The Growth of Music Ambassadors
Imagine being given the opportunity to travel every few weeks with your gas, housing and meals all provided for you. Now imagine that you were specifically requested by a church pastor to lead their Sunday worship service while being able to plan and coordinate the music of your choice. Finally, imagine that you get paid for all of this. This type of ministry exists at Olivet Nazarene University, and it is the Music Ambassador Program.
This program was launched a few years ago out of the already established Preaching Ambassadors Program, where students travel to churches in the Midwest region and present a message during a Sunday service.
Pastors within these churches began requesting if there were any students available to travel with Preaching Ambassadors to lead worship. Within the next two years there were several students interested in this opportunity, thus creating the Music Ambassador Program.
“The churches have thoroughly enjoyed our Music Ambassadors. Some of these churches have no ‘live music’ or experienced worship leaders except for Olivet Music Ambassadors,” said Tony Fightmaster, the Director of Church and University Relations who is also the leader of both ambassador teams.
Music Ambassador Selection
The audition process for this program includes singing one and a half worship songs with a transition between to preview how you would lead a worship service. It is required for those auditioning to dress up as he or she would on a Sunday morning, and if you are able play an instrument while singing that must be demonstrated as well. There are currently ten students on this year’s team, and students who return after their first year as an ambassador receive a scholarship from Olivet.
“My favorite part is all of Sunday being able to lead worship then hangout with the pastor after…it’s an easy way to do something that I love,” said Destinee Ferguson, a second-year Music Ambassador.
The students usually travel outside of Kankakee County to churches in the region, and during their travels use the opportunity to promote Olivet to the youth. Ambassadors will have bags that contain interest cards, brochures about Olivet, t-shirts and other items to market to prospective students who could attend in the future.
“Marketing Olivet along side leading people to Christ is pretty cool,” said Hayden Keifer, a second-year Music Ambassador. “I like going different places and meeting different people, and it’s cool to see just how different churches can be.”
This program is not just for music or ministry majors, according to Ferguson. There are four Music Ambassadors who are involved in other programs at Olivet, and this gives a chance to those pursuing other degrees to still use their musical talents to serve.
“The pastors and people in the churches not only fall in love with these students, they greatly appreciate the help from ONU,” said Fightmaster. “These churches begin to pray for ‘their adopted Olivet students’ and begin to ‘take ownership’ of the ‘next generation’ of leadership in ‘The Church.”