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5 tips to strengthen your worship music

SUMMARY: Whether you are singing a hymn, praying quietly to yourself or dancing like King David, it's all worship if your heart is in the right place. Worship takes many different forms, but a good music ministry is key to creating a hospitable environment for worshiping God.

These music ministry tips apply to either contemporary or traditional worship services. 

1. Build upon the spiritual gifts of the congregation. 
Often church leaders try to do too much themselves. They focus so much on their own strengths that they overlook the strengths in the church community.  Hiring a passionate music director offers tips on what to look for in a good worship leader. So does the Board of Discipleship's website article outlining the Job Description for the Music Committee in a United Methodist Congregation.  Check out more worship resources from the Board of Discipleship listed at the end of this article.

2. Evaluate your worship service 
Invite some people from outside of your church, who are unbiased about worship styles, to evaluate your services. If the consensus is that things are a bit boring, then it might be time for a tuneup. Speaking of which…

3. Tune up!
Out-of-tune instruments create noise pollution and distract some people from worship. Stringed instruments are the most frequent culprits. Make sure the worship leader has all the tuners needed and that they are used before rehearsal and performance.

4. Audition singers!
An out-of-tune guitar is temporary. A tone-deaf singer is forever. That is why - especially in larger churches where the number of potential choristers is greater - you might consider auditions. Some singers will tell you their voice is great, and to them it probably is, but to everyone else it can be excruciating to hear. Give God your first fruits and your best gifts. Explain gently to those who are "vocally challenged" that you would like to explore some other opportunities for them to serve.

5. Audition musicians!
Place an ad in Craigslist or the local newspaper calling for trained musicians to be a part of your congregation's worship team. Conduct auditions and decide if the musicians are a good fit musically--and spiritually.

The more intentional you are in making your worship service an excellent gift to God, the more likely you are to connect with today's culture. You cannot rely solely on the worship gathering for spiritual transformation. However, it often is the front door to other opportunities for growing as disciples.

-- Darby Jones, eMarketing Coordinator at United Methodist Communications.