So, which of these phrases best reflects the way you serve together in your worship and technical arts ministry?
- We stay in a good mood when “life” happens
- We appreciate each other’s different talents
- We are honest and genuine with ourselves and each other
- We are never lazy, but work hard
- We take care of ourselves and don’t trash our bodies the night before we serve
- We are always ready to serve
- We are real: we don’t just pretend to love others, we love them deeply
- We are transparent and live our lives as openly as we can with each other
- We boldly are who God has called us to be
- We want God’s creativity, so we let Him reinvent the way we think
- We discover beauty in everyone
- We don’t let the world determine our standards
- We don’t think we know it all
- We don't sweat the small stuff
- We encourage each other all the time
- We find a way to begin every meeting by sharing something great that God has done
- We make music with linked arms and connected hearts
- We polish our talents and use them for good
- We aren’t boxed in by what we know, instead we bring to life Heaven’s creativity
- We remember our individual roles and celebrate others who contribute in their individual roles
- We work really hard and take notice when someone else is tired and may need a rest
Oh that every rehearsal, service, audition, evaluation, planning meeting, and casual interaction would look like this, huh?! What sets your bar? Who gives your teams their expectations? How do people know what’s required of them? How do they know that this is different than volunteering for community service?
The Scriptures Guide Us
My friend Matt Goss took a gathering of worship leaders through a passage of scripture that seemed almost hand-crafted as a standard for how we are to serve together in worship ministry. It was amazing how applicable the whole chapter of Romans 12 was to our context. He says that he reads the whole chapter with his worship teams twice each year, just to keep the gold standard in front of them.
Well, since then, I’ve taken several churches through this passage, with the assignment of creating a sort of manifesto. A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions. Each ministry needs common language clearly describing the nature and practice of their desired culture. In simple language, each person needs to know practically how they are supposed to work together.
The list at the beginning of this Fertilizer is a compilation of phrases crafted by worship team members [thanks y’all]. The next time you have an hour with your teams, read through Romans 12 and practically apply the scripture to your ministry context. Write a few phrases that describe the way you want to serve together. Try to write the phrases in normal and practical language, exemplifying your best “non-Christianese” language skills. Post the phrases on your rehearsal space walls, on the covers to your songbooks, in your tech booth, in your mail slots, or wherever your phylacteries are! [see Deuteronomy 6:4-9]
So, um, are you going to do it? Tell me when you do and if you’d like, post your Romans 12 Manifesto on our Facebook page: Facebook.com/AdLibMusic! Oh, it’s especially great in the New Living Translation and The Message.