Music Ministry in the Smaller Church
By Eric Foster
Help For the Music Minister
The person who has the primary responsibility for the organization and development of a church music ministry is the music director or song leader. Many times he/she is a Volunteer. The music director does not work alone in developing a music ministry program. It is essential that the music director work closely with the pastor to have the most effective program. The music director most also develop a good working relationship with the pianist.
The music ministry is entrusted to a music leader who also shares ministry with the congregation. “This concept of shared ministry versus a “one man show” is essential. Shared ministry means sharing decisions, responsibilities, successes, failures and the opportunity to try again.” (Danny Jones, “How to Help Your Church Begin and Grow a Music Ministry”)
Worship is a vital part of the music ministry. Worship is the primary motive for each part of any program developed. The music ministry in the smaller church is challenging, innovative, and creative. The key to a successful program is adaptability and commitment. It has been said that it takes up to 4 years to build a music program. Change is sometimes a slow process.
Look At What You Have
Survey Your Resources and Materials. Find out what you need and who would be willing to help.
1. Music director – volunteer, may be trained musically or untrained.
2. Pianist – volunteer – know abilities. No pianist – Digital Hymnal or CD Hymnal.
3. Choir – number may fluctuate – Do you have members interested? Do a survey.
– Many times will have one for special events such as Easter, Christmas, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, etc.
– Limited practice time
4. Budget – Do you have one? How much has been allocated?
5. Sound System – Find someone else interested in operating it.
6. Piano/Organ – Tune regularly.
7. Hymnals, other Songbooks – Do you have a sister church who would share their music library with you. Association Music Director a good resource.
Growing Your Church Music Ministry
What is the goal of your music program?
1. To involve your church musically in worship, praise and petition.
2. To witness and minister to your congregation through music.
3. To prepare them for the message of the sermon.
Write out you normal order of service for Sunday Morning.
1. How did you develop it? (Must have a reason!) Write it out and analyze.
2. Have you gotten into a rut? Change is good, but don’t forget that consistency does give a comfort level.
3. What changes could you make?
Should be worshipful, have unity, and be logical. How often?
1. Selection of hymns? Keep a record of use.
Know sermon topics – Visit with the pastor.
Preaching style of minister – Can affect selection.
Keep a theme going
Use seasonal hymns
Special emphasis hymns – missions, etc.
Use the Hymnal creatively
Keep in mind:
Keep a balance.
1. God – directed – praise to God
2. Personal testimony – Gospel songs
3. Private Devotion – “Breathe on Me”
2. Selection of Invitations
Goal of Sermon – Visit with the pastor.
Good Friday/ Easter
“You Can” Musicals – Can easily be adapted -skill of pianist and choir
Mother’s Day/Father’s Day
Men’s Choir / Women’s Choir
Valentine’s Day – Love is the theme.