Monday, February 23, 2009

A Song for The Unsung

I'm not afraid to admit, we had a pretty dry worship service yesterday. It happens from time to time no matter how talented the musicians, how gifted the singers, how uplifting the song lyrics, and how high-powered the sound system. But here's my gripe: Whether the service is "on" or "poppin" (or whatever the kids call it these days) or not, we can still enjoy and appreciate the gifts of those who present to us their gifts and talents in music.

So what if it's not your favorite song, or the Altos are slightly out of tune? (sorry Altos) You can stand up for the choir and clap for the musicians, anyway. We need a little recognition and appreciation more than most of you know. And yes, sometimes it does hurt when it appears that our best effort is boring the daylights out of the congregation. And the argument that says "you shouldn't look for my approval or recognition since your work is unto the Lord" is a weak one at best. It's a poor excuse to avoid Paul's command to "Know ( literally 'honor') those who labor among you". We're there when you get married, when a loved one dies, at revivals, tent services, morning service & evening service, holidays, anniversaries, conferences, and any other events church staffs can dream up.

To be a musician is akin to having the expertise of a professional tradesman and the 24/7 availability of a doctor. It is a craft, a tediously developed skill, and usually an expensive one at that, in both money and time invested. Unfortunately, the musician's trade usually doesn't enjoy the pay scale of our skilled brethren, yet we serve diligently anyway while running the risk of being labeled greedy or carnal when we broach the topic of compensation. Try hiring an electrician, plumber, or carpet layer to service your church building and offer them a "Bless you, my brother" and see how far you get. And by the way, those jobs are just as much unto the Lord (or should be) as playing the organ. So at least humor us with your attention and thank us from time to time for serving in the church.

Some churches, especially those with limited ability to compensate their musician, set aside a service each year to honor their Minister of Music. Guest churches, groups, and other musicians who have enjoyed the Minister's gift over the years are happy to participate, allowing the honoree to sit back and be ministered to. Our church has never done it, but I think it's a great idea and more churches should consider it.

So to all of my fellow minstrels and ministers out there: Thanks for sharing your wonderful gifts, for your commitment and dedication, for putting up with tone deaf singers and off beat clapping, countless complaints, last minute changes, inferior equipment, and people who just plain don't understand your gift. I know what you go through and I appreciate you as only a fellow musician can.

elder todd

1 comment:

  1. It's not that people don't appreciate the musicians, or the songs that the choir sings.Most really aren't aware that God has come into their lives...they don't recognize that the things being done for them are not of their own doing ;but God's! They drag themselves to church because they think that by doing so people will look at them as being a good person to stand ,clap or even join in a song is just to much for some ...they say "LOOK I"M HERE THAT SHOULD BE ENOUGH". You can count on one hand how many people actually attend church for the soleful purpose of giving GOD praise...remember we live in a microwave and cyper-space era..reading and studying the word of GOD as one should is just not the way to go ...if you look close enough you'll see some people text messaging while Preacher is making His due to get the word to some lost soul..all we can is PRAY,PRAY,PRAY,PRAY.