Churches are like people – they come in all shapes and sizes with every kind of strength and weakness. That is certainly true when it comes to the way churches do music.
As you can imagine, we get all kinds of questions and comments from churches related to worship and music ministry. And it is painfully obvious that many churches – particularly smaller churches – struggle to find music leadership for their ministries. It is the number one issue we hear about on a consistent basis.
Three things to realize when it comes to music in your church –
- Music helps or hinders more than you can imagine
- It requires investment of time and resources
- There are tools to help
Imagine that the next time you have car trouble your attitude was – “I don’t know anything about cars. I don’t have time to fool with this.” And, yet some church leaders might feel that way when it comes to music. The truth is, the way music is done in your church can be a tremendous help or a tremendous hindrance. It is vitally important that pastors get involved in solutions or they will have to live with the results. And it may be hurting your church health more than you want to admit.
You don’t decide whether or not to repair your car – and you can’t ignore music in your church, even if you don’t feel like you know enough to address what’s wrong.
Finding leadership for a music ministry can be challenging for sure. Pastors can look to local schools, colleges, and area churches to see if there are capable leaders that could potentially help. Investing in a student or supplementing the income of a music teacher could be one way to approach it.
Musicians invest many years of lessons and practice to be capable in the performance skills. It is worth investing in them to improve the quality of leadership you can have in your church.
When we were developing the 2008 hymnal, we had several key goals for the resources that would be part of this release. One of the top priorities was that these tools would be accessible to churches that did have full time music leaders. Any pastor with a computer can access through lifewayworship.com material that can help the church accomplish better experiences for singing in worship services. We have a team of people ready to help even the non-musician learn how to use these resources.
Mike Harland is the Director of Lifeway Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.