There I was, leading a song about God’s greatness, and all I was thinking about was, “Man, I probably look awesome up here, leading this song.”
You ever been there?
We’re so broken, that even when we are singing words about our great God, we can be totally consumed with ourselves.
And, unfortunately, we can lead our entire music ministries from that selfish heart.
Our last post looked at the need for a music ministry kickoff. I hope you are planning even a very simple event, even if it’s during a regular rehearsal time, to kick off the coming months for the music ministry.
But we aren’t quite ready to dive into the nuts and bolts of kicking things into gear for the coming year.
Before we look at that, this post is going to briefly cover a few mindsets you and I need to review.
A well executed plan without any heart for God or people will do more damage than good. Before planning, give your heart a check up.
Check Your Heart
- Have my motives strayed? Am I still in this music ministry because I love God and want to see Him praised, or have I wandered into either skill-based performance (just rehearsing for excellence so people will think about how good I am) or people-pleasing performance (singing so people will like it and feel good)? Neither singing with skill nor blessing people with music are goals to be avoided. They should both be done. But ask yourself if you are still motivated by the glory of God that you are personally experiencing right now?
- Do I care more about people than the music or do I care more about the music than the people? Am I more concerned about correct pitch, good blend, stellar diction and accurate playing than I am about the music ministering to hearts? Do I care that the person in the choir chair could be struggling with depression, covered under a veneer of smiles?
We sing to God. We minister to people. They are our business. Music is a tool – a powerful tool – but not the end.
God calls us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-28). We will not be able to do our job if we don’t first check ourselves.
A well executed plan without any heart for God or people will do more damage than good.
Only through God’s work will He be praised through the music of your church. Only by His help will the music ministry have a teaching effect for your people.
- Ask God to help you to check your motivations. Are you leading from a heart that worships God, or are you just wanting to perform?
- Ask God to give you a love for the people that transcends any love for music. Dave Williamson said in God’s Singers, “Care FIRST!”
- Ask God to give you a specific burden for what to emphasize spiritually in the coming year.
- Ask for understanding of where your musicians are spiritually, personally and musically.
- Ask God for clear direction in what you can do practically that will improve the music ministry for the coming year.
Think of the People First
I’m the type of guy that can get lost in the details. I have to constantly remind myself that music ministry is about people – leading people to worship God, using music to teach the principles of scripture, showing people the glorious gospel of Jesus.
People come before processes. Processes are only good if they help people.
Consider how this year’s ministry can more effectively build people up. How will they better understand the gospel this year as a result of the music of your church?
Before you look into the nuts and bolts of where you are headed this year, be sure to take some time to refocus on the reason God has placed you in the music ministry – His glory and His people.
Action item: Spend time in prayer, working through the list above, asking God for the right heart. Pray through Psalm 51, confessing any idols, any lack of worship for Him. Confess any apathy toward the people you are ministering to.
Have you ever found yourself slipping into a performance mode, not focusing on worshiping God? What have you done to refocus on Him? Comment here.