THE MINSTREL


 

By Efe Atiyio   

 

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1 ...  WHO IS A MUSIC MINISTER?

CHAPTER 2 ... CALLED AND SANCTIFIED
 

CHAPTER 3 ... THE MINDSET OF A MUSIC MINISTER

CHAPTER 4 ... GOD WORKS WITH THE MAN WHOSE HEART IS WILLING

CHAPTER 5 ... ROLE AND RELEVANCE OF THE MUSIC MINISTRY

CHAPTER 6 ...THE POWER IN MUSIC
 

CHAPTER 7 ... GROWTH AS A MUSIC MINISTER

 

EPILOGUE

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Prologue 

 

I arrived at the venue of the meeting a little early and was shocked to find out that the arena was already filled to capacity. There were all sorts of people; rich, poor, tall, short, fat, slim, thin, young, old, white, black etc.  

Obviously, the people had come for all manner of reasons. While some came in search of God’s healing power, some came out of curiosity and others still, came desiring a special touch from God. Whatever their reasons, it was obvious from the look on their faces that everyone had come with an expectation. As I took my seat and patiently waited for the meeting to commence, I couldn’t help but notice the throng of people who had come for the program. My God! In all my previous experiences, I had never seen a crowd like this gathered in the name of the Lord. The program began about twenty minutes later. The choir raised some songs of praise and the crowd joined them as if with one mind and voice. 

After some minutes of praise and worship, the choir sat down. A Music Minister climbed up the stage. She looked intensely at the crowd then suddenly, as if in response to an unheard command, she raised her sonorous voice and sang her first notes. A hush came over the entire stadium as everyone listened in rapt attention. She sang about the healing power of Jesus and how the power was still available today for all who would reach out in faith. Suddenly shouts of excitement erupted in a section of the main bowl. “What happened? What happened?” we all asked each other. No one in my area seemed to have the answer so we looked on curiously. Suddenly… we saw someone lift up a set of crutches and swing them excitedly in the air. Hallelujah! He was free. Free from the crutches and the infirmity that had kept him bound and helpless. The man had dared to trust and tap into the power of God while the Music Minister had learnt to operate in the power of Spirit Inspired Music. What next? Well the rest was…………HISTORY! 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION 

 

 

2 Kings 3:15 

And Elisha said, As the Lord of Hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah; would not look toward thee nor see thee. But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played that the hand of the Lord came upon him. And he said………….. 

 

Years of leading the music department in a fast-growing church has afforded me with the privilege to first hand information and experience on a number of music-related issues which include: -  

·                               The challenges many choir leaders and even Pastors may face in the course of raising a strong, spiritually-motivated choir.

 

·                               The reality and nature of the music ministry.

 

·                               Peculiarities of growing choirs (especially in vibrant soul-winning-oriented churches).

 

·                               The role of the choir in and outside of the church environment.

 

·                               Other issues which will be discussed in this book.

 

 

 

In the course of study, I discovered that there aren’t many materials, which treat the important issues discussed in this book. However, this is not the major reason for writing this book (which I believe will be appropriate as a manual and study material for choir leaders and Music Ministers). This book comes as a direct response to impressions laid on my heart by the Holy Spirit. 

In John 16: 13, Jesus said, “When He the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth”. 

This means, He will reveal (where necessary), motivate and stir up knowledge and understanding in your spirit concerning issues. Over time, the Holy Ghost has opened my spirit to certain truths about the Music Minister and Ministry. Furthermore, I have come to understand that when God blesses you with a gift, He expects you to share it with the world and in so doing His name is glorified. These gifts are given by the Holy Ghost for the benefit of the church and as you share the gift, He ensures that you are increased in that area and you become even more open to deeper truths. I remember, at certain points in the course of writing this book, I would suddenly stop in shock at something I had written because I realized it must have been dropped into my spirit by the Holy Ghost. As a matter of fact, most of them were later confirmed when I almost literally ran into scriptures that not only supported made these truths but made them even clearer. 

Please take into cognizance that even though revelation is progressive, the principles are constant, therefore the thoughts shared in this book must be prayerfully studied, meditated upon and acted on. As you do this, RHEMA will surely come to you concerning your ministry!  

NOTE

Rhema is a Greek word which refers to a specific word from God for a specific person at a specific time for a specific reason. It is Gods word for the for the now which the Holy Spirit inspires in your heart 

However, even as God gives you the word, it can and will only be effective if acted upon in faith. (Faith without works is dead- James 2:26). I strongly believe that as you do this, the Holy Ghost will open your heart to even deeper truths in the realm of the spirit. 

This book is a compilation of truths directly revealed by the Holy Ghost, word principles, teachings I have been exposed to over time, thoughts that have come to me through the study of Gods word and my experiences as a music leader 

I pray that you are richly blessed as you read through this ministry-transforming material and I assure you that even as you apply these thoughts, you will see your ministry and choir go from one level of glory to another. God bless you. Amen. 
 

 
 


 

CHAPTER ONE 

Who is A Music Minister? 

 

In some circles and churches, the term Music Minister might sound strange and even out of place. However, this term is a more accurate description of who and what the members of a church choir represent and ought to be. The word ‘choir’, doesn’t fully encapsulate the entire function of the music group in the church. The word, ‘choir’, actually refers to ‘a group of singers’ which is also found in the world context. On the other hand the word, ‘minister’, implies that a service is being rendered or one who renders a service’. 

According to the Advanced Learners Dictionary, a minister is defined as ‘one officiating or assisting the officiate in church worship’. Therefore, based on this definition we can define the Music Minister as ‘one who officiates or assists the officiate in church worship or service through music’. 

To the layman, the above definition might be adequate, but in actual fact, this is just a scratch on the surface of the truth. The Music Minister is much more than this. The world may have its singers, it may have its choirs, but one thing the world cannot have is a Music Minister. This is because it takes more than just sense knowledge or knowledge of singing and music to minister. The Music Minister occupies an exalted position in ministry because is such an important aspect of worship. It takes the anointing of Almighty God to minister and this anointing can only be found in the body of Christ.  

Get your study Bible, materials and any other thing you may need. Ensure that you are comfortable because we are about to take a dip into the sea of revelation knowledge as we explore the question: WHO IS A MUSIC MINISTER?”

 

 

 

The Music Minister is …………

 

A CHRISTIAN 

Above anything else, the Music Minister is first and foremost a Christian and must live an exemplary Christian life i.e. he ought to be an example of a true believer (1Tim 4:12, 2Tim 3:14) both in and out of the church environment. 

We must fully digest the fact we only have one life; The Christian Life. Also, you must settle it in your heart that Christianity is not a religion as believed by many. Rather, it is the God-kind of life expressed in humanity. This produces godly nature, character, conduct and lifestyle in the sense that we are actually moved into the God-class of beings. 

A lot of people are of the opinion that the most indiscipline department in the church is the music department. Funny enough, I used to share this opinion until I realized how fallacious that statement is. After the Pastorate, the most visible and probably attractive department in the church is the music group. This I believe is as a result of the front-seat role played by the department during service. People come into church for the first time and the first set of people to whom they are directly exposed, happen to be the choir and the Pastor. The devil has no new tricks. What he does is to amplify the mistakes made by a few, (mistakes which could happen to anyone in and out side of the church environment) and then he spreads the talk around through some people whom more times than not are also members of the church! This is evil communication and ought not to be found within the church. The bible admonishes us not to give the devil any foothold (Eph 4:27). 

Now, let’s switch argument a little to make an important point. As leaders, you need to be careful of the confessions you make concerning your choirs because you will get what you say. This is not to say that there aren’t challenges or transgressors within the choir. All I am saying is that talking about these challenges will not make them go away. Rather than magnify the challenge, you must consistently confess God’s word on your choirs and encourage your members in the Lord irrespective of how the situation may seem. They who observe lying vanities forsake their own mercies. (Jonah 2:8). See them as you would want them to be. See them as God says they are. As you pray for them and treat them with love, your group will eventually line up with how you have seen them in the visions of your spirit from Gods word. Your show of love irrespective of what your members do is a necessary ingredient for change. Even when you correct them, it must be done out of and in love. Jesus gave us a perfect example through the cross proved it on the cross and your case should not be an exception.  

So, let’s return to the subject at hand. The Music Ministry is a central point in modern church worship. Once the devil can successfully discredit the music group, he has succeeded in reducing their efficacy in the service. This is especially easy in churches where there is a high level of sin consciousness, because the people there would quickly put up walls” in their minds as they would feel that the guilty person(s) are no longer “worthy” to minister to them, at least until they “repent”. You must understand that many times, the devil acts with ulterior motives in mind. Lots of times, whatever action he takes is actually a means towards an end. For this among other reasons, leaders must always spend time to pray for their choirs. Also, the bible admonishes us to put on the whole Armor of God that we might stand against the devils stratagems (Eph 6:11). 

A lot of Music Ministers (especially the talented ones have found themselves facing problems relating to an identity crisis. They seem to forget their primary existence and role as Christians, and allow themselves to be carried away by the applause and glamour of being at the forefront of church worship and ministration. As a dear man of God once said, “pride has been the undoing of many singers in the church”. How true this is. 

It is a well-known fact that many of the world’s greatest and best singers actually had their roots in the church, but at some point in time they allowed themselves to be enticed by the deceitfulness of the world. They chose the so-called ‘glitz and glamour’ of the world in exchange of service to the father. Humanly speaking, their reasons for leaving the church were sometimes justified, probably due to the hypocrisy and unflinching religiosity of some church folk, or maybe they receive more acceptance by those outside the church or…Whatever the reason, to God, it is not acceptable because our service is God-ward not man-ward. Sadly, this trend has continued till this day all over the world. I could have been an example but thank God He had me in mind all the time, and in the fullness of time he brought me back in. 

Right from my formative years, I knew that I was going to sing. I remember writing and singing some very funny songs at the age of 5. I would sing and feel good even though everyone else would ask me to shut up. All the while I didn’t know God. I answered the altar call and joined the choir in a Baptist church when I was 12 years old and that was where I had my first feel of church music. I left when I was 13-14 years. Before long (because I was not rooted in the word) I got distracted and my active participation in church and music gradually dwindled until I stopped going to church altogether and the music in me became dormant. In 1991, my interest in music was rekindled and I found myself doing rap music, (secular of course). By then, due to a whole lot of reasons, which include lack of proper care, my singing voice had broken. It was however suitable for rap. I could write rap, but music? , No way!  

I would go to shows and concerts of all kinds and perform. I was in search of something I thought I could get through recognition but deep down I knew that there really wasn’t any true fulfillment in what I was doing. With time I realized that all I was truly trying to achieve was an upward move in life. I wanted to be recognized by the society. It was at the height of this that I came across the true and blessed message of God’s grace, love and mercy. Glory to God!  

So you see, to a large extent I know what it feels like trying to measure up to the standards of the world. The truth of the matter is that as Christians and in extension Music Ministers, we are bigger and better than the riches, fame or glamour that the world could ever offer. The truth of the matter is that the world promises all sorts of things but in the long run, it takes from you more than you could possibly have gained from it. Go and ask the Hitler’s and the Marilyn Monroe’s of old. We have a holy calling. I would to God that you would only catch the revelation that you are connected to the eternal supplier: God. Whatever happened to, “and my God shall supply all your needs according to HIS riches in Glory” (Philippians 4:19.). 

Don’t misunderstand me. I realize that everyone wants to feel important and relevant. Sadly enough, this often leads people into all sorts of things, nevertheless you should realize that you are a created being and therefore have to do what the creator created you to do. Many might not know this but a lot of those who started off in the church choirs but opted out for the rewards of the world are not the happy bunch they try to make people feel they are. Showbiz is all about make-believe. Some are into drugs, some have marital problems and others have a whole lot of unnecessary troubles. At the end of the road, many realize that they have basically wasted their lives because with all the accolades and awards they have received they realize that they didn’t fulfill their purposes of existence. They lived their lives fulfilling another mans dream. What would you want to say at the end of your course; ‘I ran my race’ or ‘how did I use my life’. Have you taken time to find out what your God-given purpose is? And if you have, are you sticking to it? Remember only the blessing of God gives riches and adds no sorrows (Proverbs 10:22). You can’t serve two masters; neither can you take from the devil to pay God. Do you think the devil is such a fool as to invest so much in a person only to let the person go without a fight? The way of the world is to take you up and dash you against the rocks and it will take the grace of God to put you back together. Do not be deceived by how high some in the world go because, the higher they go, the more devastating the fall. 

When you locate what God has called you to do and stay there, He will increase you in that thing and cause you to prosper in it. There is unction for the music ministry and you can grow in it, if you stay therein. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. As Music Ministers, we must never lose sight of the fact that we are first and foremost Christians. 

 

A TRUTH SOURCE 

 

Let’s place one fact on the table; the music minister is more than a singer. We are carriers and distributors of the gospel. This thing is more than music. There is something we carry on the inside.  

 

2Cor.4:7

We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.  

We have been called into the ministry of reconciliation Music Minister must give him or herself to the study of the word and doctrine and must determine to grow spiritually. Only then can he experience the fullness of God upon his or her ministry. This is especially so for those who write songs. 

2 Timothy 2:15 

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, and who correctly handles the word of truth. 

There was a time when I was so particular about the dynamics of the song, the tune, the perfect rendering of the song, the beauty of the voice, the skills etc. until I found out that I was missing out on the most important of them all. Now, the things I mentioned above are all extremely important. Bible says that we have the Spirit of excellence; it even records that David played skillfully, such that the evil spirit that tormented King Saul left. Therefore as believers, this quality should be evident in all we do including our ministrations. In-fact, like I would always say, “We have gone beyond the management Ministry and now walk in the ministry of excellence”. So let me explain the statement I made above. 

Some years ago, God spoke to me. He told me that if I had to make a choice between the word and music that I was to choose the word. As at then, this was agonizingly confusing. I knew that I had been called of God into the music ministry but now this same God, whom the bible says is not an author of confusion, was asking me to choose the word over music. At that time, apart from the music department, I was also handling a cell (this is a fellowship unit in my local assembly). Well rather than assuming that I understood it, I knew that I had to hear from God again before taking any major decision (after-all, they that are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God-Romans 8:14). God speaks clearly so don’t just assume you can give your own interpretation for anything He says. If you don’t understand, stay there until He explains what He means. That way you won’t find yourself treading someone else’s path. 

Finally, some time later, as the Pastor preached at a particular meeting God spoke to me at a time I least expected to hear from Him. You need to und4rstand that no two meetings are the same for you don’t know which of the days could be your day of visitation. Each meeting God has a different blessing lined out for his children. Well on that day, He explained to me that as Music Ministers, the ministry we represent and music we minister are actually products of the word and therefore can only be sustained by the word. This opened my eyes to the fact that I had basically ignored the place of the word in my music ministry. They are one and the same and therefore they cannot be separated. The Music Minister can only be successful when he locates himself in the word and the word in the music. 

 

Many a Music Minister have been carried away by all the extras of the gift e.g. learning scales, doing dynamics, arranging songs, ad-libs etc. and have neglected that ‘one thing needful’; ministration by the spirit! 

The difference between the music of the world and gospel music is the anointing and the anointing is brought about by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Moses, recognizing the need for the anointing, said they would not go forward unless the presence of God went with them. This is because he knew that what separated them from the rest of the world was Gods presence. 

The primary reason for the music ministry is not as a source of entertainment for the church although we could use it as a way of catching the people’s attention so as to achieve the aim of ministry: that of reaching our audiences spiritually. 

A Music Minister must be full of the Spirit and the word of God. In other words, not only should you know the scripture but you must also understand and have revelation knowledge of the word and be acquainted with the Spirit of the word, because you can only give what you have. The music ministry is one part of the church in which the 5 ministry gifts, (The Pastor, Evangelist, Teacher, Apostle and Prophet) can be found. The music ministry is all about the word in music. 

Acts 20:32 

And now, brethren, I commend you to God and the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among them that are sanctified. 

The word of God prepares, builds and purifies you such that when you saturate your heart with it, your mouth will of a necessity speak the wisdom therein. There are too many ignorant music ministers who think that because they are being used of God, then everything should be okay. So all they do is practice, practice and practice without paying attention to the study of the word. This is absolutely wrong, for without being built in the word, you will not be able to stand when the storms of life come. Just like any Christian, you’ll surely go through the fire, but like gold you’ll be purified. The word is for the use not just for the keeps. 

Furthermore, you can only truly be acquainted with the one who sent you through the word. You must soak your spirit in the word and let it find a home in your heart. There are higher levels of ministry, so its time to move to the next level of ministry. 

 

A SOUL WINNER 

Proverbs 11:30

He who wins souls is wise  

My Pastor would always say that the true evidence of the infilling of the Holy Ghost in a believer is his/her passion for souls. God’s number one job is soul winning. God had a son and rather than make Him a lawyer, doctor, orator etc. He made Him a soul-winner even though He had the qualities to be any of the above if He had so chosen. Remember that even at the tender age of 12; Jesus was already rubbing minds with the Teachers in the temple. 

The Bible lets us know that the church is a body and we are parts of the body each performing different tasks towards achieving the central objective of the body (Eph. 4:15-16). In the same light, every department in the church must work together so as to achieve the common goal of the church (soul winning and soul-development or discipling). This includes the music ministry and/or Music Minister. 

It is true that while we sing, some people give their hearts to Christ, others are healed, delivered etc. but this doesn’t absolve us of our primary Christian responsibility of one on one soul winning and evangelism. This (soul winning) must be our focus at all times. I would like to break this point into two areas:

 

·                               The work within the church environment.

·                               The work outside the church environment.

 

In church 

During service or any church function, every Music Minister, whether the instrumentalists, the soloist, back-up singers, general choir must have soul winning and development as the focus of ministration (more ministry and less entertainment). This however can only be achieved through the agency of the Holy Ghost. Man is a spirit, who lives in a body, and has a soul. To truly cause a change in a person, the change must come through the person’s spirit. Your ministration has got to be by the Spirit. Let me explain:- 

John 3:6

What is born of (from) flesh is flesh (of the physical is physical); and what

is born of the Spirit is spirit. (Amp) 

The aim of your ministration should be to impact the listener with a life-transforming message and as I said earlier, the only way to do this is through the person’s spirit. This means that for your ministration to have any effect, it must be birthed out of your spirit by the Spirit of God. It must have taken a hold of your own spirit such that as you minister, it is ‘born’ of your spirit and is therefore spirit. Only at this point can it flow into the listener’s spirit and by the agency of the Holy Ghost, it will start to cause transformations. On the other hand, if the ministration comes from your head, it is carnal (based on emotions emanating from the mind and senses, i.e. it is sensual) and at most will only excite the listener’s flesh but won’t have much spiritual value. That is why someone might sing so well in terms of skill and probably put in all the right notes and dynamics that could cause people to even applaud so much and get excited and yet the people won’t really be blessed spiritually. This is because all he did was in the flesh. No matter how good the applause makes you feel, you must understand that our ministry is not all about the applause. Rather, it is about the spiritual value of the ministration. As we said earlier, it is actually about the word in music. 

Acts 20:32

And now brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among them that are sanctified.  

There have been times when the congregation was so deeply moved spiritually that they couldn’t even applaud after a particular music ministration! All they could do was worship and give God praise. Now that is ministry! 

I am not talking about you just having a passion for what you are doing. Obviously you should minister with a passion but this is different from being passionate. It is actually deeper than passion because even singers in the world can sing passionately (we have already ascertained that the anointing of the Holy Ghost makes the difference). What I am talking about is a passionate ministration that is soaked in the anointing of the Holy Ghost. 

If we could only minister in this frame of mind, there will be such tremendous power and anointing released from our music that signs and wonders are sure to be wrought. 

One important point to note is the fact that we are not just voices in the wind but we have a message that MUST be heard. Do you know that music has a way of passing across a message that people would remember for a longer time than when spoken to? Well, this is very true. I am sure that you may even be able to remember some of the songs you learnt or heard as a child. On the other hand, you might find it hard to remember the content of last Sunday’s sermon. That is one reason music leaders and Pastors in the church must be careful about the content of the music sung in their churches. 

Songwriters must also be mindful of the lyrics of the songs we write. We must study to know the scripture and we must ensure we write based on Rhema (revelation for the now) so that we don’t err in the content of our songs as a result of our ignorance of the scriptures. The same way the Bible admonishes Teachers of the word to be careful, what they teach, we also need to be careful that the songs we write and minister are consistent with God’s progressive revelation. Unfortunately, a lot of gospel songs have been written from the point of the human understanding of the writer. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the writer did not have a revelation of what he wrote about. What I am saying is that the writer probably wrote the song based on how he felt at the time he was writing the song and what he believed the scripture was saying rather than what it actually said. This is dangerous because a lot of people may take the lyrics of your song and make a doctrine out of it because they expect you to know. I’ll give you an example of this. 

I listened to a song written by a wonderful Music Minister whom I respect so much. Now, the song describes the saint as just a sinner who fell down but got up. In human understanding, it could pass, but based on scripture, this is absolutely wrong. A SAINT IS NOT A SINNER! Even if he falls down, this doesn’t make him a sinner, rather he’s a righteous man who fell but got up. The term ‘sinner’ is not an adverb. It is a noun. It is the nature that Adam inherited as a result of his fall. Sin is an act that proceeds as a result of the sin nature. When a man gets born again, he is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), recreated after the image of the second Adam (Jesus) who is a life-giving Spirit. In Christ, the sin nature is put to death and the gift of righteousness is received into our human spirit; thereby making us righteous. 

Rom. 5:17

For if by one man’s trespass (lapse, offence) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive (God’s) overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness (putting them into right standing with Himself) reign as kings in Him through the one man Jesus Christ (the messiah, the anointed one)-Amp. 

The bible says in 2 Cor. 5:17 that if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old is passed away and the new is come. In other words, the old sin nature is replaced by the righteous nature, which God gave us as a result of the sacrifice that Jesus made by dying on the cross. We have been recreated in the image and likeness of the second Adam (Jesus). We have the God kind of life [Zoë] and therefore we cannot have the sin nature, which is the nature of the devil. 

The album with this particular song is a product of greatly inspiring and anointed ministry and has been exported to many countries. I can only imagine the number of people who have been affected by this wrong revelation. No matter what we think we’re trying to say, we must understand that not everybody might understand what we mean so we must make our lyrics as understandable and accurate as possible. Remember; it is easier to remember the lyrics of a song than the words of a spoken sermon. 

Outside church 

We neither sing 24 hours a day nor do we stay in church all day. There are times when we come in contact with people outside the church environment. As Christians we have the responsibility of reaching out to these people with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Mathew 28:18,

(Also see Mark 16:17)

All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all men, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. 

In some churches especially those which lay a lot of emphasis on soul winning the music group is seen as a bunch of unserious and jobless people who just sing and sing. A lot of people; including some choir members think the music ministry is for those who just want to pass time or have nothing better to do. No matter the case, this is a very wrong impression. The music ministry is indeed a ministry and any church that believes anything less would only reproduce what it believes. Such a church will never have a spiritually mature choir. No matter how much the leaders pray, the choir will always be problematic and immature.  

It matters what you believe and confess about your music ministry! 

I have heard a lot of music leaders complain that their ministry is not given the kind of attention and regard which it deserves. They say, “Oh they look down on us, oh we are not allowed to express ourselves, oh we are not being encouraged”. That is talk for babes and infants in Christ! If no one is encouraging you, rather than complaining, encourage yourself in the Lord and do what God has called you to do with a cheerful heart. Our call is God-ward not man-ward.  

I have the conviction that you can only become important when you make yourself important and as my Pastor would always say you can become so big that no one would be able to ignore you anymore’. I made up my mind a long time ago that I’m the man for any job that needs to be taken care of. No excuses allowed. Like a dear Pastor said, ‘excuses are just your reasons for remaining at a level’. I have realized that my ministry is a helps ministry and I ensure that I’m the best I can be for the man of God whose ministry I’ve been called to “help” {More on this will follow in a later chapter}. 

One sure way through which the music ministry could be recognized in church is through its participation in other activities like soul winning and giving. The music department is one of the only departments that can have an outreach and use it’s mode of ministry {music} to win souls. There are many music groups that have come to an understanding of these things and are doing exploits. I was told of a music group who traveled to a certain town, lodged in a hotel and had a weekend of soul winning and evangelism to the extent that when they were leaving the Pastor whose church they assisted had to openly recognize the impact they had made on his church. 

The moment you stay there and complain without acting in line with scripture, you will talk and pray and sweat for recognition but none will come your way. God can only bless and multiply the seed you sow. He will and can only work with what you have. He asked Moses what he had in his hand and Moses replied that he had a rod. From that moment, the rod became the rod of God {exodus 4}. You must sow your seed. Believe in Him, give that seed in faith and God will surely increase you. The good thing is that you already have the seed for the bible says that it is God who gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater (2 Cor. 9:10). 

There is a depth in God you’ll never know or experience unless you are a soul winner. This is true, even for a Music Minister. You must win souls because for you to be a successful Music Minister your relationship with the Holy Spirit must have depth. There is a level of spiritual growth that you can only experience as a direct result of soul-winning; a passion for God that will erupt in your spirit and cause you to testify and minister at all times. Remember the bible says that whosoever wins souls is wise not just the Pastor or the Evangelist (Prov. 11:23). 

The point is this: the aim of any music ministration should directly or indirectly be soul-winning and/or soul-development. 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

CALLED AND SANCTIFIED 
 

We have been called of God and sanctified {separated} unto him. The Levites were a tribe of the nation of Israel who were separated as priests unto God. Of the Levites, some were further set apart to function in the temple day and night for the purpose of ministering in music. 

1 CHRONICLES 6:31-47

These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the Lord after the ark of the Lord came to rest there. They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, until Solomon built the `temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them… 

Verse 33 down to 47 goes on to name the men who served as musicians. It must be noted that the musicians were all from the tribe of Levi, which had been set apart onto God. The priesthood all came from this tribe of Israel. 

 

The Music Minister is expected to separate himself unto God. He should live above reproach and must purify himself. He must recognize himself as a minister and act accordingly. He must recognize himself as a special vessel through which God expresses himself i.e. he must see himself as a channel of God’s presence to the people. This is especially important for praise- worship leaders who have the basic responsibility of reaching out to the Spirit, knowing the mind of the Spirit and acting as a bridge between the people and the Spirit of God during praise-worship. In other words, if the leader does not make a connection with the Spirit, there might not be a flow of the Spirit in that worship time. Bringing about the presence of God in worship is not dependent on how good the leaders’ voice is. Rather, it is dependent on how well the leader is tuned in, can yield to and connect with the Spirit of God. This is not to say that his presence will not be there. The key to experiencing the presence is in the worship leaders’ ability to tune in to the frequency of the Spirit and also help the congregation to open their spirits. 

As music minister, we would be privy to certain revelations of the Holy Ghost if only we would learn to be more spiritually minded and display a deeper understanding of our role in the church of God. I’ve heard many choir members {notice I used the term choir members and not ministers} complain when the choir meetings or church service has much prayer in it. 

Many times certain expressions appear to lose their true value and more or less become clichés. For instance, many Music Ministers talk about the music ministry being a calling but the way they act makes me believe that they either don’t understand the meaning of a calling or just don’t bother to act in line with the dictates of a call. I guess it’s because the knowledge they have about the ministry is more of sense knowledge than anything else. It must dawn on you that even though you were appointed into office by your leader, the true source of your appointment was the Holy Ghost who appointed you to accomplish a service, which goes beyond ensuring that there is music in church. No, you have been called and separated to attend to the spiritual needs of the brethren to whom you have been assigned. 

John 15:16

You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit; fruit that will last. 

This particular scripture has blessed me tremendously and I dare say changed my outlook towards ministry. First of all I became more aware of the fact that “it’s not by power nor by might but by my spirit says the Lord” {Zechariah 4:6}. God is the one who called us and has enabled, commissioned, appointed, designated us to produce results, even results that are ordained to endure {last}. Another beautiful aspect is that not only have we been told to go but also in Matthew 28:18 we are further told to go in His name”. Boy! That is victory before war! 

We have been called by God to occupy an exalted position in Him and to carry out duties, which have the inherent ability to produce certain expected results. There is no need to struggle. As we yield ourselves to God and open our spirit to the Holy Ghost, we allow Him to perfect in and through us what He has begun. We must understand that being a Music Minister is actually a privilege not a job and when you function in your call, the person that gets blessed or increased is you not God. 

If we have been chosen or called of God, it means there are certain behaviors, attributes and ways expected of us. There is a level of commitment we must display to our call. If God has called us, He definitely has a plan for us. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Music Ministers who are busy doing their own thing .God wants to express Himself in certain ways through us and it is not for you to decide how or when He should. 

Romans 12:1

Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing unto God-this is your spiritual act of worship. 

Romans 9:20-21

But who are you, O man to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?  

We are the product of God’s hands and if He has chosen us for a purpose, our lives will only be truly fulfilled in the fulfilling of that for which He called us. We must be sold out to the call. We must be sold out to God. We must be………… 

 

COMMITTED TO THE CALL 

Colossians 4:17

And say unto Archippus; see to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord. 

The amplified version says “see that you discharge carefully {the duties of} the ministry and fulfill the stewardship which you have received in the Lord. The phrases “complete” in the New International Version of the bible and “discharge carefully” in the Amplified version are not only important. They are also striking. I believe they are choice words of the Spirit. They imply that it is possible to start the work and not complete it. Also, it is possible to be doing the work and yet not carefully. 

Alas, this is the story of many Christians. They see their lives and ministry as being separate parts of the whole and so they take “their lives” seriously and if there are left over time, then they do the work of the ministry. After all, they think, “God will understand”. That is ignorance, foolishness and self-deceit gone on rampage because even though we live in two worlds (we live in this world but are not of this world), we don’t have two lives, we have just one life and that life should be the life of the ministry. God brought us out of the world to bring us into the ministry for the work of the ministry (2 Cor .5:18-19). Right now the life you live should be for Christ. This means that every thing we do should and must be geared towards the advancement of God’s kingdom. This includes our jobs, relationships, activities etc. (Phil. 3:8, 12-14) 

Too many Christians are busy struggling with the rest of the world for what God has already declared is ours. We have come into His rest. Someone may say” eh, but I don’t see it.” Brother, faith is not about seeing, rather it is about knowing it is so without having seen it. This is the Christian life. God has a nature and He has given us this nature. However, God also put some laws in place and while God will forgive, the laws will not for instance the law of gravity states that there’s a force which pulls objects downwards towards the earth. Therefore, whether you believe the law to be true or not, once you jump off a balcony, you are sure to fall downwards unless you apply a higher law like the law of lift. 

Matthew 6:25-33

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink or about your body, what you will wear…………

For the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

 

The above scripture confirms that God already knows our needs {verse 32}. The next verse then tells us to firstly give ourselves to that which God is interested in and the things, which the pagans seek after, (which He knows we also need) would be added unto us. In other words, the success of your ‘personal’ life is connected to the way you handle your ministry because as you fully discharge the ministry God has placed in your hands, everything you need shall be added .No struggle! Remember only God gives wealth and adds no sorrow. Your provision lies in the accomplishment of your God-given vision. 

A Nigerian citizen who travels to the US must abide by the laws guiding the people of America as long as he is within the territorial boundaries of the USA, irrespective of what the Nigerian constitution says. In the same vein, the Christian should not have to live his life based on the same laws/principles by which the people of the world live. The unconverted gets his livelihood by the sweat of his hands but the believer’s job is just a source of seed. Any Christian who doesn’t live by this rule will struggle like the rest of the world. Ephesians 3: 20 declares that He’s able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that you can ask or imagine according to His mighty power that is working in you. In extension, I believe that this scripture seems to suggest that your walking in this scripture is dependent on the level to which His mighty power is working in you. Also note that the scripture takes cognizance of the fact that there is a mighty power working in you but the question to ask is “to what level of use have you put this mighty power?” 

In Philippians 4:19, Apostle Paul said, “my God will meet your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus”. The prayer was however conditioned on the fact that the church at Philippi had previously met his needs. So it was more like saying, "God bless you for what you have done for me". What I’m saying is; your reward is in your call!! 

Someone once asked me how I manage to be at every meeting and do all the things I do without getting tired. I replied it’s not as if I don’t get tired but I’ve reached a stage in my service of God, where everything else including “my life” has become secondary. Remember Jesus said that whosoever loses his life on His account would gain it again but whoever keeps his life will lose it. I have made my choice to sow mine into Him. I heard that my Pastor sleeps only a few hours each day and I said to myself that if he could do it, it must be possible for others to do it. 

As I mentioned earlier, if God has called us, it means, He definitely has a job for us. Being good, loving those around us etc. are actually products of our righteous nature (fruits of the recreated human spirit-Gal 5:22-23), so we don’t need any extra power to do them, all we need do is to be ourselves. In the music ministry, the extras for which we are rewarded are all the rehearsals we do, sacrifices and offerings that we present. The moment I realized the fact that we are into serious business and that God has called me to play a crucial role in His game plan on the earth, I stopped taking my ministrations lightly. As a Music Minister, has the importance of your role in ministry dawned on you? Do you realize that if you (the Music Minister, whether singer or instrumentalist) are not around when you ought to, someone might just not receive what the Spirit of God intended for Him to receive? Imagine that God intends to bless a certain congregation through a particular message and the Pastor doesn’t show up. The congregation would not receive what they were meant to receive but whom do you think would be responsible for this? Of course, the minister would be. This is because as a minister, he has an obligation to carry out certain functions that go along with the call. The same goes for the Music Minister. To whom much is given, much is expected. There is a right place to be at a right time and we must therefore allow ourselves to be led at all times by the Holy Spirit. Speaking, Jesus noted that anyone who isn’t gathering is actually scattering. 

John 15:16 says that He chose you. You are not the one who chose to be a Music Minister. You may think, “after all I decided to join, so I can leave if I so wish”. A thousand times NO. You were brought in for such a time as this, to fulfill such a ministry as this. Never make the error of considering yourself a volunteer. There is no volunteer work in ministry, for no man can come to God except he is drawn of the Spirit. He called you and has given you a responsibility which must be carried out to the best of His ability in you. (Jer. 1:4-10). You were dead in your sins but he came in and bought you for a price. You don’t own yourself. Settle this in your spirit: He is Boss! 

I didn’t join the choir because I wanted to. I joined because God actually gave me a specific instruction to do so. I always tell people that I really couldn’t sing before God called me but when I opened my mouth based on his instruction, He filled it. He taught me how to sing and write songs. Since then, He has greatly increased my music ministry. I was never really trained in the art of singing and songwriting; there was a time when I couldn’t even write songs, no matter how hard I tried. God wants to do the same thing in you. As you yield to Him, He will use you and as He uses you, He will increase you. The good thing is God does not bless or increase based on the human theory of addition, rather He blesses and increases us in geometric progressions; He multiplies us.  

Times without number, God has told me (while in fellowship and through prophecy) that He hasn’t even begun with me. A times I find it hard to even believe that some of the songs He inspired in my heart were brought into this physical realm by me. I’m excited about the call. I am committed to it and I’ve made up my mind that I’ll be the best that God has for me. Make up your mind to do the same because only by being true to your call will you fulfill the purpose for which you were born. 

Your call was by God however it is your responsibility to respond and be faithful in that call. Don’t judge God based on theories or theology and don’t see Him through other people’s eyes or actions. Know Him for yourself. Desire and pursue a relationship that is based on a personal revelation of Almighty God. 

 

 

 
 
 

CHAPTER 3 

THE MINDSET OF A MUSIC MINISTER 

Now that we have discussed who the Music Minister is and ascertained that he has been called and sanctified, let’s dig deeper into the realities of the ministry: content, direction and purpose of the music ministry. 

 

THE MUSIC MINISTRY IS A HELPS MINISTRY 

EXODUS 17:11-13

And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand Amalek prevailed. But Moses hands were very heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands the one on the one and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek with the edge of the sword. 

 

Aaron and Hur were quick to notice that anytime their leader; Moses dropped his hand, the men of Amalek won so they moved in to “help” and through their quick intervention Israel won the battle. Theirs became a helps ministry.

I should state that God is not an author of confusion. He has placed a guiding structure in the body of Christ. 

Ephesians 4:11

It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be Prophets, some to be Evangelists, some to be Pastors and Teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service. 

The King James Version says “for the building up of the church for the work of the ministry”. Remember that the service of the musicians (the Levites) was in the temple. Every arm of the ministry is directly or indirectly connected to all the other arms and the ministry profits by that which all members jointly provide (Ephesians 4:16). From the beginning, the Music Minister has been under the auspices of a ministry, which I believe is God’s plan. Today, there are too many Music Ministers who wander from church to church with no clear direction. This is absolutely wrong. Now again don’t misunderstand me. I realize that there are certain Music Ministers who may not involved directly with a choir but who function with the body in other ways. He or she may even have a music ministry that has evolved into a large organization for various purposes and goals. However, every Music Minister MUST belong to a specific body of believers. I also realize that some Music Ministers actually function under the unction of one or more of the offices of the 5-fold ministry gifts (We’ll discuss this later) in which case he or she would still belong to, or be the head of, a body of believers. If however you do not head a word ministry, you must be affiliated or subject to a specific church because from God’s word we find that our leaders will be called to give account of us. God will neither address the sheep nor the lambs. He will address the shepherd, so who would He address on your behalf if you don’t have a shepherd? The eyes are in the head. Without the eyes, there can’t be clear and proper navigation. From the analysis above, you will discover that whether you are involved in any specific assignment or you function in any of the 5-fold ministry gifts, you still need to be a part of a specific body of believers. 

Paul charged us not to forsake the assembling together of the saints as is the manner of some. This in itself reflects the importance of participating in the activities of a specific body of believers. The music ministry is not and cannot be the church. It is a part of the church. It is a helps ministry. While it is true that there are some ministries with very organized music departments, the music is not the main “course” except if the program being held is musical in nature. The music ministry is a facilitator of the work, an instrument of worship, a “helper” towards the achieving of an aim: service of God. 

The Music Minister must understand that his role in service is basically that of musically assisting or helping his man of God to keep the flow of the Spirit. He also helps to point and keep the attention of the congregation focused on the Lord. It is his duty to create the right atmosphere and to ensure that the people are prepared (i.e. that their spirits are opened) to receive the word. The Music Minister must always have this at the back of his mind and allow these things to inform his choice of songs (at every point in time), the mood he intends to create and even his choice of words. This applies especially to instrumentalists. 

The choir, music group or Music Minister can and should help the man of God to achieve a flow in the service. Like the man of God, the Music Minister must be sensitive to the move and leading of the Spirit at every point in time because any wrong or inappropriate action could grieve the Holy Spirit and destabilize the service (Eph. 4:29-30). 

 

 

 

A WORSHIPPER 

Earlier on, I stated that before you are a Music Minister, you are a Christian. Extending this further you could say that before you are anything you are a worshipper. 

John 4:24

God is a spirit and His worshippers must worship Him in spirit and in truth. 

Gods word is truth and it is reality, so we must worship Him as His word instructs us and through the Holy Ghost. When we believe and act based on Gods word, it is an act of worship. This means that our life in its entirety should be a life of worship i.e. true worship. We must see God as He is and treat him as such. Also, we must understand that the spiritual pre-existed the physical and as believers, we must operate form the realm of the spirit). Therefore we must be sensitive to the Spirit and spiritual things. 

Every Music Minister must learn to worship God not just in the church but also in his closet. I have come to a point in my life where I take a look at the birds in the trees, the artistic-looking clouds, the beautiful plants and flowers and I see God’s manifest glory all over them. At times I sit in my room and just worship God and cry because I am so taken up by His awesomeness, grace, love and mercy. I think of all the wonderful things God has said He wants to do through me and like Paul I say, “I that was least of men is now raised to such great heights in God”. On the exterior I may look like the regular kind of guy, in fact you may pass me on the street without even giving me a second look but hey, you just wait until I begin to unload all the great stuff that God has deposited in me. Hallelujah! As Apostle Paul said “we have this treasure in earthen vessels”. Just thinking about all this gets me so fired up because I know that all I have today came as a gift from this great God of glory. I didn’t work for any of it. Hey, I wasn’t even a singer before I got committed to God and His call upon my life. The moment you start appreciating God for who He is, you will start to discover new realms in Him. To be an effective Music Minister, you must of a necessity have a deeper revelation of the Holy Spirit and you must cultivate a relationship with him and grow therein. Never forget that He is the giver of the gift (music). So focus on Him not the gift. One thing that I have found that great men of God all over the world have in common is their love for Jesus and their relationship with the Holy Spirit. 

Living a life of worship means that every single thing you do should be geared towards bringing glory to the name of God, irrespective of how you feel or how convenient it really is to do so.  

When we worship God in truth and with all our hearts, spirit and soul, we make spiritual contact and as I explained earlier on, our praise and worship becomes a bridge through which the mighty presence of God becomes manifest in the midst of His people. In that atmosphere charged with the Holy Spirit, anything can happen. 

 

 

 

A PRIVILEGE 

2 Timothy 2:20

In a large house there are many articles not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble …… 

There are many singers in the world and even in the church, but as I always say ‘there is a difference between a singer and a minister just like there is a difference between a Pastor and a brother or sister who evangelizes. Every believer is anointed to preach the word to the world but the Pastor is anointed specifically for the building up of the church (Ephesians 4:11). In the same light, God anoints the Music Minister for the purpose of leading God’s people in music and ministering to them in and through music. Not just anybody can lead God’s people be it in worship or anything. It is an office and it’s a privilege to occupy such an office. Have you noticed that a lot of times, the Music Ministers that excel in the ministry are not the most skillful of singers? All the same, there is always something about their ministration. If you have not noticed this, try to observe carefully. I used to wonder why until I found out. 

Having the gift of music is wonderful especially when it flows in great measures. However, what truly matters is your recognizing it as a gift from God. The moment you do this, you will respect and reverence the giver of the gift, rather than the gift. You would then understand that whatever you do is as a result of His grace and should be for His glory. Let us bear in mind that even the people of the world flow in the gift of music but again, let me repeat that the difference is the anointing of the Holy Ghost who coincidentally is the giver of the gift so for you to continue to flow in the anointing which sustains the gift, the giver of the gift must be recognized, respected and revered. Never allow yourself to get puffed up over your achievements or believe that you have arrived because in God, your greatest achievement could just be His starting point for you and believe me, there are greater depths in God than your mind can even fathom. Stay connected to the source! 

The glory is not all about the voice or the gift. Rather it is in the application of the gift i.e. the environment in which you sow your gift. During a meeting, a prophecy came forth and God said “as you sow the seed of your voices, I will multiply them”. This means that our voices are seeds that need to be sown into the environment for them to produce yield! 

Believe me, as a Music Minister, there are levels you can get to in God that many other Christians may never even smell. It is a highly exalted office. Do you realize that some Music Ministers actually function in one or more of the ministry gifts (Eph.4: 11)? There are Apostles, Pastors, Prophets, Evangelists and Teachers of the word who also double as Music Ministers. There was a day I was praying and God said to me, “Do you know that some of your songs tickle me”, he continued, “I know they come from me but yet, they make me want to do things”. It blew my mind that God could be so affected by something that He had given me in the first place. The truth is that to God, what really matters is what you do with the gift (remember the parable of the talents). In-fact God is in the gift-giving business! Depending on how spiritually sensitive you are, you can actually receive gifts from God. Many times, I have heard angels singing along with us during service and sometimes, I have received songs that came complete with instrumentation, lyrics, tune, arrangement etc. 

Truly, being in the music ministry is a privilege. Let this sink into your consciousness. God is just too much! The only person you are doing a favor by being involved in the work of the ministry is you. After all, you are the one who gets blessed when you sow your gift. No matter what, God is still and will still be God! 

I used to wonder why the choir had to sometimes continue singing while everyone else was either worshipping or praying but the Spirit of God led me to two scriptures: - 

·                               Matthew 6:31-35

So do not worry, saying “what shall we eat?” or “what shall we drink?” for pagans run after all these and your heavenly father knows that you need them, but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (expansion), and all these things shall be added. 

What strikes me is that God already knows what we need not what we want because we may not always know or ask for what we really need, and the good thing is that we don’t even need to ask. In other words, what do you want to tell a God who knows it all? It gets to a point in your relationship with God where your prayers cease to be all about you. You become more concerned about others and you realize that He is able to take care of all your needs according to His riches in glory. His provision is not based on our many prayers and requests but rather on faith in Him and His word. The bible says that even the hairs on your head are numbered. 

 

·                               2. Proverbs 11:25

-He that waters shall himself be watered (KJV)

-He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed (NIV) 

As Music Ministers, we are actually into a ‘watering’ service. Even as we help others to flow and receive of God, would He be so unfair as to bless the others and neglect us? No way. As we render this service, God starts to work things on our behalf based on what we really need rather than on what we want because there is a spiritual law that as we sow, we must reap. This is another privilege accruing to the music ministry. 

It should be noted that just the way Lucifer corrupted his office as an archangel; the office of the Music Minister can be corrupted. You must be careful not to get too familiar with the anointing on your office as a Music Minister. The moment you get too familiar with it, you become less and less effective in the fulfillment of your purpose. I have attended some meetings where as the Music Ministers and music groups ministered, mighty miracles were wrought. 

After witnessing some of the great things that God was doing during the worship sessions in some of our choir rehearsals, I stopped calling them rehearsals. Rather I started calling them meetings, because I recognized the manifested presence of the Holy Ghost at those meetings. Wow! Isn’t it just glorious that when we thought we were preparing to minister to others, the Holy Ghost was actually ministering to us? Hallelujah! This is just so awesome. While many people have been healed of all manner of ailments, others have taken the presence home to cause tremendous changes and others still have received specific words from the Holy Spirit that have transformed their lives and ministry. I remember a particular meeting where I was ministering to some of our members. The Holy Ghost gave me a word for a sister. He asked me to tell her to “go and lay hands on her”. I did it without knowing what He meant. I later learnt that her mother had been ill for some time, but after she went home and laid hands on her, her mother started showing obvious changes. We have seen tremendous manifestations of the Holy Ghost in our ministry. This is basically because we have learnt to worship God with everything that is within us.  

There was another time when a brother was healed of a damaged retina during one of our meetings. Also at the same meeting a word of prophecy was given that we should go and lay hands on people at home. This same brother went to a family friend’s house and laid his hands on a girl with sickle cells. She was healed of her blood condition immediately. She is now of AA genotype. These are pure indications of the great power in our ministry. Isn’t it just mind-blowing and exciting to see the Holy Ghost working through us as in the days of the Acts of the Apostles? It puts me in mind of the account of Paul and Silas, as they prayed and sang, the earth quaked and the prison doors were flung open! (Acts 16:25-26) Wow! That is power brother! That same power can be experienced today because it is that same Spirit that is at work in us today! 

However, such mighty miracles and signs can only be experienced when you give God a total leeway to manifest Himself through you. There are also certain attitudes and environments under which God can not work. Some are discussed in the next chapter. 

 

CHAPTER 4  

GOD WORKS WITH THE MAN WHOSE HEART IS WILLING. 

 

As mentioned in the previous chapter, there are a number of environments and conditions under which the power of God may not be able to function in the ministry of a Music Minister. These are areas that the devil tries to capitulate on because knowing the power in this ministry, the only way he can deter the power therein is to create an environment in which the Music Minister can’t function, as he ought to. Some of these include: - 

 

·                               Unbelief

 

Hebrews 11:6

Without faith it is impossible to please God. 

Matthew 13:58

And Jesus could not do many mighty works because of their unbelief. (KJV) 

Do you know that you can actually prepare for the manifested presence of God? You must be expectant that God wants to do and will do something through you and you must understand that you have a life-changing message, not just a voice. A message that must be heard and this message is of God who desires to work in and through you, for the benefit of the people.  

Our ministry goes beyond that of learning a song just to download it in the presence of a congregation. It goes beyond the claps and applause at the end of a rendition. It is actually more than music. It involves serving out (distributing) the word of God and in attendance, the manifested presence of God through music. You must be full of convictions concerning your ministry. Remember, the bible did not say that Jesus did not do any mighty works in Nazareth (Matt 13:58); rather it said that He could not do any mighty works because of their unbelief. This means He actually tried but they resisted Him through their unbelief. That is the same way you could resist the manifestation of God’s power and presence in your ministry through your lack of conviction.  

When some ministers want to sing, I hear them say, “Just listen and may you be blessed”. One even said, “Please don’t mind my voice”. Hey, have you brought the ministering of God’s eternal word down to the level of voice quality alone. This statement clearly reflects a lack of confidence, conviction and understanding of the purpose for ministration. Has the ministry been watered down to the level of, ‘please get blessed’? A thousand times No. That’s not the way it ought to be. Just like you would lay hands on the sick and expect him to recover, when you sing, the words you sing should be full of power to do even that which the song talks about. If the song is about healing then someone should be healed! Just by talking about these things, I feel the anointing all over me. Music Ministers must awake to the power in this calling. Don’t just come and sing. You must spend time with the Holy Spirit preparing yourself before any ministration such that you have already seen the outcome of the ministration with the eye of your spirit even before the actual ministration. During this time, He will begin to show you how He wants you to minister, what he wants you to say and what you should do. These come in visions of the Spirit or in clear instructions and impressions in your spirit. 

After you do this, begin to pour out based on those things the Spirit of God has shown you. If you would do this, you would see the impact of your ministry. You would see your ministry and/or choir grow strong in the Spirit of unity of ministry.  

Basically, before I sing or write songs, I have settled it in my heart that the people will be blessed, so I’m not asking you to be blessed. I am telling you to ‘be blessed’ on account of the word of God that I have spoken and the power that I have released into the atmosphere through my ministration. God created the world by His spoken word and as HE is, so are we in this world. 

In an earlier chapter, I stated that as a Music Minister, you must have an extra close relationship with the Holy Spirit because He is the power behind our ministry. You can get to a point where even as you minister, the Spirit of God would be giving you words of knowledge for the congregation. We once ministered a song called, ‘Welcome Holy Spirit’. Before we were through, the soloist was prophesying to the congregation and by time we ended, they were too lost in the anointing of the Holy Ghost to even applaud. Your walk with Him could be such that even if you are called on unexpectedly, the results will be the same because not only have you realized that you carry the Holy Ghost with you but you are constantly in contact with Him, so whatever dialogue you need, can be done right there. Remember, out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water. Hallelujah! I dare you to believe in God and allow Him to transform you and your ministry.  

I remember a dear sister who was called on to sing during a meeting. To say that she almost brought the house down with funny and strained dynamics and key-jumping antics would not be an understatement. One thing she did have though was a strong desire and a passion for the ministry. She would go for all the mass-choir all-night meetings that were called for even if she was the only one from her local assembly. About a year later, I heard her sing and I knew that God had performed another miracle. She now ministers so beautifully; she writes beautiful well-arranged songs and is growing fast. It does not matter at what point you are right now or what people have said concerning your ministry, what matters is that if you have been called. Remain consistent in your call and above all, believe in the ability of the one who called you, to make you what He has called you to be. 

 

 

·                               Pride

 

James 4:6

God opposes (resists) the proud, but to the humble He gives grace 

Proverbs 18:12

Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud but humility comes before honor. 

If there is one thing God cannot stand, it is pride. What do you think led to the fall of Lucifer? Pride is however, one of the greatest challenges the Music Minister may face, especially when he starts getting recognition and commendations concerning his ministry and singing. Never forget that you received the ministry as a gift not because you qualified for it, rather because of His grace and only in Christ and through Gods favor can the gift be sustained and made perfect. The bible lets us know that Lucifer was an anointed cherub but the moment he corrupted his office through rebellion, God turned His back on him and he lost the anointing (Ezekiel 28:14-19). This was not because God took the power away but because, the anointing can only be sustained by a connection to its source: God. In the same light, if God turns his back on your ministry, you’ll still be there doing what you have been doing all along, but His presence just won’t be there anymore and before long you will fade away like a leaf in autumn. On the other hand, if God is continually involved in your ministry, you’ll be like a tree planted by the river side, whose leaves are continually green and who produces in season. (Psalm 1:3 -paraphrased). Pride gives birth to rebellion, which leads to rejection by God (1 Sam 15:23). 

Anything that is being offered unto God must be offered through the Holy Ghost. Even Jesus had to offer himself through the Holy Ghost. If not it is unacceptable to God. You see, irrespective of where you are today or how much you have achieved in your ministry, you must realize that every end point is only your starting point for your next level. Let me ask you something. If you truly feel that you have attained a level or achieved anything, by whose standards are you measuring? Men or God’s?  

Come on, don’t limit God. Don’t depend on your voice, dynamics, skill etc because without the Holy Spirit working in you, they won’t take you far. His ways are too big to be qualified and measured by human standards and terminologies! No matter how well you sing, in God, you can experience greater growth.  

Romans 11:29

For God’s gifts and calling are without repentance. 

God is so good that He won’t take the gift back but His presence just won’t be in the gift anymore. Once the life source of anything dries out, it won’t take long before the thing itself dries out. You might still be singing and lifting up Holy hands, thinking you are still the “best”, but like Samson who shook himself to no avail after Delilah had cut his hair, you will soon find out that the anointing for that office just won’t be there again (Judges 16:20). 

You must jealously guard the anointing for only then will the anointing guard you. At every point in time, you must examine yourself; whether you are still doing things right or as the bible says examine yourself whether you are still in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5) if you discover that you are slipping, correct yourself immediately. The anointing is too precious to lose! 

 

·                               CHARACTER + GIFT: The perfect combination.

 

It is not uncommon to find a lot of gifted singers in the

Church whom sad to say, lack character. This is sad because irrespective of how good your voice or style may be, you can only impress God through your Character. After all, who gave you the voice in the first place? God is not looking for made-people; rather, He is looking for those whom He can make. He specializes in making imperfect people perfect. Jesus said “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men (Matt 4:19)” If you have been acting in disorder or you have refused to walk within the confines of God’s word, be careful or soon you will discover that your ministry will fizzle out and you will become no more than an entertainer. God forbid. 

The Music Minister is firstly a Christian and ought to exhibit the fruits of the recreated human spirit (Gal 5). Furthermore the minister must come to terms with the fact that he has a calling to fulfill and the gift is basically a tool with which he can fulfill his calling. 

 

·                               Inconsistency and Lack of Integrity

 

Proverbs 25: 21

Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse. 

James 1:6

For the one that wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like a billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything from the Lord, (for being as he is) a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), (he is) unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything (he thinks, feels, decides)-Amp 

God cannot work effectively with an unstable man. God is interested in availability not ability. He is interested in men who understand that He is the one who is working in them both to will and to do of His own good pleasure; men who are always ready to say, ‘yes lord, use me’; men who are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and are ready to let the world see Christ in them crucified. Are you such a person? If yes, then God can use you. As a dear man of God once said, “you don’t use or control the Holy Spirit; it is the Holy Spirit who uses you”. This indicates that working with God is not a matter of convenience. You must be so yielded to God and trusting in Him that anytime He sends you, your first response is to go irrespective of how you feel. We are the created beings and God is the creator. What right does the created being have to question the creator?  

Hebrews 6:10

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you helped His people and continue to help them (NIV). 

…showed toward His name in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister (KJV). 

God doesn’t use us only to throw us away after using the better part of us. Rather, He uses the work of our hands to bless us, because as we do the work, we are sowing of ourselves and must of a necessity reap the fruits of our service. 

Do you realize that one can actually be busy doing nothing? I know people who spend hours upon hours in the office and at the end of the day, they have nothing to show for it or probably sickness comes and takes away all they have slaved for. Haven’t you seen bankers who are bankrupt even though they spend all their lives managing other peoples millions? Others spend little time on themselves and more of their time on God but the little they do is so multiplied by God! Get wise in God. Trust God with all your body, spirit and soul. Believe that He is able to do what he says and as Moses said in: - 

 

Exodus 14:13

Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring today. The Lord will fight for you today. 

 

·                               Complaining

 

Philippians 2:14-15

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life… 

The function we serve is actually one of sacrifice and the manner in which a sacrifice is offered matters a lot. The bible records that Cain and Abel both presented sacrifices to God but Abel’s sacrifice was a more acceptable one than Cain’s (Heb 11:4) 

Your sacrifice can be corrupted by a wrong attitude and once corrupted; it is no more acceptable to God. One of such attitudes is complaining unnecessarily. If you have decided to work for God, then be prepared to put up with whatever the inconveniences attached to it are. Our service is unto God and not unto man, so we should not look unto man for our reward. Neither should we wait for men to praise or commend us. Some brethren even get angry or offended when their efforts are not commended. If you do, then it means you don’t know who sent you. I know that everyone wants to be appreciated once in a while but don’t get offended or neglect the work when the praise doesn’t come. After all the most important commendation is that which comes from God who also rewards us.  

Every organization has a leader. The departments in a church are no different. However, you must look beyond the mistakes and limitations that your leader might display and see the fact that God has placed you in that place to take care of a particular need. No one is perfect. We are all in a state of growth. The problem that gets to you most, is probably the problem whose solution is right inside of you. So, rather than complain about things make the difference. Also remember that anytime the Israelites complained in the wilderness they always came out the worst for it. (Numbers 11:1-3, 11:4-35, 14:1-4, 16:3, 20:2-3, 21:5) They complained about food, water, and Moses’ authority and about anything they could but where did it get them? 

Sometimes your grievance may even be justified but don’t let it deter you. Keep your eyes on the master for He is the one who called and sent you. You may be imperfect to others but God knows and appreciates you for who you are. Don’t let His work suffer loss as a result of any external factor. 

Rather than complain about what I don’t see, I have learnt to appreciate that which I see knowing that God is preparing me for the level where I will walk in those things, which I didn’t have before. What is the state of your psyche? Are you supply conscious or lack conscious? If things are not up to standard, give yourself to praying for them and subsequently begin to act in line with that which you asked for. There will surely be a change. I always consider myself as the man to get the job done and I therefore make myself available not because I just like showing my face around but because I love God and I want to be as effective as possible in the work to which He called me. Hear the voice of God in every instruction given by your leader because he was placed there by the Holy Ghost to achieve certain desired goals. Even if he is wrong, it is not your problem. By complaining, you only cheat yourself because you will not be blessed for what you don’t do with a perfect heart. God can only work in your ministry when you respond with a perfect heart. 

 

 

·                               Indiscipline

 

1 Corinthians 14:40

But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. 

This is slightly related to being consistent but reaches a bit further into the spiritual. From the bible, it is obvious that God is very principled, disciplined and works by order. In fact when you consider the works of creation, the passage of day and night, reproductive trends and even proper relationships you would attest to this. So, bearing this in mind, you cannot afford to behave anyway you want. If God has a game plan, we must find out the mind of the Spirit and act accordingly. Discipline includes mental, physical and spiritual situations. As Music Ministers, you must be stable in your thinking, attitudes, body movement, and total alignment with the Holy Ghost etc. 

Mental:

Many Christians experience a lot of mental noise and as such they find it hard to concentrate on the activities in church. They find their minds straying from the activities in church. They lose concentration and start to mentally dwell on largely irrelevant issues. The Music Minister must be stable mentally even when not ministering. He must be able to keep focused on the meeting and the mood of the meeting. This is very important especially for the music leader. Gods meetings are like surgery theatres where God is the head surgeon and we are assistants. In the surgery theatre, when the head surgeon demands for scissors, no assistant would give him another tool. They have to be careful to get everything right. This is because any wrong move could cost the person his/her life. Similarly, during service, a wrong action or song could grieve the Holy Spirit and this could cost someone his/her miracle. On the other hand, an appropriate song or action could spur on the move of the Holy Spirit or cause faith for receiving to rise in the heart of a listener. 

Spiritual:

Music Ministers must be highly sensitive to and acquainted with the move of the Spirit. This is especially so for healing ministries and ministries acquainted with the manifestations of the Holy Ghost. Music Ministers must know the right song to sing, how to sing it, the pace, the tempo, the mood, when to keep silent, when to sing low, when to hum, when to stand, when to lift up hands, bow down etc.  

Music Ministers who have learnt to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit would understand all these. Those who haven’t must ensure they do. You must learn to rely on the promptings and direction of the Holy Ghost. Learn to listen to Him. The importance of these things should not be downplayed. If you study the first few chapters of the book of revelations, you would notice that various songs were sung but when you study closer you would realize that at every point in time, when a new situation arose, there was a corresponding change in attitude and posture of those present during the rendering of the songs (Rev. 4 and 5).  

So how do you know what to do and what not to do? Simple, get yourself acquainted with the Holy Ghost and learn to listen to His instructions. Allow Him to teach you (He is our Teacher-John14: 25). He is our ever-present guide. You must listen to Him. During the ministration, you will hear Him give out clear instructions to your spirit, so learn to listen with your spirit and you will surely hear Him. Another important point is reverence; even in a fast song you must know how to reverence God. It is not a body-thing, it is purely spiritual. 

Physical:

There are times when Music Ministers are required to stand for long periods or when we have to go through hectic rehearsals; even all-night rehearsals. At these times you may need that physical discipline in order to push yourselves harder without undue complaints especially when your body is telling you that it needs rest. You must make up your mind that you will not stop until you achieve the purpose for which you set out in the first place. 

Your actions should be birthed from an understanding that you have a goal to achieve which cannot be stopped even by your tired body i.e. you can and should bring your body under submission. In fact, this could just be a starting point for your miracle. That same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will vitalize (give strength to) your mortal body (Rom 8:11). 

Also, Music Ministers need to discipline themselves to always focus on the conductor (if there is one) and generally on the matter at hand. Also we must learn to be subject to authority irrespective of our inner dispositions. We must learn to do things at the right time. Put the round pegs in the round holes. Our personal prejudices and feelings must be subjected to the need for the work to go right. 

 

Don't make common your walk with the Holy Ghost. 

Having ascertained that The Holy Ghost is the author of this ministry; wouldn’t it be suicidal for us to neglect him who is our source? 

At a time I led a choir that started experiencing that awesome move of the Holy Ghost in our ministrations. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, I made a very striking remark. I said, “Don’t get too familiar with this level”.  

Sometimes, we may have experienced the presence and glory of God to such an extent that we lose our awe of it. This is a dangerous position to be in. Even though we build a relationship with the Holy Ghost, it must be one based on love and reverence. Never assume that because something happened once when you did something then of a necessity, it would happen again if you do the same thing at some other time. That is not to say that it won’t happen. Our walk with God cannot be mathematically worked out. It is not based on formulae and constants. It is based on an understanding of His Lordship and our perception to instruction. 

God gave me a song and I discovered that every time the song was taken there would be such a strong unction of the Holy Ghost. I was quick to let my members know that even though we all knew that there was something special about the song, the reason we took the song so much was because it encapsulated what we were feeling at that point in time and not because we felt we had struck on a secret code or something. God is not a genie who shows up every time the magic lamp is rubbed. He is the master, we are His servants and therefore we must never allow ourselves to become “used” to His manifestations. The moment, the anointing becomes common to us, we won’t be able to benefit thereof anymore and rather it will start to work against us. That is what happened to Ananias and Sapphira in the book of acts. They had become so used to the anointing that they were not afraid of lying to the Holy Ghost. Remember, if you protect the anointing, the anointing will protect you. 

 
 

 

 

CHAPTER 5  

ROLE AND RELEVANCE OF THE MUSIC MINISTRY 

 

 

I have been opportune to relate with other choirs and I noticed a couple of definite trends, which assisted me in arriving at certain conclusions. I believe that exposing you to some of them would help in promoting your Music Ministry. 

Music is an aspect of service in God. Unfortunately, in some churches, it is played down upon. This is wrong. You cannot afford to play down on the music aspect of church. Gods’ word though being complete, can only work for you in specific areas to the extent of your revelation of the subject. For instance, if you have not caught the revelation for divine health, even though you cast out the greatest of demons, you could still die of sickness. This is because you have caught the revelation for divine healing but not for divine health, and so you could get sick and be healed over and over again but I must let you know that sickness came as a result of sin and is death begun. In spite of all the mighty things that Elisha did in his lifetime and even in death where his bones brought a dead man back to life, the bible records that he died as a result of sickness (2 kings 13:14-20). 

In the same light, if you catch the revelation for some areas of church service but leave the other areas lacking, you just won’t get the maximum results that you ought to get. Music in church is not just a past time; it is “the service”. Service denotes an act of giving, and the two acts through which we “give” God anything during service are in our offering and in our praise and worship and possibly testimonies. The wonderful thing about this is that even these acts are for our own good. So if these are our acts of giving to God, why should we play down on them? 

Christianity is spiritual. Anything attached to it is therefore spiritual. My Pastor would always say that your revelation is your limitation and vice- versa. This means that the extent to which you have revelation knowledge concerning anything is the extent to which you’ll be able to go in that area. 

Hosea 4:6

My people perish for the lack of knowledge 

This scripture intimates that ignorance is not an excuse. If you don’t know you’ll get destroyed, period! That’s why the scriptures say; wisdom is the principle thing and in all thy getting, get understanding. In other words, you must not only get wisdom but you must understand the basic principles and apply them (Prov. 4:5-9). God’s word is wisdom. 

I once heard that someone, during an argument, rhetorically asked how many choir members had become Pastors. Well I wish that I had been there. I would have informed him of the fact that many great men of God past and present actually passed through the music ministry and some are still Music Ministers.  

Part of the challenge is that too many music ministers are not giving a true account of themselves. There are too many eagles scuttling on the ground like turkeys! You can only become important when you make yourself important. You must exalt and hold your ministry in high regard if not, no one else will. You should also have a personal revelation of your ministry. In that way you’ll know what is right and wrong in terms of the music ministry. I cannot imagine anyone, (who may be talking based on sense knowledge or his limited understanding on this issue) telling me that my ministry doesn’t count or that it is less important than one thing or the other. No way! Not after all the things that God has revealed to me concerning this ministry. If this is truly your ministry, then you should desire to know more about it. But can God entrust certain knowledge into your hands? What will you do with it? Will it be lost with you? Will you run with it to the best of his ability in you or will you just let it go and forget the enormity of that which has been entrusted to you? The choice is yours.

Remember, you become important when you make yourself important. No one arm of the ministry is necessarily more important than the other, for the body is moved forward by that which every joint supplies (Eph 4:16) 

2 Tim 2:20

In a large house there are articles not only of Gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 

Before you go on reading, I want you to meditate on this question.

Is every one who sings a minister?

Did you come up with an answer? Okay, here is my answer. While belonging to a choir is not a pre-requisite for being a Music Minister (some ministers have a variety of callings; some of which may be to function out side the church walls i.e. in the thick of the world. It all really depends on what God told you personally when He called you), your being in a choir is an opportunity for you to constantly sow of that which God has deposited in you, such that He can further increase you in the call. Also, there are things that you can only learn about the call by being a part of the choir in a church. That which defines you as a Music Minister is the call and not the gift that follows the call. Being able to sing, write music or any other function connected to music could be part of the calling but may not be the calling. Anyone can sing or do any of the above, but there is a special anointing for the call. This anointing becomes evident when the Music Minister starts to operate in his calling In other words because a person can write music doesn’t necessarily mean he has a calling in that area, After all, even unbelievers write songs. The anointing for that purpose makes the difference. The gift is the sign that follows the call. For instance, I have the gift of song writing, yet it is not my principal calling; I minister in songs and music but even this is not my primary calling. I’ve found my place in the body. I am called to teach about the power in music; the other gifts are just the signs that accompany my calling. 

Not every Music Minister is called just to sing. Some have more specific callings upon their lives. They however have different functions within the music ministry. Have you considered the life of the ant? The ant lives in a colony where different social classes are found. There are the soldier ants, the workers, the queen etc. In the same way, different Music Ministers could exhibit different calls. You could find some ministers manifesting the prophetic unction whereby as they sing, they actually prophesy. This was found in Miriam, Moses’ elder sister. [Exodus 15:20]. In fact we find that prophecy and music were often closely related in the bible (1Sam 10:5; 1 Chronicles 25:1). Others are those who function in any of the other five –fold ministry gifts (apostle, Evangelist, Pastor, Teacher), instrumentalists, songwriters, arrangers, conductors, music administrators etc. They all work together to produce results. Please note that because you seem to or indeed do any of the above doesn’t necessarily mean that it is your call or that you were called at all. Don’t live in another man’s call. For some previously unknown reason, when I just joined the music ministry, I was skeptical about having music mentors. I now realize that you could actually make someone a mentor and study his/her style of music without realizing that you have a different call from him/her. In other words, your choice of mentor should go beyond the fact that you like the sound of the person’s voice. You can actually learn something from anyone of them and use their songs for your vocals training, but you must consider if the person’s call is similar to yours before you make him/her your mentor. Only when you locate your call within the music ministry will you be able to maximize and fully appropriate the call upon your life. A mentor is one whose life and ways are asset pattern for you to follow. Your call runs deeper than how well a person sings. It is about your purpose for existence. 

So how do you know what call you have? 

Basically, it is the Spirit of God that calls and if He has called you, He should and will tell you what He plans to do in and through you. This means that you can ask Him and he would surely tell you (don’t forget that he is your Teacher). Also, your leader, having been with you and as a result of praying for you should be able to tell you what call you have or at least should be able to direct you into your call, develop it and harness it for the general good of the group. A time will however come when you’ll be expected to stand on your own and develop the gift of God that has been given to you.  

Let me say this again. Before you are a Music Minister, you are first and foremost a Christian. Your no. 1 job on earth is soul winning. If you are busy winning souls, who would say that you are not relevant. Understand this; the music and the work of the ministry are different sides of the same coin and are therefore basically geared towards the same direction so no one person has the heaven-given responsibility of soul-w inning above any other. It is an assignment passed down to us from our Lord Jesus (Matthew 28: 18). While ministering, your focus should be to affect souls such that they are either won or/and edified. 

I personally thank God for the privilege of being a Music Minister. Apart from the fact that I can minister in music and in the word and expect the same results, it provides me with an extra advantage in the area of visitation and follow-up because doors are more likely to open up to someone who is recognized as a minister in church. Through these visitations, it is easy to come in contact with other people and by so doing; my sphere of contact is increased.  

There is a level of respect that is always accorded to the Music Minister who is walking in the true light of his ministry. The danger is in your not recognizing the anointing for what it is and thinking that it is as a result of your eloquence or person. I am so blessed anytime I remember Paul’s words to the church at Corinth. “My message and preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). 

There’s an unction upon you through the Spirit that is at work in your ministry. I love to say “I do not come with the enticing tunes and dynamics of the world alone but also with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power! Recognize and reverence the unction so that you may be able to function in its fullness. 

2 Corinthians 3:6

He has made us competent as ministers of the new covenant.  

Just as the Levites were separated from the rest of Israel, you been separated for service. Every Christian has been called into the ministry of reconciliation but in addition to this primary responsibility, we have been called to be minister to the ministers (of reconciliation). 

Sinners don’t go to church  

This is so true. I believe it is time for Music Ministers to take the gospel out to them. The work is not in the church alone, even though we have the first taste of it there. I was told that a singer was invited to a function at an embassy and I said that I look forward to the day when Music Ministers would minister in gatherings of the unconverted and by the time they are through, the unconverted would beg them to show them the source of the power through which they ministered. Halleluyah! That day is now and God is introducing us to a new level of ministry. If you would just key in, you will see the glory of this dispensation: A glorious music ministry! 

So let’s have musical outreaches and programs primarily aimed at soul winning. No one who comes in contact with the manifested presence of God can remain the same. I am not referring to programs where other Christians are invited and we just have a jolly good time. No, I mean programs where sinners will come to and leave as saints. Glory to God! You may not know this, but a lot of people can be retained in the church through music. Music is a tool with which the Spirit of God can move in astounding measures. All you need is; be sensitive to his move and expectant. We are people of prophecy and even through our words (as we sing); power for change is released into the atmosphere. 

Never make the mistake of thinking that we are church entertainers, because if you do, you’ll never be anything more than that and the most that will happen when you sing is that people will clap. God forbid! I am talking of Music Ministers that will bring about the manifested presence of God’s Spirit when they sing. I have made up my mind that anytime I pick up the microphone to sing someone must receive something. The location really makes no difference. If I come to your area to minister, don’t ask questions or wait for anything, just go on receiving. We have been called to minister (deliver) the gospel of Jesus Christ through music, so when we sing, we must minister. 

 

WORSHIP LEADERS 

One of the activities in which the music ministry is greatly involved in during Christian meetings is that of Praise and Worship. Every Music Minister must have an understanding of the relevance and implication of worship. This will enable us to fully appreciate the importance of our ministry in relation to the ‘receiving’ of the congregation. In explaining this, I normally use this analogy. All bodies of water eventually lead in to the open sea. Let me explain it this way; every river or stream leads to a bigger body of water, which also leads to a larger one until you get to the ocean or sea. In the same light, as we lift our hands and key into the worship, we unite with one another spiritually and our worship becomes one body of worship which in turn runs into other bodies of worship which have been produced by other believers and all these eventually run into the sea of worship in the heavenlies. The Bible records that worship takes place in heaven every second of the day so no matter what part of the world you live in, the worship in heaven is unaffected by geographical locations or time zones which are human-based in the first place. You just key in when you are ready to. Do you know that every Christian has been given angels to minister to his needs? Tell me, what do you think they do as we worship God? Boy, I can just imagine them worshipping God fervently even as they remain attentive to instructions that come through for them on our behalf. You see, when we unite in unrestrained worship, it’s like when we link up with a satellite in the air. There is a 2-way channel flow of blessings and information. At that point our spirits are open to receive and it is easy for God to impart to us the gifts he has planned for us to receive. Also, I must mention that our unrestrained worship causes God’s manifested presence to be felt. Worship is basically the human spirit’s response to and recognition of a greater being. The subject of worship will be more fully treated at a later date. 

I said all of the above to say this. In contemporary service and indeed in bible days, the music ministry has functioned in the office of worship leaders and helpers of the Spiritual leadership. This means that every Music Minister must be a worshipper. Before you can effectively lead worship, you must be a worshipper not only in church, but also in your closet. You must be able to connect with that heavenly sea of worship because others are depending on you. Our worship should not be ‘man-oriented’. Sometimes, we are too bothered about whether we are carrying our congregations along or not and sometimes when we feel they are not being carried along, we may even decide to take faster songs that will make them dance so they won’t say, “praise-worship was boring”. Brethren, it really doesn’t matter what people think. You just concentrate on making contact with God and see what happens! Even if they don’t know the song, they will worship God with all that is within them because Gods manifested presence breaks down every stronghold even that of the hardest hearts. 

I have experienced several meetings (even choir meetings), where during the Praise and Worship sessions, miracles occurred and there were great manifestations of the Spirit of God. People were healed; others received life-transforming prophecies etc. There was a particular meeting where as we worshipped, the Spirit of God speaking through a brother asked us to allow the instruments to prophecy! As the instruments played, different people started prophesying and words of knowledge just gushed forth. Boy, I knew that certain things in my life were changed in the realm of the spirit. I have found out that you can consciously welcome and enjoy God’s manifested presence. His manifested presence doesn’t come by accident. A thousand times No. You can actually prepare for and plan to invite God’s presence into your midst. You do this by preparing the right environment The Biblical account in 2 Kings 3:15 is a good example. Elisha was grieved by the presence of a particular king and because of the state of his emotions, God could not work through him so he asked a minstrel to play and as the minstrel did play, Elisha began to prophecy. Our ministry is highly spiritual and the destinies of members of our congregations are in our hands. We must learn to depend on the Holy Ghost and to plan to have his presence with us. Settle this in your heart; music minister, this is your responsibility! 

How? The answer is simple enough. Take time out to meditate on the connection of the ministry of the Holy Ghost to the music ministry and always expect Him to show up when you invite Him into your worship. Spend time with the Holy Spirit who is the Lord. Find out the mind of the Spirit concerning that service…concerning that worship. Remember, our worship is only acceptable if it is offered up to God through the Holy Ghost and believe me, He wants to make Himself manifest in your midst even more than you want Him to. This means you must allow him to lead you in your choice of songs, approach, order of songs etc. He is Boss; let him lead so you can follow. As you spend time with him before any ministration or service, He will begin to show you that ministration or service ahead of time such that you’ll be guided properly! Remember; in Him we live, in Him we move and in Him we have our being. 

 



 

 

CHAPTER 6

THE POWER IN MUSIC 

 

Let us begin by carefully considering the items below:-

·                               What is your perception of Music?

(Probably the most grossly misunderstood aspect of church service)

·                               Did you ever read in the Bible that Jesus sang (Mark 14:26) and that he danced in the Spirit?

·                               Why do you think idol worshippers give so much attention to music?

·                               What is the role of music and what is the power behind Music?

 

I asked the above questions so as to stimulate your mind concerning certain issues, which you may or may not have previously given serious thought. Let’s take this a step further by looking into the Bible to explore practical instances whereby the relevance and power of music was brought in to bear upon a situation. There are actually over 300 portions in bible that refer to music, praise and worship but we’ll just treat a few for the purposes of this book. We are doing this so that you, the minister may know based on scripture how relevant your ministry is to the church of Jesus Christ. 

 

·                               1 Sam 16:14-23

 

But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented and troubled him. Saul’s servants said to him, Behold an evil spirit from God torments you. Let our lord now command your servants here before you to go find a man who plays skillfully on the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it and you will be well. Saul told his servants, Find me a man who plays well and bring him to me. One of the young men said, I have seen a son of Jesse the bethlehemite who plays skillfully, a valiant man, a man of war, prudent in speech and eloquent, an attractive person….. 

……………………………....Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David remain in my service for he pleases me. And when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David took a lyre and played it; so Saul was refreshed and became well, and the evil spirit left him. -Amp 

An evil spirit tormented King Saul and a solution was suggested: employ the services of a music-person. This is when David’s musical inclinations are first brought to our notice. The Bible records that whenever the evil spirit showed up, David would play and Saul would be relieved as the spirit would leave.  

Demons can be cast out during music ministrations without us even speaking to them directly. This is because demons cannot stand the awesome presence of God that is brought about through music produced under the anointing of God’s Spirit. Some years back, during a service, the choir was singing while our Pastor was casting out a demon, which was pretending not to want to leave its host. Suddenly, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, our music director changed the song to one whose lyrics were:- 

Jesus, at the mention of your name, every knee should bow,

Every tongue confess, that you are Lord of all. 

The demon shrieked and came out. Hallelujah! The choir was actually working in partnership with our Pastor who was coordinating all the aspects and areas of service in order to achieve ‘service’. This was possible because the music director was sensitive to the leading of the Spirit and therefore knew the right song to sing at the right time. 

Music has a supernatural soothing effect and can so usher in that sweet presence of God which no demon hatched out of hell can stand. Have you noticed that houses where there is a lot of music takes on the form of the music that is played therein? For instance a house where there is a lot of sensual music soon enough becomes a hangout for all sorts of persons and a house where there is a lot of Christian music has a happy atmosphere about it. Why don’t you try to observe it? Have you ever had an experience where you feel so depressed that you don’t want to hear any Christian music? I’ll tell you why. A spirit of darkness causes depression and because he knows that he will be cast out if you do listen to the music, he would try to influence you into thinking you don’t want the music. So the next time you begin to feel depressed, go ahead and turn on that Holy Ghost-inspired music and watch how that depression will check out. Do you know that in some parts of the world, music is being applied as a therapeutic measure?  

Also, to be noted from the above scripture is the fact that David’s skillful play was a criterion for his being chosen. God recognizes and appreciates good music; demons also, react to it. It’s not all just about having music; rather, it is more about having good music because sometimes the music can be a distraction rather than a blessing. For instance; if the church is singing on one key and the instruments are playing on a different key, the music becomes a distraction rather than a blessing. In as much as the spiritual factor or preparation in church music can not be compromised, neither should the quality of the music. Skillfully produced music is not a luxury to the church. It is a necessity. 

 

·                               Acts 16:25-26

 

But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God and the (other) prisoners were listening to them, suddenly there was a great earthquake such that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone’s shackles were unfastened- Amp 

 

This is the power of church music. It causes a release brother! No matter the situation; as you incubate upon it with songs and an attitude of praise, there’ll be a release in your spirit for God is attracted to that type of situation. It is an act of faith to be able to do this even in the face of adversity. 

Paul and Silas had been imprisoned for the sake of the gospel but as they prayed and sang, the prison doors flew open and the chains of all the prisoners were broken. 

There are songs which when taken with understanding cause a breaking of chains not just for those singing but even for those listening. This is because God is true to His word and no word of God is void of power. No word from his mouth will go unanswered. 

 

·                               2 Chronicles 20:21-23

 

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should SING to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out BEFORE the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to SING and PRAISE, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah and they were defeated. 

Jehoshaphat, king of Judah was going out in battle against an enemy that was by human standards greater than his army but by the word of God, he placed the singers at the head of the army. Verse 23 says that as they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir and instead of them fighting the Israelites, they began to fight one another such that by the time the army of Judah got to the battlefield, all that was left were dead bodies and they carried off the plunder that had been left. Plunder that they did not even “work” for. 

The next time you face a challenge that seems so overwhelming just get into your room and settle the issue with some earnest, heartfelt praise and worship. Believe me, praising God even when all seems not to be well is an act of faith because what you are actually saying is, “no matter how bad the situation may be, Lord, I trust that you have it all under control, therefore I remain unmoved!” 

 

·                               Joshua 6:4-20

 

The Israelites got to the city of Jericho whose walls were so thick that people built their houses on them. God gave them a strategy, which blows the imagination. They walked round the walls once for six days with seven priests bearing their trumpets and on the seventh day they walked round it seven times and after the seventh time, the priests sounded their trumpets and the people shouted as much as they could. The walls came crumbling down. I’m sure it must have been a melodious sound and not just any kind of shout. There is a certain type of loud shout of praise practiced by the Hebrews. It is called the “Hala”. I’m sure that must have been it. Anyone observing the Hala would think the person shouting is nuts or almost out of his mind because of the nature of this kind of shout. It involves an unrestrained shouting and jumping and gesticulating. Do you know that when you shout, there is a release in your spirit? Boy, you really need to try all these things out. I tell you, its really great stuff! 

Gospel Music versus Secular Music 

Many Christians spend time listening to and even enjoying secular music and the question I ask myself is this:  

Has Christianity come so far that we have so lost touch with spiritual truths?  

Are we so unconscious of the fact that by nature we are different from the world and that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Believe me life is too spiritual for us to be lukewarm about certain things. The devil does not play fair and you know what? He is not even playing games. 

I know this subject has been one of great controversy but I would like to deal with the topic once and for all. It doesn’t really matter what you think about it. The only constant that exists in life is truth and what I’m about to share with you is gospel truth and any sincere Christian who is truly filled with the Holy Spirit would see the truth in this. 

You may be thinking “Oh here is one of those Christian fanatics!” If you would however read this and consider these thoughts with an objective and learning mind you would come to appreciate the seriousness of the matter. Life is much deeper than what we think or see on the outward. We need to understand that the world which exists today, was made out of the things which do not appear i.e. the physical is made from the spiritual so before anything can come forth in the physical, there must have been a coming forth in the spiritual (1 Corinthians 1:28). The spiritual supersedes the physical. 

 

WHAT IS MUSIC? 

 

Music can be defined in layman’s language as organized sound.

It is a force which contrary to what a lot of people believe was created by God for His pleasure and delight. I would even go a step further to say that God is musical in nature. If you would carefully consider all of creation, you would perceive a high degree of co-ordination, rhyme, rhythm and co-coordinated sound in everything. 

Have you ever taken time out to consider the way birds sing and chorus in the morning, as if to an unwritten tune? Have you considered the rhythm in the way people walk as if to an unheard sound or drumbeat? What about the dancing flames of a fire, the twinkling of the stars in the dark sky, the various sounds of laughter, the croaking of frogs, the chirping of crickets and even the sound of thunder amidst the rain etc……..  

 

God is full of rhythm. 

I could go on and on. It is all so musical and you know what, our Father God made it all for His pleasure and delight. It is necessary for us to keep it in mind that God created all things. The devil has never and can never create anything. What he does is to pervert that which God has already made. Nothing is evil in itself. It is that for which it is used for that matter. Jesus said that it is not what goes into a man that matters but rather what comes out of him (Mk 7:17-20) In other words, what really matters is not the raw material but rather the finished product or the use to which the raw material is put. 

I heard that there are some churches where drums are not allowed because they believe that drums originated from ‘idol worship’. I would want to disagree with this notion. Firstly, why do we act as though God and the devil are in a battle for supremacy? The Bible clearly declares that Satan is a defeated foe and he has no power. Secondly in the bible we are told that the Israelites used musical instruments in worship. Some of the instruments used in bible days include the trumpet, harp, tambourine, bells, cymbals, lyres etc. The tambourine happens to belong to the class of instruments called percussion. It had some bells and was beaten like a drum and not one place in the bible is it recorded that God complained about its usage. Unfortunately there were no modern-day drum sets in that day but I believe that if there had been, they would have been used to worship Jehovah. I believe the problem is that we sometimes try to understand God through our human senses. God is not a man. We shouldn’t try to set standards for him outside His word because the moment we do, we’ll begin to bring in our human philosophies and traditions. Nowhere in the bible is any kind of instrument forbidden. Hey, there was a meeting we had where the drummer started playing under the unction of the Holy Ghost and before we knew it every one in the place was soaked in the anointing and miracles started taking place. This was actually the first time I was having that kind of experience but I learnt a deep lesson; God can use anything and anyone to cause a transformation as long as there is a yielding to His Spirit. 

God is full of rhythm, drums are all about rhythm and rhythm is about order. Can you imagine a world without rhythm? That would be a world of disorder, a world of chaos. Now, that doesn’t sound like my great God of glory rather it sounds more like the devil! 

However, while music can be used to glorify God as it is used in heaven, it could also be used in a perverted form to propagate other ideas. This is one area in which the devil excels. Because of its intrinsic qualities, music can be used as a veritable medium for the spread of messages, ideas, intentions, thoughts etc. 

I would like to explain the above using a media term; Afghanistanism. This refers to a situation where the people’s attention is strategically drawn away from the prevailing matter to a less important and even irrelevant issue. It is a political strategy employed by leaders where they try to avoid facing or they cover up an impending crisis by taking the peoples minds off the issue at hand to another matter, like sports for instance. 

Why am I saying all this? The bible warns that we should not be ignorant of the devices (stratagems) of the devil. In order to catch a mouse in a trap, you must have bait and the bait must be something that is sure to attract the mouse. You must be careful about the kind of music you listen to and sing. I would now wish to ask a few fundamental questions: - 

·                               What is gospel music?

·                               What inspires gospel music?

·                               What is secular music?

·                               What inspires secular music?

 

Let us explore the above questions.

Simply put, Gospel music is music that is inspired of the Holy Ghost, which talks about and spreads the good news of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. It glorifies God, it teaches about God and corrects. Some songs may not be directly related to God and His Kingdom but they are still Gospel Songs. An example is a song done by a group “Black Men United” titled “You will know”. I believe this song was gospel because it talked about the challenges of this world and pointed to a better place. Every man knows deep within his spirit that God exists and in his attempt to reach out to God we sometimes make mistakes. What other “Better place” could there be where there won’t be war, hate, trouble in the home etc. the writer could only have been implying God’s kingdom. 

In other words it’s not the style of the song that defines whether or not it is carnal music but rather it’s content and purpose.  

A lot of Christians have a misconception that certain types of music are from God and other types like Rap, Rock, etc. are not for Christians. This is not true. Every person on the face of the earth is different and is prone to excel at different things. Infact our unity in diversity is another great plus for God. Each person is favorably disposed and fit for different purposes and conditions. While some may be able to express themselves in one type of music others could be able to do so through other types. What matters is the spirit, which inspires the song and the content of the song.  

Music is born and inspired from the spiritual into the physical. You can actually catch songs (secular or gospel) that are transmitted from the spiritual with your spirit. The final outcome of the song will depend on how well you catch the song in your spirit and re-direct it into the physical. I have had certain instances where God has given me complete songs as I worshiped. I have come to understand that some of the songs that come to the physical realm are actually songs that are used for worship in heaven. Don’t be surprised that when you get to heaven you will hear the host of heaven singing some of “Our Songs”. The truth is that some of them actually originate from God. God once told me that even though some of the songs I have written came from Him, they tickle Him when they are sung and they make Him want to do things. Have you ever heard Angels sing along with the saints? I have heard them sing Hallelujah along with us during some of our programs and boy! Was it glorious! There was a day a sister and I were writing a song and we heard a third voice singing along with us. 

Songs are inspired through the spiritual, either good or evil. I don’t see the devil inspiring a song that will cause you to worship God. It is not in his nature. Neither would God inspire a song that promotes sin and lawlessness. Based on this, ask yourself “Who do you think inspired that song you so love singing?” Many Christians think there’s nothing wrong with listening to secular music after all, they say “The song is nice” or “I like the beat”. That is ignorance gone on rampage and a classical example of Afghanistanism. The Bible says that we should be wise to the stratagems of the devil. It is a known fact that you gradually become that which you read, expose yourself to i.e. listen to or watch over a period of time. The devil doesn’t need to approach you directly in order to corrupt you. All he needs to do is to ensure that you are kept so occupied with irrelevant things that you end up missing God. 

 

HOW? 

The Bible says that the Children of Israel could not enter in because of unbelief. In fact, the only sin that will cause people to go to hell is the sin of unbelief because to be saved you only need to believe that Jesus died for your sins, that He was raised from the dead and confess Him as Lord of your life. Whether you believe it or not: Christ already died and paid the price in full. It is now our responsibility to believe and act on our believing by confessing. In other words, if you don’t believe, you cannot confess and therefore you can’t be saved. 

This is the same trick the devil plays. Someone once told me that to kill wolves; hunters in a certain part of the world, would put small sharp knives inside iced blood. The wolves would then lick until they cut themselves on the sharp blade and bleed to death. 

All the devil needs to do is to disguise his weapons and entice people. He uses music effectively. As you listen to music and sing it, before long, you start identifying with the music; you start finding role models in the singers and generally gratify yourself rather than glorify God. Find out what kind of music the most violent people listen to. You won’t be shocked that they are who they are. 

 

So what is Secular Music? 

Simply put, any music that doesn’t glorify God, directly or indirectly is Secular music. No matter how good it may seem, as long as it directly or indirectly takes your mind off the God-life or worshipping God; it is Secular and dangerous because like the iced blood, you will soon get to the knife. Some songs may actually seem pretty innocent but get this: There is no such thing as an innocent activity. Every activity is in one way or another passing across a message (subtle or otherwise). Over time these messages make way into and take a hold of your subconscious mind. Before long they appear on the surface by way of your speech, action thoughts etc. Have you ever caught yourself doing, thinking or saying something totally unlike you and you wondered: “Where did that come from?” I’ll tell you. It came from stuff you had exposed yourself to in the past. It may take time but whatever you allow into your heart will surely manifest itself for like Jesus said, “out of the abundance of the heart does the mouth speak” i.e. out of the abundance which you have allowed into your heart!  

Another thought: Words are perceived in pictures. For instance if I tell you that someone bought a green car, you would not see the words spelt g-r-e-e-n, rather in the eye of your mind you would visualize a car that is green in color. In other words as words come or are put across to you in songs, you receive as words and convert them into picture-form in your heart. These are part of the things that Jesus mentioned in the Parable of the sower that choke the word of God that comes to you; therefore your growth in God is retarded, if not deterred. This situation can be likened to the H.I.V.; once the virus gains access to your bloodstream, it doesn’t kill immediately; rather it weakens your defense mechanism such that any illness can kill you. Give the devil no room. Must you listen to that song to the detriment of your soul? What shall it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul? You may feel I’m exaggerating but if you truly meditate on this issue through the Spirit, you would discover that everything I’m sharing with you is true. Believe me, this has been the undoing of many a Christian.  

The bible says for you to diligently guard your heart for out of it proceeds the issues of life. 

Alright, let us assume the songs are just “songs” Who wrote them? Men of the flesh or men of the spirit? No matter how good a man might seem, He can only be righteous or be in the light by being born-again. The bible says what fellowship does light have with darkness. 

The word, “Fellowship” implies a drinking or sharing of ideas. It is impossible for light to share with the darkness because once the light comes; the darkness vanishes (John 1:1-5). Flesh can only beget flesh so if you are of the light, what fellowship do you have with the darkness? 

By giving undue attention to Secular music, you are actually ‘drinking’ of the writer’s spirit and you thereby unnecessarily expose your spirit to ‘contracting a virus’ from him; because aside from being a very powerful force, music is also highly spiritual. It is born of the spiritual and as it proceeds from one person’s spirit, it can be imparted into another person’s spirit. Now, once the music gets to a person’s spirit it starts to affect the person either for good or bad. Believe it or not: whatever you allow into your spirit will definitely influence you in the long run.  

Let me zero in on Music Ministers. As a Music Minister, you are a carrier of the word in music i.e. you are a distributor of God’s word through the medium of music. God inspires the music and you deliver it.

In other words, you are a vessel through which God’s word is disbursed. Based on the above definition and role of the Music Minister, do you think it is right for you (Music Minister) to unduly expose yourself to and sing Secular music? Emphatically no, because (whether you agree or not), by singing secular music, you become a vessel to the spirit that inspired that song and remember what fellowship does light have with darkness? Now, if you don’t sing it, then why would you want to listen to it? I don’t mean “oh cover your ears anytime you hear Secular music”. No, I mean don’t give it undue attention! 

If you are born again the devil can only penetrate your defense mechanism

if you allow him; so the Bible warns us not to give the devil any foothold.  

Over time I’ve meditated on this issue and it is my belief that in the kingdom, there are different types of singers. Some are healing singers, some are evangelists, others are teachers etc. but you may be surprised to hear this but I also believe some were called to minister to Gods people by keeping them entertained. If we could do a survey, you would be amazed at the number of people that are kept in the faith through these so-called entertainers. There was a time I thought I was a spiritual thermometer (many Christians also do the same) and I would sit and try to ascertain or judge if the minister had ministered in the Spirit. One day as I was about to talk down a music ministration that I felt was basically entertainment, God told me to shut up and I did. It’s not our place to judge if a ministration was spiritual or not. If God could speak through a donkey then He can employ even that so- called entertainer to speak to whoever he wants. Don’t reason God with your minds and/or based on tradition; He is bigger than all that. 

 

How about love songs? You wish to sing a song for a loved one and all the love songs you know were written or inspired by unbelievers; what do you sing? At this time I can’t give provide a faultless answer (maybe I will in the future) but I believe God is love and that He also inspires love songs so what really matters is not the song but the spirit behind the song. 

 

Walking in the grace for growth. 

We must settle something in our hearts. Who is the creator of music, God or the devil? I believe your answer is God; right? Then, if God is the giver of the gift then I believe He can perfect it. If you need a musical mentor, choose a gospel singer but more importantly ask God to help you improve. Remember in Matthew 7:9-11, Jesus said that if men being evil would not give their children stones instead of bread or snakes for fish, how much more would God give us good gifts if we ask. 

In some of the choirs I handled, I saw individuals who picked this message that I’m sharing with you and ran with it. Their growth was so fast almost without any formal voice training and/or instrumentation training. There is a grace present in the music ministry and if you can only take advantage of it, you would see yourself moving several steps in a very short period of time. Music is a gift from God therefore if we have to again struggle and strain for it, would it still be considered a gift or rather wages? (Romans 4:1-5). Don’t get me wrong; training is not only necessary. It is also of utmost importance for your training is a seed which God also uses to increase you in the gift. Train yourself not to be too lazy to practice and don’t get so ‘spiritual’ or as Dr Creflo would say; ‘spooky’ that you forsake the place of proper practice, learning and training. What I actually meant is; you must learn to focus more on the giver of the gift than on the gift! 

Never compare yourself to anyone else and don’t even try to be anyone else. Allow your interaction with other Music Minister’s affect you and build you up but don’t base your ministry on their own and don’t use them as yardsticks to measure your own calling or assignment. We all have different callings and level of callings. Find out from God what your own is and develop yourself in that direction. I used to compare myself to other ministers whom I thought were better than me until I found out by the Spirit of God that there was so much that I had in me that they didn’t have and I started learning to appreciate myself. This is the bottom line: appreciate yourself at the level at which you find yourself at any given time. While I may not have the best voice and I may not be the best singer, I have come to know that there is something about when I minister. I can’t minister without an impartation. As long as I’m ministering in the office of a Music Minister, there is a knowing in me that the anointing of the Holy Ghost will definitely be manifested. Someone must receive. Always be the best of your level. As long as you recognize that there is something special and unique about you and that God is at work in you both to will and to do according to His own good pleasure, you will always find yourself moving towards achieving the goal for which God has set you aside. Our part of the bargain is to yield our lives entirely to our God who makes all things beautiful in His time. 

 

I do a lot of training with my choir. I talk to members of my choir and explain things about the music ministry to them based on what God tells me. However, over time I have come to appreciate that the true relevance of my members is not necessarily dependent on how well they can sing individually. Every member has a different presence and purpose and collectively we make up the body. Not everyone may be as good as some but everyone has something to offer. Not everyone can be a finger or a toe but everyone is as important as the next. Do you realize that the instrumentalist is not more important than the least-talented singer? As one body we are complete. Anything else is sub-standard. 

Being an effective Music Minister goes beyond having a good voice. It also involves humility, coordination, discipline and a willing and yielded heart among other requirements. You can grow to levels that you never believed possible. There is a depth in God that we cannot even begin to imagine. It is a depth that cannot be explained but can only be experienced. You will know when you start to experience it. I am a testimony of a Music Minister who grew entirely by grace. I always tell people that before I got really committed to God I could neither sing nor write songs but today, take me to the ends of the world and I will give a good account of the Spirit of God that has enabled me to do these things through His wonderful gift. Sometimes I feel tears coming to my eyes when I see People lost in worship as they sing songs that I wrote. It is truly a privilege to walk in this grace. And you know what? That same grace is available for you. All you need is a strong desire to walk in it and then ask Him. You should however, ask yourself if you want it for the right motives because the Bible says that the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6). Your motive for desiring the gift should not be selfish but rather to use it for the benefit of man. All gifts of the Spirit are given for all men to profit withal (1 Cor 12:7).  

A very interesting aspect of this grace is that it can be transferred (imparted) and its working in you grows as you put the gift to work. That is why it is called grace. When I see someone who has a musical gift that I want, all I need to do is to sit with the person and listen to him or her talk. The person doesn’t even need to sing! I have recognized that the person reproduces the anointing in whatever he/she does so as I sit with the person and as the person breathes on me, I simply receive. It has happened so many times. Other times, as I watch a Music Minister on TV and I am moved to desiring something of the person, I can reach out with my spirit and just receive. You could also sow a seed into the life of a minister whose gift you admire. As you do so, you become a partaker of his gift. It is highly scriptural and in the same way, I believe that as many as would just get a copy of this book and meditate on the God-given truths in it would just start to walk in that same grace. Another simple secret is this:  

 

Talk less and Listen More.  

Because you know how to sing doesn’t make you an authority in or on the music ministry. Music and ministry are two different issues. While you may be able to teach someone how to sing, you may not be able to teach about the music ministry. There is an anointing for it. Jesus said, “The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life”. This also goes for us. I have learnt to sit under my leaders because when I do I come under a grace for growth resulting from my functioning in order and so there can be spiritual impartation. Whatever gift one has can be imparted to another. The laying of hands is just one way (1 Tim 4:14, Acts13:2-3).  

Sowing into the anointing is another. Part of what I am today is as a result of a transfer of gifts as I sat under Instruction. Never allow pride to come in for it is like acid that corrodes until all that is left won’t even be of any use to anyone. As a help meet for your Pastor, you must come to an understanding of that which he would have you do and respond appropriately for spiritually, your success is attached to his success. It really doesn’t matter if you are older or not. Marian and Aaron were not just older than Moses, they were also his siblings, born of same parentage and yet Aaron called Moses, “lord”. So learn to have less of an opinion, listen more, yield to the acquaintanceship and leadership of the Holy Spirit, give of your time, effort and finances and you would have hit a lifeline for the grace of God to function in your ministry. 

 



 

CHAPTER 7

GROWTH AS A MUSIC MINISTER 

 

As I mentioned in an earlier chapter, the spiritual supersedes and precedes the physical therefore before anything can take place in the physical. It should have occurred in the spiritual. Now that we have settled this fact, we can go a step further to say that since a Music Ministers role is more than that of a singer and in effect that of one operating under the unction of the Holy Spirit with the purpose of bringing forth Gods word in music, his role is spiritual and so for there to be evident growth in the physical it must firstly occur spiritually. The Music Minister carries a presence, which must be “distributed” but before distribution can occur, there must be a building up and connection with the source of the presence; that is the Holy Spirit. 

As an oracle of God, the Music Minister must spend time in the study of God’s word. Your revelation of God must become clearer so as to enable you to represent Him better because your life has become a yardstick of who God is. People expect to see God through your eyes. You can only adequately represent Him based on the amount of information that you have. You must get to really know God and the person of the Holy Ghost for yourself and grow in your love for Him. David was called a man after God’s heart even though he made so many terrible mistakes in his lifetime. This was because he had an irrepressibly growing yearning for fellowship with God. Even though we can never entirely know God because of His awesomeness, we can get to know and appreciate Him better, not because of what He can and will do for us, but because of who He is. 

It is of utmost importance, in fact, compulsory for a Music Minister to have a growing relationship with the person of the Holy Spirit. Remember, He is the one who will lead you into all understanding.

We must cultivate and grow a relationship with the Holy Spirit through whom our ministry is given life and made acceptable unto God. In our fellowship with Him, He will teach us more about what we ought to be doing and reveal deep truths concerning the ministry to which we have been called as well as teach us how to prove our love for Jesus. There is a depth in this ministry that we will never even scratch unless we allow ourselves to be guided into it by the Holy Ghost. 

I once heard that in the 19th century, there was a great man of God who would just read his bible and his hearers would break down and be convicted of the word. What do you think caused this? That’s the power of the Holy Ghost brother! 

 

Let it soak in your spirit; our ministry goes beyond some brother or sister singing while a couple of instruments accompany the singer. That is the standard of the world and we have already overcome the world and its systems. There is a glory in the music ministry that we have not even begun to tap into. That same glory that shook the walls of Jericho, that same glory that opened the prison doors and broke the chains as Paul and Silas sang. That same glory that caused the Ammonites, Moabites and men of the mount of Seir to turn on each other .As we minister we ought to expect to see the miraculous and lives should be changed not because we sing well but because our ministry causes a release of that awesome manifested presence of God. As you become more sensitive to God’s spirit, you will begin to experience a great increase in the unction upon your ministry and it will be easier for you to receive songs and melodies from the heavenly realms. Even as Saul was changed into anew man after the Holy Spirit came upon him, you will be changed and will walk in the supernatural like never before. You are God’s minister, the man with the secret passageway into His presence, the enabling factor for Gods manifested presence. You are…………………. THE MINSTREL! 

 
 

Epilogue 

 

 

Music Minister, rise and shine for your light is come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you in its full measure even as you have been called to show forth that glorious life. Do you wish to experience the supernatural like never before in your ministry? If your answer is yes, take your minds off where you may seem to be right now and just allow the Holy Ghost to take over. In the face of the greatest challenges, remember that the only strategy that will never fail is a Holy Ghost strategy and you know what? There is one facing you at this very moment. Study it. Use it. God’s word never fails! 

Grace and peace be mightily multiplied unto you even as you imbibe the words written in this book. Amen.

 

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TALK WITH THE AUTHOR ABOUT A SPECIFIC ASPECT OF THE BOOK OR JUST SHARE THOUGHTS WITH THEM, CONTACT THEM AT:
 

ForSouls2000@Yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

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