Recently there has been a great deal of change experienced at Journey Community Church. We have experienced a change in leadership not only with our Lead Pastor, but our Creative Worship Pastor as well. With such changes I would like to propose a Music Ministry Summit, an educational and training opportunity offered to volunteers in the music ministry. This would be an opportunity to provide brainstorming, strategic planning, and building of relationships within this ministry. Getting to know our new Creative Worship Pastor and his goals for the ministry and an opportunity to get to know each member of the team without the pressures of rehearsal. A time would also be dedicated to breakout sessions including vocal workshop, rhythm workshop, instrumentation workshop, engineering workshop, and computer application workshop. Plans to discuss potential changes in the overall system including audio and video elements and the potential impacts would also be discussed.
Some potential obstacles for this event would include difficulty in coordinating schedules, members who may be intimidated by technology or change, and a possible sense of overwhelm in creating training materials and set procedures. Some of the music ministry members have work schedules that include evening and weekend hours along with family obligations making full attendance difficult. In any ministry there is the possibility of resistance to change. Understanding the elements of music ministry including a basic understanding of the technology might be something that members have not explored previously and that may also be intimidating. It may also be difficult to create a curriculum and training materials that will be applicable and understandable to each member of the team. Each of these issues have a varying degree of validity, but I believe the obstacles can be overcome.
The first step of creating this Music Ministry Summit would be brainstorming with the Lead Pastor and Creative Worship Pastor to come up with ideas to include. The location can and should be the church, so that the technical aspects can be explored with specificity. Guest presenters could be discussed in each of the four main areas of ministry including vocals, instrumentation, rhythm, and engineering. This might include speaking with other area worship pastors and experts within each area. Planning would need to include the length of the summit, food, activities, break-out sessions, child care, and other potential needs.
I have discussed in very general terms this type of team building and educational opportunity with the Lead Pastor and Creative Worship Pastor. I believe by building my case and offering to assist with planning such an event could help move this idea forward. Recently a new planning tool was implemented called Planning Center Online. Although a video was presented on a basic understanding of the program, it would be helpful to the team to explore this in more detail as part of the larger team training. Researching potential presenters, trainers, and other experts, along with planning tools and procedures would also be instrumental. Meeting with the pastors and the lead audio engineer would also be helpful. Creating an online survey asking members what they would like to see presented at the summit and what direction they would like to see the music ministry go might also help to develop ideas for discussion at the summit.
Risks are very limited, the open forum of a summit should pave the way for discussion and the opportunity to learn more about each element of the ministry. The risks might include limited attendance or lack of resources, but I believe this too can be overcome with adequate planning.
If we do nothing, much can be implemented in smaller chunks at rehearsals and one on one conversations. However, I believe that the team would be further unified and have a broader understanding of each other and each other’s roles and responsibilities. I also believe that the team when unified can create an atmosphere of creativity and unity that would not otherwise be possible.
As an audio engineer, musician, and vocalist, I have a broad understanding of each of the elements of music ministry and how they all fit together. As a Media Communications student at Full Sail, I have been trained and educated in various media platforms and have the access to resources that might not otherwise be available. As an audio engineer at the church I have a basic understanding of our existing system, but would very much to look at the system in greater detail. As a technical writer I can assist in writing policies and procedures. With these skills and expertise, along with the direction of both the Lead Pastor and Creative Worship Pastor, I believe that a Music Ministry Summit would benefit not only the music ministry members, but the congregation as a whole.
As the sound person at my church, my participation is largely in the background and the shadows. Planning and event of this type does bring me out of my comfort zone and would require further investment of my time and resources. I believe it will further expand my planning skills and develop my leadership skills as well. It will also open other opportunities for service that I have not previously explored.