When I talk with prospective students who feel called to music ministry, I try to give them a realistic view of what it takes to be a music minister. Those who serve in full time ministry in the area of music and worship wear many hats:
- pastoral minister
- worship planner
- worship leader
- conductor of choirs, instrumental groups
- media/tech consultant
- musical arranger
- music educator
- cultural analyst
Being a music minister in today’s church calls for a person who is trained not only musically but in many other areas. Other traits that are needed for this type calling include:
- an active personal faith in Jesus Christ
- a passion to share the Gospel
- a calling and commitment to ministry
- personal integrity
- good relational/people skills
- a diligent work ethic
- emotional maturity
- good music reading skills
- vocal and instrumental skills
- a willingness to teach
- a lifelong learner
These lists can look daunting but it all begins with a call to ministry. Is the Lord calling you into a full time vocational ministry? If so, what training are you going to seek to prepare. I strongly believe an undergraduate degree in music ministry like we offer at Boyce College is the foundational beginning to this training. I also strongly encourage students to continue their training with a graduate degree at seminary.
If a student is in high school and feels a call into music/worship ministry, don’t wait until college to start your training. Here are several suggestions on how to begin in your teen years to prepare for ministry:
- learn to read music now – take private lessons on piano, take music theory at school.
- get involved in music groups in your home church. If you play an instrument, seek to use it in an ensemble at church.
- if your church has a worship choir or praise team, seek to join these groups and serve.
- if possible get involved in the choral or band program at school. This will give you some good musical experience.
- seek out a mature worship minister (or your pastor or youth minister) to be your mentor. Meet for Bible study and prayer.
- be diligent to have a quiet time each day – read your Bible and pray – seek to grow in your walk with the Lord.
A call to ministry is a call to prepare – begin today.