One of the many things that inspires me from the book of Nehemiah is the fact that people from all different trades and professions were involved in the work. We read their names, their occupations, and their contribution to the miraculous reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem. In a similar way, we as local church musicians have been given our section of the work of God. We are called to build it up for His glory. There are five traits that come to mind if we are to do our part in building the work of God.
1. The Builder-Musician Must Be Established
The urgency of the work of God calls for men and women who are consistent in their relationship with God. Our public worship in music on Sunday must flow from our private worship with God throughout the week. When we are established in our walk, we will be focused in our work.
2. The Builder-Musician Must Be Faithful
If you remove any name from the list of workers given in Nehemiah 3, you will be left with a portion of the wall unfinished. The best practice for a musician who is serious about the work of God is to be consistently in his place. It may be true that “many hands make light work,” but light work is not the goal. We want to build. To do so, we need all hands on deck.
Endeavor to be punctual and prepared for every rehearsal, every presentation, and every service. As a work is built, you need more workers, but if you have to replace as many workers as you recruit, the work becomes static.
3. The Builder-Musician must Be Growing
The Bible says that the people “strengthened their hands for the good work.” Our work as musicians calls for skill. While there are differing levels of natural talent among musicians, we are responsible to take the talent we’ve been given and develop it for the work. Never be satisfied with the status quo. Always be looking for ways to improve personally. How can you learn to sing better? How can you learn to play your instrument better? As long as we live, there will always be some way we can improve.
4. The Builder-Musician Must Be Cooperative
I once heard that people who love each other make the best music. When two or more people make music together, there is a natural requirement that they must be in tune with each other. Not just in tone, but also in spirit.
Rather than using one hand to fight the enemy and one to build, sometimes we are guilty of using one hand to fight the enemy and the other hand to fight the builder next to us. We must determine not to fight those with whom we are co-laborers on the wall.
5. The Builder-Musician Must Be Fruitful
It is crucial to remember that music is not the end in and of itself. If we succeed as musicians but fail as Christians, we are building the wrong wall. God’s glory, the edification of the believer, and the salvation of the lost are the priorities of our work. Are we bearing fruit? Are we walking in the Spirit and allowing Him to lead and direct our lives? Do we see our work as musicians as part of a greater work?
Yes, we sing, but we also witness. Yes, we perform, but we also pray. Yes, we are disciplined, but we also disciple. Remember, the effectiveness of our section of the wall depends on its connectedness with the wall as a whole.