What I wish I’d known…

For the past two years, most Thursdays have found me at Lee University (Cleveland, TN), a 150 mile drive from Nashville, as I work on a Masters of Church Music.

Two weeks ago, I was asked by Lee University Church music instructor Randy Sheeks if I would share from my experiences as a church music director with his  undergrad Music Ministry Leadership class.  Here’s what I covered:

What I wish I had known about Music Ministry:

A Pyramid for success:

5. PRAY IT
4. PRACTICE IT
3. TEACH AND PREACH IT
2. DEVELOP A WRITTEN THEOLOGY OF WORSHIP
1.  LEARN THE CHURCH’S CULTURAL & THEOLOGICAL CONTEXT

How you do ministry is as important as what you do in ministry.
• You are a pastor first; musician second.
• Know your strengths; get help with your weaknesses.
(No one has ALL the skills asked for.)
• 80%  on time is often better than 100% late.
• Learn to say no; practice it until it rolls easily off you tongue. “That’s a wonderful idea, but that’s not something I can take on right now. I’m sure you’ll find someone to help.”
• Program to the level of your current talent, not your future dream.
• Invest primarily in people, over equipment, programs, events.
• You shine when you shine a light on your volunteers.
• You can not say Thank you often enough.
Job interviews are a 2-way dialogue – you are interviewing each other. Come prepared with your questions.
• The salary offered is not the complete picture of compensation, only a portion. Look for a healthy environment, generosity, benefits, mentoring, continuing education, professional development
• Build a part of your life outside your church.

If you’re in music ministry leadership – what would you add to this list?

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3 responses to “What I wish I’d known…

  1. Love this outline Eric, very practical!
    BTW I’m honored to be on your blog roll. Thanks bro!

  2. Good stuff Eric. Might touch on what to do when your Harley alto beats up your only tenor during the Vivaldi rehearsal, or “How to visit your choir member in jail”. (both true) Forgot – Working with staff or clergy who really are actually crazy.

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