We catch up with Christy Johnson from Fearless BND to talk about her and her husband Jeremy’s journey to starting the worship group, ministry beyond the stage as they minister to some of the poorest in their local community and the heart behind some of their songs.
Can you kind of just give us the background on who is fearless BMD?
So my husband and I, we have a church in downtown Los Angeles called ‘Fearless L.A’. We started it about six years ago and we before that, we were youth pastors together for 10 years in northern California, in a little city called Modesto, California, in the Valley.
And I’m a P.K. (pastor’s kid). So we worked for my father for 10 years, as youth pastors. We just really had it on our hearts to come to a city. And this is the epicenter of where culture is shifted and changed and changes the rest of the world. It’s incredibly influential city. And so we thought, ‘well, why don’t we plan a church in the heart of this influential city and influence them with the love of God and see what can happen in our world’.
So we decided to move. The band was formally known as ‘Worth Dying For’. We might have some old fans that might have listened. There’s a couple of people that when I say that name, they may remember. We were kind of a rock and roll type of worship band that came out of our youth pastor time. And so when we moved into this stream of Fearless church, Fearless L.A., we thought, ‘let’s just put all of our time, energy and effort into pioneering and planting this church’.
So we kind of had to lay that down (the band) for several years. But we kept writing. We wrote hundreds of songs. We had hundreds of demos. We just encourage everyone to keep being creative during this time, because I know there’s going to be a moment where we can actually release some of these sounds and this music to the world. And so from that, we thought, well, it doesn’t make sense to still be ‘Worth Dying For’. Why don’t we change it to Fearless BND? So it just really marries with what our church is about being fearless. And so we did that and we released an album a month ago.
So we’re so excited that we got to do it. But yes, its name is Fearless. And the name of the album, I actually called Fear Not, which is, really what the anthem of our churches, of our mission is, to love more and fear less. We have a little emblem logo that has a greater than less than sign, which means the greater the love, the less the fear. It comes from verse John 14 where, you know, there’s no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
And so the more that we can look to God for and receive His love, the less we have to fear; fear man, fear failure. So there’s lots of fears right now. It’s worse than a pandemic. We’re in the crisis that we’re in. I think fear is at an all-time high. It’s worse than it’s ever been. Fear with sickness, fear with income, finances, fear with people losing their jobs. I mean, so much around us right now. So I think this is an incredible anthem, saying Fear Not. Which is so funny as we named this album before this pandemic ever occurred and we knew what was going to happen, but God knew it was going to happen and God knew that this would be a message that needs to be proclaimed from the rooftops in this time.
How do you minister to people in your community that are struggling?
I mean, that’s why we’re here. We didn’t come to L.A. for all the Christians. I am glad Christians are part of our church. But they’re part of the army now, enlisted to go get more people and help win them over to Jesus and find life. It’s about dead people coming to life. It’s not about making bad people good. It’s about dead people being alive again. And God comes to bring life. And it doesn’t matter who you are and what condition and what kind of background you come out of.
We knew that when we came into this city, downtown was a rough area. There’s a lot of down and out. There’s a lot of people that are hurting. But that’s what Jesus came for. And so that’s who He died for. And that’s what we’re here for. That’s great that we have some believers. We have some good Christians in our church. We love that. But at the same time, church is meant for us to win the loss. It’s not a building. We are the church. So we go outside the four walls and we’re meant to do this. This is what we signed up for. And if this is not we want to do, then we might not want to label ourself any kind of Christian.
So that’s what I’d say. I mean, it’s not easy. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be easy. If it’s easy, maybe we’re not doing it right. You know, there’s a lot of people addicted, a lot of people depressed, a lot of people suicidal. But we’re fearlessly going into a city and we’re going to show love and we’re going love until they ask why. It’s kind of a moto we say very often, we’re going love people until they ask why.
Because in Los Angeles, there’s usually an agenda to somebodies care or there’s kind of an ulterior motive. But we want people to go kind of ‘what’s going on. Why do you care so much about me? Why are you even taking any moment out of your busy schedule to say hi to me or to pray for me’.
And I think that’s the open door to share with people. I love that we’ve seen all walks of life receive Jesus. And that’s what we’re here for. We’ve asked God to help us to love the city. Not hate it. Not be disgusted by it. Some people come and say. ‘I just hate it’. But God gives the love of compassion for the people. And I ask God to do that for me every day. Because I do get that side of me that’s like, ‘man, we’re in a hard city. This is not like the Bible Belt’. You know, I’m saying we didn’t choose it. We didn’t choose a place where we want to just grow megachurch. This is like we’re going into the nitty gritty going, ‘hey, if it’s not a big church. Oh, well’. We’re just here to reach people. If that means there’s going to be a hundred in our church for a long time. Oh, well, that’s OK. This is where has God called us. We’re called to people and we’re called to be obedient. There’s a lot of people that have said this is how to have a big church, go into the suburbs, go in this area and we going ‘hey, God didn’t say you need to go and make a big church. He said, go make disciples’.
So that’s what we’re doing. I’m not saying we have all the answers, we know what we’re doing every time. We’re just taking one foot in front of the other and just going ‘God help us’. Especially during this crisis. I mean, it’s been like throwing all of us, as pastors, into ‘what do we do now to reach out to people? How do we do?’ And I think it forces us to, like I said, to be the church. This is church. To not just meet on a Sunday, but do what we’re doing. We’re doing outreaches every week. We wash cars every Wednesday. We hand out food every Wednesday to people. On Sundays, we have a drive-in service where they can drive up, tune in their radio in to 88.3 and listen to a powerful message, hear worship and receive salvation and all are welcome. And I just think that’s what it’s about. We love doing this. This is what we’re here to do and we’re going to be all in.
Feature image: Fearless BND band | Source: Fearless BND website
Article image: Jeremy and Christy Johnson | Source: Fearless BND website