Date of Award
Master of Music (MMUS)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” — John 3:16 KJV Arguably one of the best-known verses in the Bible is John 3:16. A quick glimpse of those seven little letters and numbers spelling out John 3:16 and, like the first four measures of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, immediately people know what you are talking about. It matters not if they are faithful church-going believers or unbelievers, people know – or do they? In the 2009 live-streamed college championship football game between the Florida Gators and the Oklahoma Sooners, Gators quarterback Tim Tebow wrote John 3:16 in his eye-black. This small gesture, during the game, prompted 94 million people to Google just what John 3:16 was. Exactly three years later, during the 2012 NFL playoffs, Tebow again wrote John 3:16 in his eye-black. During the game, the crowd went wild with amazement over Tebow. Afterward the Broncos PR representative, Patrick said to Tebow with excitement, “...do you realize what happened?...” “It’s exactly three years later from the day that you wore John 3:16 under your eyes...” “...I don’t think you realize what happened. During the game you threw for 316 yards, your yards per completion were 31.6, your yards per rush were 3.16, the ratings for the night we’re 31.6, and the time of possession was 31.06 . . . and during the game, 91 million people Googled John 3:16 and it’s the number one trending thing on every platform.” The thought of millions of people having to Google John 3:16 gave me cause for pause. Could it be true that many people have no clue what John 3:16 is? This once treasured and household verse, today, has to be Googled. The story of quarterback Tim Tebow and John 3:16 tells the powerful impact of visible actions by influencers within their sphere. This story also gives a glimpse into the reality of the post-Christian world today.
As a music minister of God, living in this Tebow John 3:16 world, there are questions that must be asked in order to better understand how to best share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Questions which include the following: Are people in the United States of America (USA) abandoning their religious beliefs? What relationship does the USA population have with the Bible or Jesus? What can help to influence the way the Bible is understood and taught? Most importantly, how can a music minister educate a new generation of believers in Jesus Christ? To explore these questions, this paper will first survey the USA religious landscape. Second, it will recount the influence of a few historical figures on the biblically ignorant through worship music. Third, it will demonstrate how the organization Hymneo, a music ministry, can continue to span the gap between the biblically knowledgeable Seventh-day Adventist Church and the post-Christian USA population. To analyze the various aspects of Hymneo and its history, the Active Theory Method will be utilized. In addition, it will present Hymneo’s contributions and uniqueness within the Seventh-day Adventist worship construct. Lastly, it will explore Hymneo’s success, areas for improvement, and future opportunity.
Sylvester, Jamila Patricie, "Hymeno : The Music in Ministry" (2020). Master of Music Projects. 1.