We live in times when every Tom, Dick and Johnbosco who sings Christian/church songs refers to himself/herself as a music minister. We have taken it a step further by calling ourselves worship ministers simply because we sing slow songs of soft rock. The title “minister” has been so bastardized that it is beginning to lose value in the body of Christ. Before I define who a minister is and what ministrations are, permit me to rant some more.
The fact that you perform songs that bring tears to peoples eyes doesn’t make you a music minister. The fact you compel the crowd to speak in tongues during your performance doesn’t make you a music minister. The fact that you always look serious with a permanent frown on your face, lacking a sense of humor doesn’t make you a minister. Let me shock you…..the fact that you lay hands on folks while you perform, doesn’t make you a minister. So what then makes you a minister.
I have seen things in my young music career….wonderful things. I have seen the form of Godliness manifested without the actual depth required. I have seen well package spirituality with little to show for inside the package. It is of concern to note that this is the reason why Jesus cursed the fig tree…..having the semblance of productivity when actually, it had nothing to offer.
On the flip side, I have seen sincere musicians who have tried to classify themselves before the world misclassifies them. I have also seen musicians who have been subjected to classification by people and have gotten stuck in that class. So they refer to themselves as ministers because they are convinced that they are or they are told that they are and consequently, they are compelled to manifest in that light.
The bottom line is this; not every musician is a music minister. It is not in anyway necessary that every christian musician must be a minister. In fact, not every musician can actually minister so, why struggle to be something if there is a big chance you aren’t cut out for it. For me, three things define or explain a minister and the art of ministry:
A minister is in service of God to His people. God uses men to operate on the earth and these men are blessed with gifts that enable them carry out kingdom assignments. I am yet to see a place in the new testament where music is a ministry gift (if you find it, please call my attention), however, on the grounds of service, a musician can be referred to as a minister if and only if he/she is delivering Gods heart to His people per instruction. A man who is in service is always under instruction; same goes for a music minister. Your acceptance/rejection of any invitation on or off stage, your choice and pattern of music and performance, etc are all subject to instruction. Otherwise, you have no business referring to yourself as a music minister and that doesn’t make you less that those who are actual ministers.
Evidences in ministry are vital. They prove to you, people and even the devil that you are under assignment. Every minister, including music ministers are revealed to the world by evidences. Another word we can use for evidences is “testimonies. A gospel music minister will always lead folks to Christ during his/her performance on and off stage. A healing music minister will always bring healing at the sound of his/her voice off and on stage. A hope/faith music minister will always leave the crowd encouraged in the Lord. Every music minister must have evidence of his service. It may not always be shown to everybody but it must be clear to you. People must be able to testify of the expression of God through your music delivery. Now, I’m not talking about commendations like “oh, I like your music” or “your voice is so nice” or “your music ideas are so beautiful”. I’m talking of real testimonies that matter in the kingdom.
Ministry is a lifestyle thing. When I say lifestyle I don’t mean holiness and Godliness, sanctity and purity. If you do not understand that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus by now, you have no business in ministry of any kind. When I talk of lifestyle I refer to the fact that a minister is a minister all day, everyday. Either off or on stage, whether in church on Sunday or in the bus on Monday. I am tired of seeing musicians claiming yo be ministers but are inaccessible. The work you do on stage is but 25% of the job description of a minister. This is the same with Pastors; preaching on a platform is a fraction of their total work. Remember the “parable of the sower”?….exactly, that’s how your performance on stage works too. Only about 25% actually receive your ministrations; more work is required to get the bless the rest and that work is done off stage. You need to be available for one-on-one ministrations, online ministrations and many other forms of ministrations. If you want to be a super star celebrity, fine, its all good but if you cannot make yourself accessible to the people God has called you to bless, then leave minister out of your title.
I’m really trying to keep this short so I’ll conclude here. These three features: service, evidence and lifestyle are the game changers. When you find these in your music career, it means your calling is quite deeper than you thought. Even church musicians (choristers and instrumentalists) can become ministers on the grounds of these features. However, if you don’t see all three features in you career, it doesn’t mean you are in any way lesser than those that do. It only means you have a different direction and job description and it would be foolish to insist on parading yourself as a music minister when your untapped capacity lies somewhere else.
Subsequently, I will be dealing with issues surrounding the title “worship minister” in this blog site. I will also tackle the issue of “secular music vs mainstream music”. We’ll deal with questions like,
- what actually is worship?
- Is worship a real ministry?
- Who is the worship leader of a church?
- Is there really a difference between secular and mainstream music?
- Can a christian engage in secular or mainstream music?
I hope we get to clear a lot of these issues out so young musicians can find their footing and work with a purpose.
Let me know what you think here or on other social media platforms;