He points out that standing in front of the choir on Sunday mornings in worship may be one hour in length, but to grow a strong, vital faith community, the director must put in the time and effort to grow this dynamic. For instance, he breaks down the fifteen hour commitment into responsibilities, such as nurturing, mentoring, recruiting, coaching, and pastoral care, along with the normally obvious duties of rehearsal, worship participation, study, and preparation.
Pastoral care is sometimes considered the duty of the pastor or pastors. When I served a mega church, the two ministers in charge of pastoral care asked that all the staff consider themselves as providing pastoral care. Pastoral care can be defined in many ways. We often think of it as a duty in visiting people sick, in trauma, or hospitalized. It’s really having pastoral concern for the church member.
The music director is a great example of the transformational leader, in that we transform individual singers or instrumentalist into a choir or orchestra, and continue that transformation process to form ensemble. The ultimate transformation is the spiritual journey we lead in transforming people’s lives. Pastoral care is in important part of that journey and comes with any ministry job.
Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule for how much time to spend on this. It varies over time and there’s no constant. We remain in relationship with those in our care. I always visited choir members in the hospital because I was interested in who they were as individuals as well as choir members. I was not expected to do those visits. Typically, I was warmly received especially when the member was in the hospital for a length of time.
Ultimately, the church musician must create a work plan that includes all facets of the work over time: nurturing, mentoring, recruiting, coaching, rehearsal, worship participation, study, team, and preparation as well as pastoral care.Define what number of hours on average are needed for each on a weekly basis and then provide a number representing the percentage of overall time spent. Pastoral care, then might show up as 5% of the total time spent.
Be intentional in defining the scope of the work expected so that naysayers can be educated when wondering what work happens between Sundays. Educating the personnel committee and pastor on the background work necessary to be a fully engaged minister of music is essential.
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