I don’t know about you but it is incredibly easy for me to get so swept up in the administrative tasks of being a Minister of Music that I fail to put time toward what matters most. Whether you are part-time, full-time, or volunteer, there are undoubtedly hundreds of things vying for your attention each week.
The older I get and the longer I am in ministry, the more I have come to realize that I need to put more time in on the things that matter most to God. We can become so side-tracked with learning new songs, having the right equipment, and even the routine that we neglect what really matters. We are more like Martha, than Mary. Consumed with what needs to get done instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus!
I’d like to mention a few things that I am learning are non-negotiable (also non-music) when it comes to effective music ministry.
- The Gospel Is Primary To Everything – We all too often can be seduced by the latest worship fad, latest cool song, latest gear that we forget what the Apostle Paul called “Of First Importance” in 1 Corinthians 15: The Gospel! The Gospel should be at the center of lives and lived out in everything we do. We should pick Gospel-centered songs and live Gospel-centered lives. Do you live the Gospel in front of those that are entrusted to you? Or do you just say the Gospel with your lips on Sunday? Sadly, over my time in ministry I feel like I have largely been a lip-service Christian.
- Your Family Is Your Most Important Ministry – Boy, do I have a long way to go on this one! One way we are striving to do this (though often failing) is to have “Family Fun Night” (no TV just family time – 1 night a week). Family Devotions – pick a night or two a week and do a short age-appropriate devotion and praise time with your family. If you or I lose our family, we’ve lost our ministry and our influence.
- Real Leadership Combines Words and Example – I have heard it said that you cannot lead someone where you have not personally been. Don’t get frustrated with your church people if you are not putting in the time yourself in the area of your frustration. Our church is just not excited about Jesus. Are you excited about Jesus yourself? Do you spend time in His Word? Do you delight in Him as all-satisfying? Our church isn’t reaching anybody. When was the last time you shared the Gospel? I had to take a good long look at myself recently in this area. I’ve spent the majority of my ministry making excuses for my lack of evangelism. I have recently started being more involved in visitation, evangelism efforts, and ministering at our food pantry. Being involved in these ministries has helped me to see God differently. I am amazed at the detail in which He orders and arranges our lives. I can now see so many opportunities each day that God gives me and I realize the urgency of telling others about Jesus. On Tuesday, I visited a man in his late seventies on my church visitation team. He passed away suddenly on Friday. We were able to share the Gospel with him but we left unsure about his eternal destiny. I was made freshly aware that life is a vapor and we should be about the important things. Telling others about Jesus is the responsibility of every Christian, music ministers included!
- Nothing Great Happens Without Prayer – If you want to just roll along in ministry and do the same old / same old – don’t pray. If you want to see Jesus change lives through your ministry, pray. This is the hardest on the list for me because I so often fall into the trap of doing things in my own strength. We can so rely on our talent, resources, and natural abilities that we tend to forget God. God can do more in 2 seconds that we can do in a lifetime of striving in our own strength. God wants to do great things through your ministry! It won’t happen apart from prayer.
“Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor” Charles H. Spurgeon