Our Worship Team is a group of musicians and technical people who work together as a team to enable our church family to lift up our voices and our hearts together. We are intentionally inclusive and open to new members. However, the decision to be a part of worship team has to follow a decision to make Hope your church home. For that reason, we ask that musicians, singers, sound techs and media techs come out to Hope for at least 3 months (to get to know our ministry) before they step forward into this ministry.
We believe God is the one who gives us all our abilities and talents, so allowing God to lead our church in this area means recognizing and evaluating skill level and ability. For musicians and singers, this means an ‘audition’ with our worship leader and team members. For tech people, it means an open heart and some basic technical skills. For all involved, it means we must be available for practice and services on a regular basis.
The first step in getting involved (after deciding that Hope is your church home) is to read our music ministry philosophy (see below). Then contact our music ministry director to begin the evaluation process.
- 1. God Focused (+)
As with every genuine ministry, this ministry is done first for the Lord. We serve Him with our talents and abilities from hearts that are filled with gratitude to our Lord. We must seek the power and filling of the Spirit to be effective in this ministry. It is for Him and through Him.
This ministry has too many pitfalls and opportunities for a wrong focus – we must be determined to look to God in everything we do. We want nothing to take focus from Him. Our ministry should be a continual pointing of people to our Lord. This starts with each person on the team genuinely worshipping and focused on the Lord. If our ministers aren’t worshipping, why would anyone else? We want to do everything possible to lift the focus or our music ministry and our services to Him.
It is our hearts’ desire that people see Him instead of us. We think of it as being “transparent” so that we are not seen, but He is. This also means that our direction will be determined by the leading of the Spirit of God. We must be in prayer and be open to the direction of the Spirit in us.
We will acknowledge the plan of God in gifting and enabling people for ministry by having evaluations to discern God’s plan. Some will call these auditions, where the ability to minister musically will be evidenced so that we are assured that each person is called by God to participate. This evaluation will be a team process, with several people from the music ministry called to prayerfully consider where a person’s abilities would best be used in our music ministry. We do desire to be inclusive, but that does not mean that we will allow people to do whatever they want. There must be an evidenced giftedness from the Lord in order for us to be genuinely following the direction of the Lord.
Finally, we must always guard against our flesh overtaking and perverting the things which we do for the Lord. The focus of our worship and praise in music must vigilantly be kept on God alone. We will not worship the songs, the musicians, or the musical style we prefer. Nor will we seek to use music as a way to try to recreate or relive past experiences in the Spirit. Our music is to be a fresh, present, and living representation of the outpouring of praise, worship, encouragement, and truth from our hearts.
- 2. People Purposed (+)
The second most important consideration for our music ministry is to ask “What is best for the people we are ministering to?” We are involved in music ministry to serve the body of Christ at Hope and our concern must always selflessly consider what would benefit those to whom we are called to minister. We do not seek what we want; rather we seek what they need. Therefore, we do not want our ministry to be confusing, unclear, or overwhelming.
We value the freshness of new music and the empowerment and comfort of familiar music. We value songs that express “real” life and genuine hearts. We want to create an atmosphere that is as inviting and welcoming as possible for each person to participate. Thus, we will always be looking for the ways to best lead our people into the presence of God.
Practically, this impacts every part of our music ministry, from song selection, to volume level, to the emphasis on melody in worship, to styles, and every detail of what we do. We want to seek the Lord for discernment for the best ways to be effective in ministering to the people that God brings to Hope. This also dictates the level of giftedness which is required for public music ministry.
Our society takes great delight in mocking those who think they can sing or play, when it is obvious to those who are listening that they lack the ability to do so. To place an unqualified person in music ministry would naturally tend to draw attention and focus to that person’s struggle instead of ministering through music to the body of Christ.
- 3. Team Spirited (+)
The third most important consideration in making decisions for music ministry is to have an awareness of what is best for the team. In accordance with our core value on teamwork, we understand and accept that our actions are all connected because we are all connected as a body. We must work and serve in a way that is helpful to our teammates. This means that we are willing to adapt for others. It also means that we accept our own limitations and the limitations of others.
It goes against the desire to be in the spotlight or to be the star of the show, and seeks the good of the team and the success of the team. It is a viewpoint that is in line with our core value of sacrifice that produces a willingness to be driven by what is best for the whole rather than what is desired by an individual.
A practical part of this concept is team rehearsals. Many musicians are capable of performing their part without rehearsal or practice; however, our practice as a team is about more than just knowing your part. It includes a willingness to help others work on their parts and allows a spirit of camaraderie and togetherness to permeate what we do.
As a special consideration, we must guard our mouths in speaking to one another truthfully and lovingly. We should always seek to speak in a way that is encouraging and builds up one another. Even constructive criticism can be destructive if it is not carefully spoken. We must also speak in a way that is respectful of the ability and call of each musician. While there is a place for instruction, there is not room for dictating to another musician or belittling their ability. Even when there is no desire to hurt another with our words, the risk is always present (whether by the designs of the enemy or the fallibility of our human understanding).
The team mentality also provides room for all musicians that God calls to Hope to participate. We never want to become a “closed” group. Instead, we will look to find ways to incorporate each person according to their fit. This will also allow us to protect our ministers from overuse and burnout that would result without needed breaks from ministry and periods of rest.
- 4. Artistically Enjoyed (+)
The final consideration – deliberately the last of the list, but also important – is that we want those who are musically gifted to enjoy the ministry to which God has called them. We feel that music ministry should reflect the passions and nature of those involved, making it a natural expression of the ability and talent God has given.
Our desire is to minister with music and performances that the musicians can enjoy. We want it to be fun, because ministry needs to be more than mechanical and just doing what is needed or expected. This consideration, like those before it, is subject to the considerations that are a greater priority. This means that we will not try to work for artistic enjoyment at the expense of the team. Nor will we work for the good of the team at the cost of hindering the people we are serving.
All considerations are subject to the greatest – which is looking for God’s leading and what is pleasing to Him. In all we do, we want to honor the Lord.
Music Ministry Contact:
- Contact Dana Ott here