The goal of every church music minister is to build and grow his ministry. Sometimes, though, you can't do that. We have a paid culture that was created when I came here, the pastor insists we need to keep this culture going and I have not been able to persuade him otherwise in 8 years.
The flip side of this is that our church is out of space. There is no more physical room to grow the music program. We have bells, we have praise band and singers, we have brass, strings. We have organ, piano. We have a choir. But the choir can never get larger than 18 people. There is just no room to put them if they do. The bells can never grow larger than a 2 octave group (thought we have 3 octaves) because there is no room for the tables to ring from.
So, how do you grow your program? You prepare for rain. Begin laying a foundation for your band and singers, and really all of your ministry, that is one of excellence. Begin to tell them,s how them and read to them what type of culture you want. By selecting the right musicians, and by placing into their hands the measurement for ministry success at your church, you have empowered them to grow to a point where, when you do have space, you will fill it up with solid, dedicated people, willing to serve.
Don't be afraid to set the groundwork now, while you are still waiting for the new building, to fill that new space with the best dedicated musicians you can. Train them, raise them and equip them. Do not let the rehearsal dictate the spiritual growth opportunities. Take time to devote together, praying for one another.
I regularly play piano for my bell choir, and close with a hymn as prayer. One of the ladies in my choir is also principle violin in our orchestra, and tonight we just did It Is Well With MY Soul, and closed with a prayer from our hymnal.
The response was stellar. They have all commented in one way or another how touched, and how changed they were at rehearsal tonight. -- Growth, while it would be nice, does not have to be numerical. Sometimes, it is better to have a mental or spiritual growth taking place. NO, all the time it is better to have spiritual growth first. This sets the stage for excellence in worship later.
Bless you friend where ever you serve.
It's Monday morning and you just received your Pastor's sermon notes and ideas for the week. You have a pastor that rarely plans his message themes and titles ahead more than a few times per year. And when he does, they are as vague as randomly opening the Bible for a reading session.
What do you do?
I get this all the time where I currently serve. While I'd like to say that I have the dream job of having everything 3-4 weeks out ... I rarely get anything more concrete than the week of. I don't despise this though. We are a church that follows a Lectionary cycle, and my Pastor's personal philosophy is: "If it's about Jesus, Communion, God, The Holy Spirit, A Creed, Confessional... it's all good!" With that I can plan a wide variety of services.
I suggest, you first get a lectionary and try to stick to common themes and ideas. Most lectionary programs now actually work within the broader scope of themes. You also have the seasons of the church year. If you do not use Lectionary or The Church Year cycles, then you may want to plan based on you hymnal or use a hymnal for more sturctured planning before you fill in with praise/modern songs.
Blessings as you try to plan your week.