Heaven and Hell at the Jaap Eden Hall
We have used many different ways to demonstrate the Cross over the years. One time, my band was invited to play at the Jaap Edenhall in Amsterdam. Slayer was booked the night before, so the local newspapers dubbed the event “Heaven and Hell at the Jaap Eden Hall.”
To illustrate the cross, I was carried on stage in a coffin. While the band was singing about how Jesus defeated the power of death, I came out of the coffin with a white sledgehammer and smashed the coffin to pieces on the stage. Another time my band strapped me to a cross made out of a microphone stand, attached jumper cables, and electrocuted me.
I am always asking God to give me a more effective way to communicate the cross to a secular audience.
One very important principle I've learned is that you need to "show" people who Jesus is before identifying Him as Jesus. That's because if I were to begin a concert in a secular venue saying "We are here in the name of Jesus!", many people would think "I know who Jesus is, and I'm not interested" and they would leave.
The truth is people have all sorts of misconceptions about Jesus. The Jesus they reject, you would also reject. Some think he is passive or indifferent. Others may think Jesus exists, but that He is an angry judge keeping a list of all the bad things they've done. Our challenge is to get them to see who Jesus really is.
In NLM, we use theater to show the Cross without it being explicitly clear that it's the Gospel. Than, at the end of the concert, when I identify the story as the Gospel the crowd is often very surprised. They think, “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.”
It's important that when you lift up the Cross outside of the church that you try to communicate in such a way that the people God has called you to will understand. This often means "showing" people who Jesus is first.
When we've done this, we have seen people open up, and literally thousands give their lives to Him!