This past June, while I was in Helsinki as tour pastor for the Brian ‘HEAD’ Welch European tour, I met Petri Janas. Petri’s family business publishes “the most widely distributed Christian men’s magazine in Europe,” called ‘Tosimies’ (translated ‘Real Men’). He was there to interview Brian for an article (click to download- then goto page 17) they were doing for the magazine. We chatted for a minute or two before the show, then exchanged info, and I thought nothing of it until early July, when I got an email from him. He asked if he could interview me for an upcoming issue they were doing, so we got all the details figured out and went from there. I just got word that they used the interview, and thought it was sorta fun so I’m passing it along to you! You’ll have to translate it, but the original Finnish language article can be viewed HERE or you can download the magazine as a PDF HERE.
As with most translations, there’s a bit that gets lost in the exchange, but it’s sorta fun to read (click HERE to see the GOOGLE translated page). Just to clear up any confusion, I don’t, in fact, HAVE a husband as the article states, it’s just a translation issue 🙂
If you’d like to just read the original interview and skip the fun, you can read it all below the picture 🙂
Here’s a photo of the space we were in, to give some perspective and set the mood for your reading.
PETRI: Tell us about you and what do you do?
DAVE: I am a husband, a son, a brother, and a father, and enjoy each of these roles very much! When I am with my family of 3 children and my wonderful wife, we love to spend time outdoors camping or hiking or enjoying the amazingly diverse creation God has given us. Snowboarding in Colorado with our cousins and parents was a highlight for me this year, and one of the ways in which I most deeply experience God’s love for me- I am pointed to Him, the creator, by His creation.
When I am NOT with my family I run a non-profit ministry called LightsOut (www.LightsOut.me). Our hope is to provide soul-care for those serving under the lights- artists, speakers and bands away from home and hope, community and care most of the time. We seek to provide a consistent pastoral presence in the lives of these touring musicians who are away from their church most of the time because they are on tour. I also work part-time with a music festival, helping to navigate what we do for outreach and discipleship as well as booking artists for the festival.
P: can you give us a little history of you, your Christian background and how did you come to Faith?
D: I grew up on a farm in a small town in South Dakota. My grandparents on both sides of my family came from Holland and Germany via Russia. They all handed down a great heritage of a faith in Jesus Christ and growing up, that is all I ever knew. I have come to appreciate that one of the miracles of my life is that my story is one of growing up following Christ with my life, and never straying from that path. I attended a summer camp when i was about 9 years old and it was there that I began to understand that a relationship with Jesus was what i wanted, and I indeed started one then and there. From that point forward, I understood better each year, each day, who Jesus was and how my life was better because of who He was making me to be. When I was in my 2nd year of High School, at that same summer camp, I committed my life to be a pastor that would work with youth, and that is what I have always done in one way or another- but we’ll get to that later.
P: Do you have dreams or future plans?
D: My dream for the future is that the way that people understand and consume music, as well as the way musicians produce music and are followed by fans, becomes a much healthier thing. Right now, so many people WORSHIP the band members, and there is a paradox that exists in the industry because the industry NEEDS people to think the band is cooler or more special or important than they are, so they will WANT what they have, will WANT to buy the album, WANT to live the lifestyle- that goes for the secular industry as well as the christian music industry. It is a tough space, for both the fan and the artists, and one that i hope to see changed so that the artist is not placed above other people, set up only to fall and fail.
P: Do you often go tour pastoring with bands like Brian Head Welch’s band, and what are those other bands?
D: I have toured each spring and fall the last 2 years since starting LightsOut (and a bit the spring before we ’officially’ began the ministry). I have toured with Head, Disciple, The Classic Crime, Children 18:3, Project 86, Day of Fire, Remedy Drive, John Reuben, painter Eric Samuel Timm, Willet, For Today, and All But Screaming., and I have been a pastor on those tours for most of those bands.
P: Is it usual in America to bands have Christian pastors with them on tour?
D: There are a few bands in America that have the resources to be able to bring another person on tour with them, but few do regularly. I know that Third Day often does, I know that waaay back in the day DC Talk brought a tour pastor with them, and wouldn’t tour without one.. There is a guy named Michael Guido that has toured with many, many artists- most recently with Stryper on their 25th anniversary tour, and then with Daughtry.
Where I see God using me to impact others most right now is NOT going on long tours for a month or 2 at a time. Instead, my hope and what I’d like for LightsOut and myself as a pastor to these artists is that I could do more of what I did this past spring. That was to fly in to a city where the artist was playing, join them in ministry for a few days on the road; speaking into their lives by talking to them and praying with them and leading bible studies, and then fly back home. I did that for 4 artists this spring and it went well, and it is something i hope to be able to do more of to be able to best connect with the artists and encourage them that, as Tim Foreman of Switchfoot says, ”what REALLY matters is who you are when you step off stage.” I want to encourage them in their relationship with Christ, and with their familes, but I DON’T want to neglect that in myself. I want to be a living example of a man after God’s own heart, and don’t want to sacrifice my family time and family life for anything. I don’t believe God would call me to something and into something that would cause me to be less of a man by being less of a father.
P: And other things you think it would be cool to know?
D: Since we’ve begun this ministry, we’ve helped over 85 artists to take a look at who they are when the Lights go Out- when they step off stage – to be a MAN or WOMAN of integrity. I know that is what this magazine is all about, and that is what so much of our work is about- not just being a person with kids, but to be a real FATHER, following the example of our HEAVENLY FATHER. We have offered an element of Hope, Help, and Health by traveling in an RV as a family to music festivals all over the USA during the summer months. We give up our time at home, and make a home for artists to come to on many stops throughout their summer tours. When they step into our RV, they see their art they’ve made, they see familiar faces, and they experience a safe place to come with their troubles and burdens. What they get is God’s grace, offered through a meal, a caring word, a bible study or devotional time. Hope. Help. Health. If the food at your favorite restaurant is good, but you go back into the kitchen and see dirty plates and filthy counter-tops that would freak you out! Yet, many people consume food just like that- think of music the same way. If the music is great now, how much better could it be? Is the artist healthy? Is the vessel being poured out a clean one? LightsOut cares about those things, not just the music, not just the message, but also the messenger. Join us in caring- pray for your favorite artist and their family today, and then step up and do something to help provide care for them.
LightsOut is a 501c3 ministry that exists ONLY because of the generous donations of others. Many, if not MOST of the artists we work with cannot afford to bring another person along with them on tour, and I have traveled with artists as their pastor who have even LOST money because they brought another person, a pastor, along. We want to provide our services for free to those people who need it, and if you’d like to help these artists, we’d love to have your help! You can email us at info @ LightsOut.me if you’d like to know how to help out!