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. Â 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.