Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Better Worship - 12 Marks of an Effective Music Ministry > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Better Worship - 12 Marks of an Effective Music Ministry

Small Beginnings

My first experience in music ministry happened fairly soon after I first picked up a guitar at 15 years of age. I knew about 20 chords and could play a few songs from a new songbook titled Scripture in Song. Fortunately most of the songs were in guitar-friendly keys.

There were four of us who played guitar in a small country Baptist church. I know one song we dreaded was "Rise and Shine" ('God said to Noah there's gonna be a floody floody?'). The chords were simple, but the strumming rhythm was a real wrist breaker.

After church we would retire to one of our homes and listen to the latest Larry Norman or Randy Stonehill album, and try to work out the chords and guitar licks. As Bryan Adams sang, 'I played it till my fingers bled?those were the best days of my life'. The songs were simple and we'd try and embellish them with influences from progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd and Yes. However there's a limit to what you can do with a $20 nylon string guitar. Sometimes this went down well. At other times some of the elders would warn us of the dangers of getting so caught up in the music that we forgot the main game. In their quirky country ways, they had a point.

In the years since then I have enjoyed being part of many different music teams. My studies meant I moved around a fair bit, so I was part of a number of churches. Some were well resourced and it was a struggle to get to do what I loved, whereas others were small and welcomed whatever help they got.

Unrealistic Models

When the Willow Creek team first came to Australia I witnessed what was possible with a dynamic, creative and well-resourced team. However, my frustration was that the models of music ministry I was seeing presented by big, well-resourced, upper middle class churches was simply not achievable in the majority of churches.

This sparked my interest in training and developing churches without these kinds of resources. The problem was to distil from 20 years of experience 'what things really mattered'. What were the issues that could make or break a music ministry, whether in a mega church or a church struggling to survive as demographic change followed its course?

What can work anywhere?

Since then I've had the privilege of speaking with hundreds of music ministers and team members here in Australia and from overseas. From those conversations, these are what I believe are the 12 "biggies" for creating an effective music ministry.

Notice that I said effective, not "successful". Many people equate success with big budgets and large teams. An effective music ministry can be one talented and gifted person doing what they do in harmony with their church and surrounding community.

So here they are:

1. Music is valued as a gracious gift from God, given for our enjoyment, as well as being a strategic tool for strengthening believers and reaching unbelievers.

2. The ministry team should have a biblical understanding of the nature of worship, music, church and Christian experience.

3. Music ministry takes place in the context of a church with a shared understanding of its purpose and mission.

4. The music team are servants with a clear understanding and a passionate commitment to the part they play in that mission.

5. The music ministry is a team who:

  • work together towards common goals.
  • love and support one another.
  • deal biblically and appropriately with conflict.
  • have clear, mutually agreed, written standards explaining what is expected of members.
  • receive regular training and teaching in theology, practical musicianship and teamwork.
6. Music takes place in the context of prayerfully and carefully planned services with an emphasis on cultural relevance, excellence, biblical content, personal authenticity and vulnerability.

7. Music team leaders are involved in the planning and programming of services and special events.

8. The repertoire is regularly and systematically reviewed to:

  • assess its content, ease of singing and relevance.
  • evaluate and recommend new songs before they enter the repertoire.
9. The music ministry has adequate financial support within the church's existing resources.

10. Human resources are used effectively and supplemented by appropriate use of technology such as CD's, DVD's MIDI or backing tracks where required.

11. The church supports and encourages local and "lesser known" writers by using their material where possible and helping them to develop skills and access training opportunities.

12. The music ministry obeys the letter and the spirit of the law regarding copyright and performance rights.

A helpful tool

I've distilled these into a quick assessment you can use to see where you and your church are at in terms of ministry. You can download this assessment as a PDF document here. It will give you 60 quick ideas to improve your music ministry.

http://www.insideoutmusic.net/cgi-bin/ar/ ad.cgi?EZA

Ken Davis is a songwriter, guitarist and music producer who also sings badly. He has been involved in music ministry since 1977 and currently serves in the music ministry at Dapto Anglican Church in Australia. You can get plenty of Music Ministry resources at http://www.insideoutmusic.net including free sheet music, MIDI files and training materials.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Fox News

Christian group's lawsuit against University of Iowa pits freedom of religion against gay rights
Fox News
University spokeswoman Jeneane Beck said all groups operating on campus must ensure equal opportunity and equal access and the court "must carefully weigh the compelling interest of religious freedom on the one hand and the compelling interest of ...

and more »

Montreal Gazette

Opinion: Public funding should be religion-neutral
Montreal Gazette
Some will argue that denying public funding does not impede these freedoms, since organizations are still free to continue operating according to their religious beliefs. This is true, but that freedom comes at the cost of exclusion from the benefits ...


Religion News Service

There's room for compromise on FEMA helping houses of worship
Religion News Service
Disaster relief is the latest front in our never-ending conflict over church and state. Specifically, the question is whether FEMA aid should be available to help houses of worship rebuild when disaster strikes. Earlier this month, FEMA issued new ...

and more »

A New “Wikileaks for Religion” Publishes Its First Trove of Documents
Slate Magazine
Like other whistle-blower organizations, FaithLeaks provides sources the ability to anonymously submit sensitive documents, which the site then posts publicly. FaithLeaks uses SecureDrop, an encrypted open-source system that is also used by media ...


Medical News Today

Attending religious services may increase lifespan
Medical News Today
Regularly attending religious ceremonies — regardless of religion — may help us to live longer, healthier lives, according to new research.

and more »

Religion News Service

OCP Parish Grants program kicks off for 2018
Religion News Service
PORTLAND, Ore. – Since its inception in 2001, the OCP Parish Grants program has awarded more $2.6 million to parishes throughout the United States. In 2017, OCP gave away $200,000 to 86 Roman Catholic parishes for liturgical and/or musical purposes ...


Orlando Sentinel

Freedom of religion? A Christian and an atheist share their views
Orlando Sentinel
Tuesday is Religious Freedom Day, annually proclaimed by U.S. presidents to remind Americans of the religious freedom our nation enjoys. The day actually commemorates the Virginia General Assembly's adoption of Thomas Jefferson's landmark Virginia ...
John Ragosta column: Religious freedom and the American experimentRichmond.com
Rule of law not contradictory to religious freedomGlobal Times

all 10 news articles »

Religion News Service

The good, the bad and the Moody
Religion News Service
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sightings is sponsored by the Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Sign up to get Sightings in your inbox twice per week (on Mondays and Thursdays). You can also ...


POPSUGAR Australia

I'm an Atheist — and No, I'm Not More Likely to Be a Serial Killer Than Anyone Else
POPSUGAR Australia
There's a common misconception that atheists are untrustworthy and immoral and will burst into flames upon entrance of any religious facility. Now, there are people of all faiths or non-faith who are untrustworthy or immoral, but I am here to tell you ...


BJP dividing society over religion: Parameshwara
The Hindu
G. Parameshwara, president, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, has alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to divide society on the bases of religion and caste, while Congress is the only party pushing for the development of all ...

and more »
Google News

Not Just Hearing the Word

Welcome to the website: All about Jesus, I hope you... Read More

Loyola the Luciferian

Ignatius Loyola ? Luciferian or Heliopolitan:I kid you not! Lucifer... Read More

The Pope Hates Potter ? Both of Them

This month a court in Burlington, Kentucky issued the largest... Read More

The Warped Psychology of Islam

The London Bombings are just the beginning. Londoners are probably... Read More

The Bible ? Are Some of Its Words More Important Than Others?

Is the Old Testament equal in every way to the... Read More

Pomes II

Here are a few pomes that may encourage you to... Read More

Praying Church or Playing Church?

The western church is seen by the world as anything... Read More

Knowing Hinduism or Hindu Religion

Hindus are concentrated in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and... Read More

Following Instructions To The Letter

The dictionary explains wisdom as having good judgement, understanding, comprehension... Read More

The Rapture, A coming Event; Part 2

The Rapture. Part 2.Revelation 3:10-22:19So far we see in looking... Read More

Bible and Kabbalah: The Hardening of Pharoahs Heart

There is continuous creation, out of the new ideas discovered... Read More

Moslem America Part 2

2 Corinthians 2:6-2:14Moslem America part 2. Behold, the days come,... Read More

Abraham and the Leather Scroll

The Dead Sea Scrolls continue to be found and there... Read More

How Should We Pray?

Many Christians often wonder, "How should we pray?"I'm going to... Read More

An Open Letter to Pope Benedict

Dear Ratzy,I have a good solution to the clergy abuse... Read More

A Time of Suffering

As the clock ticks down to the fateful day of... Read More

Who Me? Wear a Clerical Shirt?

Clothing says a great deal about one's profession, and this... Read More

Women in Religion

During the debate in the Episcopal Church over whether or... Read More

The Green Cross

"We desperately need to recognize that we are the guests... Read More

Gay Marriage Hitting Resistance

Gay marriage is hitting significant resistance in Washington D.C. where... Read More

Sealed With the Holy Spirit

At the moment of salvation when we accept Jesus as... Read More

Facing Our Fears

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.... Read More

Jesus as a Philosopher

Why does every one believe that Jesus is the son... Read More

Satan is Let Loose One More Time

After the 1000 years are up in the Millennium Kingdom,... Read More

Jesus as the Rose of Sharon

The words "rose of Sharon" comes out of the Old... Read More