Any of you music ministers ever had this problem?

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by poodle78, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. poodle78

    poodle78
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been a minister of music in mostly Southern Baptist churches for going on 22 years. What is going on now just beats me, and I wonder how any of you might handle it.

    Our pastor is a Bob Jones graduate, and I tell you this just as an aside, because he himself is not a part of the problem. But because he is a BJU graduate, this has drawn others who are from the old BJ school (that everything is a sin) to our membership. Now, the problem. Christmas. More specifically, the Christmas musical I have selected to do. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this; it is typical for a Christmas musical that comes straight off the shelf at Lifeway. As is found in just about all of the Christmas musicals found at Lifeway, it contains selections that are what I will call uptempo numbers. I bought the listening pack and played it for the choir one Wednesday night. I realize I may have made a mistake in what I did next, but I let the choir vote on whether or not they wanted to do this one, of if they wanted me to keep looking. Of those who expressed a preference (because there were some who didn't care one way or the other), an overwhelming majority of 85% voted to do this one with the pre-recorded soundtrack. So you know, more didn't care whether we did it with the CD or with just our pianist & organist than didn't want to use the CD at all. May I add that the vast majority of this music sounds as though it was lifted note for note and beat for beat from a Bill Gaither Homecoming video. The most evil song sounds as though it is a choral arrangement of a song sung by the southern gospel group, The Martins.

    It just so happens that 2 (one who was in attendance that night and one who was not) who did not want to use the CD at all are of the BJU mindset. When they heard the demo CD, I might as well have just sacrificed an infant to Satan.
    They both declined to participate in the Christmas musical, which of course is their choice. One, however, has taken it upon herself to not only not participate, but to also stop this Chistmas musical from being done at all. She has e-mailed me telling me she did not come to church looking for an "experience" (in reference to a large charismatic church here in town) and how sad she was that I and those who wanted to sing this music couldn't see how this didn't fit into a church service. But she didn't stop there. She has begun pressuring the pastor (remember that he is a BJU grad) to stop this musical. I have talked to him several times and each time he has told me that I could do whatever music I wanted to with his full support.

    Tonight, there was a meeting between this lady, her husband, and the pastor. I was not there; I don't know the outcome.

    So, here is the dilemma: I can either not do this music (or possibly do it without the CD) and cave in to pressure and risk making the others angry, or continue on and endure.

    What would you do?????
     
  2. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Take the advice from the Pastor...
     
  3. pocadots1990

    pocadots1990
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with tinytim. The Pastor is the one you answer to and not the choir. Personally, I would not have let the choir have a say in the matter. When I was a Minister of Music, I selected the contatas after much prayer and listening to the tapes. Usually, if I didn't like one, I would not get through the first song.

    After selecting one and plan out what you want to do, then sit down and talk with the pastor about your plans.
     
  4. LeBuick

    LeBuick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great advice... I was thinking the same thing. And if you don't hear contrary anything, keep pressing on!
     
  5. TaterTot

    TaterTot
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I think I would talk with the pastor, of course, then:
    1) either go on and do what you feel is right - You are the director
    2) Choose another one without asking for input and tell them that this is what we will be doing for Christmas.

    Keep us posted. We understand the ownership mentality found in some churches.
     
  6. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    17,933
    Likes Received:
    8
    Listen to the pastor, pray about what you want to do it, then do it.

    You will always have critics and pains in the gluteus maximus.
     
  7. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,193
    Likes Received:
    374
    Yep - I agree that you're going to have to listen to what the pastor says as is this woman. I honestly think that even if you had just chosen this program that you would have still hit an issue with this woman. I don't see how giving a choice makes a difference because even with the choice made, she's still pushing to dump it.

    I hope things work out to God's glory. :D
     
  8. poodle78

    poodle78
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all your input

    The situation was resolved last night.

    I understand from some of you that I should not have given the choir a vote. Please understand that I have been at this church for less than 2 years. I was at my last church for over 14 and almost from the get-go we were in tune, so to speak. They did pretty much whatever I asked, and so I started getting their opinions on things they were going to sing. I thought it could carry over to this church. Last year, the same couple told me that they wouldn't sing in a cantata that used recorded music. I thought, wrongly as it turned out, that if the majority was against them they would comply. Live and learn, I guess.

    But as I said, the situation has been resolved. The pastor had a meeting with the husband and wife and they have decided (their decision) not to sing in the choir at all until after Christmas.
     
  9. Sopranette

    Sopranette
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,828
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just this one woman is going to stop everyone else from having a good Christmas show? Sounds more like a power struggle, and not true conviction. Don't let her get to you. I don't see anything wrong in asking the choir what they think of the music choice. I mean, what if you had selected music that everyone disliked, and never knew they felt this way? It would make for one dismal program!

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  10. Timsings

    Timsings
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    0
    My father faced a difficult situation back in the mid-1960's. He was the interim minister of music, and he wanted the choir to do a collection of original settings of hymn texts by Isaac Watts. My father worked in the music department of the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, and he had helped publish this music. He went to the pastor, told him what he wanted to do, and said that if the choir did the music, he would have to tell his friend. If he told him, he would want to come hear the performance. The problem was that the friend was African-American. The pastor told him to go ahead. Eventually, word got out. At one choir rehearsal, when they began to rehearse the music, one woman asked if the man who had composed the music were black. Dad said she was. She got up, put her folder away, walked out, and never returned. There were a few other comments that filtered back to Dad (some of them too nasty to mention here), but the Sunday evening performance went off without a hitch.

    I suggest, as others have, that you work closely with the pastor. If he is supportive of what you are doing, then a small minority should not be able to gain support. I might also say that I do not like the use of recorded music to accompany the choir or soloists, but that is my preference. You have to do what is best for your situation, what best helps your congregation to worship in the most meaningful way. Good luck, and keep us posted on how things are going.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  11. LeBuick

    LeBuick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good, makes room for true laborers... :wavey: :wavey:


    Be sure to thank your pastor for backing you... Oh to be a fly on the wall in that meeting.
     
  12. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,659
    Likes Received:
    225
    Nothing's resolved. Have you asked the couple what the bases of the objections were? It seems to me that all you did was get support to trample the consciences of two people for the sake of your own desires. You're basically telling them that they don't matter.

    Merry Christmas!
     
  13. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    17,933
    Likes Received:
    8
    Actually, he does think they matter, or he wouldn't be going through this.

    Some people are just troublemakers. If you don't agree with the music, don't sing.
     
  14. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,659
    Likes Received:
    225
    Au contraire! If he weren't self-willed he wouldn't be going through this.
     
  15. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    17,933
    Likes Received:
    8
    Everyone is self willed.
     
  16. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aren't you sowing seeds of dicord here?
    In a Baptist church the majority rules... not 2 troublemakers
     
  17. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,454
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Aaron on this one. The Word of God says,

    Romans 12:18 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

    Sounds to me like there was no effort to even consider the reasons the 15% did not want the music. And the two that were messaging you should have at least been heard with an open heart. Then prayer as to the direction God wanted you to go. Sounds like your mind was made up from the beginning.
     
  18. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ultimately the pastor made the decision....

    So it sounds like the trouble makers were not trying to live peaceably with the church body as a whole....

    Should a church be held captive to troublemakers? Just because they disagree with the body as a whole?

    If so, then why do we vote on anything?

    OK, let's play this out in another real life situation....

    The church has a vote to go to 2 services on Sunday morning.
    85% vote to do it
    15% vote not to...

    So should the church not do it because it might offend 15%?
    That would be ridiculous...

    The majority rules... at least in every Baptist church I have been in.
    If someone disagrees with the majority so much they want to cause discord, they need to pack their bags, and move on down the street to another like minded church.

    If we waited until decisions were unanimous, nothing would get done!!!
    After all we are Baptists... and even disagree with ourselves!! lol

    If I were in a church, and the church voted 85-15% to sing only hymns... I would go along with it! Not go around trying to cause trouble...
    And If I couldn't go along with it, I would move on.
     
    #18 tinytim, Sep 11, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2007
  19. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,454
    Likes Received:
    0
    The majority is not always what God wants for His people. God often conveyed that message in the Old Testament.
     
  20. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    17,933
    Likes Received:
    8
    The only thing I will say in the couple's defense is maybe the music director should have sat down with them and talked with them. But the couple did go to the pastor without sitting down with the music director.
     

Share This Page

Loading...