Sing Unto the Lord


Running an intentional Music ministry
July 19, 2007, 12:02 am
Filed under: Thinking Music

I have been thinking a bit lately about the way we do stuff in music ministry. So often, the people who are responsible for making this area of church life happen, are not paid to give their time to music ministry and so are rushed and busy in the way that they conduct it. I have spoken to a few guys lately who are running music in their church and they would love to try and do different things and to teach more songs or reorganise the roster or write new arrangements but it doesn’t ever happen because life is so busy. So we fall into the default mode of just doing whatever we did last week and we keep being dissatisfied with the result.
Last year I had a chat with a close friend about the way I was spending my time. He introduced me to a word that has changed my thinking not just about my time or music ministry but about all of life. He told me that I should be ‘intentional’ with my time. To be intentional means that there is always a goal or result that you are hoping to achieve. Basically you will always have ‘intent’. No minute or act is wasted. As Christians we are called to be intentional. We are to ‘run the race’, ‘persevere’, ‘fight the good fight’. We should be doing these things with the intention of bringing glory to our Lord Jesus. We are to worship him with our time and our bodies, constantly seeking to refine ourselves through the power that God gives us in his Spirit. Being a worshipper of God is not shift work. It is a constant. Not only that but it is never over. There is no point in this life where you can say that you are done with worship. It is a continuous process, an intentional process.
I believe that we should take this approach to ministry. There is no time when your ministry is complete. You can never say in this life that the congregation and the music team have a perfect theological understanding of worship, are perfect at loving one another and encouraging one another, and are perfect masters at their craft of music making for God’s glory. And I don’t believe it is enough to accept that there are problems but to respond apathetically to them. To be satisfied with sub-par music, dodgy theology and an unloving music team is to say that you do not care for God’s glory.
That all being said, we still face the issue of time and how to best utilise our time to see results – particularly in the case of unpaid workers who need to earn a living elsewhere. One thing that I have tried to do that you might find useful is to write out a five year action plan. Where do yo want to be in five years in this ministry? What are you doing year by year, and roster by roster to reach these goals. In every action that you do are you working towards your goals or are you continuing to spend your time in an activity that doesn’t need to be done? You may find that doing something like this frees up time because you begin to streamline your activities to reach goals. Some questions that might be helpful in setting goals are:
– How large do I want this music team to be? How can I reach that goal?
– What culture do I want to develop amongst the congregation in terms of singing? How can I reach that goal?
– How proficient or what level of excellence do I want to see among the musos? Why? How can I rach that goal?
– What acts of creativity would I like to see develop? Song writing? More arranging?
– What kind of leadership structures will I need to see these things happening effectively?

I hope these thoughts have inspired you to go and begin shaping a future for your ministry area. Remember that this will only happen through God and for his glory. Keep yourself humble, keep Jesus exalted.

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great points! Music has to be much more than a week by week ministry, which is the sort of mentality that can very easily become the norm if music leaders don’t proactively plan ahead. I’ll definitely pass your advice on to my fellow muso leaders at my church if that’s okay 🙂

Comment by Kristian

Awesome post Dan! I intend (hehe) to attempt to put this into practice.

Some great stuff to think about for life in general! Ties in well with Don’t Waste Your Life.

Comment by Andrew H from Matcham

I’ve just got one suggestion, if I may:
I find it hard to read on a computer screen – its different to on paper.
Could the paragraphs be a bit shorter please?
This site has some great tips
Seeya tomorrow night! Rock out!

Comment by Andrew H from Matcham

[…] As leaders it is a good thing for us to dream. we want to be pushing the mold and never being satisfied with our efforts until Christ’s return. There is always more we can do, different avenues we can pursue, new technologies and patterns of leadership and instrumentation. We need to be dreamers who can have big plans. But we also need to learn contentment in our position. We never want to be politically pushing our ideas above others. We never want to be seen to be usurping the authority of those God has put above us. We may not be given the funding to complete the dream we have. We need to be content with that but never give up dreaming or we will become stale job-doers. This happens lots in Music ministry. People give up their big plans and just focus on getting music done Sunday by Sunday. You can read more about that here. […]

Pingback by The three paradoxes of leading a music team « Sing Unto the Lord




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