Guest Post by Michael Adler, Worship Arts Pastor at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama:
While certainly the needs of today’s music ministry include the most obvious disciplines such as worship philosophies, musicality, recruiting, and others, I would like to add another essential to that list.
Any organization operates best when those charged w/ creating a vision are also skilled enough to allow those around them to also embrace that vision. INFORMATION is a key element in keeping this organization alive, moving forward, eager to serve, and willing to be stretched along the way.
Over the years I’ve had occasion to see church music departments in a standoff between leadership and followers. So much of that standoff could have been avoided by making a small effort to keep the organization “in the loop”. Group dynamics in an information void will quickly default toward passive resistance and then eventually attrition. Many morale issues could have been easily thwarted if only the “sheep” in that organization had been more informed along the way.
Here are some steps to follow to help your group stay healthy and to help you be the best steward of the people that God has entrusted to you:
-VISION. Repeat it often.
Tell your organization where you’re going.
i.e. “Choir members; don’t forget that you are worship leaders in your own right. Ask God to use you today to spur someone in this audience toward a better connection to Him”.
Tell your congregation where you’re going. (I do this at least 50% of the Sundays I lead worship)
i.e. “I’d like to remind you all that as all of us sing today, we’re not doing it because we have great voices. We’re doing it because we have a desire to know God and we know that He is pleased when His people gather together and worship Him”.
-TIMING. It is everything.
As we’ve all observed, many groups will quickly lose interest if you walk thru the hour by hour schedule of your Christmas tech week schedule three months in advance. Instead, at that three or four months out stage, give them a brief overview so that they can capture the essence of where you’re going. Then distribute a printed calendar of your rehearsal schedules.
When you know that your cast, choir, crew or any other group entity will have occasion to sit and wait, stop for one minute and tell them why and what they can expect.
-IS THIS THING ON??
If you are having technical difficulties in a rehearsal setting, stop for one minute, confer with your tech people and then tell those who are being put on hold what is going on and what to expect.
-HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT?
Portion out the information you intend to give based on how YOU would like to be informed. On the morning that you depart w/ your group on a bus ride to Egypt, tell them right up front that you know that this may be a long ride and that there are construction delays ahead, you have to pick up passengers in Sudan, once you arrive at your concert sight they will have 20 minutes to dress etc, etc. It will be so much easier for your people to digest difficulties or challenges along the way if they know in advance that these possibilities exist and that you’re doing all you can to alleviate them.
© 2007 by Michael Adler. www.adlerworshipministries.com