A Philosophy of Worship and Arts

This was written during “Intro to Music Ministry” in Fall ’07, as a potential model for a Worship Arts Ministry. Please email me with any feedback, julie@nulljulie-h.com. Thanks!

Shape of the Ministry

The shape of the Worship and arts ministry will be determined according to the gifts of the body of believers.God has placed each member within the body for a purpose; all who are gifted should have a place to serve.(1 Corinthians 12) This service may occur during corporate worship times, or in service to other ministries in the church; for example, small group worship, prayer meetings, children’s or youth ministry. It may also occur through outreach ministry that takes place within the community at large.(1 Samuel 16:23, Joshua 6, Acts 16:25)

The worship and arts ministry shall include vocal and instrumental music ministries. Depending upon the gifts of the body, the Worship and Arts Ministry might also include drama and creative writing1,2, dance (Psalm 150:4, 2 Sam 6:14, Ecc 3:4, Jer 31:4, 13), visual arts & craftsmanship and digital media ministries (web, audio, video, and digital photography) 3, or other artistic ministries. These additional arts ministries will be considered if there is congregational support for that area of ministry, a skilled person available to lead the ministry, and skilled servants desiring to share their gifts in that area.

Administration

Worship & Arts Ministries will be overseen by the Director of Worship and Arts, in consultation with the Senior Pastor. The Director of Worship and Arts will oversee the Creative Team and the Music Council.

The Creative Team will consist of both artistic and technical members responsible for coordinating the details of worship services. This group will meet weekly, no later than Wednesday, to finalize details of the coming week’s services, reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of the previous week’s services, and begin planning future services.This group will include the Director of Worship and Arts, the Service Coordinator, the Vocal music leader, the Instrumental music leader, the Technical Director (sound, lighting, video), and the leaders of each additional artistic ministry involved with services. It may also include leaders of special teams such as hospitality and communion.The preaching pastor may choose to join the group, or may instead meet separately with the worship leader or service coordinator.

The Music Council shall consist of the President and Director of each creative ministry group, at least one member of each wider church leadership group (elder board, deacons, deaconesses), and at least two members of the congregation at large.This group shall meet quarterly, and will discuss issues such as administration, budgeting, vision, and planning.

Committees for special projects will be established on an as needed basis.

Leadership

Leaders of arts area ministries must be members of the church, skilled in their art, who have been participants in that ministry for a minimum of at least one year. Bachelors level experience in the art form, or equivalent experience, is desirable. New leaders will be assistants to existing leaders, or in the case of new ministries, lead in consultation with the Director of Worship and Arts, over a period of six months, before leading independently. (Matthew 25:21)

Area leaders will be responsible for administration, recruitment, budgeting, and vision casting for their ministries in consultation with the Director of Worship and Arts and music council. Within a reasonable period of time after stepping into leadership, leaders will be expected to mentor an assistant. (2 Timothy 2:1-3)

All individual ministry leaders will be members of the arts equipping group. The group will meet monthly to support current and future arts ministry leaders. Areas of focus will be practical artistic skills, spiritual development, and leadership. All members of the equipping group will submit and work towards meeting personal ministry goals, both spiritual and artistic, on an annual basis. (Psalm 78:72, 1 Chronicles 15:22)

Participation

All who participate in the worship and arts ministry groups must be active followers of Christ, both hearers and doers of the word. They must regularly attend corporate worship, and be growing in knowledge and depth of insight as part of a bible study or in an accountability relationship. (Matthew 13:19-23, Ezekiel 33:30-32, Matthew 7:24-27)

Anyone desiring to participate in worship and arts ministry groups must schedule a time to meet with the ministry leader of that arts group. Those meetings might also be attended by the Director of Worship and Arts. This allows leadership to become familiar with the individual and their gifting, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and find the best place for their service.

Selection of Material Used in Worship

All artistic expression used in worship must be theologically and biblically sound. Artistic offerings may be prayers of petition, thanks, or praise (1 Chronicles 16:4), recount what God is doing and has done (Exodus 15, Judges 5, 2 Samuel 22), or may simply be a celebration of his presence (2 Samuel 6). Artistic offerings will be evaluated to be sure that everyone who will offer them to the Lord may offer them truthfully. Artistic offerings may also be used to teach the gathered assembly about God, and to help them remember those truths. (Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 3:19, Deut 31-32)

Every artistic element in corporate worship should be a participatory experience for the entire congregation. Participation may take place in many different forms, including singing, movement, prayer, or reflection. Less familiar methods of participation will be modeled and explained within the context of corporate worship services.

All artistic expressions of worship should be skillfully constructed and offered. (Psalm 33:3, 1 Chronicles 25:6-7)

New artistic expressions of worship will be encouraged. (Psalm 33:3, Psalm 40:3, Psalm 96:1, Psalm 98:1, Psalm 144:9, Psalm 149:1, Isaiah 42:10, Revelation 5:9, Revelation 14:3 )

The Director of Worship and Arts, in consultation with the senior pastor, and ministry leaders, will oversee the theological and artistic content of offerings of worship.

Education

Of the Congregation

Every member of the congregation should be able to articulate a biblical definition of worship and corporate worship. Education will take place during corporate worship time, and through devotional material provided in the bulletin, church newsletter, or on the church website.

To aid in the musical education of the congregation, the musical liturgy of the church will be available in both aural and printed forms. A podcast or internet radio station, which includes all songs currently used in congregational worship, will be made available for aural learners, and printed sheet music will be provided for visual learners.

The teaching contained within artistic offerings should be understood and put into practice. (Ezekiel 33:30-32) To aid in this understanding, devotionals will be provided for each new offering when it is introduced to the congregation.

Of participants in Artistic Ministries

Artistic training will take place within the context of regular meetings and rehearsals. Additionally, a library of resources relating to worship and the arts will be developed and made available for check out by individuals on the artistic teams as a way to help them grow in their knowledge and ability.A resource list of qualified local teachers will also be kept up to date and made available to members of the arts ministries. Outside teachers and clinicians may be invited to come and share with artistic teams, and worship conference information will be made available to members of the arts ministries.

Of future church leaders

Arts ministry internships will be developed for those who feel a call to part or full time ministry within the local church. These may be summer intensives or yearlong internships. Areas of emphasis will be determined on an individual basis, depending upon the needs and interests of the prospective intern and the church.


1Storytelling: Exodus 12:1-30, Exodus 35:30-36:1, Luke 10:25-37; Prophetic Performance Art: Ezekiel 4:1-13; Symbolic Pantomimes: Matthew 26:26-28, Matthew 3:1-6, 13-17, John 13:3-17, Acts 21:10-11. References take from George Halitzka, “The Bible and Drama Ministry,” speech delivered to Church Drama Director’s Workshop, April 14, 2007, Iowa City, IA.

2See also Psalm 45:1.

3There are too many biblical references to list them all. Examples can be found in 1 Kings 7:13-51; 2 Chronicles 2:13, 14, Exodus 31:2-14; 35:30-35, Genesis 4:21, Genesis 4:22. See the Topical Index on Biblegateway.com under the heading Artisans, Skillful for 44 individual entries.