The person who sings in church services, just because he/she can afford the time. Maybe ’cause he/she is job-seeking or maybe admission-seeking or an undergraduate who has nothing more important to do. And when he/she finally has something more ‘purposeful’ and ‘gainful’ to do, like a bank or telecom or oil & gas or medical job, then he/she leaves the church singing to little children or adolescents, because they don’t have that ‘spare time’ anymore to do such things.
Well, that’s how a lot folks here in Nigeria see Worship Leaders & their Music Ministry responsibilities.
In Nigeria, when people ask “What do you do?” and you reply “I’m a Worship Leader”, they look at you like…”that’s just something you do in church on Sunday mornings” and ask you “What else do you do?”, LOL!. Obviously, being a worship leader/minister isn’t work at all to them. It’s a thing you do out of spare time & leisure time & out of convenience, and you leave it to the less busy teenagers or adultescents who have nothing more important to think about in life than reading/studying their books for school and eating food at home.
I’ve had someone say to me “Is that a career? Is that work? I don’t see that as work o. It’s just a gift.”, I just laughed it off.
It’s very unfortunate, but I can’t blame such people alone because, usually, many new and growing churches do have the habbit of filling their choir or music units with young teenagers without giving consideration to the work and responsibilities the music ministry holds in their church. A lot of us have gone through that system and have come to realise it’s a very delicate and powerful responsibility, just like being a pastor or teacher or evangelist. A chorister or worship leader is always laddened with the responsibility of ministering to God’s people, as well as leading them in praise & worship music to God, and his/her lifestyle is also put under evaluation like the pastors. So, some churches have ignorantly abused or belittled this spiritual responsibility, and it has affected how many see this music ministry and those who function in it.
“It’s the kind of work you do with your whole life, no holding back.”
I think such people need to go check out Alvin Slaughter, Don Moen, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Chris Tomlin, Ron Kenoly, Lamar Campbell, Donnie McClurkin, Darlene Zschech, Hillsong, Smokie Norful, Bob Fitts, Matt Redman and so many others, past & present, who have been full-time or part-time worship leaders/music ministers for decades, by the grace and anointing of God. Maybe then they’ll realise it’s the kind of work you do with your whole life, no holding back.
In Nigeria we have a lot of growing worship leaders, but a few are well known and are making significant impact for Jesus. The likes of Panam Percy Paul, Sinach, Nathaniel Bassey, Buchi, Lara George, Wale Adenuga, Kenny Kore, Efe Nathan, Midnight Crew, Victor Olayeni…just to mention a few.
It takes self-discipline, sacrifice and passion;
- To undertake continuous vocal training to impgrove singing ability.
- To learn and master playing a musical instrument, e.g. piano, guitar, drums.
- To study and understand and apply music theory.
- To put in the needful spiritual commitment in prayer, bible study, spiritual growth and continous growth with other singers/musicians.
- To continuously impart lives for Jesus by the help of the Holy Spirit through music.
- To keep touching lives even when you have your own needs/struggles.
- To keep writing songs and learning songs that will minister to lives not just during church services, also beyond.
“It’s a serious life-time work, for which you also give account to Him (Jesus) who sent you, at the end of this life.”
Being a worship leader/music minister isn’t child’s play. It’s a serious life-time work, for which you also give account to Him (Jesus) who sent you, at the end of this life. It’s the Father’s business (salvation, deliverance, impartation, kingdom, empowerment, etc.). It’s about building the kingdom of Heaven, restoring lives to God through Jesus, glorifying God. Bringing the presence of God into places, situations and gatherings with intentional and genuine heart of worship, and letting the WILL OF GOD be done in the lives of his people.
Some people really really need to understand this, and get-rid of this wrong mindset, Worship Music Ministry isn’t for the jobless or idle. It’s a life assignment that some are called into, and it’s serious spiritual and musical work. A worship leader/music minister needs to always balance both spiritual and musical abilities. Neither can be compromised.
In the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and some other countries, there are Christian Universities/Colleges offering Degree courses for Worship Ministry, just like studying for Business or Information Technology or Creative Arts courses. So they have degree courses like Worship Ministry, Music in Worship, Worship leadership, Music & Worship, Worship Arts, Worship Studies, Worship Arts Music, Worship Leader, Worship & Supernatural Ministry, and so on.
Even if people don’t study in these universities or colleges or any other vocational worship music institution, they still have to develop themselves musically (singing, vocal training, ear training, music theory, etc), and spiritually, having a continuously growing personal life of relationship with Jesus. That just shows you both musical and spiritual values cannot be left out.
I’m writing this because I want people to know that the music ministry is a SERIOUS LIFE-TIME WORK. IT’S REAL “BIG BUSINESS”. SALVATION!!
So, plese learn to appreciate, respect and honour a worship leader/music minister as you would an engineer, an artist, a creative professional, a teacher, an entrepreneur, an accountant, a lawyer, a scientist, an economist, a pastor, an evangelist, and people in so many other well-respected and enviable professions or vocations or ministries.
God bless you.
Ps: Feel free to leave your comments in the comments box below.