I travel to churches of differing denominations frequently, and I’m hosted by some of the best people around! In each church, the music leadership have various titles: music director, worship arts pastor, choir director, worship minister, etc. From time to time, I even still hear people refer to “the music guy” as “the song leader.” Thankfully, I think that terminology has just about run its course!
I really don’t have a preference on which title is used, mainly because, in most cases, the title was established several generations back and may/may not be a reflection of what the actual responsibilities are anymore (or the heartbeat of the ministry, for that matter). But in my travels, I have found that music ministries (regardless of title) usually operate in one of two ways: those with a Music Director and those with a Music Minister.
A Music Director directs music; a Music Minister ministers to his or her flock. While these two roles do not need to be mutually exclusive, one will usually take precedent, while the other takes the back seat. I would say that in most cases, churches want a Music Minister, rather than just a Music Director. I also think that most church music leaders DO want to be a Music Minister. We just get bogged down in logistics sometimes. So here’s a little “look in the mirror” quiz:
You might be a Music Minister if….
• You know what’s going on in the lives of your volunteer members.
• You make a point to regularly interact with your choir members outside of rehearsals (coffee, lunch, etc.).
• You follow up on prayer requests throughout the week, not just in rehearsals.
• You create an atmosphere that encourages spiritual growth and relationship building among the members.
• You continually reach out to the people on the fringes of your group, showing them that they are valuable and wanted.
• You lead through humility.
• You are present in the lives of your members.
You might NOT be a Music Minister if….
• Most of the phone calls you make to your choir is to ask them to help you do something.
• Your idea of investing in their personal lives is an annual birthday card (that your secretary puts on your desk, who then also makes sure it gets in the mail).
• Your only interaction with your group is weekly rehearsals and scheduled programs.
• You have a once a year fellowship with the whole group, but never reach out during the rest of the year.
• Ok, you occasionally reach out to the most talented members in your group – the ones you consider to be a big asset. If you lost them, your ministry would take a hit!
• People perceive your motto to be “My way or the highway!”
How’d you do? Were there a few “ouch” moments in there? We all get sidetracked every now and then, but it’s never too late to become a minister! May God bless you as you pour into the lives of your people!