C&L! Artist Interview: Nuteki

C&L! Artist NUTEKI is a band that was born out of a passion to see lives changed by the power of the Gospel. I recently got to have a chat with the lead singer of
Bernie Cowan

Bernie is a Steiger missionary located in Tauranga, New Zealand.

Website: www.comeandlive.com

NUTEKI, Misha, about how it all began and how God is working through them and their music.

Give us the short version of how NUTEKI started?

I was born into a poor family from a small city in Belarus. I accepted Christ when I was 16 and immediately I received this vision that I should start a band and go all over the world and preach the Gospel.
At that time, a wise man I knew told me that I wouldn’t be able to fulfil this vision without first getting a good foundation to support my new faith.
So my best friend and I moved to Moscow, because we had been told there was a Bible School there that also had a good youth ministry - we didn’t know anything about Church or what it meant to be a Christian.
After completing 1 year of this ministry course, we started a band and called it NUTEKI. We went all over the Russian speaking world preaching the Gospel.
From the beginning it started off as a strong passion, we just needed to share the Gospel any way possible. We didn’t know how to do it exactly but we knew it was an idea from God. We had experience with music but our main drive was to share our testimony and share what God did in our lives. We were 16 - it wasn’t a mission/ministry - it all started with a passion to tell our friends, family and then youth all over the world.

Tell me about the moment when NUTEKI became more than just a band?

We did a lot of travel and we played a lot of concerts. We prayed with many people who wanted to accept Christ for the first time. We were doing all this and it was great, but we really felt that we needed to make this more about long term fruit.
We were finding people that got saved at our concert wouldn’t be able to stay long in the church - we would have these packed out meetings where everyone would get saved but then I would come back and visit a year later and very few of the ones that were there before were still around.
It was hard for me to understand this - so I prayed to God a lot about it.
I found myself asking God, “ just give me an idea, help me understand how to care about these people”.
Two years ago I met David Pierce and decided to get involved with Steiger’s mission. For us, we realised that there were more people out there using music as a tool to share about Jesus. We were really encouraged and got excited about moving forward.
During the Steiger Short Missions School (SMS) I had a clear idea from God about starting a Bible study - I didn’t really know what to do but I knew I needed to try and pray - now we have 7pm bible study courses that we run for people that respond to our shows and we are seeing many lives changed by it.

Tell me a story of how you’ve seen God move powerfully through your art?

In 2009 we were on tour near Chechnya, in a strong muslim region of Russia, God had put it on our hearts to go there and share the Gospel. In one of the concerts there the crowd was very hostile, especially when I began to preach. One of these guys in the crowd, through a big coin at my head and it cut my forehead. Even with blood pouring down, I continued to preach.
After it all I felt really frustrated as nobody chose to accept Christ. I was expecting at least some of them to respond due to the sacrifices we had made to be there. All I could do to fight my disappointment was focus on Jesus.
This Spring, 6 years since this incident happened, one Pastor wrote to me with greetings from a guy called Achmed. This guy had told this pastor about how he used to be an Atheist and didn't care for Jesus, so much so that he once threw a coin at the lead singer of the band NUTEKI.
He was moved by the courage I showed in my preaching and after many years he’s now the worship leader in the local church and he has a big dream to speak boldly about Jesus through music.

What’s next for NUTEKI?

We will keep doing what any normal band does - release singles and music videos, because we have to do that to keep connected with our audience - but we will also continue to tour and share the Gospel.
God has really placed on my heart to develop our 7pm Bible study - make it more effective and grow that long term fruit. It’s our main focus, for us we will always want to be missionaries first and musicians second - this transformation is still in progress for our band and has been going on for the last few years.

As a closing word, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to an artist that’s just starting out?

I would say, try to be as connected as you can with God. The effectiveness of God has amazed me all the time - for Him, he can do a tiny thing and it will change my entire future.
You can use all of your might and power to try and change something but it’s not going to be world changing - but with the power of God, if he’s part of your life, you can easily be involved in something that can change everything. Be connected with God fully and be dependant on Him for everything.
The world doesn’t need another successful band or person - this world needs Jesus, this world needs hope - the world needs this message!
It’s what should and will make us unique - if we lose our faith we will lose our uniqueness and power.

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