Tue. May 18th, 2021

Coordinate the Components
By Joe Page

We discussed the importance of the leader’s role in creating a fluid atmosphere in worship in one of the previous chapters. Someone must also be in charge of the administrative components of the music ministry. If you are that designated individual, then you must not shy away from the responsibility that has been assigned to you. On the other hand, if you are someone involved in music ministry, it is mandated by God that you give your all in service to Him. Keeping your focus on worshipping and serving the Father will enable you to submit to the leadership paradigms that are in place. The goal is to set structure in place because having any organizational structure without a lead person is like having a body try to walk with its head cut off. We know that is impossible because one of the main functions that a head provides to the body is balance. It is the stabilizing factor for the other members. The things of God also require that a head be in place to execute the activities of ministry in excellence.

“…Christ is the heat) of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”
(Ephesians 5:23 NKJV.)

As a leader, you must not be intimidated by a person’s skill, or his ability, knowledge, level of expertise, or aptitude.

“And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skillful” (1 Chronicles 15:22)

We have come to terms with the fact that we fall in love with the heart of people, which sometimes makes it difficult to deal with the issue of their skill level. By the same token, too much focus on skill levels can be tricky because skill can also cause us to build an entire segment of our worship activities around people who are extremely gifted or talented. Believe me when I tell you that is a set up for disaster. Liken what you are doing with the music ministry to the activities associated with building a house. Yet in this case, the foundation of the house must always be Christ.

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except it LORD keep the city, the watch man waketh but in vain.
Psa1 in 127:1)

This leadership position of overseer has different titles attached to it depending on who asks you to fulfill the role and what you are asked to do. In some cases, different functions warrant different titles, but in some situations, the same function is given a different title; the determination of the title at the discretion of the leadership. The titles can be Minister of Music, Music Pastor, Choir Director, Music Director, Worship Leader, Worship Pastor, Music Administrator and I’ve even heard the term Chief Levite. Now, some of these positions can co-exist depending on their function. However, the title is not as important as determining who will bear the responsibility of overseeing the functions and duties to be carried out in the department. Also, who will be the person everyone looks to musically on the platform should an issue rise? Someone must be in charge.

This section is dedicated to helping you develop tools that can be implemented immediately to provide additional structure to your music ministry. Each component should be written down and kept in a binder specifically labeled, Processes.” Remember when you write things down you are actually giving life to them: “Write the Vision…” (Habakkuk 2:2)

Purpose/Job Description/Expectations

When you write out a person’s purpose, you are telling them his or her reason for being in the music ministry.

Identifying his/her job description gives them guidelines for what they are to do. And when expectations are consummated, there is a clear understanding of the level of growth and service that is going to be expected from the individual. If you are currently a Minister of Music and do not have a job description, I would strongly encourage you to immediately go to the pastor and request one. It is imperative. You have to know what is required of you and what your established level of authority is. Trust me; it will help you in the future.

Qualifications

Qualifications spell out the qualities or “skill sets” that a person needs to operate effectively in a given area. A candidate should sufficiently prove themselves in each of the following areas in order for you to consider them for any position as a member of the choir or praise team, worship leader, or musician, etc… You must evaluate the qualifications on some level before you can even make an accurate spiritual decision.

Musical Aptitude

Does the individual possess the musical skills and aptitude needed to be a positive addition to the music ministry? What level of skill/competence are you looking for? There are varying levels of skill, but keep in mind that there should be at least a basic proficiency level that all involved in the music ministry should have.

Spiritual Maturity

The spiritual maturity of the individual must be at a certain level for them to occupy a ministry position, whether it is a leadership or supporting role, within the congregation. Therefore, analyzing the spiritual qualifications of an individual includes observing their attitude, lifestyle, conduct, faithfulness, and their commitment to church and, ultimately to God. Remember that the essence of worship is rooted in a relationship; there must be a relationship with the Father.
Administrative Agility

When seeking someone to fulfill a position of leadership, another key question to pose is related to their ability to organize and facilitate the “housekeeping” items for the position they will hold. To determine whether or not this is an area that needs to be developed, you might ask them to assist you an administrative support role. The ability to handle administrative functions is crucial because where there is no order, there is chaos.

Leadership Ability

Yes, she is gifted and talented musically, but will people follow her? Some people are innately born to lead. That is somewhat obvious in many cases. When deciding if someone can handle a leadership position, focus on whether or not they are ready to lead instead of whether or not they are meant to lead. Can they effectively mobilize, manage, and motivate others accomplish a goal? There are other traits you may wish to consider in reference to leadership abilities, including confidence, competence, and charisma.

For each of these areas, you must use some type of evaluation to gauge whether this person will be a fit for your ministry needs. You should define some criteria that can help you determine with some degree of accuracy whether or not this person’s skills are compatible with your level of need.

Selection Process/Auditions/Entrance Requirements

The selection process is one that must be outlined and approved by the leadership when the final criteria are established. However, you must determine what it is you need to make the music department excel and continue to grow. There may be gifts that you can identify right within your prospective congregations. You should also be sensitive to the times when you may not need any additional talents in a particular area at the moment. For example, you may have ten altos, four sopranos, and nine tenors. When you hold an audition, you discover you have seven more altos and three more tenors in the congregation. If you bring on the new altos and tenors, you may cause the scale to be so imbalanced that it lips over and breaks everybody’s neck, and that is not the result you want.

The selection process must include a level of discipline; you should not just take whatever you have at the time. Know what you need versus what you are able to use. Perhaps there has to be a waiting list, or maybe you need to shift parts around so that you can maintain or achieve balance.

Band Rotation/Structure

This will not apply to everyone, but if you have enough musicians for a rotation schedule, then use everyone by giving them an opportunity to express their talents and skills; this will automatically add uniqueness to the worship service. When there are different musicians who are committed to the excellence of worship, they will each have their own God-given gift and personality that can be heard distinctly through the instruments as they play. This variety is wonderful, and you will want to make sure you use it.

When you are looking at the structure of any area of the music ministry, make certain that you have mapped out some organizational table that gives you an idea of who is doing what and when. This table can be an effective guide when it is prepared properly.

The list below offers a suggested format for the layout of the organizational components that you need to establish in order for your music ministry to flow at an optimum level. We’ll move just a little further into each area of administration in the next chapter. Review and reflect on each of these areas, keeping in mind that all of the areas here may not apply to your particular situation. However, as you analyze and think through these areas, I am certain that they will stimulate your creativity, and fresh ideas for the music ministry of which you are a part will be revealed to you. Ultimately, you will begin to see increased synergy within the music ministry when you coordinate the components God has made available to you.

The following outline should be used to collectively pull together the administrative and spiritually practical aspects of the music ministry. This is an at-a-glance look at the areas adverse components of the music ministry. Once completed these items can yield invaluable information that can assist you in navigating each area of music ministry with clarity.

Minister of Music/Music Pastor

– Purpose/Job Description/Expectations
Write It Out
– Qualifications
Musical Aptitude
Spiritual Maturity
Administrative Agility
Leadership Ability
– Selection Process
– Submission Factor

Musicians

– Purpose/Job Description/Expectations
Write It Out
– Qualifications
Musically Qualified (Style)
Spiritually Qualified
– Selection Process/Auditions/Entrance Requirements
What you need vs. what you can effectively use
– Band Rotation/Structure

Praise Leader/Teams
– Purpose/Job Descriptions/Expectations
Write It Out
– Qualifications
Spiritually Qualified (Worship Qualifications are Unique)
Musically Qualified
– Selection Process/Auditions/Entrance Requirements
– Structure

Choir(s)

– Purpose/Job Description/Expectations
Write It Out
– Qualifications
Spiritually Qualified
Musically Qualified
– Selection Process/Auditions/Entrance Requirements
1. Main Adult Choir
2. Youth Choir
3. Children’s Choir
4. Male Chorus/Women’s Chorus/Senior Choir/
Etc.
How Many In Each Group
When Do They Sing/Rehearse
Enough Personnel for Effective Oversight/
Viability

Audio/Visual (Sound)

– Purpose/Job Description/Expectations Write It Out
– Qualifications
Spiritually Qualified
Technically Qualified
– Selection Process/Entrance Requirements

Excerpted from ‘Performance to Praise’ Moving Music Ministry to the Next Level’ By Joe Page

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