Friday Flashback – Expanding Ministries in Mongolia and South Korea

December 23, 2011

[In 2011 Keynote celebrates 45 years of ministry. We thought we would use our Friday posts to look back on God’s faithfulness through the years.]

Mongolia is predominantly Buddhist, although many are “culturally Buddhist” without a strong tie to the faith. When Keynote’s acoustic band, blue sky nine, toured there in October 2009, less than 1% of the people were Christ-followers. In light of this, the stories of what God did through the team during those two weeks are quite significant.

  • The band’s first concert was on a campus in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Most of the 400 in the audience were students, but since the concert was open to the public there were also many families and adults. Of those 400 people, 199 filled out comment cards, and over 100 indicated a new decision to begin a relationship with God.
  • Band members Ryan and Holly Menzer were walking to dinner one night. A girl walking nearby heard them chatting and asked if they would talk with her to help her practice English. Over the course of the conversation, they not only shared the gospel with her and led her to Christ, but also connected her to the local student ministry for follow-up.

  • In addition to concert outreaches, blue sky nine did some training to help local staff launch a music and arts ministry. Band sound tech Randall Pahl led a seminar on live audio engineering and guitarist Scott Naylor taught how to combine personal stories with music to build a bridge to share the gospel. Scott commented that the local staff “have been greatly encouraged by our work and told us that we have given them a greatly expanded vision for how they can build their ministry. They told us that they realized being flexible, light-hearted, and loving each other well were really important things as they launch their ministry – and they learned that by watching us. Wow.”

On the same tour, blue sky nine went to South Korea to perform several outreach concerts. The previous April, twenty-two staff members from Campus Crusade for Christ in Korea had come to Keynote for communication training. They had a well-established ministry of leading worship for Christians and wanted to add a band that could do campus outreaches, so they came to learn how Keynote uses secular music for evangelism. While they were here they saw blue sky nine in concert and invited them to tour South Korea. As a result of the inspiration they received from seeing blue sky nine in action, they now have a similar evangelistic band of their own called JAMM Band.

As we’ve documented Keynote’s 45-year history this year, we’ve only been able to hit the high spots. You may be wondering why an event in 2009 is the final entry in our history. Well, we launched this blog in the fall of 2009 and have been sharing ministry updates and highlights over the last two years. You can view recent highlights in the posts below:

Keynote Ministry Highlights from 2009
2010 Ministry Highlights

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