Music Ministry 101: Music Ministry Administration

Merriam Webster’s definition of administer is to manage the operation of something.

Ministers of Music, how are you managing or operating your ministry?

In many situations, pastors quickly hire musicians based on musical skill alone and assume that they will adjust to the administrative responsibilities or don’t believe that the administrative tasks aren’t important enough for development and training. You can’t be an effective leader and lack the ability to manage your responsibility. It hinders the church to have Ministers of Music who are really musicians that are inappropriately titled because they don’t have the gifts of administration, leadership or service (loving people).

So, what does music ministry administration look like? I’ve organized these tasks into two areas, internal and external ministry affairs. If I’ve left anything out, feel free to add in the comments section of this post.

Internal ministry affairs (responsibilities within your church)

Rehearsal-Connect with the bus ministry for choir members who need transportation. Prepare songs for your choir/worship team and chord charts for musicians.
Announcements to congregation and choir-Write announcements using appropriate grammar and spelling. Give announcements early enough for ministry members to prepare.

Service planning-Communicate with your church secretary about congregational songs to include in the church program and provide the hymn/song. Communicate with the media ministry about announcements and lyric slides.

Uniforms- To avoid discord in your ministry, use robes or colors that don’t have varieties of shades.¬†Collaboration with other ministries in the church-Be willing to suggest appropriate songs and keys to the youth leader about songs children can sing for Christmas and Easter skits.¬†Leadership meeting with other church leadership (deacons, pastor, auxiliary heads)-Learn from your elders and be willing to share words of wisdom as well.

Budget-Communicate with church trustees about budget updates. For financial transparency and integrity, keep a duplicate budget book for the music ministry.
Fundraising-There must be a “why” to your fundraising. Plan your ministry needs before you begin selling items.
Management of equipment-Have a working knowledge of how your instruments operate. Develop a relationship with instrument vendors and sound technicians.

External ministry affairs 

Professional development- A workshop is not a rehearsal with a guest choir director; that’s a rehearsal. What can you provide your ministry members besides new songs to learn? Read a worship book together and study. Invite a clinician to discuss vocal techniques or a ENT (ear, nose, throat) physician to talk about throat care. As a music ministry leader, you need separate development for yourself. Don’t be afraid to include this in the ministry budget.

Outreach (How can your choir minister outside of the 4 walls of the church?)

This doesn’t have to require singing! Think of unique ways to bless your community. There are international music ministries who are looking for financial support to equip musicians for world-wide ministry. GTM ministries (Gospel Through Music) is one I personally support.

Ok, so I’ve given you all of these wonderful tasks, now how will you get these things done? Well, we’ve all met members of our congregations who love the choir and wished they could participate but “can’t sing.” These are great people to ask for help; it’s a great way to activate the gifts in your church.

Remember that no man is an island. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in areas where you lack knowledge. God is pleased when we share our experiences with one another. Be intentional in serving God with excellence!

To listen to this topic on the Worship Builders Podcast, click below:
Episode 38: Music Ministry 101-Music Ministry Administration

Sonja R. Jones is a wife, mother, educator, author, and a Virtual Worship Pastor. Her assignment is to spiritually cover music ministry leaders, help churches develop and retain music ministry leaders, and equip and send music ministry leaders to churches. Connect with her online at www.sonjarjones.com

Music Ministry 101: The Structure of Music Ministry Leadership

If you are new the music ministry leadership, you may not know what your role is or what it entails.

The structure of a church’s music ministry will be based on a few factors:
1. Tradition- What’s already been established in the church.
2. Team Capacity- The qualifications of the current music ministry leadership.
3. Resources- How much money is allocated to the music ministry.

Here are the different roles of music ministry that I’m familiar with. Feel free to add other roles in the comment section:

1. The Minister of Music (MOM)– aka Worship Pastor is the head of the entire music ministry department (which includes all performing arts ministries- all choirs, dance/mime ministry, and musicians). This person should be qualified to teach choir parts, write chords/charts for musicians, and provide counsel to all ministries under his/her supervision. The MOM should also be qualified to handle administrative tasks, which include accepting/declining/scheduling ministry opportunities, establishing rules and procedures, and resolving conflicts. The MOM reports directly to the pastor.

2. The Music Director(MD) is over the musicians and reports to the MOM. The MD normally works with or is over the sound dept. Additional duties of the MD will be at the discretion of the MOM.

3. The Choir Director is in charge of leading the choir during Sunday service. This person will be 2nd to the MOM in teaching parts (if qualified to do so). Any additional tasks are at the discretion of the MOM.

4. The Worship Leader- The Worship leader is responsible for leading the congregation in singing, normally at the beginning of service. It’s common for the worship leader to have a dual responsibility in another music ministry leadership role.

5. The Section Leader– The section leader is normally the strongest singer in a section. If the MOM needs someone to sing a part for others in a section, this would be that person. The section leader would be the next person to teach parts if the MOM or choir director is unavailable. In most music ministries, the section leaders assist the worship leader in leading congregational singing (aka the worship team).

6. Music Ministry Officers– The music ministry officers assist the MOM in administrative tasks and maintaining order within the ministry. If conflicts arise in the ministry, the officers would settle issues before escalating them to the pastor. These offices include choir president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and parliamentarian. These positions are still active in some churches but are phasing out in most churches.

If positions 2-6 aren’t available, all responsibilities fall on the MOM. If a MOM isn’t assigned, then these taks will be delegated amongst the other leadership positions. I’ve never seen all roles active in one church; however, it is possible. Most churches will only have a MOM and that person is in charge of everything; at best, you may have a MOM and choir director.

In part 2 of Music Ministry 101, I will discuss the administrative tasks of the music ministry. These tasks are small but daunting and one person shouldn’t have to do all of the work. Delegation is key to an effective music ministry.

If you would like to hear this topic on the Worship Builders Podcast, click here:
Episode 37: Music Ministry 101-The Structure of Music Ministry Leadership

Sonja R. Jones is a wife, mother, educator, author, and a Virtual Worship Pastor. Her assignment is to spiritually cover music ministry leaders, help churches develop and retain music ministry leaders, and equip and send music ministry leaders to churches. Connect with her online at www.sonjarjones.com