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Evangelism and music - Part 2

The challenges of evangelism, in the urban and cosmopolitan settings of today, test conventional methods of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. In short, we have confused the incidences of baptisms with the idea of true success as described and demonstrated by Christ’s method of reaching people.

Our music teams must engage in methods of evangelism that reflect the one modeled by Jesus Christ. Failure to do so has served to propagate a comfortable, mundane and false Adventism. After all, Christ second coming is imminent and this fact is what this movement is about. Christ method is the only one that will yield true success.

Church politics in an atmosphere of skepticism towards outreach has shut down many including musicians, and the mental and spiritual health of many is compromised.

The Great Commission as stated by Jesus at the end of the first advent might be the biggest imperative for us as its stewards. If the idea was one of choice among other things for the believer, then we could allow for partial engagement. However, when we see it as for every follow of Christ, one has to rethink and inform their ownership. Every follower of Christ includes musicians, singers and sound and video engineers. We are warned: “Those who in their work for God depend on worldly plans for gaining success will make a failure. The Lord calls for a change in your manner of labor. He desires you to practice the lessons taught in the life of Christ. Then the mold of Christ will be seen on all the meetings that you hold.”—Letter 48, 1902. {Ev 148.2}

Musicians, singers and sound and video engineers need to develop dependency on Christ. Additionally the world models to us a yardstick of success, which though valid in its agenda to entertain differs from what we are seeking to accomplish in a Seventh day Adventist worship service and evangelism. “Our success will depend on carrying forward the work in the simplicity in which Christ carried it forward, without any theatrical display.”—Letter 53, 1904. {Ev 139.4} God has required of us worship and we can mistakenly and sincerely seek to entertain Him instead. “Human strength is weakness, human wisdom is folly. Our success does not depend on our talents or learning, but on our living connection with God.” Testimonies for the Church Volume 5 (1889) p.138

Furthermore, when we read of Christ work and His method, we see His ever reliance and dependency of His Father. It is crucial to the development of our reliance and dependency on Christ in our day that we are engaged in His method of reaching people. When musicians, singers and sound and video engineers engage in Christ method of reaching people with its five steps where he “mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, won their confidence, then bade them, ‘Follow Me.’” (Gospel Workers p. 363) we are exercising dependence on Him and approach our worship services and roles from this kind of intentionality. Like every other church officer or member, we are owning the Great Commission and as a result are part of the movement, this Advent movement. We see greater value in teamwork and become more about the overall outcomes of our services while paying closer attention to detail.

Through dependency on Christ and engagement in His method, we approach planning a worship service and preparing music as a team for His ears and glory in His sanctuary. We are more mindful of our choices, our financial investing, facilitating the singing of attending worshippers and the appropriate usage of the musical language. We see more clearly when to be quiet, when to compliment, how to balance melody, harmony and rhythm and find it a joy to fellowship and connect with our fellow worshippers and each other in relationships as reflected in this methodology. We do not show up barely on time to play and deliver our roles disconnected from each other and the overall intentions of the service. Our teamwork connections start way ahead for thematic preparation, working with the presiding worship leaders and preachers. Most importantly we use our hats as artists to mingle and form relationships in a lifestyle of evangelism bringing people off the streets into the services where we will engineer, play and sing. We understand the appeal of artistry and use it to initiate the mingling process knowing however that ministry is the overriding intent and calling of our spiritual gifts and talents. Could this approach based on Christ’s method, make a sustainable difference, igniting the fervor of the early advent movement and propelling members to deliver successful missions in urban Europe’s 10/40 window?

This article first appeared in the Messenger. 26th May 2017 Volume 122.10. Journal of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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