MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson last fall became one of 100 students in the distance education program at the Concordia Seminary in Clayton, Missouri. Classes include “Lutheran Distinctions,” “Preaching I & II,” “Introduction to Worship” and “Scripture and Faith.”
Speaking to Ken Kelly of The Music Nerd Chronicles, Ellefon stated about his decision to try to become an ordained Lutheran pastor, “My decision really stemmed from attending the church that I have raised my children in. The pastor of the church is a really cool guy. He’s a musician and a songwriter and knows a lot about rock n roll. When he moved to Scottsdale to become the Senior Pastor at the church we attend, he and I really hit it off and he was the one who actually suggested that he felt I would be a good fit. He told me that the church needs to have more current and relevant people in their ranks. In a way, he felt as though I was the perfect example because there was a time in my life that I had turned away from the church, but ultimately returned triumphantly. My story is a believable one and that is something that people look towards when they are deciding whether to trust in you. I believe that playing in MEGADETH has been one of my primary purposes in life. However, I feel as though a lot of people reach a point in their lives where there is a fork in the road and aren’t quite sure where to turn. I’m proud to be taking the seminary training so that one day, I might have a solid answer to give back to them.”
When asked if studying to become a pastor is kind of at odds with playing “the devil’s music,” Ellefson told the QMI Agency in a separate interview, “Well, the thing of it is, we don’t play the devil’s music. On (1986’s) ‘Peace Sells … But Who’s Buying?’ there were some songs about seances and things like that. But they weren’t written because we did them. Certainly I didn’t do them. You can write a song about anything …and those songs weren’t about Satan. They were about questioning things. People that thought it was just about Satan just didn’t want to do any homework and went, ‘If it’s different, then it must be wrong and therefore it’s the devil’s work.’ That’s about as closed-minded as you could be.”
On the topic of whether he feels an obligation to intervene when he sees other musicians and young people on the wrong path, Ellefson said, “My attitude is that you suit up, you show up and you behave accordingly. And you let, for lack of a better term, God’s spirit pass through you. People will see that. If they want to inquire, they know where to go. If someone ain’t asking, you don’t need to be telling. But if they start asking, that’s an opportunity to share what your life was like. The testimony-based approach comes from a place where it’s genuine. And I think most ears will hear that a lot better than if you’re just standing at the airport beating them over the head with a Bible as they come through the door.”
Ellefson recently started MEGALife Ministry, a Christian-based ministry focused on serving all people in their development of faith. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the ministry is designed to help engage the needs of both churched and un-churched individuals and families worldwide.
Through the endowment of MEGALife’s music ministries, personal testimonies and captivating multi-media, it offers a dynamic center for developing a faith in Jesus Christ, especially to those who are new to Christianity or seeking a new church home.