Thursday, April 14, 2011

Worship Ministry Interview

This week I received a request from a Worship Ministry volunteer who is currently away at college. She is taking a course that required her to interview a Worship Pastor about the ministry they lead. If you've ever wanted a "behind-the-scenes" look at the world I live in feel free to contine reading. If not, you can CLICK HERE to listen to one of my favorite songs of all time.

How many hours on average do you work a week?

Usually 40-50

What are your main responsibilities?

Plan and lead Worship for the weekend services. Schedule and coordinate teams of musicians, technical arts, and creative arts volunteers. Create and maintain community among our 100+ volunteers.

Do you have anyone working under you to organize choirs, materials, etc?

I share an assistant with the Senior Pastor. She handles a lot of the detail work - assisting with stage design, communication with volunteers and staff, preparing music and miscellaneous for the weekend services, etc.

How do you run/organize rehearsals and scheduling? (How far in advance do you plan the music for a given Sunday, how far in advance do you rehearse the choir etc)

We use Planning Center Online for scheduling and to provide rehearsal material to volunteers. We typically operate 2-3 weeks in advance, but stay flexible enough to make late changes if necessary. MP3’s & lead sheets are provided on PCO so the musicians can practice on their own before attending a rehearsal.

How do you go about figuring out long range planning goals?

I try to perceive where we are weak as a ministry and begin to develop ideas on how to improve those areas. Input from others is also key. Quite often volunteers, key lay leaders, and other staff have insights and suggestions that I never would have thought of. Right now I’m developing a theme for the fall season that will strengthen community after summer break and create momentum to launch us into Christmas.

How often do you have choir rehearsals? Performances? Do you have both adult and children's choirs? Youth choir? What are the average attendances of the choirs?

The Adult Choir usually sings during the Christmas and Easter seasons. For Christmas they rehearsed for 2 months and performed twice. For Easter they will rehearse twice and perform twice.

The Children’s Choir is under the umbrella of the Children’s Ministry, but they also participate in worship services occasionally. They have performed twice in the last 6 months accompanying the worship band for a featured song during a worship set.

There is no Youth Choir, but there is a youth band which leads worship for students on a weekly basis.

Adult Choir – 35 members / 20-25 sing regularly

Children’s Choir – We’ve used groups that range in size from 10 singers to 35 singers.

What are the strengths of your music ministry/program? What are some weaknesses?

During the past 9 months we have grown in size from 35 volunteers to over 100. This has created a few growing pains as we’ve had to improve our level of communication greatly. As we grow we want to keep a strong sense of community and maintain a family feel. There have been some weeks where we’ve literally had people serving on stage who didn’t know other team member’s names. We are working hard to develop leaders who can assist in the growth and development of the Worship Ministry and help take us to that next level.

What are some opportunities for improvement and what will help the growth of your worship ministry?

We now offer at least 1 event a month for volunteers to develop and maintain connections outside of church. This will hopefully foster greater communication and develop deeper friendships. We also close each rehearsal with a time of devotion and prayer. These prayer requests are then added to a Worship Ministry email that is sent out regularly.

What are some threats to the current state of the program? (Time conflicts, rehearsal spaces, style differences etc) How can those be overcome?

I am closing in on 9 months of service at SLC. The only issue I can think of quickly is my “newness” crops up at times. It takes time to learn the nuances of the church and the community it serves. There are always cultural differences that come into play and hopefully we’re on the other end of that spectrum now.

What is your vision for the church as a whole? The worship teams and program? How do you intend to grow this area of ministry?

I’m excited about the growth that has taken place during the 9 months I’ve been here. We’ve added a Saturday night service and have seen much growth take place in every ministry of the church. I want to see relationships strengthen throughout the church and within the Worship Ministry. We encourage people to find character groups and Core 4 groups to get involved in. As we’re going through the Year of the Word we’ve been excited to see so many people getting into the Bible and experiencing its power in their lives.

As far as the Worship Ministry we’ll continue to add in numbers as we’re debuting an orchestra for Easter. This new group joins the always growing list of service opportunities in the Worship Ministry. As the year goes on we’ll open up more volunteer slots in the Media Ministry and involve people with technical gifts.

My prayer is that the Lord will continue to bless SLC and the Worship Ministry and that He can find ways to use me to carry out His vision for the church.

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