One of the reasons there seems to be frequent issues in most performance based ministry auxiliaries in the local church (music, fine arts, etc) is because they are the only ministries where people can be hired for intimacy without genuine accountability and belonging to the "community."
The ministry of music is a significant pillar in the local church. In many cases, it is essential to the growth and effectiveness of the church. It is for this very reason that I believe it has also become the target of many attacks & misunderstanding. On one end, many musicians and singers feel misunderstoo, undervalue, and even abused. This has created a thrust in a self preserving direction for many who no longer trust the leadership or systems of their local church to manage the placement, engagement & payment of their craft. On the other end, many pastors, boards & leaders feel that the music ministry mindset of many people is unreasonabl, dishonorable & unstable. This has caused many to not see the music ministry as apart of the church but a group of contracted employees that are a revolving door looking for the next “come up.”
One of the reasons there seems to be frequent issues in most performance based ministry auxiliaries in the local church (music, fine arts, etc) is because they are the only ministries where people can be hired for intimacy without genuine accountability and belonging to the "community." Think about it, it is not common for ushers to be found "working/serving" at churches that they aren't members of. Children’s ministry leaders and workers are not serving/working where they aren’t planted and accountable.
Many, in fine arts, work at a church they aren't members of, and in some cases aren't properly pastored. Most will tell you they have a home church, but they're never there to be poured into due to the ministry gig at another church (employment). They are the only part of the ministry that, in most cases, don't have to tithe, be in prayer, participate in fasts, or pretty much anything outside of what is in their contract (sing, play, dance etc.).
They are the only department in most churches not required to be discipled and thereby disciples. Yet they usher us in to a vulnerable place and often have the 2nd greatest influence (in some churches the 1st) on our corporate worship experiences and the development of the culture of our ministries. This is not good. It’s actually frightening how normal this has become in much of the modern church culture today.
Quite often we see some musicians completely disconnected, disinterested or disengaged from the service, mission and vision of the house. Yet we allow them to be on our platforms, operating our equipment, managing our flow and influencing the experience all while being compensated by the sacred funds of the congregation’s tithe and offering. This may be the result of a dysfunction.
Why would you want to work/serve at a place that you don't believe in or respect? Leaders, it is a dishonor and disgrace to steward the finances of your ministry toward individuals who aren't enthusiastic about or invested beyond themselves into what God has called you to build or manage. I promise you, something is going to give soon.
Church, we've created or enabled a problem & God is about to help us solve it. Jesus taught in Matthew 5 that blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled. There is an underlying principle in this statement.
The obvious interpretation is that God will satisfy those who have a desperate desire for Him. However, the underlying principle is that a person will most likely be satisfied with what they strongly desire. You will find what you are looking for. In relation to what I’ve highlighted earlier, it has been proven repeatedly that the true desire of those who serve among you will emerge. They will be drawn to what they really are pursuing. Here it is: your ministry may be a holding cell for them, a financial supplement, a stop along the way to what they really want. Before you allow them to start building with you, discuss, discern and discover their dream/desire. If it’s not in harmony with your vision/mission, don’t invest deeply.
Lastly, there must be a distinction between industry and ministry. Both have their value, necessity and place. However, whenever either one is inappropriately placed in place of the other, problems are inevitable. Industry is money driven, personal dream driven and ordered by popular opinion. Ministry has a different philosophy. It is driven by a passion to draw people to Christ, and cultivate, facilitate and protect environments conducive for Heaven and Earth to engage and exchange and it is rooted in servanthood over performance and popularity. The key is to have the necessary conversations that will clarify the philosophies of all involved and then to create the necessary systems and resources to make it happen effectively.
When you take the HE out of Heart, you’re left with art. Music is an art, but if you decide to answer the call for music ministry, keep the “HE” in front of the art and you’ll cultivate the HEART needed to execute it right.