Let there be ROCK… Pastor Bob Beeman speaks to the Misfits
Pastor Bob Beeman — I bet you’ve never met a preacher like him before! I remember being a kid and eagerly opening my new Christian metal CD’s to read the credits. Stuck in there would be a short and pointed message from Pastor Bob and a picture of him…he looked like a member of the band. His messages were always plainly stated and never failed to invite the reader to come to Jesus. Presenting Christ in a loving way, he still maintained his rocker image.
Pastor Bob is busier than ever, however he generously agreed to take some time out of his day to share from his heart to us misfits. I think you will find his interview as intriguing as I did. Enjoy.
*Pastor Bob, I want to thank you for your participation in the blog. I suppose the first question on my mind is this. Have you ever felt like a misfit when it comes to the Kingdom of God?
I think I have felt that way most of my life – at least with the organized church. But I have always found a wonderful place among the other misfits of society that call themselves Christians 🙂
We started Stanctuary in 1985 to disciple the Heavy Metal movement. There were so many kids becoming Christians through Stryper and the other early bands – and they needed a place to land and learn.
*What is a common reaction that you get when people you come in contact with learn that you are a Christian? A pastor?
Usually, “I never would have guessed that!” I am sure that I am a curiousity to many people – but I am who I am. I feel very comfortable in my own skin – and I think people see that as well 🙂
I started the homeless ministry here about three years ago. I knew NOTHING about homeless people at the beginning, and was basically shamed into it. But it has been such a wonderful part of my life and my ministry since. We feed the homeless 4 days each week – totally about 2,000 people every month. We meet under a bridge – and set up our tables. We have “church” there on Sundays
*Do you have a lot of local support from other churches in the area for the homeless ministry?
In a word, no. We have had a lot of churches come and go. Mostly for the photo opps. But no one really stays. Our most faithful servers work at a local strip club.
*What is your answer to the pragmatic people who insist that you can’t possible be a follower of Christ (mush less a pastor) and look the way you do?
I used to try to answer their questions – but I don’t anymore. I realize that they really don’t want an answer. They simply want to let me know that they don’t approve. I believe as long as I am true to God and to myself, people will feel comfortable with me as well!
*I’ve seen your name in many many CD credits and even a “note from Pastor Bob” in a lot of them. How did you get so involved in the Christian metal scene and are you still active in the field?
I have been working with Christian “rock” music for almost 40 years. I got involved with the metal side of things when we started Sanctuary in 1985. We began to disciple the bands and the people they were connecting with. We are still doing the very same thing today – 26 years later! Things have changed a little for me since the beginning. My focus is much more international. I spend my time traveling and speaking at the Christian Metal Festivals around the world – and nurturing the Sanctuary groups in many countries.
*Do you think your ministry would be as effective if you wore a suit and tie and had a more conservative look?
Honestly, I am not sure. I realize that I relate because of the way I look. But I think the metal community is intelligent. They know when they are honestly loved and understood. If I cut all of my hair off today, they would still know my heart!
*Obviously, the price you’ve paid to look the way you do has been worth it for the fruit of the ministry. But was there ever a time when the scrutiny became overwhelming?
Sure! In the early days of Christian rock, our worst enemy was “the church.” Christians telling us we were going to hell. Then, when we started pioneering in Christian metal, it wasn’t as bad as the beginning. But it was more of the same. Usually when we do a new festival, I meet with the pastors and leaders of that country who have the same concerns. So it is an on-going battle. But the fruit of the ministry after all of these years speaks for itself.
That is so difficult to say. It depends on the day and my mood!!!
*What song/band is in your CD player or iPod right now?
Three Dog Night. I was just playing some old classic rock for the homeless.
*I love to hear tattoo stories. Would you like to share one?
I waited until I was 54 to get my first tattoo. I wanted to make sure I had the right stories to tell on my arms. Now, I have full sleeves – and really enjoy it when people ask me what it all means. Lot’s of powerful stories about God and his love there!
*Here is a great place to plug your website, social media outlets, or any other projects that you would like to tell us about.
hehe Actually, my real passion the last few years has been podcasting. This year, we will add video podcast to our already expanding library. You will find them all – along with other ministry tools, athttp://pastorbobbeeman.com/. From there, you will find links to Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, etc.
*Are there any final words that you would like to share with us misfits out here trying to make in this old world?
Always remember that you are NOT a misfit to God. He has a plan for you – and knew exactly what he was doing when he made you. Your life will always find completion in HIM!!
And so once again, we find that God’s love remains faithful in the life of a misfit. Thanks for reading, friends! Please share for your friends to read as well!
~ by Scott Herrin on May 29, 2011.
Posted in Christian, devotional reading, interviews, Uncategorized
Tags: bold witness, Christianity, church, devotional, Heavy Metal, homeless ministry, hope, Jesus, judgmentalism, misfits, Preacher, religion, Rock and Roll Church, stereotypes, tattoos