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This is a fantastic list of guidelines for those involved in a music ministry. Michael Adler, worship leader at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham, compiled this list for his choir and orchestra. Many thanks to Michael for sharing it with us!
1. You are not Singing or Playing Because You are Good: You have been given this opportunity by God because He is good. His grace has allowed you to represent Him in spite of your imperfections. Eph. 2:4-10; Titus 3:5.
2. Being Seen or Recognized is not Your Ultimate Goal: God always sees you and recognizes you. Our ultimate goal is for Christ to be seen. John 3:30.
3. God is a God of Order, not Confusion: You will be expected to be punctual, professional, accountable, dependable, and flexible according to the needs of this ministry. Structure and order are essentials to giving our best to God. I Cor. 14:40; Rom. 12:11.
4. Your Music will not be What Determines Your Success: Millions of people can produce great music. God once made a donkey talk! Your success will be dependent only on your love for God, people, and each other. The Biblical definition of greatness is servant-hood: I John 3:23; John 13:1-17; Phil.1:9-11.
5. Participation in this Ministry is not a Substitute for Bible Study, Tithing, or Serving as God Leads in other Necessary Functions of the Church: Your personal spiritual growth depends on your relationship with a good church. Your ongoing fellowship, sacrificial giving and consistent Bible study will enable you to properly relate and contribute to the movement and ministry of this church. Hebrews 10:24-25.
6. Your Participation in this Ministry Makes You a Minister: People will look to you for advice and example. If you lead them astray by word or deed, you will be held responsible for their sin. If you lead them to Jesus, he will reward you. There is no in-between. Also, remain mindful that you are involved in spiritual warfare. I Cor. 15:33, 58; II Cor. 4: 1-6; I Cor 1:23; Ezekiel 33:6; Eph. 6:12; I Thess. 5:22.
7. You are not the Stars: The star of this ministry is Jesus Christ. When you lose sight of that fact, you become a liability to the group. II Cor. 4:5; Col. 1:18
8. God Deserves Our Best: God gave His best through Christ, and everything He does is perfect. We therefore show our appreciation by giving our best back to Him. Specifically, this means getting proper rest, rehearsing faithfully, dressing appropriately, speaking intelligently, and anything else that will represent Him properly. Genesis 4:4-5; Matt. 5:16.
9. Confess Your Faults: Nobody is perfect. No need to make lame excuses. If you choose to stay away from your commitment because of something other than a legitimate reason, ask God to give you the inner strength to follow through, even when it’s hard; OR come back when you can stick with it. Let someone know when you have a real problem, and let’s all pray about it. We are all in this together. James 5:16.
9. Support the leaders of this ministry under our Pastor. Many of you are leaders in other avenues of life. Good leaders have learned to be good followers. God has given them talent and vision. You are responsible for constructively supporting them. If you feel that this is no longer possible, please be Christian and mature enough to let them know directly. Also, when you have a concern, criticism, or complaint, please extend the same courtesy of direct honest communication. I Tim. 2:1-3.
Adapted by Michael Adler for SMBC Music & Worship from a memo written by evangelist Buster Soaries to the members of the BeBe and CeCe Winans touring group.
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