When the people heard this,
they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles,
"Brothers, what shall we do?"
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ ...
... "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Acts 2: 36-41
The Greatest Drama ever Seen,
It is the dream of every Evangelist, or even any Christian minister to be as successful as Peter was on the day of Pentecost, isn't it?
Dreaming the same dream, I recently realized something very egregious about that glorious event - it is the only record in the Bible presenting the evangelization campaign that was so successful. Never before and never again we find any preaching be so effective that the thousands will get saved right away! At least no record about. Isn't that interesting? If that is so, perhaps we might do well if we look more closely what was so unique about this amazing event.
And one thing get easy obvious - Peter's strong appeal was addressed to the audience which in majority already watched a great theatre play. The theatre? Sure not, it was not the Greek world and we know that the Jews were very distinctive from the foreign culture. Well, that's true, but still, if we look more closely, there was indeed the drama performed before their eyes. It was even the greatest drama the world have ever seen. Wasn't that because of that very drama that people responded so effectively to the invitation of repentance and salvation? It appears that they might be well prepared for what they heard from the evangelist. Perhaps we sometimes forget that.
The whole earthly life of Jesus, and especially His crucifixion was indeed the "play" the Father presented to the world. We may say It was the play as any other if there would be no striking difference - it was REAL l! It's finale was even brutally real. But still, we may figuratively look at the Gospel of Jesus as the greatest theater play ever imagined in the history of the universe.
First, this was the greatest performance as it had the greatest producer ever - it was God Himself. And it was extremely expensive play, the producer gave His most and His best - His very Son. The play had the strongest character ever - Jesus, who died in the drama - for real. The whole "play" was full of the specially effects under control of the Master of the nature. The scenario was so powerful that has inspired thousands of artist throughout the history as well as the millions of people who were moved by the message. In order to be most realistic for us, the play was well captured by four cameras - the four Gospel account. And this play even had the most effective director ever. It was the Holy Spirit who occasionally entered Himself into the play, at least twice most obviously - when He led the main actor into the ministry, and at the end when He resurrected Him with His power of Life.
The preparation for this genius divine masterpiece needed even 400 years of the historical blackout. As far as the genre, the "play" began as the musical with the greatest choir of angels ever singing. Then it continued as drama, and at one time at the end appeared even as the comedy when people mocked Jesus at the cross. And then, when nobody expected, it surprisingly turned into the horror. The whole scene became most scary dark. The audience knew it was the sign of the judgment, recalling that back from Egypt. People were so scary that it seemed to them that God brought the hell from them down to the earth, it was that scary real. And indeed, God did brought the hell on earth for those three hours of scary darkness, but it was not for the people, but for the main character. It was for Jesus who freely choose to die for us, even to pass through the darkness of hell to save us from it's eternal horror. But the play didn't end that tragically, it turned out for good. In fact, this drama of Jesus had the most exciting happy end ever seen in the history. It was clear at its end that this drama was in fact the love story, the greatest romance ever. God did this all out from His great love for us. So that we can have Life, here and for ever.
I know that this perspective may seem bit unusual at least. Maybe even over illustrated. But the truth is that the humans are captured by story. Especially the post-modern generations. And the Gospel is also the story, though it is surely not fiction. I believe there is nothing wrong if people see the message before asked to respond to it. Especially as we expect that the message of the Gospel God intends for our dramatic life change.
Though we live in the Christian or better post-Christian cultures, Jesus whom we preach today might be more distant to the listeners then it was to the original audience of the Pentecost. They were the first hand witness of the "play".
And that's why I believe the theatre ministry is a great ministry. That's why we in CornerstoneArts Croatia wants passionately show to the people the message so they can better understand the invitation. In addition to that and along with the presentation itself, we experienced that even the whole period of preparation with the actors and workers become the very ministry itself. That makes us so enthusiastic for every new project as we continue to pray that the Lord will use us all effectively to bring people of our country to His saving love.
... we have become a spectacle to the world 1 Corinthians 4:9b
God wants our faith to be visible, doesn't He? Of course, we know that He is primarily concerned with our daily life, but why not place our faith on the real stage as well? And why not display it before the thousands?
is much more than just presenting the shows. It is the amazing story about people passionate to place their faith on stage and display it to the thousands! Though never planned to be involved in theater myself, the Lord made it miracle by sending us Richard Montez
, the unique missionary who is effectively using dramas, musicals and comedies to proclaim the saving love of Christ all over the world. And who would say that one "accidental", strange encounter in South Korea in 2005, would bring to such an amazing ministry in my country. I never planned to be involved in theater, but the ongoing wonder to find something to break through the indifferent society with the gospel made me open to the wildest ideas.
Well, the beginning was anything but easy. Beside all my enthusiasm in invitation, at the first audition only my own family showed up. To be worst, this was only the premonition, foretoken, foretaste, what is to expect in developing this complex and unique ministry. There was couple of times I wanted to quit, I'm so glad that I didn't.
Praise the Lord for what He has done in our country in only couple of short years:
very complex projects!
The sets made for all
performances in many cities of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia/Herzegovina!
children and adults exposed to the gospel, many touched, some believe!
young people all over the country and beyond involved in acting!
helping in productions, always praying together!
celebrities performing in our programs!
Hundredths of media reviews!
On the way to become financially self-sustaining!
Providing funds for social needs like the flood victims, foster kids and former addict!
Bringing foster kids to the vacation and providing Christmas gifts for them!
edition of New Testament
being printed and shared!
CornerstoneArts Testimonies (yt)
CornerstoneArts Croatia (yt)
Cornerstone Theatre - Productions Croatia
Building the stage for the large show
Photo gallery (fb)
"I was amazed how much the vision of one man could do, even more when people work together. When Richard told us that we are not acting for ourselves, but for our heavenly Father, it was to me like seeing Him being pleased and smiling." (Ana-Maria Tomic)
I'm praising God for my dear brother Richard Montez!
Boy, this man is indeed genius and I still couldn't believe how humble, but effectively the faithful servant of Jesus has been helping us develop an amazing Christian theater ministry in Croatia.
Richard Montez is the managing director of Cornerstone Theatre, based in Dallas, Texas, the USA.
He was a professional singer/dancer/choreographer for Disneyland. He acted professionally for 15 years on stage, on film and television. He has directed and produced theatrical events, seminars or workshops in 71 countries.
He has directed over 500 productions, and is currently on his 22nd World Tour! He is a graduate of CFNI in Dallas, Texas, attended Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico, and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bethesda Christian University in Anaheim, California.
Richard Montez (yt)
Richard's Ministry Dream (yt)
Judgment Seat (yt)
Judgment Seat 1 (fb)
Judgment Seat 2 (fb)
Our most evangelistic show!
Great for the post-modern society where people tend to ignore God and any accountability to the Creator.
The Judgment Seat
is a very powerful drama about the doctor getting angry at God in whom he even doesn't believe. When the Lord showed him what happened to the patients who died in his hospital, he realized there is more of reality. The most touching moments happened at the end when he couldn't save the lady whom he saw on the way to hell, and especially the very last scene when his wife was dying from cancer and he couldn't even come near to tell her about the heaven and hell.
The Judgment Seat
is a very direct drama, appealing to accept salvation while there is still time of grace. The dialogs of people standing at the judgment seat (when nothing could be changed any more) are very intriguing, challenging and warning. Many are moved to take the eternity serious, especially when they see by the special effects how the hell could be disturbing and heaven glorious.
"The show just ended for the audience, but for me, it merely began. I have much to work on, so much to forgive. It took me 40 years to come to this point, how many more to forgive?"
The Hiding Place
The Hiding Place (yt)
The Hiding Place (fb)
Ten Boom Museum
Emotionally most touching and most appealing drama for forgiveness, especially in the former war areas.
The well known true war story from Corrie ten Boom
will comes true with that powerful play. Many people cried while watching the show and were moved by the power of God's love in the midst of the most difficult circumstances.
We pray and dream to place this drama in Vukovar, the most destroyed Croatian city in the recent war, still heavily ethnically segregated, full of personal traumas and unforgiveness
Since becoming Christian, 21 years ago, my brother was furious at me. There was no event, no church service, no occasion, nothing related to "my" Christianity that he would ever attend. But he did come to see the Hiding Place! And he called me right after the show, full of positive excitement. Knowing that most his life is just turmoil - divorced, resentment with his kids, financially broken but still full of pride and unforgiveness, it gave me precious hope that the Lord began healing him with this powerful drama.
Vlado - Casper ten Boom
One of the actors brought his dad to help us build the set. During the most of the show, the dad was just staying behind the stage and bitterly crying. Later we discovered that they didn't have relationship, not even talked for years.
I didn't know about God's love until nearly perished in accident. Falling from my bike and laying helplessly on the road, there was pure miracle that another car stopped just before running over me. People were all around, but nobody to help for a while.
As I fell to coma there's not even much I could recall back from those dramatic moments. But there's one thing I'll never forget - God gave me another chance. Soon after that I heard the gospel and gave my life back to Jesus, allowing Him to use me as he wish.
And he's been doing that with the CornerstoneArts. This ministry became my most exciting life experience, it gives me precious opportunity to use the message of dramas along with my personal experience to invite many more to God.
Daniel - Rolf, Nazi soldier
Though I knew Jesus since my childhood, the Hiding Place put a very new light on Him. Even at the rehearsals I realized that the message caused something strong in me, something that I haven't think much anymore, assuming it was the finished story. Namely, as the child of divorced parents, I realized that there is still so much I needed to forgive myself. It was very difficult, but this drama helped me realize that we didn't come to this world to hate and condemn, but to do His will and forgive.
Samantha - Townsperson, Prisoner 17
Only in the morning after the show, I realized something were powerful in the Hiding Place: it was the story about two opposite groups of people, both giving their preter-human efforts for the goal they lived for: Corrie and her family for God - the Nazis for Satan. It seemed that it was the very answer I was looking for so long. Corrie offered herself in any way, in any place, in any time, and that cost her everything. I realized there's no greater joy then allowing God to use me completely. I decided to give my all, even if that would cost me my own money and my own security.
Karmen - properties director
It was simply God's miracle! I'm so glad for all those people who've been touched to give their lives to Jesus. Though it was both expensive and time consuming for me working in the show, I never regret. Whenever I came exhausted, the rehearsals and all nice people who prayed with me lifted me up. One of the sweetest reward was my sick auntie who was so excited and full of love like being healthy again after seeing the show.
Elizabeth - Townsperson, Prisoner 14
This show was very emotional to me. Though I heard about the persecution of Jews, only here I realized how terrible it must have been. The time the two sisters spent in the camp must have been simple horrible. But there was Jesus with them. I'm so glad to participate in the CornerstoneArts and meet many more friends who love Jesus like me.
Joshua - the child
Though I first didn't plan to apply for audition, through the song "Here I am to serve you", I realized it was stronger than me. And being ready to accept just any role, the Lord surprised me with the main one! Oh, I'm so sure, in my power I wouldn't be able to learn that much text, manage so many scenes, act all those feelings, but He began this work in me and was carrying it on to completion. Though we were short in actors, God brought the right people in the best time allowing me to meet so many wonderful friends and their touching life experience. I so much loved my role, so much enjoyed sharing this powerful message of forgiveness, that we can trust Christ even in the deepest despair, that "there is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still."
Mirta - Corrie ten Boom
I wouldn't trade the experience of this show with anything! I did it for God and His glory but I even enjoyed it so much. God still has power to change people's lives and he does this with the CornerstoneArts as well. With our shows we show the power of His love, so please, support us to continue .. :)
Blazenka - Townsperson, Birqitte, Mrs. Weilmakker, Prisoner 12
At the first touch with the script, I identified myself with the character of Betsy founding in her phrases my thoughts as well. I was mostly moved with: "there is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still." And indeed, if we allow God to live in us then we can be sure He's with us in every situation. And to work with Richard Montez was a true privilege. I was so impressed with his communication, work organization, persistence and selfless desire to bring out the best of us. But most of all, I was so touched to learn that he literarily supplicated from God each of us for each role.
Nada - Townsperson, Head Nurse
To work on the Hiding Place was indeed a special blessing to me. We all were like a big family and I was so sad at the end realizing that we would not see each other for a while. It was especially exciting to watch people with many different backgrounds working together united as one.
Mario - Mr. Kans, Jan Vogel, Smit 2, Nazi 2
When we shared the fliers in the town, there were two girls who just made the daisy wheel from it, probably guessing it was some kind of another commercial. But realizing it has to do with God, they eagerly came to the show. Not only that, they've been so touched with the message that they shared their impression with the friend who's dad was the theater critic. He was also thrilled with the story and gave us some great advices how to approach the major theaters in Zagreb, the capital.
Sandra - Townsperson, Prisoner
I was amazed to see how much the vision of one man could do, even more when people work together. When Richard told us that we are not acting for the audience, but for out heavenly Father, it was to me like seeing Him being pleased and smiling.
Ana-Marija - Townsperson, Nazi general
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
(JOSIP I KRIČAVE BOJE NJEGOVIH SNOVA)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (yt)
Most popular among all our shows with more than 70 performances so far!
Hilarious and entertaining biblical show for the whole family, the best one to break the ice of prejudices, so present in the post-Christian Europe. This show is perfect to bring Jesus and the Christian values to the school youth.
Joseph in Osijek - behind the scene (yt)
Joseph in Varaždin - the highlights (yt)
Joseph in Koprivnica (yt)
Richard's video reportages
Richard, Varazdin (yt)
Richard, Osijek (yt)
Richard, Rijeka (yt)
Richard, Duga Resa (yt)
Some media reviews on the performances in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia/Herzegovina:
At the age of 6, Iva lost the most precious - her only dad. He had the heart attack couple of months ago, leaving the little girl to face the world fragile and deprived. The name of her father was Joseph which may be another reason why Iva wished so badly to play in the show. Watching her joy last weekend, we could only cry, as her mom did whenever Joseph appeared at the stage. Please, pray that the heavenly Father will continue to bless Iva, turning her tears into the eternal joy.
Dear friends from the CornerstoneArts theater, I'm still under strong impression for the whole last month which culminated on Tuesday. I wish to thank to all of you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to be a part of you, to feel your wonderful energy and to participate in a wonderful musical enchantment. And most of all, thank you to help me get my heart closer to God! I enjoyed every rehearsal, every prayer and every performance! My, otherwise very reserved and skeptical father, was delighted,
even admitted that Richard spoke very wisely ;). My six year old son said he was so much enjoying that wants to see it all over again and again! This was, without any doubt, one of the most beautiful experiences of my whole life :) I love you all and I hug you and I wish you many more good plays to touch many more people's hearts! Yours, Sanja Jakopec
Dear Sirs, I attended yesterday your performance of the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". I know this musical very well, and I have to say - it is my favorite. However, I did not have much expectation for this performance when learned that there would be mostly the amateurs, children and only one month of preparation. But then I was struck and most positively shocked by an amazingly excellent performance!!! The coordinated actors, harmonized chorus, singers and dancers in the best mood!
What a charming presented story! I entirely enjoyed every minute of musicals! (And was laughing a lot as well). It would be great if this team would keep on performing it! I wish you a nice day and all the best! Diana Pavešić
Now, when I'm back home and rested, I would like to tell you that my work on the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" was one of the most beautiful experiences of my whole life. I've met people who were most kind to me, they opened the doors of their homes and hearts as being the true member of their family. Thank you everyone. Damir Kedzo, the Croatian popular singer -
Dear Mr. Vlado. I'd like to thank you so much again for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to participate in the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". The team, especially the girls, are still in the most positive thrill from Tuesday and sad at the same time because this all ended too soon. But we are also very happy because we were part of something great and so special. Since the show we stay in close touch, writing to each other sharing the photos and just can not wait to see you all again.
I must also convey to you the beautiful and very positive respond of all my family and friends who came to see the musical. Hopefully we will see you soon and if you need any help with the upcoming musicals or other projects please let me know. I am at your disposal. Thank you again for everything and God bless you. Neda Njegač
Thank you from my heart! This was my dream ;) Victoria Hunjadi
Two from Galilee
(DVOJE IZ GALILEJE)
Most romantic biblical show and the most appropriate for the Christmas season!
Two from Galilee is the beautiful Christmas story about Mary and Joseph falling in love along with all attractive miracles related to the birth of Jesus. It all makes this musical very romantic but at the same time very evangelistic too.
There were many exciting events related to this show, like when there was the young boy who loved it so much that attended even all ten shows in the row, each time traveling and paying for the ticket. What a wonderful way to be captured with the Gospel of Jesus! This show is also very speciall to me and my family as our little Ines got the opportunity to act baby Jesus. What a great encouragement for her as she grow up. Also, this was the only show that the CornerstoneArts casted in my little town of Mursko Središće. Before that happened, most people were suspicious that our church might be some strange group, but the whole town were amazed with the show that was most likely the greatest spectacle ever happened in the town. Many new people came to our Church Christmas concert and we were exciting to keep up with many new relationship established becaouse of the show.
Čakovec Jan 2013
Karlovac, Dec 2012
Duga Resa, Dec 2011
M.Središće, Dec 2011
Čakovec, Dec 2008
Beside the theater productions, the CornerstoneArts Croatia
uses other Christian artistic presentations as well to bring people in Croatia closer to God. In the Summer of 2013, we had an amazing ballet group from Florida visiting us and had privilege to take them around all over Croatia and Bosnia/Herzegovina. The great biblical presentations from Genesis, Psalms and the story of David moved the audience to see the God of the Bible while the introductory speech of Miss Colleen Smith
, the director of the group, made them understand what is so important about the Gospel.
Watching the CornerstoneArts Croatia
plays the people are usually amazed when learned that they have been done by the amateurs. Many would think that in order to achieve the level of that spectacular quality, it would be impossible without hiring the professionals. But the truth is that with God nothing is impossible. So, the project that began with the small family audition in only couple of years spread out and grew to the level of engaging more than 1000 amateurs all over Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia/Herzegovina. For most of the amateurs it was the life changing opportunity. The fact that somebody believed in them literarily change the life direction for some of them. There are no amateurs in the Kingdom of God, only people who are open for His miracles.
Beside presenting the Christian dramas and musicals to the public audience, we found great privilege to share Christ with all that join us at the projects. Being selected at the auditions, the actors take it as the great privilege to work at the art of the highest level. And we love to use that preparation period to pray with them and talk about God whenever is convenient. But usually, after the exciting performances, the actors and other theatre workers got the additional enthusiasm to meet again. So we love to organize the after parties to let them share their artistic and spiritual impressions. Along with the inspirational messages about God, we let them hear each other in their testimonies and help them get in touch with the leaders of local churches.
, our theater director, like to use those opportunities to share the inspiring message and openly invited them to pray for receiving Christ.
But, since recently we are even able to give them all the very unique gift - the special CornerstoneArts edition of the easy-to-read Croatian New Testament with the cover of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
. Please, take a look at the attached photos and pray that the Lord will keep on leading those young people in closer life with Jesus.
does it's best to use any given opportunity to help in the social needs with our programs. Beside helping people who needs that the most, the audience even more appreciate our shows and becomes better receptive to the message of God. Those are the projects we were able to help so far:
Musical TWO FROM GALILEE for the flood victim
We were glad to be able to dedicate the musical Two from Galilee as the fund raising project for the victim of the recent flood in our area. We did it on Jan 16th in Čakovec and the audience were deeply touched with the presentation of the Christmas story.
promo 1 min
promo 4 min
Partnering with the Foster Kids Association
We had the privilege to use the Les Misérables project to provide even 180 Christmas gifts for the foster kids in region:
Helping the ex-addict
We look forward that for our next Les Misérables performance in the city of Osijek we will be dedicated to help the organization NE-OVISNOSTI (No-to-addictions).
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