A few hours ago as I started preparing myself to write today’s blog article, I started by doing what I always do. Thinking about the various facets of music ministry and wondering which one I’d focus on as my topic. But for some reason this time I found myself starting to think about the word “ministry” itself. The word “ministry” is used so often in the church that I wonder sometimes if we really think about it’s real meaning any more.
Ministry, for many of us, has simply become that word we attach to the end of the title of any group doing anything in an organized way in a church. It’s music. We’re doing it in church. So that makes it “The Music Ministry”. We all refer to that large musical group we participate in at church as “the music ministry”. But I wonder if we really understand what that implies.
So I thought today it would be interesting to actually look at the word ministry separately and just get a good solid definition. In an article on the subject I found on GotQuestions.org the author wrote:
“Ministry” is from the Greek word diakoneo, meaning “to serve” or douleuo, meaning “to serve as a slave.” In the New Testament, ministry is seen as service to God and to other people in His name. Jesus provided the pattern for Christian ministry—He came, not to receive service, but to give it (see Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 13:1-17).
In another article I found on Kruse Kronicle the author defined it very simply this way:
ANYTHING done in service to God is ministry…….Ministry is ANY work done in response to God’s call
Taking the essence of what the word Ministry means then, and applying it to music ministry, we start to get a better understanding of the gravity of what we’re called to do. I spoke at a choir annual one year and I talked about the fact that even though only one person wears the official title of “Minister Of Music” in most music departments, every person that is a part of the music ministry is in fact a “minister of music”.
Think about that for a minute. Think about yourself as a “music minister”. Not in the sense that you’re in charge of anything, or that you play an instrument, teach, or direct. Only that you serve God and others in His name, through music. Yours is an individual ministry that is part of a larger ministry (the choir, praise team, band), who is part of an even bigger ministry (the church you attend).
That means everything you do, say and think in relationship to your service to the music department encompasses what you now think of as “your ministry”. It changes your thinking in some pretty profound ways, doesn’t it?
And yet the truth is, if we really honestly consider the real meaning of the word Ministry, we understand that as believers we are all called to be ministers. That’s true in every facet of our lives, in everything we involve ourselves in; inside the walls of the church or outside. My very life is my ministry. My service to God and to other people in His name.
It’s a pretty powerful way to think of yourself. Maybe even a stretch in some cases. But I can tell you from experience that every time you think of anything you’re doing that way, it automatically causes you to adjust your thoughts. To set your own bar higher. To strive for a higher level of excellence. Suddenly it’s very difficult to think about just you anymore.