A vital part of any ministry, including arts/music ministry, is an unwavering conviction to the truth of Imago Dei, especially as it relates to the gathered Church and those you serve alongside.
Imago Dei. You are made in the image of God
Everyone you encounter is made in the image of God.
Your best mate who understands you like no one else – Imago Dei
The politician/actor/activist who stands against everything Biblical – Imago Dei
The person upset that music didn’t fit their desires – Imago Dei
The volunteer on your worship team on both good days and bad – Imago Dei
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Rightly understood this means we treat every person with the dignity and respect they deserve as Imago Dei. We don’t write them off for any reason. Male or female. Sane or confused. Attractive or plain. Our ethnicity or another. Our values or none. Fully able or profoundly disabled. Wealthy or destitute. Posh or Scaffolder. Infant or elderly… and every age in between.
Further, Gal. 6:10 says – “as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.”
John 13:35 – Jesus says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Our love for fellow believers is witness.
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How does this flesh out in ministry?
In music ministry, I think in these ways:
1. Song choice
We remember that we come to serve those gathered. Not to showcase our skill or creativity, or play the song exactly as the recording sounds – we come to lovingly serve Christ’s Bride. They are His people, not our adoring fans.
In our song selection – we lovingly serve all who are gathered, not just those who like what we like. For Americans, the Thanksgiving table analogy is fitting. Gathered around the table with family there is something on the table each person considers a favorite of the Thanksgiving meal. And most often there is a dish they will pass on that is someone else’s favorite. But the gathering is not about the food options. The gathering is about gratitude.
We also lovingly exhort all in the gathering to not get ‘stuck’ in mere tradition or stylistic self centeredness (ancient or modern).
2. Engage with your church family
Church musicians – especially if you are in a larger church – stop only talking to each other at services. Get to know the congregation. Who is overflowing with joy over a new birth? Who is grieving a loss they never saw coming? Who could use a word of encouragement? Who could you pray with – right then and there? Who do you need to apologize to, or forgive?
Knowing your congregation is not only foundationally important as a leader, but also develops trust between you and the congregation that leads to an increased engagement for you all.
And for heaven’s sake… stop building ‘green rooms’ for musicians.
We are like waitstaff, serving up a feast of the Word of God – not pampered rock stars.
We are family – not ‘featured artists’
3. Fellow Servants
Continued next time…..