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