Whether they know it or not most churches chase musicians and artists. They either chase after them or they chase them away.
Chasing After Artists
Have you ever heard of a church that pays a drummer from outside the church family to show up on Sundays?
How about a church that lets a guitar player stay on the worship team even after he’s left his wife and kids?
I know of examples of both of these situations. This is just my opinion but these churches seem to value “the artist” over community in the case of the drummer or people in the case of the guitar player.
I know of churches that have policies on who can be involved in the worship team but will break them without a second thought if they are a good enough musician. Imagine if we did that with the children’s ministry?
Chasing Artists Away
The flip side of the church that idolizes “the artist” is the one who shuns them. “Go be creative somewhere else,” they say. “The church isn’t the place for artistic expression” they might tell you. But they will often look down on the bass player when he joins a band that plays in the local bars or the graphic designer that falls in with a loose crowd of artists who don’t shun them.
Challenging The Artist
The goal I have is not to chase but to challenge. As the music director at my church I don’t want to chase after musicians. If I find out someone plays an instrument I’ll talk to them but I try not pressure and I don’t want to bend rules or policy due to talent.
But I also don’t want to chase them away. I want to find a place for the artists that God adds to our church family. I’d rather see them create for God’a glory in the context of our church family than outside of it.
I want to challenge our musicians and artists to be creative servants. I want to challenge them as family members to serve the same way we would a deacon or Sunday school teacher.
I will use and be thankful for the artist God gives us and I hope and pray that I challenge them rather than chase them away.