Putting aside powerful musicianship and great choices of music, the primary role of a #music_minister is to #lead_congregants to an authentic place of peace within. From peace any parishioner will find a wellspring of love and joy. This can be—and will be—nurtured to express as song in each individual, if music ministers hold a space for a unified expression in the church, whether it be a voice, a body movement (dancing and clapping) or a quiet calm to the soul.
Choosing the Right Music
- Music must flow from the core values of a church, never from a place of performance. Ultimately, if possible, the music should be reflective of the message of the entire service
- If congregants feel that the chosen music is out of their range and skill (too high, too difficult, to wordy), they will not participate or sing along.
- So, music must be in a low key, have very few words, be simple, and have catchy melodies. This is where the music minister’s desire to help the congregant find his or her heart power and let it express through the throat chakra is most important.
The steps to leading a congregation to sacred praise in song:
- First and foremost, musicians must look as if they are a part of the congregation, not hired ornaments of the church.
- The musicians must sit with the congregation during service,
- move to and from the stage from his or her seat within the congregation,
- this will rightly show that the music ministry is of service to and for the whole.
- Meet the congregation at a Soul Level
o Start with music that is where a congregant begins on the path to connection is important and rare to find in ministry, so it is the primary goal of any music minster.
o If music is strong, rhythmic and uplifting before a congregant is ready to stand up and clap, this becomes almost a contraindication to the soul’s movement.
o When anyone comes into a church, the desire of the music minister should be to help them center, first, and get quiet, before jumping up and down with joy, if that happens at all.
o We then gently move toward a place of joy, which isn’t often an outward and bodily expression, but more an inner smile,
o A music minister should use the aspect of music to lead the congregant from peace to active joy, participation, and perhaps movement.
o Ministers must use rhythm, sacred and simple words, and harmonics of voices, which will reflect a united and unifying flow of love.
- Solo music has a very small part in praise and worship for a church community.
o Most congregants have television, the theater, and “American Idol” for musical show-offs.
o When a singer in church shares something that is “song worthy” but not “soul worthy” by closing his or her eyes and doing riffs and showing off the voice or an instrumentation, this does nothing but lead the congregants away from wanting to join in.
o There is a delicate balance in life between ego-driven and spirit driven, as there is also the same in music.
- ego-music creates separation,
- Soul-music brings unity.
- Solos, if used, should always be in line with the minister’s message
o Solos should come from an authentic soul experience seen through the open eyes of the performer.
o If the singer chooses difficult riffs, frills and acrobatics, they should be combined with depth and authentic truth.
o If the congregant doesn’t have a “soul-experience,” again the soul is not nourished.
Choosing Congregational Music
- Many music ministers are song writers as well as musicians. However, this does not mean that all songs that come from a loving and kind heart can be used to create the perfect congregational music.
- Professional songwriters might have one out of every 10 songs that are songs that become “soul worthy” music for a service. Choose songs that have proven over and over to be effective.
- Even if you pick the perfect song and play it too loud, too rhythmic, or too high, you will alienate the congregation.
- Feel the intent of the song, get with your sound technicians, and make sure that the music coming from the stage does not OVER POWER the church.
o You don’t want to feel like the volume is like a concert.
o The volume of the music should be loud enough to hear the words and melodies, but soft enough for the congregation to hear themselves singing along with and becoming a part of.
o The key to ministering in music is always making space for each congregant to feel free, open, and secure enough to open his or her mouth and join in.