I have been thinking more and more about the relational part of my job, and how much I need the folks in my church community.
Back when I was travelling a lot, I would leave town on a plane and be met by a stranger or a distant acquaintance. For the next several days, I would eagerly interact with all kinds of people, old friends, young kids, and generally fans.
When I returned home, I had this feeling of escaping from the inordinate attention of adulation, and I re-embraced the close nuclear family that was my own. When I went to New City for church, I was helping out with the music program, and often people would come at me with a barrage of requests for more music, more ideas, more performance. I developed an attitude of defensiveness to others.
Now I am a music drector in that same church, and we are providing many of the services that folks used to clamor for. But we don't do it without people. Lately, some of our leading volunteers have been moving on in their lives to other priorities. I am realizing that new people must be recruited for the key positions of song leader, lead tenor, and text operator. We must get on the phones and recruit.
I have received phone calls from my alma mater or from the local fire and police association, asking me for support and for participation. I receive emails from community organizations looking for my involvement. I am now getting Facebook invitations to come to art openings and wine tastings. Is this what we need to do in the church-- have phone campaigns?
The church is, to some degree, in competition with the rest of society for the energy and talent of our volunteers. On a bad Sunday, I'll think, "what do people think, does worship grow on trees?" Every fall at this time, I can plan on some of my youth choir disappearing until the school play is over in early November, or until soccer season is through.
So the relational aspect of music ministry is as important as the music itself. People need to be valued, to be respected, to be loved. I'm about to go to work now, and may God help me not to resent people but to seek them out. I can spend all week on great music charts, but if the brothers and sisters and mothers aren't in place, I am a clanging cymbal. ( I Corinthians 13:2)