The Healthy Worship Ministry

Featuring John Telman Posted on January 9, 2009

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 ten 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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