For Lead
Pastors Only
THE HEALTHY WORSHIP MINISTRY

As with our physical bodies, we hope to have a healthy worship
ministry operating in our churches.  The following are some of my
observations of signs of healthy worship ministries.  They are not
in any particular order.

1.  Worship team members desire to serve and are disappointed
when not serving.
2.  There is a gentle spirit of acceptance and care for each other
within the team.
3.  Members of the team live out a deep love for Jesus Christ.
4.  Humility reigns in relationships within the team.
5.  Team members are dependable and punctual.
6.  All members have a zeal for
God's Word.
7.  A deep joy is exhibited in the lives of each team member, even
in the rough patches of life.
8.  The
lifestyles of the team member is marked by integrity.
9.  Each and every member truly leads others in worship.
10. To the team,
worshiping is more than what is done musically.

Sure sounds good, doesn't it?  Wouldn't we all like to see all of
these 10 items and much more exhibited in the worship ministry
of our church?  The reality is that some points may not be present
and others may be weak.  Now the question that begs to be
answered is:  How do we attain a healthy worship ministry?

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that the above
indicators are results of very intentional decisions.  We can't
expect our physical bodies to be healthy if we don't wash our
hands, eat properly, and sleep sufficiently.  In the same way, the
things that we do, even as Pastors, have a direct bearing on the
health of the worship ministry we oversee.

Surprisingly, the intentional actions we need to take have very
little to do with budgets and programming.  Jesus told us that "he
who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit".  (John 15:5)  
I have witnessed great musicians who are far from an intimate  
relationship with God.  The music may sound nice - even great -
but it is not any more than just that - good music.  Worship, on
the other hand, is reserved for The Audience of One who has very
unique standards of excellence.  As Pastors, therefore, we have a
great responsibility to encourage those with
skills and abilities to
pursue a deeper relationship with God.  Focusing on this, rather
than improved outward "image", will result in the healthy worship
ministry we desire.

The message needs to be "abide in the vine".  For example, the
short answer to the questions of dependability and humility is a
long one:  These things will grow as the team members draw
closer to the Lord.  This does not happen overnight, but it is the
only way to produce "fruit that will last".   Quick-fix approaches
will not have any long-lasting impact.

In addition to this, singers, musicians, and audio technicians need
to know they are safe as they serve.  It is so easy to criticize them
when they don't meet our expectations.  The fact is, they may
never look or sound like those we watch on professional videos,
but does that really matter?   Is that proof of health?  Sometimes
even a human body can look fine on the outside, while a disease
exists  inside it.

If the worship ministry of a church is "sick", we must pursue the
only one who heals and gives the kind of life that results in
spiritual fruitfulness.  In short, give room for God to help you in
your church; major on the importance of "connection to the vine"
and minor on "image".
                         
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