Getting Things in Perfect Harmony
By Joe Pace
In this chapter, we will continue to organize and develop an administrative rhythm to the aspects of music ministry. As indicated in the previous chapter, the more organized you are and the more tools you have developed to assist in facilitating an efficient music ministry, the easier the process of ministry will be for all involved. Therefore, let us delve further into the area of organizing and administrating.
Organizational Flow Chart
In any business, the organizational flow chart is a simple sketch that illustrates who reports to whom and what each person�s function is under a particular supervisor or manager. From a practical standpoint, it should be a written description and a pictorial chart for quick viewing and assessment.
For example, in this case, the person who has overall oversight for the organization (Pastor) is on the first level, and the person who is assigned the overall position of control (Minister of Music) for the music ministry is on the next level. The next tier of leadership might include the Choir Director, Praise Team Leader, Band Leader, and the Sound Manager. In a pictorial view, that set up would look something like this:
As you can see, you have begun to detail your organizational structure. In an ideal scenario, each person�s name and title should appear on the chart. An organizational chart can be an effective tool for not only identifying the reporting structure, hut also illustrating the flow of communication within an organization. It can help build unity and improve efficiency by providing staff with a clear view of the chain of command that must be followed when addressing issues and challenges. Other tiers of leadership may include the assistant minister of music, section leaders, administrative assistants, dance team, children, youth, drama, and other officers.
Music Ministry Leadership Team
When a corporation is established, the second issue ad dressed after the name is determined is the selection of officers. Why might it be necessary to have officers within a music ministry? The reason might seem too acutely simple, but the fact is they provide an additional level of accountability and proficiency because the more specific responsibilities an individual has, the more focused, detailed, and effective that per son can be at completing assigned tasks.
For example, the treasurer has specific tasks associated with the finances of the music ministry; therefore, the choir director is not worried about finances. He or she can concentrate on the selection of songs and should not be distracted by another list of responsibilities. Having a leadership team in side of the music ministry leads to increased opportunities for teamwork and collaboration.
I must not fail to address the obvious. Every music ministry will not have the resources needed to have separate individuals handling each of these areas exclusively. With that in mind, there is one piece of advice I recommend: use what you have. Don�t try to do more than you are effectively capable of managing. Don�t overwork those already on your team. That being said, continue to write the vision and put systems in place. Remind the people that although you may not be where you want to be right now, this is where we all are going!
As much as is practical and warranted, try to keep business discussions to a minimum during rehearsals and conduct major business during specific business meetings. This demonstrates that you respect the time of the individuals who at tend rehearsals; you must be sensitive to their time. I have also discovered that business meetings and rehearsals are much more productive when you keep them separate.
You should prepare a budget at the beginning of every year and submit it to the leadership. I know some of you are wondering why because you think you aren�t going to get it anyway! You should still compile one because it demonstrates vision, focus, and organization on your part. Your pastor will appreciate it even if he can�t fulfill your request at the time. Then, one of the first questions that you should answer is how the money is gong to be acquired for the budget. Simply put, where is the money coming from? Will the music department be responsible for raising the funds needed independently from the church budget? Will the department need to supplement the funds allocated to it from the church, or will the church fund all the activities and needs associated with the music department completely?
Whether you receive partial or complete funding from the church budget, there will still need to be some concrete amount that the music department will have available to them. The leadership of the music department should be aware of this figure and respect the boundaries set by this budget unless alternate plans are in place to raise additional funding as needed.
Finally, itemizing the expenses of the music ministry will give you a good idea of where the ministry is financially and what items need to be covered and how often. For ex ample, new music, equipment, staff, training, robe cleaning and other professional services are some of the items that need to be considered.
Yearly Goals (Short Term/Long Term)
Written goals are absolutely imperative for your minis try to make actual progress. This is especially true for the progression and growth of a music ministry. Everyone in the music ministry should be able to articulate the goals for the coming year. This allows them to internalize the vision and pray for its success. Make sure to differentiate between short term and long-term goals. These might include items like annual concerts, album recording, Christmas and Easter musicals, choir trips or fellowships, choir robes, and workshops. Anything that will require planning and execution�including the funding needed to accomplish these goals� should be added to your list.
Rules/Guidelines (Governing Document)
This document that outlines the rules and guidelines of the music department should incorporate the spirit and doctrinal beliefs of the church. So make sure the rules and guide lines are discussed with the pastor prior to implementation. Some of the items that must be addressed in this document are entrance requirements, attendance, attire, tardiness, rehearsals, engagements, vacations, leaves of absences, etc.
Anything that you want to clearly communicate to the members of the music department should be addressed in this document. Remember, members will not know what is expected of them if those expectations are not made known to them. You should also pay special attention to issues that pertain to conduct. The mission and purpose should also be reiterated in writing here. You should clearly articulate why you do what you do.
I know what you�re thinking�more paperwork? Unfortunately, yes. I know that many people may not have the patience for handling and keeping track of forms and details required for managing these items. I suggest that someone, preferably someone with an aptitude for administration and organization, be assigned to complete these tasks. If you are a member of the music ministry at your church and have an ability to handle this responsibility, why not consider using your gift of administration in this manner? Just think of how your contribution will help take the music ministry to another level of efficiency.
Below is a list of just a few of the forms that I recommend be utilized in the music ministry. They have proven over the years to be quite necessary, as God has continued to develop my career and ministry in the area of music production and ministry facilitation.
1.) Music Ministry Application
2.) Notification of Change Form
Leaves of Absences
Change of Address/Status
3.) Audition Forms
4.) Music Logs
Categorized List of Songs
When Last Sung
5.) Equipment Logs
Date of Purchase
Date of Last Maintenance
The primary goal of this chapter was to share some tools that will help you better manage the components that are involved with music ministry. If you are in a support role, look at some of the other components listed above and begin to pray whether God would have you to become involved with another aspect above and beyond the position you are holding right now.
I can attest to the benefits of this kind of organization; once the music ministry makes the adjustments and becomes comfortable with the processes, you will begin to soar to greater heights in ministry for Him.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, Eat the meat. Throw away the bones