Preparing to be a Music/Worship Minister

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
  • theologian
  • worship planner
  • worship leader
  • conductor of choirs, instrumental groups
  • administrator
  • 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.

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