Look closely at the story of the Children of Judah in 2 Chronicles 20:18-21 and you’ll notice two important things: 1) It was King Jehoshaphat who was the first to fall on his knees before the Lord. He led the way for the thousands of others there to praise. 2) Furthermore, it was Jehoshaphat who appointed the musicians, not the other way around. He even told them what he wanted them to sing! Now, that tends to cause most of us church musicians to cringe just a bit. Who really wants the pastor (or anyone else, for that matter) picking out the songs for us?! However, in the Bible, the “overseer” (pastor or bishop) was the worship leader.
Of course, unlike Jehoshaphat, pastors are not “kings” and should not act like dictators. Nonetheless, the lead pastor should be involved to some degree with putting together and overseeing the worship gatherings of the church. Even the most talented and experienced music ministers need some level of support and participation from the “under-shepherd” of that flock. Again, this is God’s formula for His people.
Most of us at some point have had fairly serious issues with authority. (In fact, my 2nd grader continues to have some pretty serious issues with authority… I’m told we’re paying for our raising!) Problem is, some of us never quite grow beyond our subtle rebellious streaks, especially in the church. I’ve known of many music directors who actually make it a goal to “get as much time as the preacher each Sunday”! Where is our servant heart? John the Immerser’s words should also be our cry: I must become less so Christ can become greater! (See John 3:30)
Before we can have the blessings of God on our ministry through music we must acknowledge and submit to the authorities that God has placed above us. (See Hebrews 13:17) For those of us who are music directors on staff, most likely we are directly responsible to the senior or executive pastor. If we are a volunteer in the choir, orchestra or production team then our leader is probably the music or orchestra director. One thing is sure; we are all accountable to certain overseers within the church body Acknowledge that authority. Submit to that authority. Pray for and support that authority, and our own ministries will be blessed by God. Ignore and rebel against it to our own detriment and demise…