Shortly after our recent Ministers Convention we marked the 1st anniversary of the Elijah’s School for the Prophets. For those who listen to the Sunday services at the ranch, it was quite evident that our students grew tremendously over the course of the year. Now with the recent move by Rick Eutsler to the ranch, we have introduced other, equally important elements to our curriculum – namely the music and online ministries, together with the technical aspects of each..
On the music front, Rick is working with our team to strengthen their proficiency on their instruments, improve their vocals (particularly their harmonies) and help them to develop seamless transitions between songs. This is the music as craft portion of the ministry.
The purpose of developing music ministers in their craft is not so much that they “sound” good, though that does have its value, but rather to get them to the place where they no longer have to focus upon the playing or singing of the songs. This enables the music team to focus on the Lord and what He is doing by His Spirit so that they can lead the congregation, by faith, into the presence of the Lord.
This is important because none of our messages are ever pre-determined nor prepared. That means when the minister stands up to preach, he or she is to speak the “oracles of God” that minister directly to the hearts of those that the Lord has brought to service that day, and not a message of his or her own heart.
For the music team, whose job it is to set the table for the congregation, it means that they cannot pre-program what songs they are going to play that day either. This can be a scary proposition to even the most seasoned musician because it is not at all about the “performance” of the songs. The music ministry, as with all things in Christ, must be done by faith in love, if God (by His Spirit) is going to inhabit what is happening. This is very different from what music ministry is about in most places. It is also why many churches have really great music but the Spirit of God is nowhere to be found.
Similarly, the online ministry is central today for what I suppose are obvious reasons – namely the Internet provides a forum for communicating with people all over the world. Contrary to the newsprint and still photos that were the primary means for communicating information to many of us when we were young, audio-visual material has become the primary medium for conveying thoughts and ideas over the Internet. To do this well, you need expertise with video cameras, mixing boards, etc… You also need good quality supporting text and photographs to draw people’s attention to the videos. Finally, you need to understand the various social media and forums that exist and how to best utilize them in an integrated manner. This can be complicated, but it can be the difference between being “heard” or “seen” online verses nobody noticing. If the Lord has given you something good, then you want it to be seen or heard. Few people have the time, energy and resources to do this on their own, but the Church operating as the Body of Christ with each member contributing that which the Lord gives them to do, can accomplish a tremendous amount through the online ministry. Rick, and his wife Sue, have been teaching our students all aspects of the online ministry so that they understand the power of this new medium and how to make use of it.
Our new found focus upon the music and online ministry does not mean we have neglected the other elements of ministry. Check out our services each week as our students continue to hone their preaching skills. They also lead Bible studies, on rotation, every Monday night and continue to study the Word on their own. In combination, these elements produce good soldiers for Christ. If you are interested in the Elijah’s School for the Prophets, please be in touch.