Worship Notes

The Total Package - Part 2
The "Music" in "Music Minister"

In the last article I shared with you the first of four "thoughts" on being "The Total Package".  As ministers, we should strive to maximize our potential by familiarizing ourselves as much as possible with the various aspects of music ministry.  This week I will share the second half of my thoughts on being the "Total" musician.

I mentioned how Webster's defines "musician" as "one who performs, composes, or conducts music".  I will now break musicianship down into some more specific categories...categories that we should be familiarizing ourselves with in order to become "The Total Package" and maximize our potential.

First of all, one of the reasons I feel that it is so important to be familiar with all aspects of music ministry is so that you, the music minister, will not have to put someone else in charge of a certain area of the music ministry.  "Why?" you may say, "What's wrong with putting someone else in charge of one of the areas under my authority?"  Well, nothing, as long as they do it responsibly and in line with the vision of the church.  But if you are not familiar with a particular area of ministry, chances are more likely that someone will try to usurp your authority, claiming that you're not qualified to lead it anyway.  Let me explain with an example:

If you have a person in charge of sound at your church and you are not familiar with the operation of sound equipment, it opens the door for a few scenarios.  Firstly, you won't be able to tell the soundman/woman exactly what you expect because you are not familiar with their job.  Also, they will tend to want to do things "their way" because they have not been told specifically how to do what is expected of them.  This is very common in churches.  It seems that very often sound people are typically very territorial about their job and/or their equipment.  But in reality, they should be totally submitted to the Minister of Music.  But what good does it do to have a Minister of Music in charge of sound if he/she knows nothing about sound operation?  That is where becoming the "Total Package" begins to apply.  

Let's now look at a few areas of Music Ministry that a Music Minister should be familiar with in order to become "The Total Package".  Remember, anything with more than one head is a monster.  If you can become the head of every area of your music ministry, it will eliminate the potential for confusion, division and strife.

Sound - I already mentioned this, but becoming familiar with the operation of your sound system will make it easier to relate to your sound person.  Become the "Total Package" by becoming familiar with the operation of your sound system.

Instrumentalists & Singers - Some churches have a person in charge of instrumentalists and a person in charge of singers.  Once again, anything with more than one head is a monster.  Become the "Total Package" by becoming familiar with instrumental and vocal arrangement.  If you lack experience or ability in one of those areas, seek instruction by someone who is competent where you are weak.  Learn how to relate with every singer and instrumentalist on your team.

Overheads - It may sound trivial, but the presentation of your overheads is a vital part of music ministry.  They provide the medium to communicate lyrics to the congregation.  Make sure that every aspect of your music ministry is done in excellence, including overhead operation.

We could split this into even smaller categories such as familiarizing yourself with horn arrangement; rhythm section arrangement; string arrangement; choir and/or front line singer arrangement; special music; solo, duet and other group presentations; lighting, etc.  But I believe I have gotten the basic point across.  The more familiar you are with the different musical aspects of your ministry, the more you can bring out of those different areas.  Thus, your ministry will flow in a greater spirit and attitude of excellence.

I know that there are many music ministries out there that are weak in one or more of the areas we talked about last week and this week.  But if a Minister of Music can familiarize themselves with the different jobs of the singers, instrumentalists, and others under their authority, they can fulfill their potential.  After all, don't we want to be everything that we can be for God's Kingdom?

For the next two articles I will share a little about the "Minister" aspect of "Music Minister".  Remember that becoming "The Total Package" will help you maximize your potential!