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Great Commission Tribe
Roles and Descriptions

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:19-20


“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”  Colossians 4:2


“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”  Hebrews 3:13


“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer.”  Acts 2:20


“Praise the Lord.  Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens.  Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness.  Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals.  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.”  Psalm 150

The Great Commission Tribe is responsible for the active calling of people to respond to God’s call on their lives and to commit themselves to God in Jesus Christ. While many may think this evangelistic call is a New Testament phenomenon, profound concern for all people is also obvious in the Old Testament (1 Kings 8:41-45; Ps 22:27-28; Isa 2:2-4).  God cared for the first couple especially after they had sinned; His plan to “bless” all people through the Israelite nation; and His continuing work through the prophets and through discipline to forge His people into a usable nation all speak of His concern.

 

It is, however, the New Testament which manifests in the dynamic thrust of the Great Commission. While the word “evangelism” does not occur in the Bible, it is woven into the very fabric of Scripture.  Despite its obvious importance, a wide range of opinion seeks to define what it means and what it should include.

 

Luke 8:2-56 shows how Jesus brought the good news. He not only preached; He demonstrated His power over the forces of nature in saving His fearful disciples. He exorcised a demon, healed a poor woman that had hemorrhaged for twelve years, and raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Clearly, he brought the Good News by word and deed, and not by word only.

 

According to the Bible, during his last days on earth Jesus commanded his eleven disciples “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19,20 NIV).

 

It would be nice to have “reaching out to the entire world for Jesus Christ” as the goal of the Great Commission Tribe, but realistically, the only way that is ever going to happen is to start right in our own little corner of the world.  House by house, and block by block, our neighborhood borders can only expand after we have thoroughly reached out and saturated each of our neighbors with the love of Christ. Therefore, what must be a very fired-up Tribe, is responsible for using every available format and means known as it develops and communicates to others the services, programs, and events we offer to enthusiastically spread the Gospel message.

 

Restoring lost hope and dignity to the people who surround us in the business, professional, social, and residential community is the essence of our purpose as we strive to lead individuals to an understanding of the Gospel message found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – salvation alone through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ alone.  This critical message can only be relayed after the Great Commission Tribe bathes all we are doing in prayer and then moves forward as led by the Holy Spirit to offer opportunities to hear the Gospel message from a variety of Biblically sound formats.  

 

Critical thinking regarding our presentations (especially at public events), resolving potential objections and critiques, and striving to get the message into the community is at the root of this Tribe.  

 

The Great Commission Tribe is structured as follows:

 

Beth Zur (Behth' zuhr) means, “house of the rock.” We use this name because Jesus is the rock of for all that we do. Therefore, Beth Zur is where the work of this Tribe begins.  The Great Commission Minister, Ministers Scribe, Temple Keeper, and Clerks are here.  Everything begins with and is covered in prayer.  The staff at Beth Zur spends time seeking the Lord’s direction for Biblical ways to encourage people to pray and practice the presence of the Lord in their daily lives, while unfortunately also looking at and exposing the many false teachings in the world that are so easily accepted by church leaders today.   Beth Zur has:

 

Prayer Fortress is at the heart of all that we do.  In the Old Testament Israel is a nation born of prayer.  By prayer Joshua discerned sin in the conquest community (Josh 7:6-9) but was tricked when he did not discern God’s opinion by prayer (Josh 9). God also spoke to the Judges to deliver His people when the people called out to Him for deliverance. David’s spiritual acumen is seen in his prayers of confession (2 Sam 12:13; Ps 51). Solomon fulfilled the promises made to David after praying for wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-9) and dedicated the Temple in prayer (1 Kings 8). God worked miracles through the prayers of Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 17:19-22: 18:20-40).  The writing prophets noted that genuine prayer calls for accompanying moral and social accountability (Hos 7:14; Amos 4:4-5).  Isaiah’s call reflected the intense cleansing and commitment involved in prayer (Isa 6).  Jeremiah’s dialogue and intercession frequently voiced reservation and frustration (Jer 1; 20:7-18), teaching honesty in prayer. The Psalms teach variety and honesty in prayer are permissible; they proclaim praise, ask pardon, seek such things as communion (Ps 63), protection (57), vindication (107), and healing (6). Psalm 86 provides an excellent pattern for prayer.

 

In the New Testament Jesus’ example and teaching inspire prayer. Mark emphasized that Jesus prayed in crucial moments, including the disciples’ appointment (Mk 3:13), their mission (Mk 6:30-32), and the transfiguration (Mk 9:2). Jesus displayed a regular and intense prayer life (Mt 6:5; 14:23; Mk 1:35).  Luke taught that Jesus was guided by the Holy Spirit (Lk 3:22; 4:1, 14, 18; 10:21; Acts 10:380).  John reported that Jesus sometimes prayed aloud for the benefit of those present (John 11:41-42). He also reported Jesus’ prayer of intercession for the first disciples and future believers (John 17). Both prayers display Jesus’ unity with the Father and desire to give Him glory (John 11:4; 17:1).

 

The Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:9-13; Lk 11:2-4) is taught to disciples who realize the kingdom has come to earth yet await its full coming. Significantly, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray after watching Him pray (Lk 11:1). The prayer also provides a contrast to hypocritical prayers (Mt 6:5). Although it is permissible to repeat this prayer, it may be well to remember Jesus was emphasizing how to pray, not what to pray.

 

Jesus also corrected some abuses and misunderstandings regarding prayer. (1) Prayer is not to be offered to impress others.  Disciples should seek a storage closet or a shed and pray in private. Jesus did not reject group prayer, but his warning might apply to a believer who prays to impress a congregation (Mt 6:5-6). (2) Jesus also prohibited long-winded attempts that try to manipulate God. While Jesus prayed for long periods of time (Lk 6:12; Mk 1:35) and repeated Himself (Mk 14:36-42), He called for people to trust their Father and not their own eloquence or fervor.

 

Jesus’ teaching on persistence in prayer is linked to God’s kingdom (Lk 11:5-28; 18:1-8). God is not like the reluctant neighbor, even though Christians may have to wait for answers (Lk 11:13; 18:6-8). The ironies of prayer are evident: God knows our needs, yet we must ask; God is ready to answer, yet we must patiently persist. Children of the kingdom will have their requests heard (Mt 6:8; 7:7-11; 21:22; John 14:13; 15:7; 16; 16:23; compare 1 John 3:22; 5:14; Jas 1:5), particularly believers gathered in Jesus’’ name (Mt 18:19).

 

Prayer is not a religious exercise – it is a human necessity.  It is a secret weapon of the Kingdom of God.  The church must learn to live in a kneeling position – to pray for revival, there first must be a revival of prayer.  Scripture tells us that prayer is to be continuous (1 Thess 5:17).  The Prayer Fortress has the responsibility of encouraging prayer throughout our facilities and into the community.  All of those who turn to us with prayer requests and praise reports are lifted up.  What could be more important than to regularly encourage staff, Sojourners, and others in their daily walk in as many ways as possible??


The Prayer Fortress is where we surround ourselves in prayer and go about praying through all the praise and concerns for all our facilities, the staff, residents, visitors, the surrounding community, state, country, and world. This joy is on-going, twenty-four hours every day of the year, never ceasing.  The Payer Fortress is operated by volunteers known as Prayer Warriors who are recruited, trained, and coordinated by the Prayer Warrior Coordinator.  The Payer Warrior Coordinator is responsible for finding committed Prayer Warriors and assists in the scheduling of their prayer times through the Prayer Warriors Leader.  The Prayer Secretary together with the Prayer Warriors Leader and some of the Prayer Warriors answer calls, emails, and work off Prayer/Praise Slips to carefully catalog, process, and update all the information received before it is relayed to the Epaphras Closet (ehp' uh fras) means, “lovely.” Also, from pray-er, intercessor, giver, pastor (Col 1:4, 7-8, 12-13; Plmn 23; Jer 7:16; Rom 11:2; Amos 7:13; 1 Thess 5:17) Epaphras was a Christian preacher. He was a native of Colosse whose ministry especially involved Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis.  While we frequently think of a closet as a place where we store our clothes, a closet can also be a small private room for study, and/or a place to be shut up in like a private room for discussions. Therefore, we have a small chapel-like room specifically set aside for prayer 24 hours per day, every day.  Using Ronald Dunn’s “Lifestyle Ministries” material as a model, the Prayer Warriors pray over all requests, needs, and concerns as they are given to us by others and the Holy Spirit.  The Epaphras Closet is comfortably furnished with a thickly padded prayer rail, a counter for phone, rolodex, answer box, request book, Bibles, and a prayer map where prayer requests, praise reports, and prayer answers are prayed over continuously.  Prayer Warriors time in the Epaphras Closet is broken down by teams that are each assigned to covering 12 hours of weekly prayer time.  The Prayer Secretary also passes praise reports and prayer concerns to the Prayer Chain Leader who coordinates a variety of prayer chains within the other Tribes.  

 

Engannim Nooks, (ehn-gan' nihm) a place meaning, “the spring of gardens,” or “fount of the garden” (Josh 15:34; 14:21; 21:29). Nook is a noun meaning a corner or recess, especially one offering seclusion or security. Overseen by Beth Zur, the Engannim Nooks are quiet little retreat areas found scattered throughout all our facilities.  They are designed and maintained through the Farming Tribe to be a welcoming little place to take a break from the day’s activities, relax, pray, meditate on God’s Word, and generally charge-up a bit with the Lord.  

 

Grace with Guts Seminar Planning as the name implies, this office, led by a Governor who is assisted by a Scribe, Templekeeper, and several Clerks is responsible for the creation and implementation of any number of effective seminars throughout the year.  Whether it be about salvation, financial planning, prophecy, home financing, healing or whatever, we must have the guts to present Bible only presentations to the public free of denominational and demonic influence.  If the Bible says it, then we present it.

 

Ground Zero Team specially trained Prayer Warriors who are available on short notice to respond to several different types of critical situations.  The first is those who respond to emergency scenes such as fires or car accidents offering prayer and assistance to those at the scene in need.  The second is those who will travel to the airport, train, and/or bus terminals whenever there are major cancellations or delays and provide light-hearted worship music, prayer, and small bags of essentials to those who are stuck for indefinite periods of time. And the third group is those who can respond to calls for individuals in need of emergency healings and/or deliverance.   

 

Philemon’s Yokefellows (fi leh' muhn) is a name that means, “affectionate” or “friendship” and is the eighteenth book of the NT. Yokefellow comes from Philippians 4:3 and refers to one of the apostle’s fellow-laborers. Some have conjectured that Epaphroditus is meant. Wycliffe renders the phrase genuine comrade. The Philemon's Yokefellows are a group of Prayer Warriors that serve as the “affectionate friend” and to specifically encourage and pray with staff, volunteers, and Sojourners.  They create their special agenda as they are led with the express purpose of targeting these individuals for a heavy dose of prayer, love, and encouragement.

 

Silas Patrol (si' luhs) Silas was a leader in the early Jerusalem church... He accompanied both Peter and Paul on separate missionary journeys. One of his first missions was to carry news of the Jerusalem conference to the believers at Antioch (Acts 15:22).  He also served as Peter’s scribe, writing 1 Peter and perhaps other letters. A patrol is the making of a circuit about an area or beat for the purpose of observing or maintaining security. Composed of Prayer Warriors who get around much like Silas himself, constantly moving about the facilities, routinely picking up prayer slips from the Prayer/Praise Boxes located throughout the facilities.  Part of security is happy people, and the Silas Patrol goes about its journey bringing an upbeat and positive hope as led by the Spirit to those they encounter. The Silas Patrol frequently stops to encourage individuals, or groups, and to pray with them.  They also encourage those they meet along the way to participate in prayer groups, use the Engannim Nooks, and to learn more about prayer.  The Silas Patrol also serves as a Sunshine Committee – being sure that individuals are recognized on their birthdays and other special occasions.

 

Jesus is the Rock Chaplain Services  Paul identified Christ as the spiritual Rock which nourished Israel in the wilderness (1 Cor 10:4). Jesus’ teaching is the rock-solid foundation for life (Mt 7:24-25). With Jesus as our rock, we provide chaplain/pastoral care and services to all who turn to us. Sojourners and staff are provided with spiritual direction, clarification, and guidance.  Assisted by Clerks, the Chaplain (traditionally, a chaplain is a minister, attached to a secular institution although originally the word "chaplain" referred to representatives of the Christian faith.  The Chaplain helps those who come to JITR find specific classes, studies, mentoring or counseling as needed.  Such things as helping to locate a solid church or one of the Urban Houses of Hope outside of the facility is provided as well.  JITR is always looking for a way to assist others in making the decision to follow Jesus.  A special room called Priscilla and Aquila’s Tent (ak´wi-la) Aquila was a native of Pontus, doubtless one of the colony of Jews mentioned in Acts 2 & 1 Pet 1:1. They were refugees from the cruel and unjust edict of Claudius. Their tent has an array of personal studies, informational literature, appropriate tracts, and Bibles for our Sojourners, and visitors.  JITR is also responsible for the Clergy Visiting Room available for use by any clergy who come from outside of our programs and facility to visit with specific residents or groups. The Chaplain is responsible for initial interviews with any outside groups/individuals who desire to come to lead or participate in seminars, programs, Bible studies, or worship services, such as the Vets, AA, the Gideon’s, and Prison Fellowship.  Once they are approved by the Overseers, JITR Pastoral Services then facilitates the approved group/individual and serves as their host while they are at the facility.  A room is provided for those who are regulars to store supplies and materials.  The Chaplain and Staff are available for crisis intervention and counseling in the event of a disturbance, medical emergencies, death of a family member or friend, and other problems that may arise.  The Chaplain is in charge of and leads weekly activities in the Cornerstone Chapel.

 

Cornerstone Chapel the stone laid at the corner to bind two walls together and to strengthen them. Used as a symbol of strength and prominence in the Bible. Believers are encouraged to become living stones just like the Living Stone and to be built into a spiritual house (1 Pet 2:5).  A chapel as a holy place or sanctuary occurs only once in Amos 7:13, where one of the idol priests calls Bethel “the king’s chapel.” The Cornerstone Chapel is used for smaller groups, baptism, child dedications, and communion.  Additional programs, services, and special events are created and coordinated by the Chaplain.

 

Narthex is an architectural element typical of early Christian and Byzantine basilicas or churches consisting of the entrance lobby area. It is an area set aside to serve light meals and snacks to those attending events at Cornerstone Chapel.  
Ebenezer Prayer Tower (’Eben hà-ezer), simply means “stone of help.” An Ebenezer is simply a monumental stone set up to signify the great help that God granted the one raising the stone.  

 

One of the phrases in the hymn Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing has the lyrics in the second verse: “Here I raise my Ebenezer.” In 1 Samuel 7, the prophet Samuel and the Israelites found themselves under attack by the Philistines. Fearing for their lives, the Israelites begged Samuel to pray for them in their impending battle against the Philistines. Samuel offered a sacrifice to God and prayed for His protection. God listened to Samuel, causing the Philistines to lose the battle and retreat to their own territory. After the Israelite victory, the Bible records: “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’” (1 Samuel 7:12). So the lyrics of the hymn figuratively meant that the writer—and all who subsequently sing the song—acknowledge God’s bountiful blessings and help in their lives.  

 

This outstanding focal point for our facility has been created to honor God by acknowledging His help in each of our lives, and all that He does for us every single day.  The Ebenezer Prayer Tower starts below ground level and extends upward to become the highest point over our facility.  The design is not just magnificent, but beautiful.  Incorporating both the Journey to the Cross exhibition, with En-Gannim Nooks, visitors can use people movers to start in the Garden of Gethsemane and continue to the top where the tomb is empty, Jesus emptying death of its power over humanity.  As visitors move up in the tower, they stop at the Biblical sites where Jesus walked on His Journey to the Cross, pray, and reflect.  A moving experience for people time and again, with the views from the various windows changing everyday as a continuous reminder that God is in every part of our lives, good and bad.      

 

Freedom Squad is sent to those people who are identified as needing special prayer to help deliver them from serious medical issues, and in many cases conflict with any variety of demons in their lives.

 

Light to the World Jesus is called the Light of the world because, without Him--without all that Jesus did for us on the cross so we would be free from slavery to wrongdoing--the world would remain in darkness. At Jesus time “The light of the world” was a common expression in Jewish tradition. Rabbis taught that God was the light of the world, or that the Torah or the tribe of Israel was the light of the world. So, saying “You are the light of the world” to ordinary people, most of whom were poor and struggling, was something radically different.  “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12) is the second of seven “I AM” declarations of Jesus, recorded only in John’s gospel, that point to His unique divine identity and purpose. In declaring Himself to be the Light of the world, Jesus was claiming that He is the exclusive source of spiritual light.  Jesus saying that He is the Light of the world is the outer recognition of His Father's creation and presence, and the inward dwelling of the Holy Spirit, by which we know our Father and walk with Jesus. Jesus is the Light of the world, our world, and in the world. Like God is omnipresent, so Jesus is Light.   Adrian Rogers in "Bright Lights in a Dark World" writes that each of us is to be the

Light of the World, to do so includes:


1. Sharing your faith in Christ:  God takes an ordinary person and uses them to share His message to people who needed Him. When we share our faith, we spread His light. You were saved to shine! Don't hide your testimony or be ashamed to take your Bible to work. Don't be afraid to pray over your lunch at school. Let others know that you love the Lord Jesus.
2. Take Light where It is dark:  Jesus describes what we are in this passage - the light of the world, not the light of the church. That means we must get beyond the church walls and take the light out to where it is dark.
3. Shine together as the Church: Jesus also talked of the strength of collective light. Each house in a city with its lights on cast a glow across the sky. As Christians come together, there is a glow for the Lord that we cannot create individually. We shine brightest when we shine together.
4. Live surrendered to the Lord: How can we shine for God? Jesus says that we are to let our lights shine before men in such a way that they will see our good works and glorify God (Matthew 5:16). That's how we do it. We live for God.  We must surrender our lives to Him completely. Christ says we are to "let" our lights shine. In other words, when you get right with God and are filled with the Holy Spirit, He will simply shine through you.

 

At a highpoint on the roof of our facility is a specially designed system that allows us to send out beacons of light into the sky in all directions and visible to people for many miles.  symbolizing that Jesus is the Light to the World.

 

Liturgical Mishmarot liturgical things are a prescribed rite for a public religious service, or the rituals of a service.  (Ex 25-40; Ps 22.22-31; 24.1-2, 4; 67.1-7; 74.8; 100.1; John 4.24 (notes); 1 Cor 14.26 (notes); Mic 6.6-7). In Nehemiah 12:9, we are told that Bakbukiah and Unni stood opposite of six other Levites in charge of songs of thanksgiving and sang with them.  This type of singing is known as “antiphonal”; two sections of the choir standing opposite each other.  They were singing in a service, the Hebrew word for which is Mishmarot.  Luke 4:16 tells us that it was Jesus’ custom to attend regular worship, which was conducted in Hebrew, so He regularly attended the Mishmarot. Liturgical Mishmarot coordinates all the worship, praise, and fellowship services and activities throughout the facilities.  

 

Led by the Liturgy Governor, with assistance from the Liturgy Scribe, Temple Keeper, and Clerks, the staff is responsible for ensuring that all our weekly and special worship and praise times contain all the Scriptural components:  music, prayer, Scripture reading and teaching in order “To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” True worship gives God center stage.  Liturgical Mishmarot is always exploring and considering new ways to reach others – perhaps a hymn sing, or a hymn sing service, a concert in a park or at one of Milwaukee’s many festivals, a “Sunday Evening in the Park”, or a concert of prayer.

 

Art, by definition, includes music, dance, architecture, sculpture, painting, and literature.  Through the art of music and theatre, Christians can present a world where hope and truth are real, where Jesus is Lord and God is Supreme…a reflection of real life rather than the common worldly misrepresentation.  Bearing this in mind, Liturgical Mishmarot is responsible for creating, developing, and producing a wide variety of focused art, music, drama, worship, praise, and fellowship opportunities intended to give Christians and non-Christians, churchgoers and the unchurched the opportunity to view their lives in relationship to the fullness of God’s truth, allowing them occasion for thanksgiving and growth, enjoyment and understanding.

 

It is the responsibility of Liturgical Mishmarot to ensure that each service complies with Scriptural instruction and that all participants are listening for and prepared to respond to any move of the Holy Spirit within the service.  It must provide the opportunity for hands-on training and experience in each area of worship, praise, and fellowship as it produces, prepares for and provides sources for the enhancement of these services, and other related events.  While many concerts and productions will be a source for generating income, most importantly, everything produced by at our facilities serves to reach out to others with the love of Christ.

 

The Liturgical Mishmarot team is made up of:

 

The Worship Leader who must be extremely sensitive to the Holy Spirit and gifted to be able to respond to His direction – even if it means chucking all the preparation in the middle of a service.  Worship services Biblically are to include prayer (1 Cor 14.14-16), Scripture reading (Col 4.16; James 1.22), singing (Eph 5.19; Col 3.16), almsgiving (1 Cor 16.1-2), the sacraments of baptism, the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2.41; 1 Cor 11.18-34), and teaching of the Word (Acts 20.7; 1 Cor 14.9) as led by the Holy Spirit.  The Worship Leader sees to the preparation for all services.  Timeframes and outlines are helpful, given some time restrictions, but the Holy Spirit must be invited and included in all planning.  

 

Working closely with the Worship Team Coordinator, the two prepare for every service being sure that the Worship Teams: Dancers, Drama Team, Musicians, Prayer Leaders, Readers, Singers, Speakers, Worship Flaggers, are all prepared and working together to be Scripturally on the same page.  Variety in music selection and format is encouraged.  Because of a shared passion for His presence, the Worship Leader and the Worship Team Coordinator select music according to Biblical patterns of worship, always assuring that all services offer a variety of styles, pausing to pray as the Spirit of God leads.  Too many have lost their first love, or forgotten that apart from Him, we can do nothing.  Our mission, through music, is to restore the foundation of worship to believers who are called to be the salt and light.

 

The Worship Team Coordinator always has an eye out for individuals who may desire to be part of our Worship Teams.  Recruiting and training of these individuals is critical to presenting the Gospel message consistently at all our services and events.  It is the Coordinators job to see to it that this is accomplished.  The Worship Team Coordinator also is mindful of the need for those who can play a Voluntary (solo organ music) or individuals/groups to recommend as Entr’acte (entertainment offered between 2 acts of a performance) at any of our other venues.

 

The Drama Team and Dancers are always preparing skits and presentations that will not only enhance services, but that can be used throughout our facilities.  

 

Musicians and Singers rehearse and prepare through the Levite Institute.  Prayer Leaders, Readers, and Speakers also receive help and instruction through the Levite Institute.

 

The Worship Flag Team is specially trained by the Worship Flag Leader.  Flags can be used prophetically in worship, in dance and in prayer (especially warfare or intercessory prayer).  Prayer Warrior’s that do not have flags in their arsenal are missing a part of their heritage. God will often lead an intercessor to use a particular flag to speak what He wants proclaimed in the Spirit. There is a lot of symbolism in flags.

 

First, there is symbolism in the colors. Purple means Kingship, Majesty, Royalty, Mediator, Creativity, Wealth, and Reigning with Christ. Green means Prosperity, New Life and Growth, Fresh, Healing, Hope, Peace, Victory, and Rest. The Blue in the background means Heaven, Holy Spirit, Divinity, Serenity, Revelation, and Faithfulness. Brown is important too; it symbolizes Devotion and Humility.

 

Second, there is symbolism in the design. For instance, grapes symbolize abundance and harvest as well as provision.

 

Third, there is the basis in Scripture that we too have a Promised Land. “Jesus came that we might have Life and have it in abundance.” We can proclaim all of that and establish it in the spirit just by waving the flag or by displaying it.

 

Flags can change the atmosphere where they are waved or displayed. A set of red, blue, and purple wing flags called Warfare Wings reflect in the color combination the same ones God instructed Moses to use in the Tabernacle. (see Exodus). The Red in the flag is a strong deep red which symbolizes the Blood of Jesus, Life, Salvation, Courage, Power, Redemption, Fire, Fervent Love, Sacrifice, and War. The Blue in the flag represents Authority, Kingship, Priesthood, Intercession, Faithfulness, and Revelation. All these qualities are required in intercession. Another set of flags called Spirit Wind carries a particularly strong breaker anointing. Use these flags when God is opening and closing portals.

 

We must remember without the anointing of God that He chooses to put into the flags they would be just pretty pieces of fabric. The flags have power because God gives them power and He honors your worship and intercession.

 

The Head Usher, Head Greeter, and Head Catcher work together to find, train and schedule Ushers, Greeters and Catchers for every public event that is held at our facilities, regardless of which Tribe is sponsoring/heading the event. Ushers are responsible for seating people for every event, while the Greeters mingle through every event and function welcoming everyone attending.  For most of the public, these people are the first and maybe the only contact many of them will have when they visit our facilities.  Courtesy, a reflection of our philosophy, and most importantly, the ability not to let newcomers slip in and out un-noticed are all part of the on-going training process.  While Catchers serve a unique role in any service (catching anyone who is slain in the Spirit), to do their task, they must be mingling with and be present around all those attending any event.  No one should ever leave one of our events without feeling that they were welcomed, wanted, and encouraged to return and join us again on a regular basis.  It cannot be expressed just how critical the task of proper training of Ushers, Greeters, and Catchers is.  Perhaps its welcoming a familiar face, or sharing and caring with a newcomer, these workers must always keep an eye out for the loner, the sad face, or the lost family that God has led our way.  

 

The Head Chariot Parker {see further explanation of the use of Chariot in the Caretaker’s Tribe} is also part of Liturgical Mishmarot, primarily because the duties of those who assist in the direction of traffic and parking at our facilities is remarkably like that of the Greeters and Ushers.  Recruiting and scheduling these carefully trained Chariot Parkers is the responsibility of the Head Chariot Parker who works closely with Gideon’s Army staff to be sure the Parkers know the intricacies of carefully directing and parking vehicles with both expertise and a smile.

 

The Ushers, Greeters, Catchers, and Chariot Parkers each have rooms strategically located near each of their main work areas.  They also share a Training Room.

 

Both an Agent and Copyrighter work from Liturgical Mishmarot.  The Agent is responsible for booking and hiring Christian artists and others from outside the facility who will be performing in any of the venues. The Copyrighter secures licensing and copyright permission for any material, scripts or music that is used at our facilities and secures copyrights for any original materials, scripts or music produced here.

 

Liturgical Mishmarot also has a General Practice Room and a Jam Room that are available at the discretion of the staff to anyone they think may benefit from their use.  These two rooms are distinctly separate from the other rehearsal and practice areas at the facility, to provide “breathing” and overflow space whenever necessary.  

 

Geharashim (Gee hah ray' shihm) means “valley of the handcrafts workers.” It is listed as a place where members of the tribe of Benjamin lived and where occupations were pursued for recreation and livelihood (1 Chron 4:14) in the time of Nehemiah (Neh 11:35). A craft was an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill. Several crafts were practiced in biblical times: carpentry, boatbuilding, carving (wood, ivory, ebony, and alabaster), metalworking (gold, silver, bronze, and iron), weaving and spinning, tanning, tent making, basket weavers, potter’s trade, fuller’s trade, dyeing, sculpting, jeweler’s trade, glass working, perfumery, embroidering, masonry, plastering, and more.  A craftsman was a fabricator of any kind of material (Gen 4:22; Isa 3:3).  Geharashim is yet another area managed by the Great Commission Tribe.  Overseen by a Governor, with the aid of Clerks and Stockers, Geharashim offers the opportunity to learn and work in a variety of mediums.  A craft is a skill or ability in handwork or the arts.  A craftsman is a skilled worker practicing a craft.  Art is defined as anything made or modified by human art or workmanship (1 Chron 29:5; 2 Chron 34:11) An Artisan involves working with a particular product.  Training will come from participant to participant.  Among the offerings are beadwork, ceramics, drawing/sketching (charcoal, crayon, markers, pencils, pens), embroidery, jewelry, latch hook, knitting, leather, model making/building, needlepoint, painting, pottery wheel, stone polishing, and yarn work.  All supplies are stocked or ordered through Geharashim.  Some non-odorous work that involves no dangerous tools will be allowed to be done in Saints Fortresses and Disciples Dwellings.  Completed projects can be kept by Sojourners (within limits), sent out, or turned over to the Camels Caravan Marketplace to be sold on a consignment basis.  

 

Grace Place Theatrical Productions Public drama was apparently unknown in Old Testament Israel except for possible worship activities and only arrived with the Greeks after 400 B.C. As a symbol of Greco-Roman culture, the presence of theaters in Palestine was a constant reminder of Greek and Roman control of the Jewish state.  Herod I built numerous theaters in the Greek cities during his reign in Palestine (37-4 B.C.). Their presence, especially near the Temple in Jerusalem, continually infuriated the Jews. Dramas and comedies included historical or political themes and were often lewd and suggestive. The semi-circular seats of the theater rose step fashion either up a natural hillside or on artificial tiers. A facade of several stories (as high as the uppermost seats) was decorated with sculptures and stood behind the stage. The general public sat in the higher seats, farther back, but wealthier patrons were given seats lower and closer to the stage. A large central area was reserved for the local governor or ruler. Theaters varied in size. Those in small towns held approximately 4,000 persons, while larger theaters, such as that in Ephesus where Paul was denounced (Acts 19:29), could hold 25,000 or more. Grace Place Theatrical Productions takes on the immensely challenging task of providing a balanced blend of productions in a variety of formats.  The major source for the presentation of these productions is through the Beulah Land Theater, and the Promenade Theater Experience but GPTP is always looking for other opportunities.  It is important that the productions are not always labeled “Christian.”  Each production must give glory to God, but there are certainly artists and materials that provide wholesome entertainment that is not always labeled or identified as something “religious”.  This helps to draw many un-churched individuals to the performances, which is the goal.  The challenge takes on new depth when it is understood that many of the Sojourners residing at our facility will benefit from the experience, jobs, and lessons in Christian fellowship that results from being a part of a production.

 

In the case of many concerts and performances, but most notably in theatrical productions, those attending every presentation – “audiences” in many cases need to “get the message” without having it in their face the whole time.  A musical, a comedy, drama, murder mystery, a variety show, stunning symphony performance, a rock concert, an old-time burlesque revue, or a tent revival will each draw different audiences.  But each can spread the same message when carefully planned.  And planning is the key.
   
Seasons of performances geared to all different ages, classes, and cultural backgrounds can draw everyone into fellowship and understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.  God has no limit on what is possible – Grace Place Theatrical Productions needs to keep this in mind and move ahead with the full gusto of the Lord!   

 

Any kind of theatrical production takes loads of planning, and a large crew of every kind of conceivable worker.  Sojourners by the dozens can assist in preparing for and presenting the productions while gaining excellent training in a variety of fields.  Seamstresses, sewers, cosmetologists, carpenters, electricians, painters, advertising, and marketing people, and sometimes even plumbers are just a few of the talents that are needed and that can provide hands-on practical experience for the Sojourners.  

 

A Governor watches over the entire operation, assisted by a Scribe, Temple Keeper, and Clerks. With several productions being worked on simultaneously, multiple offices for the Producers and Directors are available.  There is an abundance of meeting rooms and a Rehearsal Hall. The production crew includes:

 

Choreography:  The Choreographer and Assistant Choreographer from the Levite Institute create and direct all the Dancers in the dance numbers as well as individual performances in a production.  Rehearsals are held in the Psalm 149:3 Dance Hall.

 

Costume Shop: with a Costume Designer, Head Seamstress, and Costumers (the actual sewers).  On-going productions have a Dresser Area where the Dressers can assist in costume changes and perform quick fixes.  There is also a Costume Holding Area near the Dressing Rooms. There is an abundance of space to store all the completed costumes not currently being used in a production via an electric rack system, identical to what a dry cleaner would use.  Dry-cleaning and pressing of all costumes is done through Fullers.  Choir robes are stored in rolling cabinets.  Another costume storage area holds the collection of costume accessories catalogued as: Belts/Suspenders/Sashes, Glasses, Hats/Headgear, Jewelry, Masks, Mittens/Gloves/Scarves, Shoes/Boots/Footwear, Wigs/Hairpieces.  Additionally, the Maestro-Sastre (Master Tailor) works with the costume shop on Sojourners clothing alterations and repair.

 

Lighting:  with a Lighting Designer, Chief Electrician, and Lighting Techies (tekē, short for technicians.) These people make shows happen. Often seen backstage, on the grid and any other dark space, they have a wide range of skills, know how to fix anything with a role of duct tape. They all work to make the sets come alive and create the proper atmosphere on stage.

 

Make-Up Crew: with the Head of Make-up, Hair Stylist, Make-up Crew Leaders and Make-up Crew who all work together to make sure that everyone on stage looks exactly right.

 

Media Department:  with the Director of Media, who uses the specially trained Remote Evangelists from GCCC to carefully capture all the details of a production on video and audio so that it can then be edited and made into a CD so that others may view the production and enjoy them again and again.

 

Production Team:  The Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Manager take care of everything that goes on backstage before, during, and after every performance.  The House Manager oversees everything going on in the front of the house, before, during, and after every performance and has the final say with all Ushers, Greeters, Catchers, and Chariot Parkers for production performances.  The Box Office Attendants handle all ticket Will-Calls, questions, and sales.  They also supervise the Coat Check Crew, who does just that.  And last, but certainly not least, the Technical Director coordinates all the technical aspects of each production, being sure that a door opens, that everything on stage is placed so that it can be lit, and that only those sounds the Director wants the audience to hear are picked up by the microphones.

 

Promotions Department:  The Publicity Chief and Publicity Assistants work non-stop to let as many people know as possible about each and every production.  The Program Chief and Program Assistants design a program for every production, sell advertising space in it and then have programs printed for every performance.  The Ticket Sales Chief and Ticket Sales Assistants book and sell the tickets for each performance.  And the Patron Chief and Patron Team solicit sponsors for every production and theater season.

 

Set and Prop Crews:  The Set Designer creates the scenery and backdrops found in every production.  The Chief Carpenter and Building Crew build that scenery.  The Paint Crew Head makes sure that the Paint Crew gets everything painted so that it looks absolutely real when on stage during a production.  Then, the Stage Carpenter and Grips assemble, hang, and make sure that everything is where it is supposed to be, that it is working, looks great, and is ready for every performance.  When that work is done, the Property Master, Property Masters Assistant, and Prop Crew “dress the set” with all the things that they have found, borrowed, or created that will add to the realism on the stage.  For every performance they make sure everything is where it is supposed to be during production.  When everything is ready, the Stage Crew comes in and takes over, along with the Flyman and Curtain Man, to run each performance and see that everything moves around, shakes, rattles, and rolls exactly as it is supposed to.  Once the production has ends, all the reusable set pieces are stored in the Set Storage Area. Set Storage is done by components: Doorways, Windows, Flats, Scrims, and Painted Dioramas so that they can be used again.  Any of the props that could possibly be needed for future productions are cataloged and stored in fire-proof rooms in the Prop Storage Area by category:  Appliances, Armor, Art and Household Accessories, Bedrooms, Carpets/Rugs/Pillows, Dishes, Dining Rooms, Floral, Lamps, Linens, Living Rooms, Miscellaneous Furniture, Pottery/Baskets, Pillars/Fountains/Colonnades, and Plants.

 

Sound:  The Sound Master and Sound Techies work to assure that the audience can hear everything that is being said and played on stage, as well as providing some of those remarkably interesting sound effects heard during a production.

 

SPX:  The Special Effects Creator imagines and designs all the special touches and magical special effects that enhance the productions – water, wind, fire, fog, and ice are nothing to this creative genius who sees to it that all the bells, the whistles, have been designed and created so that the Special Effects Crew can do whatever is necessary to “make it happen”.

 

Of course, there are the Actors (we use actor for both genders of performers in all our productions), and all the Musicians who are on stage or in the orchestra pit for every performance in a production, breaking their legs to draw the audience into the show.

 

All these talented people must work together for every production.  It is essential that Grace Place Theatrical Productions never allows anything to be presented on its stage that would be offensive to God.  Every performance must reflect God’s grace and His commands to love Him and our neighbors (Mt 23.37-40).  No production will ever be performed on the stage with the sole purpose of bringing in crowds for money – we are not a den of robbers (Lk 19.45-46).  Rather, we are striving to be salt and light (Mt 5.13-16).

 

Two primary venues keep Grace Place Theatrical Productions busy.  The largest is the Beulah Land Theater. Beulah Land is a well-known gospel hymn written by Edgar Page Stites (1836–1921) in either 1875 or 1876. The hymn, Stites' most popular, is set to music written by John R. Sweney (1837–1899). The hymn concludes with the chorus:


O Beulah land, sweet Beulah land!
As on thy highest mount I stand,
I look away across the sea
Where mansions are prepared for me
And view the shining glory shore
My heaven, my home forever more.


The hymn derives from the KJV of Isaiah 62:4; "Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzibah and thy land Beulah; for the LORD delighted in thee, and thy land shall be married."  The verse refers to the return of the Jews from their exile in Babylon in which the Jews shall no longer be called Forsaken, but Hephzibah (My Delight Is in Her), and Jerusalem shall no longer be called Desolate, but Beulah (Married). This implies that the Jews have turned back to the worship of God.  The idea from the hymn that Heaven can be seen from Beulah land comes from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress in which he states, "Therefore it is, I say, that the Enchanted ground (i.e., Heaven) is placed so nigh to the land Beulah and so near the end of their race."  Edgar was converted to Christ at the age of 19 during the great revival of Philadelphia.

 

The theater enjoys state-of-the-art HVAC, lighting, sound, and video control that maximize comfort for the audience, allowing them to focus on the message of the show. There are over 750 seats with no obstructed view of the stage from any seat in the facility, specially designed to provide comfort so that a person doesn’t get tired of sitting.  The seating area is attractively decorated to provide an interesting atmosphere, even when something isn’t happening on the stage.  


Part of the theater includes the Ephesus Room (ehf' uh sus). Ephesus was one of the largest and most impressive cities in the ancient world, a political, religious, and commercial center in Asia Minor. Associated with the ministries of Paul, Timothy and the Apostle John, the city played a significant role in the spread of early Christianity. Ephesus and its inhabitants are mentioned more than twenty times in the NT.  The rebuilt temple, completed about 250 B.C., became known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  The only mention we really have of theater in the Bible talks of the Ephesus amphitheater which was known as The Great Theater of Ephesus with the Arcadian Way in the background. The Ephesus Room is the waiting area, or “Green Room” for those preparing to go on stage.  It is used to feed all the participants in any rehearsals, or actual productions at the Beulah Land Theater.

 

Beulah Land Theater proudly presents five different theatrical productions every season as well as hosting other top-quality events each and every week.  The theater provides the opportunity for everything from the simplest of one-man shows to a dramatic, technically challenging theatrical productions.  The stage itself offers flexibility and optimum variety of uses with depth, width, and trap doors.  Plenty of wing space adds to this flexibility.  In addition to the traditional orchestra pit, complete with instrument storage, options exist for the orchestra area to be elevated to the rear of, and above the main stage allowing the orchestra to be hidden or included as part of the set design.

 

Each season, shows are carefully selected to provide a variety of wholesome, family friendly entertainment – be it comedy or tragedy, a dramatic story, or a full-fledged musical.  Beulah Land Theater also proudly hosts other very special opportunities each week:

 

  • Gospel Revue – two Sunday’s a month – a meal with a wonderful mix of old-time hymn favorites, Southern Gospel classics, and new Christian sounds along with powerful testimonies and time for prayer.   

  • Prayer Breakfast – every Tuesday and Thursday morning a time for anyone in the community desiring to come for breakfast followed by a time of sharing and then praying for the needs of our community and those in it.  

  • Business Power Lunch – weekly noon meal with guest speakers discussing topics of interest specific to those working in the community.  

  • Christian Artist Series – Monday and Tuesday evenings and every Tuesday at noon featuring a meal and then a performance from different Christian group or artist.

  • Singles Breakfast – Wednesday morning breakfast and entertainment for all the singles in the community.  

  • Mom’s Luncheon – Thursdays at noon when Moms of every age are welcome to relax over lunch and enjoy a special guest speaker and music.  

  • Men’s Breakfast – two Saturdays a month a hearty breakfast buffet is followed by entertainment and discussion for the guys in the community.

The extremely ambitious schedule for the Beulah Land Theater breaks down to look like this:

The second primary venue that Grace Place Theater Productions focuses on is the Promenade Theater Experience, a type of theatrical production designed to be performed at a unique, specially adapted location other than a standard theatre. This specific site may either be originally built without any intention of serving theatrical purposes or may simply be considered an unconventional theatre space. It is more interactive than a conventional theatre, with the expectation that audience members walk and move about (rather than sit), watching the action happening among them and even following the performers around the performance space.  Each of our facilities features four specially designed “storefronts” that are scattered throughout the facilities public area that can be used by the Promenade Theater Experience for any given production.  These spaces are large enough to hold a cast or production company, with lighting and sound as well as wing space for props and actors.


While a variety of artists and groups come at various times and for various concerts, productions, and other events, first and foremost, we are committed to training and providing experience to our Sojourners.  We strive to provide the absolute best, most professional performances possible - - but never, ever at the cost of losing even one enthusiastic person who is making a joyful “noise” to the Lord.  With us, it is a heart thing – we don’t forget it.

 

Because Grace Place Theater Productions is particularly susceptible to problems due to the large numbers of people involved, and the characteristically sensitive egos of the artists that perform, it is appropriate to conclude with another shot at defining the importance of this group.  Grace Place Theater Productions is a major, two-fold program.  First, we bring a variety of believers and almost-believers together for periods of time to work together on a specific project or production.  Be it a talent presenting a concert, a home-spun concert, art show, play, musical, reading, movie, and on and on, people are needed in multiple phases of each project.  Depending on the project the list can be short, or an exceptionally long one.  The idea is that anyone who wants to participate can find an area that interests them – unique to most ministry opportunities.  Fellowship abounds everywhere.   

 

Second, it is not just the message, but the atmosphere that surrounds each performance being presented.  Each performance always serves as an outreach to bring others who might not readily attend a prayer meeting, rally, worship service, seminar, or tent revival in and give them some spiritual food for thought – touch their hearts – even if it’s only with the desire to appear on stage or take part in a similar production.  It is the hook to further exposure to Jesus.  It also means we must carefully monitor each phase of such an undertaking.  The actual producing of the production must take second chair to sticking to the Word of God – in every phase and aspect of the production.  “That’s the way it’s done in the theatre” is not an acceptable justification for behavior in the Christian realm.  We must continue to break new ground – “What would Jesus want us to do?” must always be the battle cry!  Everyone is important and can have an active part through careful pre-screening and monitoring.  The finished production will be affected by such an attitude and approach to things – it will glow with the purpose it is intended for – witnessing the love of Christ.  Cloak the theater with Ephesians 3.20-21:  Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. [NASB]

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