4 Responses

  1. Duane Toole
    Duane Toole January 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm |

    There are countless stories of musicians who have been “asked to resign” or have been told to “seek another ministry” opportunity for a variety of reasons, none of which are very loving or even very Christian.

    Often, it’s just a new pastor who wants to “form my own worship team,” and to bring in his old musician friend. Sometimes the reason is that “the church isn’t growing” under your ministry. There is one church in my past that asked for the resignation of the (full-time) education, then the musician, and finally the pastor over a period of four years. (This inner-city church finally gave up and moved to the suburbs, where it still struggles 30 years later.) I know another local church whose pastor didn’t like the traditional music ministry (three services, one of which was “contemporary”), and so gave the primary musician more and more duties until the musician gave up and “retired.” And another church which had a part-time associate pastor that required more and more of their full-time musician to encourage her to quit so that they could hire a part-time musician and a full-time associate pastor.

    Sometimes a position lasts 30 years and then the musician is essentially fired, but usually, the time before either a move or a termination is rarely more than 5 years. One seminary professor I know recently stated that the average stay for a musician at a church in his denomination is two years.

    Of course, we know of great churches who treat their musicians well, too; many of us have had careers at a single church for our entire ministry-lives.

    I cannot help but think that there should be a difference in a church and a corporation. Shouldn’t churches treat their staffs in a more loving way?

    Reply
    1. Vern Sanders
      Vern Sanders January 21, 2015 at 1:52 pm |

      Duane -

      I agree that the ways of parting can be many, but often the core value in such a move is either power or change, both of which can be a two-edged sword.

      Interestingly enough, I dealt with the pastor as CEO in an article entitled Funny How Time Slips Away http://cmag.ws/y (you’ll need to be logged in to read it).

      Reply
  2. Vicki Carr
    Vicki Carr January 24, 2015 at 1:21 pm |

    Been there. And even though it was a year ago, and God has shown me His loving-kindness and provision as He redirected my path, the memory of the event is still painful and mystifying. I realize that changes in the church are inevitable, and pushing out someone who has a 19-year history with ANY organization is difficult to accomplish without hurt. Nevertheless, I believe that through such an uproot a new chapter can begin, and we can exercise our faith by not depending on our past reputation, nor the comfort of the familiar, but by leaning on God’s secure guidance.

    Reply
  3. Suzanne
    Suzanne January 26, 2015 at 8:20 pm |

    Reading these articles today has been encouraging because we seem to be seeing a lot of changes in our lives and in our church. However, we have had superb leadership in the 50 years we have been members of our church. We had a wonderful choir director for 21 years and I will never forget that our ministry is to lead people to listen to the words of God through our music. True, we have people who walk out on things but we just pray that somehow God will work HIS miracles for all of us. This last year I suffered the loss of 2 jobs at church but the amazing thing is that I now talk to the Lord and praise HIM for moving me on because I am so much better off now with less responsibility. Amazingly I am as busy as ever and pray that all those who have lost positions are feeling strong and much loved.

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