When we lost Greg Volz as our singer, I didn't know if Petra would still be popular, but John Schlitt was welcomed with open arms by our fans. It is always hard to change personnel but Petra is different from just a music group. It is a ministry that the members feel called to as a way of serving the Lord with their talents. I think many of our fans have recognized this, and for them the true test is, "do they still make good music?" and "do they still minister?"
- Bob Hartman
Over the years, some people have complained about all the member changes the band has made. I think what they don't realize is that Petra is more than a band. It is a musical ministry for reaching people with the Gospel as well as encouraging and challenging Christians. Hopefully this page will help you understand Petra's ministry and show you how you can get involved!
Reaching people for Christ
In the earliest years of Petra, we played mostly evangelistic concerts that were promoted by "Jesus people". Many times we would play open air concerts to attract an audience and then deliver the Gospel. As the Christian music scene developed, we found more and more Christians coming to our concerts, so we began ministering more to the "body", but never leaving our evangelistic roots.
- Bob Hartman
First and foremost, Petra has always been dedicated to reach people with the good news of Jesus life, death, and resurrection. Throughout most of its history, Petra has focused primarily on reaching young people and have tried to keep their music sounding fresh.
So what can you do? Well, why don't you consider sharing the truth contained in Petra's music with an unsaved friend? Bring them to a concert, give them some CDs. Don't go to a concert alone! God really uses Petra concerts to speak to the hearts of people. It's a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with someone you love.
Although I can't look inside anyone's heart, my feeling is that there are more people today attracted [to making Christian music] by the money and fame than there used to be. Perhaps it is because those things are more easily obtained in Christian music today than they used to be. But God is able to use efforts even when they come from wrong motivations. There are many artists that are putting out great Christian music that is being used by God in powerful ways.
- Bob Hartman
To make sure that we weren't being phony, I saw the attitudes weren't going to change, so we had to change the people. With the new band they came in, and I let them know exactly where it was at, what we were heading for, what our goal was, and they were totally like 'Yes, I like that, let's do it.' And they have and they still are.
- John Schlitt
An important part of any ministry is the integrity of its members. The members of Petra strive to be Christ-like on stage and in their everyday lives, but just like everyone, often they fall short.
Perhaps you never considered this before, but you can help the guys in Petra live holy lives, blameless before God by praying for them. This is such an important area for all people, but especially for our brothers in Petra because they perform on stage and people tend to scrutinize their lives very closely. So, pray for Petra. Pray that they conduct their business in a godly way, that they treat their neighbors with love, and that their hearts stay soft.
Trials and pitfalls
The three new guys have been amazing, they've been great, but it's cost them alot. They had high expectations and they are really paying their dues. Petra is supposed to be Petra. This is what we do, there is no pride, let's go for it, and praise God for every opportunity we get.
- John Schlitt
In the book of John, Jesus says, "In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Petra has certainly had its share of trials over the years. The band has faced opposition from churches who didn't like their rock music. They've had to deal with record labels and management who were creating problems. Touring year after year and staying on the road creates its own set of struggles.
Once again, you can help Petra in a mighty way by praying. Nobody will ever avoid trouble, but we can pray that the members of Petra would have strength to overcome each obstacle as it comes up.
Being in a band isn't all trials, though. It definitely has it's high points, and there is a certain amount of fame and celebrity that goes with being in the spotlight. it's important that we keep the members of Petra lifted up in prayer so that they never become hard-hearted, proud, or jaded by notions of greatness or exalted importance.
There are other ways you can join in Petra's ministry, too. The following links will show you how.
- Food For The Hungry -- This page is about Petra and one of their favorite organizations to work with: FFTH.