Worship/Music Min­istry Handbook


 The fol­low­ing was put togeth­er to help you be suc­cess­ful in this min­istry as well as pro­vide you with guide­lines and expec­ta­tions. A pur­pose and mis­sion should dri­ve every orga­ni­za­tion. The Wor­ship Min­istry is no dif­fer­ent. As the church’s mis­sion is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, while car­ing for the entire fam­i­ly, and equip­ping mem­bers to impact the world for Christ, the Wor­ship Min­istry’s is:

 Pur­pose and mis­sion: Cre­at­ing in peo­ple a pas­sion for the pres­ence of God. Wor­ship­ping Christ in spir­it and truth; teach­ing and admon­ish­ing one anoth­er with psalms, hymns and spir­i­tu­al songs; and by liv­ing a lifestyle of com­mit­ment and joy in serv­ing God both inside and out­side our church.

Goals and Evi­dence of the music min­istry are found in the fol­low­ing scripture:

2 Chron­i­cles 5:11–14

The priests then with­drew from the Holy Place. All the priests who were there had con­se­crat­ed them­selves, regard­less of their divi­sions. All the Levites who were musi­cians (Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and rel­a­tives) stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and play­ing cym­bals, harps and lyres. They were accom­pa­nied by 120 priests sound­ing trum­pets. The trum­peters and singers joined in uni­son as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accom­pa­nied by trum­pets, cym­bals and oth­er instru­ments, they raised their voic­es in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; His love endures for­ev­er.” Then the tem­ple of the Lord was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not per­form their ser­vice because of the cloud, for the glo­ry of the Lord filled the tem­ple of God.

The Choir in the Present-day Church 

Most con­tem­po­rary church­es have dis­missed the choir and replaced it with praise teams on a week­ly basis. Their rea­sons include:

-Choirs don’t relate to peo­ple today

-Peo­ple are not lis­ten­ing to choir music on the radio

-Too many old­er folks involved to reach the youth culture

-Too much work

-Too expen­sive


Yes, it is a high main­te­nance, cost­ly min­istry, only because it pro­vides so many peo­ple with an out­let for ser­vice and min­istry. We are com­mit­ted to hav­ing a vibrant choir min­istry for the fol­low­ing reasons:

-bib­li­cal his­to­ry (choir was in front of the army)

-pro­motes community

-there is pow­er in numbers

-pro­vides a spot for aver­age tal­ent to flourish

-devel­ops poten­tial wor­ship leaders

-opens door for mir­a­cles (with one rehearsal per week it’s always a mir­a­cle when God and the choir/orchestra pull it off on Sun­days and spe­cial events)

-a great deal of fun and humor

How does the Choir/Orchestra/Worship Min­istry fit into the Life of a church?

Sun­day ser­vices pro­vide an “entrance point” for wor­ship­pers. It is the main intro­duc­tion of a church to the com­mu­ni­ty. Music and dra­ma obvi­ous­ly play a role in that intro­duc­tion of a church to every­one who attends.

 Musi­cal Styles 

“If you try to please all of the peo­ple some of the time, you’ll end up pleas­ing no one all of the time.”

Our music must relate to where peo­ple live and must draw them to Jesus. Our objec­tive is not to expand peo­ple’s musi­cal taste or appre­ci­a­tion. With­out apol­o­gy, our goal is to draw peo­ple to Jesus and then help them tru­ly wor­ship Him. Our lead­er­ship will always allow the fel­low­ship to wor­ship with instru­ments, voic­es, clap­ping, and the rais­ing of hands as well as oth­er expres­sions of faith as long as those expres­sions are Christ-Centered.

The fol­low­ing is a sum­ma­ry of appli­ca­tions used by our Wor­ship Ministry:

-Our music is cel­e­bra­tive, with a message.

-Our goal is to touch the heart, not just stim­u­late the mind.

-The choir/orchestra is treat­ed as a large ensem­ble both in rehearsal and in the wor­ship service.

-The choir is con­ta­gious. The con­gre­ga­tion will nev­er express them­selves cor­po­rate­ly more than what the choir mod­els for them.

-Solos and ensem­bles are often used to add cre­ativ­i­ty, impact, more con­trolled sound mix, and they give a per­son­al touch.

-The choir strives for mem­o­ry on a week­ly basis. Eye con­tact and free­dom of per­son­al expres­sion is very impor­tant in each service.

The Rehearsal Experience

Most sec­u­lar musi­cal groups meet at least week­ly for 2–3 hours filled with intense rehearsal. At Lib­er­ty, we do not have that lux­u­ry. There­fore it is imper­a­tive that you not miss a sin­gle rehearsal unless there is an emer­gency, sick­ness, or a sit­u­a­tion that can­not be helped. And no, church min­istry team meet­ings are not con­sid­ered an emer­gency. Please remem­ber we only have approx­i­mate­ly one hour and twen­ty min­utes per week to get the choir and orches­tra ready for each Sun­day while prepar­ing for six weeks ahead as well as for spe­cial events such as Revival, East­er dra­ma, Christ­mas pre­sen­ta­tion, Inde­pen­dence Day, etc. God deserves our best and not our left­overs so please do your best to not miss. If you do have to miss, please call the church office ahead of time when­ev­er pos­si­ble. This helps immense­ly with our planning.

Why sing from memory?

Every­one knows that eye con­tact is vital. If we tell our spouse, “I love you,” yet we look at the floor while say­ing it, our words have lit­tle impact. Each Sun­day, when we are telling peo­ple “I love Jesus,” or “Lis­ten to what I am say­ing about Jesus,” yet we don’t care enough to look at them… the mes­sage is watered down. The fol­low­ing is how we help you learn notes, rhythm, and words on a week­ly basis with­out being stressed out!

-An anthem CD is avail­able with most of the choir songs for the next sev­er­al weeks. Play it in your car or at home as often as you can.

-Our Wor­ship Pas­tor will rehearse the songs six weeks in advance on Wednes­day evenings. Rep­e­ti­tion is the best nat­ur­al teacher.

-The “Rehearsal Notes” newslet­ter that is passed out each week will have the lyrics for the upcom­ing choir song.

The final rea­son for mem­o­ry is that this for­mat is the only hope for a decent sound mix each week. The choir mics can’t pick up sound from the top of your head…only from your mouth. Plus, we have anoth­er won­der­ful sit­u­a­tion: the orches­tra is too big for our plat­form and they play with much con­fi­dence! The only way we can get the choir voic­es above our instru­ments is to sing con­fi­dent­ly straight into the mics and direct­ly to our people.

Spe­cial Note: There are weeks when we just can­not pull off the musi­cal demands of a cer­tain song. Thus, we use music and fold­ers. Remem­ber, when you enter the loft, car­ry your fold­er in the hand which is away from the congregation.

What part do I sing?

Most peo­ple either sing high or low, or sing the melody or har­mo­ny. These two fac­tors usu­al­ly help peo­ple deter­mine their vocal part. Our choir is divid­ed and sound mixed by the fol­low­ing parts:


I Sopra­no (Melody and descants)

II Sopra­no (Melody and mid­dle harmony)

Alto (Low har­mo­ny)


Tenor (High har­mo­ny)

Bari­tone (Bass and Mid­dle harmony)

Bass (Low har­mo­ny)

The Orchestra/Band

The Orchestra/Band is a vital part of the Music Min­istry and an inte­gral part of the entire church. They play in our wor­ship ser­vices using many styles of Chris­t­ian music includ­ing tra­di­tion­al, con­tem­po­rary, jazz and much more. Vari­ety is the key here. All play­ers must be of high school age or high­er or a spe­cial audi­tion will be required.

Music in the Bible holds a place of great promi­nence. It is men­tioned over 839 times, thus sta­tis­ti­cal­ly indi­cat­ing music’s great impor­tance in the king­dom of God. 1 Chron­i­cles 15:16 defines music as a min­istry by appoint­ment. As those skilled on musi­cal instru­ments, we have a scrip­tur­al man­date to raise sounds of joy to our God. 1 Chron­i­cles 9:33 fur­ther states the posi­tion of an instru­men­tal­ist in the house of the Lord as set aside for this spe­cif­ic task. “Now these are the singers, … who lived in the cham­bers of the tem­ple free from oth­er ser­vice; for they were engaged in their work day and night.”

Com­mit­ment to being in our God-called place is the basis on which that call­ing stands. The over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of all instruc­tion giv­en is com­mu­ni­cat­ed dur­ing Wednes­day and Sun­day (week­ly) rehearsals. Ears not present are not able to hear. In order to devel­op an ensem­ble sound, it is only rea­son­able to expect a high per­cent­age of par­tic­i­pa­tion dur­ing times des­ig­nat­ed for accom­plish­ment of these and oth­er goals. We are a wor­ship team and as such the bur­den of pre­pared­ness falls upon each indi­vid­ual by main­tain­ing his/her com­mit­ment to Christ and to the oth­er team mem­bers. There­fore, we should make every effort to ade­quate­ly pre­pare and per­form for His glo­ry. This includes being prompt for both rehearsals and ser­vice times because the nature of instru­men­tal music requires time for warm­ing-up, tun­ing, and inspec­tion of equip­ment. It is always advan­ta­geous to arrive ear­ly and remain until the task is completed.


  • Lifestyle -liv­ing in a man­ner that agrees with Christ.

Psalm 15
Lord, who may dwell in your sanc­tu­ary? Who may live on your holy hill?

He whose walk is blame­less and who does what is right­eous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slan­der on his tongue, who does his neigh­bor no wrong and casts no slur on his fel­low­man, who despis­es a vile man but hon­ors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his mon­ey with­out usury (inter­est) and does not accept a bribe against the inno­cent. He who does these things will nev­er be shaken.

  • Com­mit­ment -being sac­ri­fi­cial­ly com­mit­ted to the call of God, not the Wor­ship Pastor.

Luke 12:48
From every­one who has been giv­en much, much will be demand­ed; and from the one who has been entrust­ed with much, much more will be asked.

  • Account­abil­i­ty ‑as unto an army! Can you imag­ine a com­man­der not know­ing the where­abouts of his troops? That’s the same prin­ci­ple applied each Sun­day as
    we gath­er to lead into the battle.  You can be account­able by:
  •  Par­tic­i­pat­ing and not miss­ing rehearsals or per­for­mances unless there is major emergency.

Luke 12:48
From every­one who has been giv­en much, much will be demand­ed; and from the one who has been entrust­ed with much, much more will be asked.

  •  Com­mu­ni­cat­ing any needs and antic­i­pat­ed absences from Sun­day morn­ing wor­ship, as well as Wednes­day rehearsals by call­ing the church office or director.
  • Being on time for rehearsals and warm-ups
  •  Being pos­i­tive in your atti­tude. This is an encour­age­ment to those around you.

Romans 14:11–12
It is writ­ten: As sure­ly as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will con­fess to God. So then, each of us will give an account of him­self to God.

Luke 12:48
From every­one who has been giv­en much, much will be demand­ed; and from the one who has been entrust­ed with much, much more will be asked.


            When God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or 

            to the left.  He will do with you what He nev­er did with you before the call came; 

           He will do with you what His is not doing with oth­er peo­ple. Let Him have his

           ways. ‑Oswald Chambers


When you are inter­est­ed in something, 

you do it only when cir­cum­stances permit.

When you are called to something, 

you accept no excus­es, only results.


  • A vol­un­teer looks upon rehearsal as anoth­er com­mit­ment he’s been oblig­at­ed to ful­fill, but some­one called of God looks upon rehearsal as anoth­er oppor­tu­ni­ty to be used of God.
  •  A vol­un­teer looks upon any con­struc­tive crit­i­cism with indig­na­tion, but some­one called of God is grate­ful for feed­back because he wants to be the best he can be.
  •   A vol­un­teer puts in min­i­mum effort, but some­one called of God puts in max­i­mum effort.
  • A vol­un­teer sits back and com­plains about this and that both­er­ing him, but some­one called of God leads a per­son­al cam­paign to improve that which needs improvement.
  • A vol­un­teer feels threat­ened by the tal­ent of oth­ers, but some­one called of God feels secure in God’s direc­tion for his life.
  • A vol­un­teer does no out­side prac­tic­ing or prepa­ra­tion (after all, he’s just a vol­un­teer) but some­one who is called of God comes to rehearsals and per­for­mances as pre­pared as possible.
  • A vol­un­teer wants to quit at the first sign of adver­si­ty or dis­cour­age­ment, but one called of God digs in and perseveres.
  • A vol­un­teer is obliv­i­ous to the needs of his min­istry, but some­one called of God prays over the needs of his ministry.
  • A vol­un­teer is more prone to jeal­ousy of oth­ers, but one called of God prais­es God for dis­trib­ut­ing gifts and tal­ents as He chooses.
  • A vol­un­teer shrinks back from resolv­ing rela­tion­al con­flict, but some­one called of God seeks to resolve all rela­tion­al con­flict to pre­serve the uni­ty of the team with which he serves.
  • A vol­un­teer’s main source of ful­fill­ment is his tal­ents and abil­i­ties, but some­one called of God knows that being used of God is the most ful­fill­ing thing he can do with his life.
  • A vol­un­teer can’t han­dle being put into sit­u­a­tions where he’s going to be “stretched”, but some­one called of God responds to God’s call with hum­ble depen­dence on Him.                                

Lord, Bless us Accord­ing To Our

Com­mit­ment and Preparation



Choir/Orchestra Coun­cil Respon­si­bil­i­ties (Sam­ple)


  • 1. Assumes respon­si­bil­i­ty for the work of the entire coun­cil. *(see note below)
  • 2. Con­sults with the Direc­tor on a week­ly basis.
  • 3. Helps the Direc­tor cre­ate new ideas of choral ministry.
  • 4. Pre­sides over the month­ly and oth­er Coun­cil meetings.
  • 5. Staffs the new Coun­cil with the help of present coun­cil officers.
  • 6. Appoints all spe­cial com­mit­tees as needed.
  • 7. Serves as ex-offi­cio mem­ber of all committees.
  • 8. Strives to pro­mote good fel­low­ship and coop­er­a­tion among choir and orches­tra members.
  • 9. Min­is­ters to the needs of the Council.
  • 10. Meets and intro­duces to the choir all vis­i­tors and new members.
  • 11. Vis­its or phones chron­ic absentees.
  • 12. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.


1.  Col­lects atten­dance sheets from the Care Group Lead­ers each Wednesday.

  • 2. Tal­lies atten­dance sheets and gives copies to the Director.
  • 3. Main­tains infor­mal record of Coun­cil meetings.
  • 4. Attends month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 5. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.

Treasurer/Visitation Chair­man

  • 1. Pro­vides choir/orchestra mem­bers an oppor­tu­ni­ty each Wednes­day night to con­tribute to the Choir/Orchestra Fund.
  • 2. Per­son­al­ly respon­si­ble for deliv­er­ing flow­ers or an appro­pri­ate gift in accor­dance with estab­lished pol­i­cy to mem­bers who are hospitalized.
  • 3. Han­dles the send­ing of Gideon Liv­ing Memo­r­i­al Bibles in accor­dance with estab­lished pol­i­cy in mem­o­ry of deceased choir or orches­tra mem­bers or their imme­di­ate family.
  • 4. Make oth­er expen­di­tures as approved by the Choir/Orchestra (e.g. scarves and ties for choir mem­bers; recog­ni­tion of appre­ci­a­tion to music staff members.)
  • 5. Main­tains Funds for the above men­tioned responsibilities.
  • 6. Attends month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 7. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.

New Mem­ber Ori­en­ta­tion Chairman

  • 1. Enrolls all new mem­bers and explains Hand­book to them.
  • 2. Intro­duces each new mem­ber to Robe and Music Coordinators.
  • 3. Intro­duces new mem­bers to an assigned care group leader.
  • 4. Noti­fies Direc­tor and Pres­i­dent of all new members.
  • 5. Attends month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 6. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.

Care Group Leaders

  • 1. Checks week­ly atten­dance records of your assigned group and gives report to Secretary.
  • 2. Makes week­ly con­tact by phone, card or vis­it to absen­tees in your group (note absen­tees on Sun­day morn­ing, also, for appro­pri­ate fol­low up.)
  • 3. Ensures that new mem­bers to the group become famil­iar with the music fold­er, prac­tice pack­et, rehearsal rou­tine, etc. Enlist the help of a seat part­ner (not nec­es­sar­i­ly from your group) for the first night or two.
  • 4. Inform Pres­i­dent of any spe­cial needs from your group.
  • 5. Attend month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 6. Main­tain a dai­ly devo­tion prayer time.


  • 1. Assist mem­bers with robe fit­tings and music fold­er assignment.
  • 2. Coor­di­nates with Direc­tor to prop­er­ly assem­ble choir and orches­tra music fold­ers and prac­tice packets.
  • 3. Attends a month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 4. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.


  • 1. Orga­nizes Choir for entrance into choir loft for each ser­vice at which we sing.
  • 2. Attends month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 3. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.


  • 1. Respon­si­ble for send­ing cards in accor­dance with estab­lished pol­i­cy to choir and orches­tra mem­bers and their fam­i­ly mem­bers who are ill or bereaved.
  • 2. Attends month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 3. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.


  • 1. Main­tains pic­ture and scrap­book of all choir/orchestra events dur­ing the year.
  • 2. Attends month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 3. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.


  • 1. Greets mem­bers as they enter the room for practice.
  • 2. Points out mate­r­i­al on the side tables which needs to be added to folders.
  • 3. Attend month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 4. Main­tain a pri­vate dai­ly devo­tion time.


  • 1. Assumes respon­si­bil­i­ty for the over­all prayer min­istry of the Choir and orchestra.
  • 2. Deter­mines the best way of keep­ing the mem­bers informed and pray­ing for spe­cif­ic needs as they arise.
  • 3. Orga­nizes any spe­cial prayer emphases for spe­cial events i.e. mis­sion trips, sea­son­al pro­grams, etc.
  • 4. Attends month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 5. Main­tains a dai­ly prayer devo­tion time.


  • 1. Main­tains bul­letin board of choir mem­o­ra­bil­ia and music-relat­ed activities.
  • 2. Attends month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 3. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.


  • 1. Respon­si­ble for coor­di­nat­ing with the church Direc­tor of Preschool/Children to ensure nurs­ery staff will be avail­able when need­ed for mem­ber’s chil­dren for all rehearsals.
  • 2. Attends month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 3. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.


  • 1. Coor­di­nates and orga­nizes all Choir / Orches­tra social events includ­ing sched­ul­ing food and/or activities.
  • 2. Enlists the help of oth­er choir / orches­tra mem­bers as required.
  • 3. Attends month­ly Coun­cil meetings.
  • 4. Main­tains a dai­ly pri­vate devo­tion time.


1. Per­son­al­ly vis­its des­ig­nat­ed mis­sion trip churches.
2. Selects suit­able hotel accom­mo­da­tions for the choir/orchestra.
3. Pro­vides a report to the Direc­tor detail­ing facil­i­ties at the mis­sion loca­tion and any unusu­al require­ments which must be accommodated.
4. Pro­vide motel and dri­ving instruc­tions to the choir/orchestra.

God is not look­ing for Worship

He’s look­ing for Worshipers



The Mas­ter was search­ing for a ves­sel to use.
Before Him were many. Which one would He choose?
“Take me,” cried the gold one, “I’m shiny and bright.
I am of great val­ue, and I do things just right.
My beau­ty and lus­ter will out­shine the rest
And for some­one like You, Mas­ter, gold would be best.”

The Mas­ter passed on with no word at all
And looked at a sil­ver urn, nar­row and tall.
“I’ll serve you dear Mas­ter, I’ll pour out your wine.
I’ll be on your table, when­ev­er you dine.
My lines are so grace­ful, my carv­ings so true
And my sil­ver will cer­tain­ly com­pli­ment you.”

Unheed­ing, the Mas­ter passed on to the ves­sel of brass
Wide mouthed and shal­low and pol­ished like glass.
“Here, here,” cried the ves­sel, “I know I will do.
Place me on your table for all men to view…”

The Mas­ter came next to the ves­sel of wood
Pol­ished and carved, it solid­ly stood.
“You may use me, dear Mas­ter,” the wood­en bowl said,
But I’d rather you used me for fruit, not for bread…

Then the Mas­ter looked down on a ves­sel of clay,
Emp­ty and bro­ken it help­less­ly lay.
No hope had the ves­sel that the Mas­ter might choose
To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.
“Oh, this is the ves­sel I’ve been hop­ing to find.
I’ll mend it and use it and make it all mine.
I need not the ves­sel with the pride of itself.
Nor one that is nar­row, to sit on the shelf.
Nor one that is big-mouthed and shal­low and loud.
Nor one that dis­plays its con­tents so proud.”

Then gen­tly He lift­ed the ves­sel of clay,
Mend­ed and cleansed it and filled it that day.
He spoke to it kind­ly, “There’s work you must do.
Just pour out to oth­ers what I pour into you.”

God is at work in our Wor­ship Min­istry and there­fore it is an hon­or to serve Him by serv­ing oth­ers. Let’s always remem­ber to put Jesus first, Others next, and You (our­selves) last. Then, God will grant us His JOY and your min­istry will flour­ish (Matt.6:33). None of us are per­fect Chris­tians or musi­cians for that mat­ter, but, if allowed, God will mend us, clean us, and “tune” us for there is work to be done.