It is our belief at Living Word that the music team is a vital part to the ministry of this body of believers. Consequently, members should view their function as Ministers of the gospel through music and song - actually as a part of the Levitical priesthood of Christ's church. Therefore, members should be responding to a call from God, our Father, to render this service as unto Him in a manner worthy of His calling.
Membership on the music team (in any way) is a position of Christian leadership. The primary function then, is to lead, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the congregation at hand in true worship. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth". (John 4:24) We emphasize that our purpose and calling is that of leading others into the very presence of the Living God. There is no calling issued for "performances" and "showmanship" - - only true praise and worship. Therefore, members must strive continually through prayer and example to be pure of heart before God and others.
The vision for the COTLW Music Department is to maintain a musical program of excellence. We desire to have a praise/worship team(s), including singers and musicians, choirs for special performances, dramas, and live recordings of praise/worship. Special programs for younger children will also be available at times.
GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS:
It is very important that those who participate in the Music Team(s) feel that they are "called, appointed, and anointed" to the ministry at hand.
Participants must be born-again believers of Christ, and their lifestyle must resemble that of a born-again Christian.
Participants must be worshipers on and off the platform. Anyone who has difficulty worshiping at home or in the congregation is not ready to be a leader!
Talent, Skill, and Auditions
Auditions are generally required, the musician and vocalists need to have enough skill so that they can follow the Holy Spirit. Musicians and vocalists should have open hearts to receive advice, correction, training, and should be committed to becoming proficiently skilled at their ministry. "Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it". (1 Chronicles 15:22 NIV) One does not need to be a professional musician to worship the Lord, but God honors the discipline of additional practice and preparation. "Failing to prepare is preparing for failure".
Members should be committed, members of the church who are dedicated to the leadership and pastor(s) of COTLW. This commitment includes their prayers, regular attendance, and tithes/offerings. It is asked that the commitment on the music team be considered a major commitment, and that it not be frequently disregarded for other events.Ministry Team first, personally agenda’s second.
Attendance and Punctuality
Attendance and punctuality are very important factors for being a member of the music team(s). Rehearsals are required, and members should arrive ready to work on the designated material. Poor attendance and punctuality reflect a lack of discipline and respect for the Lord's ministry.
Dress and Attire
As leaders, members must dress properly. Realizing that outward appearance is not judged by God, we affirm that others may be offended by improper attire. ". . . if eating meat offends my brother, I will eat no meat". Consequently, members are encouraged to be neat, clean, and appropriately dressed for all services. (T-shirts, old jeans, sweats, short skirts, etc. are not considered appropriate for most services) Let's go into the Lord's presence with respect. "All the Levites who were musicians . . . stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linens . . . ". (2 Chronicles 5:12, NIV)
New Applicants and Waiting Periods
Under most circumstances, new applicants to the music team will be required to attend several practices and rehearsals before "taking the platform". Additional reading may also be required, at the discretion of the church leadership. All participants are encouraged to read Exploring Worship by Bob Sorge, Glory by Ruth Ward Heflin, and Called, Appointed, Anointed by Janny Grein. An ongoing, accountability relationship with the Minister of Music, or head of the Music Department, is also required.A meeting with the Pastor to confirm commitment.
Sound Engineers, Visual Equipment Operators, TV, Etc.
Sound engineers and visual equipment operators are important members of the music ministry. Visual equipment operators are asked to arrive early, so that song & duties can be selected. These members should be quick to respond when a job is needed. The sound engineers are also asked to arrive early, and help the music team as much as possible. Sound engineers must be alert and responsive, especially during the worship, and should be ready to make adjustments with quickness!
Schedule Conflicts, Etc.
If at any time, a member (including TV equipment operators, sound engineers, etc.) cannot attend a service, rehearsal, etc. they must notify the Minister of Music or office in advance if at all possible so that proper adjustments can be made.
* It is important to state that these guidelines are open to interpretation due to unusual circumstances, events, etc. These instances will be determined by the leadership of Church Of The Living Word. It is also important to state that these guidelines apply to those who participate in the music ministry on a regular basis, not those who participate in special programs, special music, etc outside the Praise and Worship team.
Lastly, open communication is of vital importance. If at any time a member is confused, discouraged, or unhappy with the way things may be happening at a given time, they are encouraged to speak with the Music Minster, and Pastoral leadership. The only way to deal with hurt feelings, resentment, confusion, etc. is to bring it out into the open so that the Lord can work it out.