News Articles

Service often missing from ‘worship service’

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Southern Baptist musicians can be easily caught up in the logistics of Sunday worship and fail to give equal time to the outgrowth of worship that is service, a national music consultant told participants in Church Music Leadership Conference at Glorieta (N.M.) Baptist Conference Center, July 11-17.
Lee Hinson, a music ministries consultant with LifeWay Christian Resources (formerly Sunday School Board) of the Southern Baptist Convention, said outreach is a part of that service.
While youth choirs and some adult choirs participate in mission tours to reach the unchurched, Hinson said there is a variety of other ways to engage in outreach through music.
Along with musical qualifications, evangelism can become an important part of a music leader’s ministry profile, he said.
“You can involve people who play instruments and who may not be involved in church in any other way,” he said.
Personal touches that translate into outreach can include home fellowships.
“In a smaller church, you have a good opportunity to have every choir member into your home,” he said.
At the same time, he suggested visiting in the home of every choir member. Visiting people in hospitals and those who are homebound also can be a part of the service role of music ministry.
Children’s choirs offer an opportunity to involve children whose families are unchurched, but Hinson said quality programming and consistency are important.
He asked, “How many of you spend your time hoping you can get enough people to work in children’s choir and just make it through the year? Are we just surviving and gasping from year to year, or does your ministry have a outward focus?”
Worship can be an outreach time for musicians if they “get the view from the pew.”
Hinson said worship planners need to think about whether visitors are comfortable in the way they are welcomed.
“Do you always have them stand, wear a red ribbon, put them on the spot?”
Most critical for the music portion of worship is whether visitors get lost in the song service.
“If you leave them behind, visitors don’t know what is happening. You have to think like the people who may not have grown up with your background, who don’t have your orientation.”
The worship style your church chooses may indicate if you are using it as an outreach tool, he said.
“Do people turn on the radio to listen to piano and organ music? Find a niche. Find out what God has equipped you to do. Then do it, and do it well.”
Musical gifts to the community can be outreach, Hinson continued, including pageants, music dramas and seasonal music taken outside the church. Living nativities with music, local mission tours and block parties and local festivals can provide other opportunities.
Planned communities, from apartment complexes to assisting living or retirement centers, can provide the setting for music ministry-sponsored Bible studies.
“Help a church that cannot afford literature,” Hinson suggested.
Partnering with other congregations to share talent, leadership, choirs, rehearsals and performances can multiply resources.
Church Music Leadership Conference was sponsored by the music ministries department of LifeWay Christian Resources.”

    About the Author

  • Charles Willis