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.