Bringing Your Gifts to the Table

November 15, 2019

As we look toward the new church year, we enjoy a time steeped in tradition, when change often takes a short breather. But time is all about change: a new style, a new way, a new technology. Especially now, times are a-changin’ for the United Church, and with transition comes…well…just about anything!  

Style of worship is a projection of its leadership, community, and music. While the wonderful words of scripture and the message of a loving God may be our common thread, the way in which people are enveloped in spiritual experience can differ widely, especially when it comes to music. What musicians have to offer varies from preparing major classical and contemporary choral works, to rocking things up with a lively praise band, to providing a theme of favourite traditional hymns. There are churches that offer a blended worship with mixed styles of music.  

Musicians are challenged with keeping their fingers on the pulse and knowing their faith community, not only as it always has been, but also where it wants to go. How do you do this in your church? What questions do you ask? While many musicians have preferences and specific ideas around the gifts they want to offer, it’s easy in a time of transition to get lost in the question of what you should be doing. When that happens, trust in the Spirit and believe in the gifts you bring to the table. You are in music ministry by divine design. People experience in the “now,” not in the weeks or months from the moment. While planning ahead is a given for musicians (even if things are changed at the last minute!), watch for the doors that open and lead to resources that will help you achieve new goals. In a time when people crave hope and reassurance, trust your intimate role in music ministry as part of the guiding light. Trust it in the moment that is now.