Using Your Music Ministry To Heal The Congregation

I often talk on my Fan Page as well as here on the blog about how we should endeavor to see our service in music ministry as so much bigger than ourselves. At no other time is that more evident than at times of emotional strife.

As I write this the many African-Americans have very heavy hearts of the recent not guilty verdict handed down to George Zimmerman in the killing of Trevon Martin. Most of the world learned the news of this verdict over the weekend and were still struggling with feelings of anger, sadness and betrayal as we made our way to our churches for morning worship.

It is at times like these that I am most acutely aware of the incredible responsibility we have as ministers of music. One definition of the word “Balm”, is “a soothing, healing or comforting quality”. In times of remorse, discouragement and sadness God can use the power of music to uplift and make glad the hearts of His people.

I often feel an obligation at times like these-events that affect us all so profoundly-to do everything I can to insure that the music we provide acts as a balm to heal the hearts of people who are struggling to cope.

In times like these we can easily make the wrong choice and end up presenting something that would only make the situation worse and more painful. Like the really sad song chosen for a funeral, for example.

At times like these the best thing we can do is be aware of current events that might adversely affect the moods of the congregation and try to offer music that will uplift, encourage and heal. I for one went to church this morning, the day after the not guilty verdict was handed down, saddened, frustrated and wondering why God, why always us?

I was almost at the point of tears as I drove to church. But an up-beat, hand-clapping, foot-stomping rendition of I Shall Not Be Moved by the Male Chorus this morning not only lifted my spirits but the overall mood of the congregation. That’s the power of music ministry, and that’s the awesome responsibility that we all have as ministers of music. And that’s why I am always humbled to have been chosen to play some part in administering the soothing, healing, comforting power of music ministry at times when God’s children need it most.

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27 Responses to Using Your Music Ministry To Heal The Congregation

  1. Best wishes on obtaining one of the most superior blogs Ive arrive throughout in some moment! Its just incredible exactly how very much you’ll be able to take away through anything mainly because of how aesthetically beautiful it can be. Youve set with each other an incredible weblog space -great graphics, videos, layout. This can be absolutely a must-see weblog!

  2. Michael Smith says:

    Thats absolutely, knowing God makes us strong in times lyk this that we may do exploit. I’m in Nigerian, an upcoming music minister by His divine calling and may God bless you Ron, nd your team. AMEN

  3. George says:

    Hi Ron!
    I was reading your e-mail tonight and has a choir director myself I agree with you that there is more to directing then just put en music together to sing, most people think you just sing or listen to music, but it is lot more then that, I know because I have to put together the songs for Sunday Morin and the choir and I try to set it up for worship and praise . Like you said there are times you have to do something elch. Thanks for these e-mails they help me alot. May Our Lord and Savior continue to bless and guide your ministry. George

  4. Sonya says:

    Yesterday in church, I could definitely feel the heaviness of the verdict of the Trayvon Martin case. I am not the Minister of Music, fortunately she choose some great songs for us to sing. We sang Freedom and Not Going Back. The mood of the congregation began to change for the better.

  5. Tiffany says:

    Amen and thank you so much for this I have been going through great personal struggle as well as spiritual attack and I been fighting with giving up my ministry, friday I saw myself on tv for the first time and I was disappointed in ME I looked distracted and like I ddidn’t want to be there not the image I wanted to portray but I was standing in the need of serious prayer. I went to my man of God on sunday and I asked to step down he said to me that the bible tells us to stand knowing we have done all we can do just stand and let God work. He said standing isnt always upright and looking your best sometimes your slouched down head hanging off to the side not looking like your wining but knowing that you are victorious…. Then it occured to me many times on a Sunday when im feeling broken God sends healing through the music not only for me but somebody else somebody needed that song God deposited in me that sunday mmorningin order for them to get over around and through that moment or to be recharged for the next round of life. That being said this post was truly confirmation for me not to take for granted the gifts and talents God invested in me scripture tells us that he will take inventory on the talents he invested in us and we will have to give account for them…. I want him to say well done thy good and faithful servant.

  6. Trenell says:

    Great insight! When the hearers know you are genuine and considerate to their needs, they are more inclined to join in and truly open their hearts to receive a touch from God through the music and worship experience.

  7. Lakia Johnson says:

    Ron, what an on time post. Helping ministry teams understand their responsibility to stand in the gap through song to help people cope with difficult situations. God knew exactly what He was doing when He set the order for battle. He sent worshipers first…why? Why not an army with weapons? Why, because God knew that singers and musicians can destroy yokes and break down walls better then any bow and arrow made. Can you imagine what the other side was thinking when they saw a bunch of singers, drummers and brass players coming their way…I know, I am laughing just thinking about it. GOD KNEW!!! Worshipers we must rise up and take hold of our position boldly. The power to change an atmosphere is in our voices and our instruments. What an amazing opportunity God has given us to serve on His Frontline!!

    • Ron Cross says:

      Girl you preachin’!! Lol, I love your insight Lakia. You need to talk to me about doing a guest post from time to time. You ’bout to make me shout, lol!

      • Lakia Johnson says:

        LOL, I don’t know if I have 500 words to express. Seriously though, I would consider it down the road.

        • Ron Cross says:

          Oh, you absolutely do. I can tell! But there are no minimums, really. Do consider it sis. God gives us wisdom that we might share it with others, and you have wisdom that needs to be shared. :O)

  8. Jackie Pack says:

    Wonderful message, Ron. Thank you!

  9. Tiffany says:

    Wow! Great article Ron. This is very true…we don’t know what someone may be going through when they walk through the doors of the church. But when a song is sung that ministers to our spirits, it lifts those burdens and make it so much lighter. Our church was on fire this past Sunday. Yes, there were some heavy hearts because of the verdict, but as the songs were sung, I witnessed folks just praising, crying out unto the Lord and being released. It was truly a Blessing.

    • Ron Cross says:

      There’s no better feeling than that Tiffany. And when you continually focus your mind and heart on the fact that it’s bigger than you, you find yourself less and less concerned about how you personally feel about things.

  10. Demetria says:

    I didn’t make it to church yesterday.i too had a heavy heart not only because of the verdict but also because my brother was murdered last year too and we still have received no justice or resolution. My song that brought me comfort was Wonderful Savior by Trent Cory. Whenever I’m feeling down , sad, and having no peace I listen to praise and worship songs to change my mood.

    • Ron Cross says:

      Oh my Demetria, I’m so sorry to hear that! But isn’t it great to have a go-to song that you can count on to lift your spirits at any time! Reflecting on the power of music from an “end user” perspective only helps us appreciate how our own ministries affect the people we minister to. I pray for justice for your brother as well as peace for you and your loved ones.

    • Lakia Johnson says:

      Demetria I am so sorry for your loss. You are doing exactly what you are to do during this time. Surrounding yourself with God’s songs. My song for you says: You are comforter, that’s who you are to me…comforter, a name that fits so perfectly…peace that passes all understanding…comforter, that’s who you are to me. ~ Comforter by Cece Winans

  11. Alisa Williams says:

    Absolutely! And it’s imperative as ministers of music to listen to the voice of God and give the people what He gives us. We can have our own agenda for worship (list of songs) … and He can change the plans altogether! Your list … is not His list, when we are in synch with Him.

    • Ron Cross says:

      That is such a great point Alisa. That’s why I often encourage having back-up songs prepared, as well as just developing the skill and flexibility it takes to just flow in the moment, as the Holy Spirit directs. That’s why continually perfecting your craft is so important. It isn’t just about vanity as most people think. The difference in the effectiveness of a music department that can do this and one that can’t is huge.

  12. Traci says:

    So true. Our team began by just “flowing” with the music (high energy) the keyboardist was playing acknowledging the Father’s character, strength, & the fact that He provides all that we need in all situations; followed by more high-energy, yet-praise type of music. No mourning on yesterday…

    • Ron Cross says:

      Beautiful Traci! Just being in a place in your ministry where you can do that is powerful. God can then use you any way He sees fit. And I think it’s so important in times of widespread frustration, sadness, disappointment or even worry, that God’s people can come to church and be in an environment that renews their spirit. Not one that simply restates and extends what’s happening in the news.

  13. Stephanie D. Etienne says:

    This is Sooo ministers of music, God has graciously given us the power to set the atmosphere.. Hearts was heavy yesterday,.mine included.. But even in this, we must remember that its all about GOD..

    • Ron Cross says:

      Mine was too Stephanie. Even our pastor expressed a heavy heart. But the praise team and the brotherhood choir really charged the atmosphere, and I think people left yesterday feeling better. That’s really what it’s about. And when we’re in the right state of mind it ministers to us just as powerfully as it does the audience.

  14. Kim Robinson says:

    Thank you for this proper perspective. A lot of us need to hear this at this time in order that we can effectively be used by God right now, and in the days to come.

    • Ron Cross says:

      You’re welcome Kim! It always helps me to keep reminding and re-focusing myself on the bigger picture and how the music ministry touches so many people in so many ways. It really helps you understand that it’s not about you at all.

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