Advancing your Part-Time Music Leader through Segmentation

black and white close up of a man's right arm strumming a guitar

Advancing your Part-Time Music Leader through Segmentation

Written By Roger Byrd

Advancing your Part-Time Music Leader through Segmentation

Usually, depending on how “Part-time” the position is, the music leader’s work can focus on a “segment,” or “segments” of the music ministry. If a music leader is employed to spend 10 hours a week in that ministry, then worship planning, working with the praise team, soloists, choir, or small groups is where they should be focused. As they move more toward full-time work, churches can then broaden their responsibilities and expectations.

Consider these four areas of work:

  1. Worship
  2. Music & Worship Development
  3. Children/Youth
  4. Ministry

These four work areas can be added together as the employee’s time increases. For instance:

Level 1. Worship (10 hours a week worker)

The church’s first area of music work should be in the worship services. The focus here is on everything having to do with worship and music. It involves the praise team, soloists, sound, instruments, choir, media, planning, directing, and evaluating.

Level 2. Music & Worship Development (Add another 10 hrs./wk., 20 hours total) 

Good worship leaders are developing your music leaders, creative team, sound technicians, and lighting personnel, determining the musical development, teaching, and enlisting people to serve the church and increase the musical ministry. At this level, you can ask for increased special programs by choirs and teams, introduce mission trips, and be concerned with discipleship development.

Level 3. Children/Youth (add to the above, 10 hrs./wk., 30 hours total)

Add developing children and youth musical ministries. This can include children’s music, youth music or bands, musicals, preschool music, and developing leaders for these age groups. Children’s and youth worship ministries will fuel the church’s musical abilities in the future. If the young people are not being developed now, the church will struggle for music leaders in the future.

Level 4. Ministry (Full-time, 40 hrs./wk.)

The ministry level adds any responsibility not achieved in the first three. You can have complete staff and ministry/visitation responsibilities; complete church musical involvement to the level the church needs and desires; complete office responsibility for musical or worship needs such as weddings, funerals, meetings, conferences, ministry, visitation, and beyond.

Each level contains different expectations from office involvement to complete ministry responsibility. The various “required meetings” can increase as time increases. A quarter-time worker may only need to attend a once-a-month staff planning meeting. And, where it is not terrible to expect that a “10-hour” worker might visit someone in the hospital or at home occasionally, it is hard to demand they be at outreach each Tuesday night if their paid time is used on the music ministry. 1 Timothy 5:18 reminds us that “…the laborer is worthy of his reward.” If you expect outreach to be a part of the job, it must be included in the full scope of expectations.

About the Author

Roger Byrd
Church Matters Team, California Southern Baptist Convention

Roger Byrd is a member of the CSBC Church Matters Initiatives Team. His primary responsibility is to work with churches in the Count the Cost ministry for new churches and those in need of revitalization. Roger also supports the ministry of music and worship for CSBC congregations, as well as prayer ministry.

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