I love music. I consider myself a supporter of musicians in the church. I don’t subscribe to the doctrine of “you’re doing it for God, so you should give your music and talent away for free”. I also believe musicians, singers, praise and worship leaders can improve. Next week we will have a musician share their side. This week I speak as a pastor, about five things I wish music people would keep in mind:
- Please participate in the rest of the service.
I have seen it countless times. The praise team or special music presenter finishes their assignment and instead of sitting down and listening, participating and growing they go outside, set up the sales table, or hang out backstage. I have even had praise and worship leaders start to put away their instruments as I am starting to preach. It’s not over because your part is finished. Stay. Pray. Listen. Grow.
- Please don’t preach.
Let’s make a deal. I won’t sing, you don’t preach. This is especially important at events such as camp-meetings, evangelistic series or pretty much every event where there is a time constraint.
- Please be clear on what a “love offering” is.
This addresses full or part time paid musicians or worship leaders. Being clear and specific will, in my estimation, eliminate many of the misunderstandings. A love offering for some churches is $50, for others is $500. When the financials are fuzzy in the front end, they usually become complicated in the end. If you do this for a living you deserve a living wage and for people not to take advantage of you. Be clear. While on this topic, don’t call a pastor desperate for a date, have them change their calendar around and then complain when the offering wasn’t what you expected.
- Please don’t do the “good morning/I can’t hear you” routine.
It goes something like this: “Good morning everyone. (“good morning” says the congregation) “I can’t hear you, GOOD MORINING (louder and firmer)” The congregation increases the volume. This is usually enough to placate the person with the microphone, except when it doesn’t, where the “good mornings” are followed by “didn’t you eat breakfast this morning?” or the always nice “hasn’t God been good to you”. Here is a tip: Just say good morning, smile, sing your heart out, and end it. We love God. That is not measured by our volume.
- Please remember it’s not about you.
I don’t like to cut songs out, but sometimes I have to. I don’t like to cut my sermon, but sometimes I have to. Don’t you hate it when the speaker says “they gave me 30 minutes but I am going to take more?” Its irritating, isn’t it? Be flexible, be patient and be willing to understand we are all means to an end. We are just the instruments, conduits, channels to spread the Good News. It’s not about you, or me, but Him.
- (Bonus) the aftermath
Please don’t insist on selling me the unbought CD’s after the concert. This should be initiated by the host, not insisted upon by the singer.
Next week stay tuned, as the musicians let us know their side. Should be interesting!