Scott Bauer: Senior
Associate Pastor and Executive Director of
Ministries for "The Church On The Way"
With Bill and Janae Cooksey
...the things we do to compromise our
integrity, violate, manipulate and injure
other people...Sin is the stuff that breaks
the heart of other people around us
Taken From "Cooksey's
American Carousel Radio Classics"
TWELVE MEN WITH A PASTOR'S HEART
BILL: Yes, Janae. We're interviewing Pastor Scott Bauer from "The Church On The Way".
JANAE: Let's see. My notes say he's the Senior Associate and the Executive Director of Ministries for "The Church On The Way".
BILL: That's right. You can imagine with a church that big and with Pastor Hayford's outside speaking commitments, Pastor Bauer has to be "Top Drawer" to fill those shoes.
JANAE: More than that, his humility to do the job when I'm sure many folks, not meaning to be unkind, would occasionally say, "Oh, I came to see Pastor Jack."
BILL: Well, you know, I understand somewhat the feeling he has to endure in that situation. All those years as an entertainer, I had to go many times on stage as an opening act before a nationally known performer. To the general public I was not the headliner they came to see. Even though I was able to win over a large number of disappointed spectators with my persistence and energetic personality, more than once, some members of the audience were down right cruel.
JANAE: Yes, but that was in a worldly environment before you had made a commitment to serve the Lord. Think how much harder it must be for Pastor Scott to maintain the attributes necessary to present himself in a servant's role without being offended.
BILL: Only the Grace of God and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit could get anyone through that challenge.
JANAE: Now tell me again. Is he in charge of the production of this drama that was in Modesto for his church?
Yes. That's right.
JANAE: Great! It'll be interesting to hear how a very large church in a multi-cultural area like Los Angeles will handle all the details and impact of "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames".
BILL: Well, since the play's not been there yet, I wonder if they are prepared for the type of response we had here in Modesto?
JANAE: We'll surely ask Pastor Bauer about that.
BILL: And you know for Jack Hayford to have him as Senior Associate, you can be sure this man has a tremendous amount of depth. Just keep your ears open.
RICH: Pastor Bauer's on the line. Let me punch him into you guys and set some levels.
BILL: Scott, how are you doing?
SCOTT: Fine, Bill. Thank you for allowing me to be with you today.
BILL: Pastor, say hello to my lovely wife, Janae.
Scott: Oh, hi, Janae.
JANAE: Hi Scott. We're so blessed to have you with us. Thank you so much for your time.
BILL: Hang on. I think Rich is about to slate it.
RICH: Stand by.....Cooksey's American Carousel interview with Pastor Scott Bauer begins in three...two...one.
COOKSEY: Well, Pastor Scott, how are you doing down in Van Nuys, California?
BAUER: Bill, it's wonderful to be with you on the radio. And it's magnificent today in Van Nuys.
COOKSEY: Well, this is Saturday night in beautiful Modesto. And we've got listeners all over the Bay area and throughout all of Northern and Central California.
BAUER: You know, Bill, I used to pastor in Merced, California . I really did. So, I know all about your area very well. My wife and I used go to the big city of Modesto for a little "R. and R." to see all the big buildings.
COOKSEY: Well, we've got a couple of Wal-Marts and we're getting there. But seriously, Scott, I understand you're going to be having this great play that they had here at Calvary Temple when 33,000 people got saved last year. Are you guys looking forward to "Heavens Gates and Hell's Flames"?
BAUER: You know, we've been setting our attention on this matter since last summer. We've showed it to our congregation. I think it was a videotape presentation of what was done in your area. On a Sunday night, it was so staggering in terms of it's impact. We didn't know what to expect for the people in our church. I remember that evening I was sitting in the balcony watching people stream out...virtually incapable of handling some of the more emotional parts of the performance. We decided at that point that we had to have the production at our church. And since then, we've had several hundred intercessors who have been actively, daily praying for "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames." And now it's ready. At the end of this month we're going to be doing the production here in Van Nuys.
COOKSEY: I believe that starts March twenty-second. Is that correct?
Bauer: That's right. We'll do it Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. And interestingly, we've also put together a team that will do Spanish production on Saturday and Sunday matinee performances.
COOKSEY: How unique! Especially in your area.
COOKSEY: Well, your church is something else. For people who don't know about the Church on the Way, tell us who your pastor is.
BAUER: Our pastor is Pastor Jack Hayford. And I know that he is very familiar to you and the radio listeners in the Northern California area.
COOKSEY: Yes. And he's also working a lot with the Promise Keepers organization. Isn't that right?
BAUER: Yes. As a matter of fact, last year he was invited to speak at every Promise Keepers event. But he was able to only schedule about half of them. And I think something similar to that will happen again this year.
COOKSEY: I want you to tell him for us that we heard from several of the Modesto pastors at the recent big Atlanta meeting that Pastor Jack made a lot of guys get up and have to cry and everything. Because, Modesto got so excited with all these salvations from this drama here last year and the unity of the ministerial association here...plus these men being broken down at this meeting where Pastor Hayford spoke. You know, I just have to tell you, Scott, my own testimony ties right into Pastor Jack and your church down in Van Nuys. In 1983, I was still a Las Vegas entertainer after many years of being quite successful. That year I got pretty sick and was unable to work for 8 months. One week during the mid-summer it was so hot outside in that Vegas heat that I just stayed in my apartment laying on the couch eating watermelon and watching cable television for seven whole days. I had every channel available, but the only two that interested me that week were TBN and CBN. And I was watching Jan and Paul when I saw this man who was lacking just a little bit of hair. I'm going to be kind. And praise God, I thought, "Who is this guy?" Now I'm the entertainer who was always so good with the microphone. But everything this guest said crushed my heart. But now, I can't remember a word he said. But Paul and Jan stated that he was their Pastor. From that time until the end of that week, I kept watching Trinity and I could not turn off Christian TV. But it took almost a whole year before I got my life straight with the Lord. I had unforgiveness towards my father and that had to be cleared up. However, before all that was resolved, I decided I needed to leave Vegas and go to L.A. to work in the comedy clubs. So, in the Spring of 1984, I went down to Southern California on a Sunday, one day before the Academy Awards night. I was also scheduled to cover this event as a journalist for a couple of entertainment publications in Vegas and Florida for which I freelanced. The Lord had been working on me slowly, but surely since that week 9 months earlier when I'd been watching Trinity on my couch. So as I rolled into L.A., I got this crazy desire to go to church. It was still Sunday afternoon. Here I was set to start work this week doing adult comedy and I wanted to go to church? I'm riding down the freeway and I know nothing about L.A. freeways. I vaguely remembered see Pastor Jack on the TBN program and the name of his church sprung into my mind..."The Church on the Way" in Van Nuys. So, I stopped at a pay phone and punched up local information. Can you believe this? The operator comes on and I asked if she had a number for "The Church on the Way" in Van Nuys. Her response was, "Why?" Is that your normal information operator's response? I said that I wanted to go there for the Sunday night service. And she said, "Well, that's where I go to church. I can tell you exactly how to get there." I wrote down the directions, but when I got back on the freeway, I realized I was lost. So since it's already past four o'clock, I started talking to the Lord. "God, if you really want me to get to this church before the service is over then it's going to take a miracle." I didn't go but a few miles and there was the exit ramp the operator told me to turn on. Quickly, I rolled off the freeway, made a right and a left and low and behold...I was sitting in front of the church. I was in shock! But I'd never seen so many cars parked on the streets 8 or 10 blocks in every direction. Boy, this must be some church! It's packed out like this on a Sunday night? Finally, I found a spot for my van. I hustled right up to the sanctuary door and I was told I couldn't go in. Now, I had not been to church for some time, but I could hardly believe that the job of the ushers was to keep people out. Being a bit offended, I took their suggestion to go to the end of the block to a little room where I would be allowed to watch the service on a large screen TV. Well, I'd come this far. Why not? What I didn't know was this was the fifteenth anniversary celebration for Jack and Anna since they had first come to "The Church on the Way". As I sat in that room next to people I didn't think were very religious looking, I tried to observe the program. My goodness, they had all kinds of famous people in the sanctuary as well as on videotape giving these great testimonies about the Hayfords' faithfulness. I can't remember who all of them were, but they blew my mind. All this for this preacher I'd seen with Paul and Jan? Then they announced at the end there would be an outdoor celebration following in the church parking lot. And that's when I decided I needed to speak to this Pastor Jack about getting my life right with God. From what I'd seen, he certainly had the credentials. It looked like a great party! As I made my way through the crowd towards the stage, I was determined to talk with the Pastor. I could see he was easily accessible standing next to his wife. But suddenly, I was confronted by Dean Jones out of nowhere. Wow! This is the guy from all those Disney classics! But as I shared my goal to speak with Pastor Jack, Dean kindly informed me that no one was to bother the Hayfords now. They were going off on a long, deserved vacation to Europe or somewhere. My heart died. NO! I must see him! But about that time, they were whisked away in a waiting vehicle. They waved goodbye to the crowd and I waved goodbye to finally getting together with the man I felt could put me back in good standing with the Lord.......but that's not all. I slept in my van that night and heard demon voices that would have scared Freddy Kruger. I was petrified. Next morning I moved on downtown to the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, preparing to cover the Academy Awards. By mid-afternoon I finally found a spot in a parking lot where you pay the attendant up front for the rest of the day. Since I had almost all my musical equipment and classic comedy props inside the van, I felt it was wise to slip the attendant an extra five to keep an eye on things for me. Then I stood outside the Pavillion and observed the Stars going in. I had no ticket. Obviously, I would have to write my story out of whatever I could see from the outside activities. When the event was over, I scurried around to the side entrance with my little camera hoping to catch someone. With no one else around this door but me, out came Joan Collins. I snapped a very poor picture before she disappeared with an escort. Out the same exit came the winner of the Best Actress Award in 1984..."Shirely McLaine". This was certainly one weekend I'd been tuned in spiritually. I walked along with her and three others about 100 feet and then she was gone. Guess what? The camera wouldn't work on her. Are you surprised? Well, it was getting kind of late. So, I shuffled off to my van to get out of downtown before all the cops went off duty. As I unlocked the drivers door, I immediately realized someone had ransacked all my possessions. NO! I panicked! They had broken in through a little vent window on the passenger's side. I mean they got guitars, amps, suitcases and everything of value from midway the van forward. Then I got scared! Supposed they were still around. I started up the van to leave and a voice spoke clearly to me from within my spirit. "Go back to the parking lot where you were last night. Someone will be there to meet you." You've got to be kidding! Now I'm hearing voices again? Goodbye! Forget this! I'm going back to Las Vegas where I feel a little safer. And so I raced eastward right across the Nevada line. As far as I was concerned, you could have California. Doesn't the Lord have a great sense of humor? So you see, Scott, I have a unique kinship with Pastor Jack and your church in Van Nuys. The influence of that two-day event on my life in 1984 set the stage for my finding the road to salvation later in July. I just want to thank you for what your church and its leadership has done in changing the lives of so many people...including me.
BAUER: Praise God. We're so thankful for the impact that God has given us now for almost three decades with Pastor Hayford's leadership. He's been here 27 years. And the evangelism that happens and the strengthening of other churches that has occurred has been a marvelous testimony of God's Grace among us.
COOKSEY: This is why this play that is coming there is so important. We know what kind of power it has and how awesome it can be. Be prepared. It could go on for many more weeks.
BAUER: We are prepared for that. We've made room in our schedule should God be pleased for us to continue this. That very well may happen.
COOKSEY: Can you tell me something about other programs you've had there at "Church on the Way"?
BAUER: For years, our main focus as a church was to build up the individual believer. We believed our job wasn't to make a big church, but to make big people. And as a result, a big church sprung up. Because people were fed and cared for and challenged, healed and discipled. As a result of that, there have been so many tremendous things happen and wonderful growth in the church. However, two or three years ago we really sensed that our mission as a church was to be more intentional in our evangelistic outreach. And it was in 1994, we invited Luis Palau to our area along with over two hundred other churches. Our church was kind of the point man on the organizational chart. We had a marvelous crusade in June of 1994. And Pastor Hayford has not only sought to build individuals, but in the last six or seven years there's been a building of relationships with local pastors. The "Love L.A." pastors' gatherings have been going on for the last seven or eight years, where anywhere between four hundred and a thousand pastors are getting together four times a years to pray. It's just been a marvelous development in our area. But it's part of what we understand our mission to be as a church to facilitate growth in people and now they're coming together as the Body of Christ. Evangelism outreach ...that's what "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames" is about. Also, Pastor Hayford's interest and participation in Promise Keepers...all of those are part of what we understand our church's mission to be...to help bring about healing and reconciliation in the Body of Christ and release the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven to come among us.
COOKSEY: In your church you have a lot of people who have been in the entertainment industry. But when God changes the heart, it doesn't matter who you were. It's who you are in Jesus that matters. But, it's that one on one with someone like Pastor Hayford and yourself. I can hear it in your voice. It's that someone you can trust. Someone who knows the Word of God and has a way to communicate the Spirit of God gently, instead of being loud and boisterous. The truth doesn't have to be loud. Does it, Scott?
BAUER: No. Absolutely not.
COOKSEY: It cuts like a knife to the heart. Would you right now, Pastor, present that Gospel to those who are listening that may not be able to attend this wonderful drama that is coming to your church? And would you please pray with someone and lead them into the Kingdom right now? Because none of us have tomorrow. Would you be kind enough to do that for us?
BAUER: I'd be happy to do that. Bill, the message of the "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames" is excruciatingly simple. And I mean excruciating in exactly those terms. God's Love for us is so Great as well you know, Bill. The fact that God met you and brought you to Himself with a very personal invitation. And that same invitation has gone out to every person. Some of us are more or less sensitized to respond to it. But the Love of God is available to every person. It says in Scripture that from before the foundations of the world, you and I were chosen in Christ Jesus to be children of God. And the message of "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames" is that as this person that God loves, you must choose to either love God or to simply live life on your own terms. And the reality of that is, there is a price. We're all sinners. We've all failed God. We've all gone our own way and it really doesn't matter what our opinions are on that subject. What's important is what God thinks about it. And we don't like the word sin very much. I don't like to preach on the subject of sin. But I've come to understand, Bill, that sin is not just bad things that people do. Sin is the stuff that breaks the Heart of God. He knows how He made us. He knows what He made us for. And He recognizes that sin is the stuff that takes us away from His creative intent. Sin is the stuff that breaks the heart of other people around us...the things that we do and compromise our integrity and violate, manipulate and injure other people. Sin is so painful in it's ability to defile relationships. Sin is ultimately the stuff that breaks the heart of every individual. We break our own hearts, because we recognize that we've violated something of the way we were made and intended to be. And though it's an old fashioned word, we're all sinners. We've all broken God's Heart. We've broken someone else's heart. We've even broken our own hearts. So that's why Jesus came. So that we could know the Love of God, the Forgiveness of God and a chance to start all over. And so, I'd like to invite all of our listeners here, Bill and Janae...listeners that tune in so faithfully to your program. But, if it just so happens today that you've never opened your heart to the Love of God, Dear Friend, He's right there for you. Hell is the furthermost thing from the heart of God. But it is a reality for those who reject His Love. It's not a decision that God's ever made. I'm firmly convinced that the flames of hell are related very much like a space craft in orbit. As long as we orbit in God's Purpose and we function in His Grace and Mercy and Kindness, then as soon as we resist that, it's like the space capsule re-entering earth's atmosphere in the grip of earth that drags us to itself. And we all know that the consequences of falling out of orbit is that people burn. The space craft burns. It isn't that God is so angry that He creates flames for people. It's that He's incapable of stopping people from falling within the grasp of something that will ultimately consume them if they so will to pull out of His grasp. And so today, Dear Friend, it's not that God is angry with you. It's that He loves you and that He would spare you the consequences of your own decisions. And so today, if you'd open your heart to Jesus, I'd like to pray with you. It's very simple, if you'll just allow me. You may be driving in your car right now. You may be at home listening while preparing dinner. I'm going to ask that you simply allow me to lead you in a prayer...................."Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I know that I have done things that have violated Your Purpose in my life. And I've hurt other people. And that I've wound myself with my own self-will. And I ask today that You would come into my life. That You would change me. That You would forgive me of my sins. And that Your Spirit would dwell within me and begin a brand new life inside of me. Lord, I turn from my own life and ask that You rule over my life. And that I would be born again today into Your Kingdom for Your Purposes. In Jesus Name. In Jesus Name. Amen.
COOKSEY: Scott, I know this station reaches a lot of people like our sister station, KBRT, down in L.A.. We get calls all the time. And on the radio, none of us really know who we're talking to. But we know that God wishes that no man should perish. And we are all concerned for that one special one out there that God has touched by His Spirit today. Pastor, I can't thank you enough for your sharing with us. Because, I know that every person out there has to have Jesus to make it into Heaven. You present that message so beautifully. God has gifted you and your church in a very special way. And I hope you'll give our love to Jack and Anna. And, of course, please accept our love to you and your wife...because we're all in the Body of Christ. We're all just trying to win souls. And what you've just presented, I know it touched someone. And we want you, Precious Ones, to call us on our prayerline right now, so we can tell you how you can get closer to the Lord...how you can go further in your walk with Jesus Christ. Because now you've joined the Kingdom of God, Hallelujah.
BAUER: Praise God.
COOKSEY: Scott, thank you so much for this time.
BAUER: What a delight to be with both of you. God bless you.
COOKSEY: We will be praying for you. Please pray for us.
BAUER: I will do so.
COOKSEY: God bless you. We'll talk to you later, Scott.
BAUER: Bye, bye.