Visioning Process for Congregations

As you embark on your journey to find a church musician, it is an opportune time to take a closer look at what your congregation’s vision is for your music ministry programs. Don’t feel rushed into the hiring process. Take time to look at where your congregation has been, where you are now, and where you want to be in the future. Too often, this may be overlooked. It is important, as you look to hire that next musician, in order to get the right person for what you are looking to accomplish.

Here are some questions that can help you discern more about your situation:

  • What is your congregation’s mission statement, and how does music support that mission?
  • What is the history of music within your congregation?
  • What worship styles are predominant and/or important to your congregation?
  • What parts of your music program best reflect your congregational identity?
  • What things do you do well?
  • What opportunities exist for development—either for new things or for bettering existing things?
  • What is the role of music within your congregation?
  • Are there specific age-group needs or wants?
  • Are there specific community needs or wants?
  • How important is the music ministry for your congregation?

These are but a few questions that can lead to good conversation. Be careful not to automatically look for someone who is a carbon copy of the person you are replacing. The outgoing person has left a mark and has implemented his/her own styles and thoughts. That is important, and that may feel like a rock upon which to build. However, imagine the possibilities that might go unseen if you don’t take the time to consider such questions as those above. In fairness to the individual leaving, the individual being hired, and the entire church family, you need to allow space for growth and unique contributions.

You may end up actually hiring someone very similar to the departing person, but when you take the time for discernment you can be assured that you are building the foundation for a program that fits within the larger body. Additionally, this allows your congregation to start the process by seeking an individual to meet those needs that you think are important for moving forward—possibly expanding or trying something new.

Never feel rushed! When we call new pastors, there is a very deliberate process set forth that takes time to complete. The same should be true for church musicians.