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Music minister lists discipleship & evangelism as key priorities

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Music ministries should be tools for discipleship and evangelism rather than performance-centered entities, a Texas music minister said during Music Week at LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center.

“We … have a responsibility to the people that serve in our ministry, [who] make themselves accountable by being involved in your ministry,” said Randy Hays, fulltime minister of music and worship at Bear Creek Baptist Church in Houston who also maintains a family medical practice as a physician.

Hays focused on methods and models of conducting contemporary music ministry in a local church in leading a class on “Contemporary Music Ministry in the 21st Century” during the July 10-14 Music Week.

Although some music ministers concern themselves exclusively with musical issues, godly worship leaders have a responsibility to tend to the spiritual condition of the people in their ministries, Hays said.

One way Hays cited for helping music ministry participants grow spiritually is conducting interviews with choir members. Such interviews help to diagnose the spiritual condition of potential worship leaders so that the music minister can foster Christian growth among the musicians, he said.

An interview “does a lot of things,” Hays said. “It gives me an opportunity to get to know them more one-on-one, know about their families, to know anything that’s going on in their lives. When you ask them at the end of that interview, ‘How can I pray for you? …,’ you relationally engage them. A lot of times you’ll be able to share something on your heart because of the time you had with them.”

Occasionally, interviewing potential worship leaders will help a music minister determine that an interviewee is not a born-again believer, Hays said. Music ministers should not allow non-believers to lead worship but should build relationships with them in order to lead them to saving faith in Christ, he noted.

“You can’t worship a God that you don’t know,” Hays said. “So if they’re not saved, they can’t be a worship leader. They can go through the motions, but they can’t be a worshiper. And you can’t be a worship leader unless you’re a worshiper first.”

Transitioning a music ministry from a performance-centered mentality to a worship-leading and discipleship mentality can be a difficult process, Hays said. But he added that the hard work required to make such a transition is well worth the effort when musicians are transformed into servants and ministers.

“The gold standard for us is that on any given Sunday I can point at any given person on the platform at a prayer time or an altar call and have them come down and pray with someone or lead someone to Christ,” Hays said. “They can all be counselors, all be there to serve the people who are in the pews as we invest in their lives and model worship for them.”