Most of us desire to be healthy. Not too long ago, my wife had me start taking vitamins each day. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea. They leave a bad aftertaste and they are always difficult to swallow. There is really only one reason I take them - because she wants me to! And, there is only one reason she wants me to take them - she wants me to be healthy!
When our bodies are healthy, we have more energy, we can work longer, and we are more productive. The same is true in our music ministries. If a music ministry is healthy and functioning well, God is glorified, things get done, and volunteers enjoy being a part.
There are three essential characteristics of a healthy music ministry.
A love for God
Mark 12:30 says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart... this is the first commandment.” Before someone is a choir member, orchestra member, soloist, ensemble member, or choir director, they are a Christian. Our love for God is the foundation for our service.
Many of the psalms which were written as poetry and praises to God were written as an outflow of the psalmist’s devotion with God. This should be our desire in music ministry, that our service is a result of our love for God!
This love for God should be seen in our walk with God. The Psalmist said in Psalm 63:1, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” The psalmist here had a thirst for God that was personal. It was something he experienced in his quiet time with God. Singing about the faithfulness of God and actually experiencing the faithfulness of God are two different things.
We must also have a love for God in our worship. We do not perform; we minister. We do not “show off”; we serve. When the members of your music team have a personal walk with God that precedes their service to God, you are showing signs of a healthy music ministry.
A positive spirit
It was said of Daniel that, “An excellent spirit was in him.” Daniel was not preferred because of his talents or abilities, but because of his spirit. When you first have a walk with God, a positive spirit comes naturally.
Someone who has a positive spirit will be flexible. Music ministry demands flexibility! Without it, you will snap. Music can always change last minute. Whether it’s a service change or a song change, a healthy member of your music team will always be willing to adjust.
Someone with a positive spirit is also accountable. They avoid the “they’ll never miss me” mentality. You know if you’ve worked in music ministry for any length of time that you do miss them when they are gone. When a person has a positive spirit, they accept accountability. They do not mind if you call or send a letter when they missed a practice or a service. They actually appreciate it!
When a member of your music team has a positive spirit they will also be supportive. They will love and encourage their pastor. They will edify other members of the team, and they will get behind you 100%. When someone has a positive, flexible, supportive spirit it’s contagious. Other members of your music ministry will enjoy being around that person. Just imagine what it would be like if everyone had that kind of spirit.
Ephesians 4:3 “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
A heart to serve
You’ve probably met someone who has a sincere heart to serve. You’ve probably also thought to yourself that they must have a healthy love for God. Paul challenges in Philippians 1:27, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” Having a heart to serve is having a heart to strive together.
When someone sings in the choir, plays in the orchestra, or is a part of a music group, they are first of all serving God. God must always be our motivation for service. But also, they are serving others in the congregation. Encourage your music team members to keep a servant’s heart.
If we did not think good health was important, we would not go to the doctor. If we did not think good health was important, we would not take care of our bodies. If we did not think good health was important, we would not exercise or take vitamins. But, we do know that good health is important, and if it’s important for us individually, then it’s important for our music ministries as well. A healthy music ministry will have a love for God, a positive spirit, and a heart to serve.