Collaborating Together Better
Pay attention to your relationship with the pastor. You can’t do your job without him or her.
The above is one of the tips from my eBook 111 Tips to Survive Music Ministry. Let me unpack it a bit…
What kind of connection do you have with your pastor? Every pastor and every church musician can tell stories about terrific–and challenging–relationships. Here are some suggestions for musicians of ways to work on your side of it:
First of all, be interested in the pastor as a human being. Even if your job is part-time and you have a hundred other commitments, don’t simply rush in and out. Slow down when you see the pastor in passing and ask a question. Find out what the pastor is interested in personally and professionally. You’re not doing it simply because it’s a nice thing to do, although it is. When the pastor knows you are interested, your relationship will grow. If your relationship with the pastor is better, your job will be easier. You will have more credibility and more capital with the pastor and with the church at large.
Second, position yourself as a positive partner. Ask, “What can I do to support you in worship planning?” Try to say yes when you can, within the limits of the time available. State your position when you have a different perspective than the pastor does, but don’t argue. Over time, the pastor may come to see things your way, if you are positive and patient.
Finally, notice what you appreciate about the pastor more than the things that drive you crazy. Don’t repeatedly review (in your head or to others) the latest last-minute request or after-worship criticism. Pay attention to what is working, and, tell the pastor, even if it has nothing to do with music. When I was preaching every Sunday, if the musician said, “That was a good sermon today!” I gave it more weight than your average at-the-door post-sermon comment.
As Paul said, “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18). So far as it depends on you, live peaceably with your pastor.
What are ways you have discovered to work better together with your pastor? Please share in the comments below.
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