OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TRAIN THEM
When attempting to explain to a Worship Minister from another state how I conduct a Worship Renewal through Congregational Singing conference, he became quite puzzled when I told about the congregational rehearsal component. He just flat out asked, “How do you do that?” Sensing that he might have some reservation turning me loose on his congregation I assured him that he was welcome to conduct that portion of a conference should we schedule one in his church. I told him, in fact, that I often encourage the local leader to do a good portion of that rehearsal anyway, since they will be the ones leading after I am gone. I also strongly encourage scheduling of future congregational rehearsals for continuity and extension. He declared, “I just can’t imagine how you do that.” We talked it through and I believe it became a bit more clear, but he said several times, “I never thought about it.” That was evident, concerning, but also consoling that hopefully this discussion and possible event might turn some proverbial lights on concerning his congregation’s singing worship. The emphasis I needed him to understand from me was that if he did not do this, they would likely not grow beyond where they are in their expression, freedom, or understanding.
Worship & Music Ministers, it is our responsibility to help our people grow in their understanding and expression of worship. This is not about just teaching new songs, though that may be included. In the case of our worship & music leadership it is not just about preparing them for successful presentations. I have a deep conviction that educating our people is integral to our calling as Worship & Music Ministers. I cannot say it strongly enough. That does not mean that we have to know everything, or be able to teach everything ourselves. Even though I am lousy at the piano (I have plenty of witnesses), it does not mean I am excused from helping to raise up keyboard players for future generations. I am a klutz at the soundboard and most things technological, but I am no less responsible to be developing ministry-minded servants who show aptitude for this area of expertise.
This need for education, development, and preparation is precisely why we have MUSIC MINISTRY LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE, and events like it. We are attempting to offer Tennessee Baptists an event where you can bring all of your worship music leadership team, and give them inspiration, information, training, fellowship, and ministry with others who serve in similar capacities. Even in areas where you have expertise, and teach your people well on a regular basis, it is good to give them exposure to other voices saying the things you say, but with different words and inflection. Let me use two good examples to illustrate, and you can check out other conference leaders who are just as inspiring and strong in their areas.
Consider the conference sessions offered for Instrumentalits (bring their horns) taught by writer – arranger – FBC Atlanta orchestra director Jeff Cranfill, or Adult Choir Members/Singers under the leadership and gentle spirit of Dr. Jim Whitmire, formerly of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis and more recently from First Baptist Church Jacksonville, Florida. Jim asked me what my desired outcome for the class was. I told him, “I want every choir member to walk out a better servant, singer, and worshiper-worship leader.” Here are the four sessions:
- 1. More Than Just Singing – worship is the end result but what happens in the process?
- 2. Understanding the Human Voice at All Ages – tips to becoming a better singer thru life
- 3. What is Worship? How do you worship when they are not playing your song?
- 4. How to Be Successful In or With Choir, Knowing God’s Will, Church, Family, Your Job, Your Boss?
Jeff Cranfill will lead the instrumentalists in reading through some of his tunes, as well as deal with these topics:
Volunteer, or Called of God?
Minister or Performer?
Ideas on Worship – Suggestions how to worship as a church instrumentalist
Biblical qualifications of a servant of God and Prayer for motivation, recruiting, etc.
Our task at TBC Worship & Music is to help you who serve the local church. Organizing events like this one helps us fulfill our calling to serve the Lord by serving you and your churches. More churches are registering daily. Join in today by registering at: www.tnworshipandmusic.org