In the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine saw a nation-wide revival, with a great number of new churches planted across the country. That in turn, implied the drastic need for competent worship leaders and teams as well as transformation of the worship paradigm in order to reach out youth.
Thus, in order to meet that need, Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary started its Music Program intended for worship leaders, instrumentalists and performers willing to develop their music talents and grow deeper in their knowledge of the Bible.
However, it became clear soon that many Ukrainian believers perceived worship solely as songs sung at the start of a church service without understanding its true theological foundation.
So, the Music Program at the UETS was transformed into the Music Ministry and Theology Program with the focus on the foundational theology of worship, including principles of the Early Church.
Today, it is important for us to help musicians understand that worship does not equal music by refocusing their attention from performance to response to God’s revelation about Himself. In other words, in order to reach many people, the foundation of right history and theology is needed, rather than just considering music style.
Therefore, it is always a great joy for us to see how God is working in lives our students. When asked how they understand worship, the third year graduating students of music ministry and theology are able to give really profound answers.
Here is what Anastasia Dudych, a second-year student of music, said:
“I have understood what is inspiring me to proceed this semester… During the week, our teachers encouraged us to think about the very essence of worship… After another class in the theology of worship, I see that my focus is correct and I am ready again to master routine techniques with enthusiasm.
Our teachers take time to lead is into deep reflections… As a result, we understand why we are here, what we are doing here, why we worship God and what He – God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is like.
I learned in my today’s class that, if you don’t see a challenge to get to know God during worship, hear what He says, understand Him, this is purposeless worship. According to Tozer, the way we imagine God is the most important expression of ourselves… So, we have to continue to perceive God.
Worship is a deep expression of your feelings, trust and brokenness before God. It is a great privilege rather than duty to come into the Holy of Holies and bring sacrifice of praise to the almighty Lord. This is a proclamation of God’s greatness, His glory, might and attributes, which, in turn, expresses His faithfulness and mercy towards the mankind. This is not only 20 minutes on a Sunday morning, but also a lifestyle of a Christian, the way he thinks and acts.”