Job Description for the Music Committee in a United Methodist Congregation
A music committee may be formed to:
- Strengthen and support the music ministry of the church and undergird the church musician(s);
- Function as a subcommittee of the worship team or committee;
- Undertake the search process of interviewing and calling musicians into leadership in your congregation.
The music committee should be composed of a cross section of the congregation, representing various age groups, cultural heritages, musical and nonmusical backgrounds.
As you begin to think about the focus of your work, reflect for a moment on these questions. Your responses will help you think about the people in your community (including your congregation) and how your congregation's music program might serve them best. You may want to discuss these questions with others in your congregation (such as the pastor, other musicians, and worship leaders) and the community.
- What three concerns and what three hopes do you believe people of various ages have about their community and their faith? How do these relate to living as Christian disciples and good neighbors? How can the music program address these?
- What kinds of music experiences might help people develop a closer relationship with God and help them understand more about how the Bible and the Christian faith can be resources for daily living?
- What specific groups of people are not being reached by your congregation's music program?
- What existing or new music programs should your congregation sponsor for these people?
Our vision or hope for our congregation's music program:
During this year, we will take the following steps toward making my vision a reality:
Responsibilities of the Music Committee
- To work with the musicians, pastor, and staff-parish relations committee to develop specific guidelines and job descriptions for musical leadership in your congregation.
- To develop a statement that expresses your congregation's understanding of music ministry.
- To be familiar with the overall goals the congregation has set for itself, how these goals influence its music programs, and how these goals may be extended.
- To help the musician(s) regularly evaluate and reassess the goals of the music program in light of the musical needs of the congregation.
- To assist in keeping the congregation informed about the music needs of people, the goals of the music program, and the resources available that will help the congregation reach these goals.
- To discuss and offer possible solutions to problems related to the music program.
- To be kept informed of the financial needs of the music program and, if necessary, to help the music director develop an adequate music budget with fair and just pay and benefits for paid musicians on the staff; funds for the purchase and regular upkeep of musical instruments; monies for new music and the continuing education of the musicians.
- To recognize, encourage, and nurture music leadership and the music ministry in the local congregation, along with the help of the worship team leader. This includes the cultivation of potential music leaders by supporting the training of people in the congregation.
- To act as a liaison between the musician(s) and the congregation.
- Take a second look at your responses in the "Opportunities" section above. If you have not answered those questions, take some time to do so now.
- Talk with people in your congregation or in other congregations who are concerned about music in the church.
- Meet with your pastor and leader(s) of music. Talk about your mutual expectations, hopes, and values related to your congregation and its music opportunities, and discuss how you can work with them in the planning of your congregation's music.
- Consider the music hopes and concerns of people in your congregation. Ask questions! Listen!
- Evaluate the present music program. What is working well? Where are there weaknesses? What are the gaps?
- Recruit people to help you in your work.
Skills and Interests Helpful in Your Job
- Ability to listen to and communicate with people of all ages and musical backgrounds.
- Interest in a wide range of musical experiences.
- 3. Ability to work with the church musician(s), pastor, worship leaders, and other committees.
- Skills for researching music issues and programs related to people in the congregation and your community.
- Skills for researching issues involved in worship.
- Sensitivity to what makes worship effective.
Training for Your Job
The amount of training you need will directly correspond to the size of the music program and the number of responsibilities assigned to you. You may or may not need formal training to do your job effectively; however, participating in continuing education opportunities is strongly recommended.
From time to time, the church offers workshops that can help you in your task, in addition to the many training opportunities available within the larger music community. Check with your pastor, the committee on nominations and personnel, and/or your district superintendent to find opportunities that match your training needs. Also consult withThe Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts (FUMMWA) and other organizations that offer training opportunities.
People and Agencies That Can Help
- Your pastor
- People in your congregation and community interested in music in general and church music specifically.
- Other church music directors and musicians in your area.
- The United Methodist Discipleship Ministries' Director of Music Resources Office, P. O. Box 340003; Nashville TN 37203-0003; phone: 877-899-2780, ext. 7073; e-mail: [email protected].
- The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts; P. O. Box 24787; Nashville TN 37202; phone: 800-952-8977; fax: 615-749-6874; e-mail: [email protected]
- INFOSERV (1-800-251-8140), a toll-free direct telephone service for United Methodists that provides current information about resources, programs, and staff services.
Print Resources That Can Help
In addition to those listed below and in the latest Cokesbury catalog (phone 800-672-1789; http://www.cokesbury.com), see the bibliography and other resources listed elsewhere on the Discipleship Ministries web site.
- The United Methodist Hymnal (and its accompanying supplemental volumes)
- The United Methodist Book of Worship
- The Faith We Sing (supplement to The UM Hymnal, Abingdon Press, 2000)
- One Gift, Many Songs
- The United Methodist Music and Worship Planner, Abingdon Press
- Worship Arts, a magazine available from The Fellowship of United Methodists In Music and Worship Arts
- The Church Music Handbook for Pastors and Musicians by N. Lee Orr, Abingdon Press, ISBN 0-687-07853-9
- The Church Musician by Paul Westermeyer. Harper and Row, ISBN 0-06-069331-2
- Upper Room Catalog. Lists resources for your work and personal growth, available free from The Upper Room Bookstore; phone 800-972-0433; http://www.upperroom.org/bookstore/.
Copyright © 2000, Discipleship Ministries. You may adopt, adapt, or otherwise use this resource in a local congregation; and permission to download, copy, and distribute it for local nonprofit use is hereby granted, provided you include this copyright and permission clause and the Discipleship Ministries web site as the source.
This information was compiled by Dean McIntyre ([email protected]), director of music resources for the Discipleship Ministries.