On May 18, 2011, the Gospel-Driven Church blog posted “10 Simple Things Good Pastors Say” from Jared Wilson. Here is his list:
1. Please forgive me.
2. You’re right.
3. You’re wrong.
4. Jesus loves you.
5. I love you.
6. Me too.
7. Any time.
8. Thank you.
9. Grace is true.
10. You’re approved.
Jared packed the post with some simple thoughts on each point. This post got me thinking, though…what are 10 good things I need to be saying in my ministry? Let’s make a new list of things Music Ministers need to practice saying each week in their ministries. This is a list written a little for the congregation, I suppose…but intended for review of music leaders as well. This list does not mean I say all of these things…I am not perfect..just ask my accompanists and choir! They will let you know! Here is my list of things we need to practice saying:
1. Thank you.
This is a staple in music ministry, ministry, church work, and life. Say thank you…often. Say it when you think the people deserve it and when you think they don’t. Think of all the people who help assist in worship, alone. Write a list. Look at all the names! Thank everyone. Go out of your way to say it. They will…thank you…for it.
2. Yes, I need your help.
We all know that there are different levels to a music minister’s job. Not everything we do revolves around music. The “other duties as assigned” can sometimes overwhelm us. We need help. We need day-to-day help and long-term project help. Ask. Ask for help from your staff and congregation. They will help as they can and as it is appropriate. Don’t ask for help for projects and works you are called to do (example: selecting music for worship, choir, and other major duties). Only ask for help on things that are administrative in nature. Seek advice from the Pastor when called tasks are too much on your plate.
3. Our worship music is selected based on scripture (purpose over preference).
Often, music leaders find themselves in the middle of controversy because of the field they are in. Music is very influential in the lives of people. Music evokes emotion and memories. Music sometimes turns into a thing of preference in worship. We have talked a bit about this here. The best thing you can do it have a united staff that does EVERYTHING in worship based on the Word of God that is presented that day.
4. In my personal time of worship…
Since we often lead many aspects of corporate worship, it is very important for us to have personal worship. Individual time worshiping God and responding to His presence. Our corporate worship leadership should be a direct response to our personal worship encounters of experiencing God.
5. This is what I learned from the message.
One of the most exciting things I get to do each week is grow in the Word through the Pastor of our church. He is a man filled with the Holy Spirit and on fire for sharing the love of Christ through expository preaching. He doesn’t fit the mold of young Pastors today who are weak in content and high in showmanship. I am challenged, uplifted and taught through the messages in our worship services. Take notes, study the passages prior to planning so that the Word can inspire your planning. Moreover, desire information from your Pastor so that his message can directly influence your day to day ministries. The message for that week should be brought up in every aspect of the life of the church.
6. Pray for my Pastor.
A southern gospel group, Greater Vision, sings a song with the lyrics: “Prayer is just as big as God is. Prayer is just as strong as God is strong. Prayer can reach as far as God can reach. Don’t ever give up, just pray.” These words are very true and should inspire us to pray over our family, church, ministries, staff, and day to day work. But, just as important, we should lift up the called leader of our flock. The work of our Pastor influences us, our staff, the congregation and our connection with the community. Don’t complain when you think things should be different. Pray that God opens your eyes to the vision he has given your Pastor.
7. God has blessed me with this new song.
Simply put, listen to new music. Listen to different styles of music: classical, southern gospel, modern hymns, current Christian radio, and on and on and on…listening to new music will broaden your musical spectrum. Recently, I have been blessed with many new songs that, in turn, God used in our worship to bless His people.
8. I recently tried this new aspect in choir &/or worship…
Attempt to break the mold in rehearsals, music selection, and worship planning to include a different aspect in something each week. We hurt ourselves when we make a pattern for rehearsals and worship and never change anything about them. Challenge yourself and your people. Some ideas are: selecting a challenging anthem for your choir, changing up the seat chart in choir, moving the worship order around, singing an acapella song in worship…the possibilities are endless.
9. I have been learning…
God is always teaching. Through personal quiet times, ministry-related opportunities, and things like conferences and workshops. Encourage your leadership to get away and attend a workshop and/or conference. This will help the minister and the people of the church.
10. I love what I am called to do.
One of the greatest things you can hear a minister say is “I love what I am called to do” and really mean it. You know it when a minister loves his calling. You can see it in his planning, his demeanor, his relationships with the church staff…you can’t hide regretting the calling and you can’t hide loving the calling.
What would YOU add or take away to this list? I’d love to see your comments!!!