As I’ve been researching and talking to my fellow musicians, I’ve found a lot of disillusionment about how they are treated by some ministries. However, this doesn’t mean we as musicians can cheapen the importance of the proper attitude toward congregational worship.
Not just another gig
When services and special concerts in the church are scheduled side by side with corporate events and wedding receptions, it is tempting for a musician to think of church music as ‘just another gig.’ It is true that for many musicians, work in the local church is part of a multifaceted career. In order to have a balanced life musically, sometimes we must keep even church work in perspective. As a vocation, music in the church may seem more ‘holy’ or ‘sacred’, but in a sense, such a view assumes that music everywhere else can not be holy or sacred simply because of its location, and that view simply isn’t Scriptural. God’s creative authority over music does not end at the church parking lot. However, this perspective can be taken to its opposite extreme – one where the work of music ministry is demeaned, ignored, and treated with less respect than the performances outside the church.
It’s not that church music and its related responsibilities should be given so much priority that no other priority can ever compete with it. Family, career, and other factors should be addressed when determining a musician’s work load in a ministry. However, the church should never receive less than the best of every musician’s ability and preparation. Simply ‘showing up’ and going through the motions musically is not appropriate; musicians that do not learn the music because they think they can rely on talent alone are undermining the reputation of all worship musicians. If you are called to be a worship musician, by all means you should take the music seriously when you play for the King of Kings, the one that gave you the talent you now enjoy. We as ‘court musicians’ should be constantly at our best when we minister through music in the church because it gives honor to the One we claim to worship.