For those of you reading this blog as music leaders in Kentucky, I’m sure you have seen something by now about the Kentucky Baptist Convention‘s restructuring.
From the KBC:
- The time was right to embrace a new model of work that focuses on the role of the KBC: created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.
- With a fresh approach to consultations, mission board staff will focus their efforts to assist the nearly 2,000 KBC-affiliated congregations that draw 300 people or less to Sunday morning services each week.
- Kentucky Baptists can keep their commitment to send 50 percent of Cooperative Program receipts to national Southern Baptist causes, including the North American Mission Board and the International Mission board.
So, as part of the restructuring, we say good-bye to the Music/Worship staffers who have led programs and ministries for us for many years:
(photo taken from facebook)
- Rod Ellis – Contemporary Worship (guest post on this site)
- Janet Lawler – Part-Time Assistant
- Roxanne Nanney – Preschool/Children
- Marc Richey – Consultant
- Greg Ross – Instrumental/Handbells
- Jason Stewart – Youth
Thanks to these wonderful folks who shared their time and talents to glorify God and assist other churches in ministry!
Now, what comes next?
From reading the article from the KBC Executive Director in the Western Recorder, it seems we will have a “Worship Consultant” for the state of Kentucky. The new focus for the KBC is to assist the 2,000 KBC churches who average at or below 300 in worship attendance. To me, this is a great thing…us small churches need all the help we can get! Here are some pros and cons to the restructuring:
- Help to the music ministers who are balancing 4-6 ministries in smaller churches. We need someone! Someone to call and seek advice/wisdom. We need someone experienced, yet current…
- A full-time worker in the music department of the KBC (been a while…). This person will have his/her hands full, but it will be nice to have someone in that position.
- A fresh start…no matter how well things are going, it’s always a good thing to refocus our efforts. We have a new Executive Director, a new vision, and a fresh start is here – even if we didn’t think we needed it. Now, let’s analyze who we’re serving and what we’re doing/not doing to meet their needs. All of our programs were GREAT – but there was no overall leadership and our first focus should be on worship, not programs. I think we can all agree on that.
- More help for the “little” guys. Churches who need the help (under 300 in attendance) will now get concentrated assistance in their ministries.
- What happens to our programs (Men’s Chorale, Women’s Chorale, ASCC, ASYC/O, etc.)? Chances are this “Worship Consultant” will not be able to continue leading these programs by him/herself when they are concentrating on assisting all of the churches in the state in their music/worship issues.
- Will this “worship consultant” be over his/her head in work? Yes. We lost six amazingly talented people!! The paradigm must change due to the lack of workers in the area. Just like in our ministry, we cannot run five ministries effectively…something will suffer when trying to do three things at once.
- The scope of worship in our churches is ever-changing. No one music minister is alike. Is there someone out there who can relate to a “high church” traditional Minister of Music who is needing newer resources to update his choral library AND someone who can help the most modern church with issues with their lighting board, sound board, pedal board, and checker board? (Sorry, couldn’t think of another board). The challenge for that person would be to not change the minister into what YOU thought they should be, but encourage them and assist them in what they are called to do…building on their strengths.
- What about the large churches? If our efforts are focusing on the smaller churches, what will we be offering to the larger churches?
- Some of these programs will be led by music ministers across the state on a volunteer basis. I could easily see the chorale running itself without KBC leadership (but the dues would be higher and we would need a music coordinator/librarian.
- Cooperative Program giving increases over the next five years and we get a Music Consultant to serve under the worship consultant and be over all the programs. One person for worship consultant and one person for the programming. They would also work together for major once-a-year events like a worship conference, etc. This will give our programs a few years “off” to re-focus the vision for them.
- This position will “start small and grow tall”. Just like re-vamping a ministry at church, we cannot dive in and completely change everything all at once. The new consultant must have decent expectations given by the Executive Director…not overwhelming expectations, just quality expectations. These expectations should first focus on the smaller churches who need guidance and assistance from another source. Next, the consultant should recruit regional consultants who can help specialize in keeping the most active programming alive.
Who knows what will happen…I do know that the KBC is a very valuable resource to have (especially to smaller churches with 1-3 staff persons who juggle many different hats). Due to the lack of a “worship consultant” in the KBC, the past several years have had a program emphasis. We need a worship emphasis…NOW! An emphasis on a spiritual renewal in our churches is past due…overdue…delinquent.
When the worship leaders, and our worship itself, gets the leadership (Spiritual guidance and encouragement) it needs, then our programs will bloom into what we need for the generations to come. It may look the same, may be different, but if our foundation of worship is set upon the Word of God and is united in leadership, we will know the programs are of God and will be blessed by Him.