In the month of November, Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary hosted a conference “Evangelism and music ministry.” It was organized by UETS Department of Music Ministry jointly with the Lausanne Movement for Eurasia and ministry of Artists in Christian Testimony Intl (USA). The purpose of the conference was to form a mutual artistic and spiritual enrichment for ministers of evangelical churches in the area of praise and worship. The cornerstone of this project was the night of prayer that took place on November 23. It has laid a solid foundation for the blessed beginning of entire program. The schedule of conferences and lectures were focused on the theme of “Theology of praise and worship in the power of the Holy Spirit,” that was taught by Rev.Dr.Byron Spredlin. Vocal and instrumental group lessons and master classes were conducted by leading experts in the field of music and worship ministry such as pastor Jason French and Fred Heumann. During that time, students and worship leaders from the churches of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan gained invaluable knowledge and skills for more effective ministry of praise and worship. Along with it, they could find new true friends and prayer partners.
After a week of intensive training, UETS held the Lausanne Regional Consultation(3-5 December), which brought together representatives of music ministry from Eurasian countries. Among them were composers, musicians, singers, and worship leaders. The delegates from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, and representatives of Gypsy communities, shared their testimonies of the great and transforming work of God in their churches and outside them. Along with it, there were groups’ presentations which revealed personal understanding of the role of music and arts in the praise and worship ministry, as well as in world evangelism.
The Lausanne International Deputy Director (IDD) for Eurasia Anatole Glukhovskyy, opened the consultation by laying the Biblical basis for the joint worship of God in the power of the Holy Spirit through the preservation of the purity of heart and adherence to truth in joint praise and ministry of the church (Ps. 101). Dr. Byron encouraged participants to enhance the creative potential of the Evangelical Church. The key point of Dr. Byron’s message was focused on an important truth, which consists in the fact that the worship of God is much larger and deeper than just music or chants. Genuine godly worship includes the recognition of God, honor and proclamation. Only constant walking with God makes us sensitive to know how to bring people into encounter with the Lord. During the consultation, pastor Fred Heumann, based on personal experience of organizing international evangelistic crusades, shared musical and creative approaches to evangelism, revealing the key aspects of ministry organization and management. Pastor Jason French, a member of worship team at the Bethlehem Baptist Church(John Piper, Minneapolis), on the basis of the 1st chapter of the book of Daniel explained 12 important elements of God pleasing worship in different cultures.
In the final part of consultations, rector of UETS Ivan Rusin, again drew the attention of all attendees to the inextricable link between the Church’s mission and worship. He said: “Worship encompasses all spheres of our lives. It is not limited just to musical glorification at our church services. Our God is the Lord of all the earth, and the most appropriate response to His sovereignty is worship. It is a test for us to see how God reigns in our region. Worship is the target on which we should be focused all of our efforts. The Church is called to be the salt and the light of the world that should lead people to the great glory of God (Matthew 5:13-16). And I am sure that through the beauty of art, we can do it more efficiently. “