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Artevangelists Dialogue is a platform for fraternising and synergising among budding ministers within the Christian arts circles (music, spoken word, choreography, comedy, etc.). The platform periodically hosts seasoned ministers to learn from their life and ministry and to honour them in a session dubbed ‘Fire Lighters’.
A recent edition held for the platform featured God’s servant, Eugene Zuta, known for Spirit-filled and edifying songs for everyday Christian worship. Songs such as “Wo So”, “Fa Me Ye”, and “Okasa”, just to sample a few, are some of his songs music lovers across Ghana and beyond enjoy on a daily basis.
Aaron Sangmor, Convenor for Artevangelists Dialogue, in inviting members of the platform to join the session, explained why the Man of God was chosen as the guest.
He indicated that Eugene Zuta is a seasoned minister driven by intense passion and deep spirituality, both of which, according to Aaron, would contribute immensely to adding fuel to ignite the fire of the platform fraternity.
Below is a summarised Q&A session of the dialogue with Eugene Zuta on Sunday, 24th May, 2020. Enjoy the read!
Host: Papa Zuta! We are truly grateful to you and honoured for accepting to be our special guest for this evening’s session. Please accept our warmest welcome.
Papa Zuta: Good evening and thanks for the privilege. The pleasure is mine
Host: Papa Zuta! We have read quite about you and follow a few things regarding your grace-field life. It's a beautiful story you've got there. And we celebrate God's goodness for your life. Could you please share with us your opening remarks before further ado.
Papa Zuta: Thanks for the kind compliments. I must start by saying I am only playing a part in the divine script God has already written for my life. And I keep asking Him for divine grace to be faithful to His call on my life. I don't want to be just a good servant. I want to be God's servant. I am glad as to how far I have come and trusting Him to take me from here.
Host: Inspiring! It’s indeed an honour to have you here with us tonight. Can you please tell us what growing up was like for you? Any fond memories?
Papa Zuta: I sang my first solo in church in 1993. I was prayed for by elders of the church to be used in the area of ministry. I have learnt that it takes a whole community to make you so we don't have to be in isolation. Allow godly people around to counsel and mentor you, especially, people within the church environment could be very helpful. I also remember growing up as a member of Mount Olivet Methodist Church, and as part of the Gospel band from 2000; going from school to school for evangelism, alongside the "Shabo" we used to play at funeral, wedding and outdooring ceremonies. I did not know the effect of my ministrations on people until they told me and encouraged me to take it seriously. As part of my journey, I have carried speakers, arranged chairs, done dawn broadcasting, etc. for years as a member of Olivet Voices, Echoes of Calvary of GHAFES, UCC. I have many memories, but these come to mind readily.
Host: Interesting memories there. Papa Zuta! In 2012, you officially unveiled the Eugene Zuta Ministries (EZM), with a focus on reaching out to meet the needs of young people spiritually, physically and mentally. Could you kindly tell us briefly the inspiration behind this and the progress thus far.
Papa Zuta: Whiles in UCC from 2001-2005, I was convicted in my heart that apart from my desire to be a teacher, the LORD wanted me to continue with my music as an extension of what I was doing on campus. So, I released my first album in 2008. Then joined EmPraise Incorporated as the first President of that ministry till 2016. In the course of that service, I felt the LORD still wanted me to focus on my personal ministry, So I started EZM. Mainly, it has a mandate to raise a monument of worship in the hearts and lives of many, drawing them to the LORD through music, word and all means possible. So far so good, but there is more space to cover.
Host: EZM is response to a higher call. Good stuff. Papa Zuta! How challenging has the journey been so far?
Papa Zuta: The challenges have been many.
1. Creating balance in ministry, work and family life 2. Distraction from people who think you should be doing things a certain way to be seen as successful 3. Attacks and schemes from people who do not understand your calling or are not happy with what you are doing 4. Personal insecurities 5. Challenges with funds, etc. However, the LORD has used each to teach me to be a better person which in the end has changed my perspective as to what they are. So these days I count my ‘challenges’ as part of my ministry helpers. Because they are part of the "all things" God is using for my "good" according to Romans 8:28. Smooth seas does not make skilful sailors. They become skilful by navigating the turbulent seas.
Host: Deep insights you’ve shared there about challenges. Papa Zuta! In your over a decade of active ministry, what has been some anchor scriptures that fuel your passion, help you get through challenges and do the exploits we have come to know you for?
Papa Zuta: Quite a number of scriptures;
“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience— doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’” (Matthew 7:21?-?23, Message Bible?)? ? ???
Others include; 2 Timothy 1:6, 1 Timothy 4:12, 2 Timothy 2:20-21
Host: Papa Zuta! Would you kindly share with us what you'd consider a winning formula in your ministry.
Papa Zuta: The Holy Spirit (99.9%) + Me (0.1%) = Godly Success
I kick against anything the LORD has not told me to do. I have looked foolish many times trying to obey Him. I have refrained from using the "usual" strategies; not because they are bad but because I have been asked to do it some other way. Most times it does not end in me being hailed all over. But knowing God is pleased is enough. Success in ministry is not doing things my way but doing it His way for me, which might be different from others. One day I made up my mind I was going to make a wild move to draw some wild attention bi like that. Just when I finished writing it down, someone I had not heard from in a while called. Guess the discussion? Long and short of it; the person said "Keep going the same way you are going. God knows the struggles and He will reward.”
Host: Very touching experience! Papa Zuta! You wrote and composed most of the songs on the 'Calvary Nnwom', which had the hit song, 'Okasa' on it. Since then, you have, by the grace of God, churned out seasoned worship songs for everyday use, including 'Wo So'. Could you please tell us about your inspiration for writing and composing such beautiful songs.
Papa Zuta: Somewhere between 1995-1998, I prayed asking the Holy Spirit to grant me the ability to write songs that will draw many to Him. This is because the aim of what I do is not to raise a following for myself, but a following for Him. We are fishers of men but we don't take the fishes home. We take them to our Master. The LORD granted my prayer request. Based on my meditations, I am able to hear melodies in my heart. These I record and continue to work on as songs. So my inspiration is mainly the Word of God and my fellowship through devotions. There are only a few times I have deliberately set out to compose a song. There are people who have the technical abilities to compose without any inspiration. I am not that blessed.
Host: Papa Zuta! Talking of fishers of men, in what ways does the Master reward the fisherman?
Papa Zuta: He provides their every need. Sometimes He does this by giving them some of the ‘fish’ (but they do not take it themselves). Sometimes He sends others to take care of them. He sometimes also produces gold coin from a fish to take care of them. Some other times, He sends them "manna" from Heaven. He also sometimes gives them other skills to help others to provide for their immediate needs. But in all things, He does not want their pre-occupation to be "to reward" themselves but to be rewarded by Him. He does not want His shepherds to "kill" the sheep they take care of for their reward. He wants them to look to Him for their reward.
Host: You have an amazing insight regarding the things of God. Papa Zuta! Is it mandatory to set up a ministry the moment one starts singing and records a single or an album? At what point does one get really convinced that God has called them into ministry?
Papa Zuta: A ministry in the broad sense is all the ways God has equipped a person to serve His people. And it must be entered into only by conviction as an assignment. Many are just copying a trend but have not been called. For some it’s not an avenue to serve but to be served and get some attention. As you continue to fellowship with the LORD closely, He will give you a personal confirmation. Sometimes you may also have to take a step of faith. I have realised that if it is of God, He knows how to bring it about. Yours is to be available and usable until then.
Host: Well noted Sir. Papa Zuta! Were there times that after your ministrations you felt that your message was not well delivered to the people. If yes, how did you react?
Papa Zuta: Yes! I went back, prayed about it and sought the next opportunity to do it right.
Host: Papa Zuta! There is a wave of passionate budding gospel musicians who are daily thrust onto the scenes. What would be your advice to these budding musicians to ensure that they live up to the demands of their true calling - topmost things to, and not to do?
Papa Zuta: Firstly, I would recommend to learn about what it means to do music ministry. Then, be sure you have been called into the ministry and know your specific assignment and how you are to accomplish it. Also, be right in your mind about issues of money and fame; these are not bad but how they are acquired can make or unmake you. It is necessary to also have ‘accountability’ relationships. Finally, be patient with God and yourself.
Host: Very relevant points there. Thank you. Papa Zuta! Is music a full-time ministry for you? And what would be your advice to any of us here who might have dreams to pursue music as a full-time ministry?
Papa Zuta: It depends on your individual assignment. The ministry of some is such that they will have to dedicate themselves fully. So in that sense full-time is possible. However, given the understanding of music generally in Ghana, I will not advise anyone to do so. Someday when our structures are well placed it will be easy. Even Apostle Paul worked part-time to take care of his needs because he did not want to be a burden to the church.
Host: Papa Zuta! It's been such an exciting session. You have indeed given us so much to brood over. All too soon we have to draw down the curtains. Kindly could you share your closing remarks.
Papa Zuta: Dear brethren, all I have shared is based on my personal experiences as I have journeyed with the LORD. It by no means represents the whole wisdom of God regarding our ministry. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will further expound matters to each one of us. Do feel free to share with me anything I might have to reconsider so I can also improve on my knowledge. God richly bless us all and thanks for hosting me.
Host: Papa Zuta! Thank you so much. We are truly grateful for your time. It has been an honour having you. We'd keep praying with you and supporting your ministry in any way the LORD allows us to. Blessings!
Another exciting edition of Fire Lighters will come your way in June barring the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The platform will host yet another seasoned minister to share his life and ministry with us. Until then, keep being on fire for the LORD. Blessings!
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