opportunity to proclaim the truth, I not only should, I have the responsibility to do so.

For example, one day I was listening to the radio, and a well-known Christian band was being interviewed on a popular station. This band had achieved considerable success in the secular music scene. The interviewer asked the singer of the band where he got his inspiration. It was as though he was setting him up to talk about his faith in God. The singer in the band responded by saying, “I know some people would say we’re a Christian band, but we’re not.” Then he said he got his inspiration from different social issues and life experiences. And as he spoke, it was as if I heard a voice saying, “If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my father in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).

Luis Fernando - When training other people to build similar ministries around the world, what factors do you have in mind to pass them that will be important to nurture in their home places?

David Pierce - Over the years, I have learned many principles (often the hard way!) about how to effectively reach the emergent youth culture, but I think one of the most important principles is the idea that you can not be impressed with the “scene” God is calling you to.

The “scene” devastates people. Jesus wasn’t afraid to confront human culture, because he knew how often it was sick and destructive. He healed on the Sabbath, he talked to a Samaritan woman in a public place, he invited tax collectors to join him, he ate with immoral people, he offended Jews by not following their laws, he said that he did not belong to the world’s system but came to bring another Kingdom, and he told his followers that they did not belong to this world. Jesus spoke in the languages of the cultures he was trying to reach, but he did not identify with cultural stupidity, confusion, pride, selfishness, injustice, or immorality. Jesus ate with people, loved them, healed them, fed them, used their symbols to communicate who God is, but he didn’t refrain from telling them the truth.

So don’t think you have to compromise with the scene. Be like Jesus, and confront it. This is why I refuse to say, for example, that I am a Christian punk, even though I have spent years in the middle of punk culture. How unbelievable is it to link Jesus with anything like that—a man-made scene that destroys people? I am a follower of Jesus, not a Christian punk. NO LONGER MUSIC has also played in some of the most famous gothic clubs in South America, but that hasn’t made me a Christian goth. I am a follower of Jesus, and that is all. I influence the scene, not vice versa. You need to get out of the scene. Jesus is the one you need to follow.
It seems that sometimes we think that being part of the scene makes us radical. But that just buys into the idea that the scene is more powerful than Jesus. Jesus is the true radical.

At Steiger, our vision is to train, equip and release people around the world to reach out to secular youth culture in urban areas and to raise up evangelistic artists who would impact the trend setters in the fields of art and media with the message of the Cross.

We have a 3-month school in New Zealand every year to give training for those interested in reaching the emergent youth and in our last school we had seven people from Brazil. We also have an Association of Evangelistic Artists that is intended to challenge and equip artists and musicians to boldly take the gospel message outside of the church.

Check out our website – www.steiger.org – for more information about Steiger or check out - http://timetoact.steiger.org - for more information about No Longer Music.

I would like to post here a question posted by TallSkinnyKiwi where you can know better what happens at No Longer Music Presentation:

Andrew Jones - How do you describe No Longer Music?

David Pierce - In our show, we start the concert with a lot of craziness that has no real point to it; there are just a lot of bizarre things happening on stage, along with video projections, fire and other special effects. For example, during one song, our base player is strung up by his feet and plays a song upside down.

We do this to develop a relationship with the audience; it shows them that we don’t take ourselves too seriously and gives them a chance to dance and go crazy.

But in the second half, it gets serious. We start the second section by portraying a girl being raped behind a shadowbox in order to convey a sense of the world’s injustice. We use such an intense symbol, because the reality is that people are raped by the world. We do not do anything obscene, but the portrayal of what happens is still very strong, because we want to show people what the world really is like. After that, I pick the girl up and carry her forward, toward the audience. The audience does not know yet that I represent Jesus in the concert. Then I start saying, “I can’t protect you when you’re not by my side… I can’t keep you safe… Don’t hate your life!”

The whole point of this section is to show how passionate God is and how upset he is about our pain and suffering. The concert goes on to show how I die for the girl. Many people still do not realize what is going on, perhaps because I have not used the words “God” or “Jesus,” even forty minutes into the show. We had the crazy part in the beginning, and then it slowly turned into a serious story, but not one time have we said anything blatantly Christian. The reason is that we gear the show toward secular people, so I need to explain to them who Jesus is before I start using Christian words. If I say, “God” or “Jesus” at the beginning of the concert, they will say to themselves, “Oh, I know what this is all about, and I’m not interested.”

Typical Christian words will turn people away immediately, because they have a false idea of Jesus in their head, and the Jesus they reject, you would reject also. As our show progresses and I am killed on stage in place of this girl, I end up covered in stage blood and am put in a clear coffin. Then two people blow fire over the coffin, and, amidst a lot of smoke and light effects, I come up out of it. A lot of people in the audience finally start to get it at this point. Up until then, most just think that it is a crazy concert. But now, the different aspects of the second half start to come together in their minds.

So finally, it clicks in people’s minds that we are talking about Jesus. That is when they start to react. People frequently get really worked up in the audience, especially when I come out of the coffin, because that is typically when God’s power shows up. He comes in such a real way that people feel it. They often say that they feel something like energy, light, heat, electricity, or a life force, because they do not know how else to describe the Holy Spirit.

By this point, the show has lasted almost an hour, and I still haven’t said, “God” or “Jesus.” And I still don’t. Instead, I walk over to the girl and say, “You don’t have to listen to lies anymore.” Then I say it again, “You don’t have to listen to lies anymore! I died in your place. We can be together again.” We embrace, and I say, “You can find your life again.” Then I turn to the audience and tell them, too, “You can find your life again!”

I say, “The world wants to put you in a cage like a rat. Like a rat on a wheel. I don’t want to live in a rat cage. I don’t want to die in a rat cage. I’m so sick of the rat cage. Sick of the rat cage lies. Sick of the rat cage jokes. It’s time to change the road you’re on. It’s time to meet the ultimate life force.”

I don’t use religious words. I don’t even say, “God.” I say, “It’s time to meet the ultimate life force—the one who loved us all along, the one who breaks all the chains. And his name is Jesus.” We have just done an hour show, and the last word I say is, “Jesus.” Because of the way we design the show, many people are thinking, I’m not supposed to like Jesus, but I like him, and I don’t know what to do. I see the truth in this message, and I’m touched, but I’m supposed to be against Jesus. It is confusing and powerful, because people finally get a true picture of who Jesus really is. And thousands of people have come to Jesus at our concerts, because they have seen a true picture of God.

If you want to see a video of what I’m talking about, you can watch this video.

Luís Fernando - David, I am extremely honored to receive you at my blog here, surely I am looking forward to meet you personally here in October. The very nature of your answers show how you are commited to mission and this makes me learn a lot with you. I am posting part of our interview in my Portuguese blog, and I will transfer comments from there to here.

Tag - ; ;

6 comments:

Luis F. Batista said...

Here is a question from Paul Abspoel, from Netherlands:
Steiger International and NO LONGER MUSIC - that must be referring to YwaM Amsterdam! So this is my question: is there still a connection (must be!) with Amsterdam / the Netherlands?

I remember NLM performing in a well known Dutch TV talk show years ago: 'Sonja'. What a lot of noise these guys made, ha ha! But how funny it was to see cool Christians playing on national tv and making such an impact!

David Pierce said...

Hi Paul,

Well, Steiger is now an independent ministry (www.steiger.org), but we are still very much connected with YWAM and with many people in Amsterdam. My wife, Jodi, and I are going to be doing some speaking in Amsterdam in November.

I lived in Amsterdam for 18 years and still have a real heart for the city. We are praying about starting a full-time Steiger ministry sometime in the near future.

By the way, I wrote about performing on 'Sonja' in my book, Rock Priest - http://www.steiger.org/stuff_books.htm

Blessings,

David

Luis F. Batista said...

I post here your description about No Longer Music presentation and noted this is pretty much the awsome presentation I saw at Projeto 242 some years ago. Does NLM have another show?

David Pierce said...

The basic idea of the show, which I believe you saw in 2005, has remained the same. However, over the years, the No Longer Music has continually evolved. I am always asking God for new ways to present the message of the Cross.

One of the things that I am most excited about is the development of Steiger's new association of evangelistic artists, which exists to challenge, train and equip other Christian artists to boldly share the gospel outside of the church. I want to see other Christian musicians/artists creatively sharing the message of the Cross in the secular world. If you're interested, you can contact my son, Aaron Pierce, at aaron@steiger.org.

Paul said...

Hi Luis, Hi David, thanks for answering my question!
We are back from a family vacation and I just checked this blog to see what is going on right now. David, if you are in the Netherlands, let me know. I guess you know Danny Butler too? Feel free to drop me a line abspoel at gmail dot com
Blessings from the Netherlands!

Anonymous said...

It is awesome to hear about the Gospel being spread in other parts of the world. I stand in battle for Christ with you and I would like to share my link with you because it is about uplifting each other w/in the body of Christ.
http://evangelizetheyouth.com/