Excerpted from an article by David Jordan published in the January 2015 Pro-Motion Music Newsletter.
Let’s face it, for years we have kind of had our way in how we created “church music.” Now, looking in our rear view mirror, we see that many of the tried and true ways of that past are not working as well. Hmm… The choir is disappearing, many of the new hymns are singable, but just not very musical. And a lot of people don’t seem too bothered by it. Hmm…
Does this forebode an era where people are no longer interested in church music? “Heavens” no! In fact, their interest may still be quite strong. But everything around us seems to be changing. Well, Dave, what are we supposed to do, learn how to use “Rock” to get people interested?
First of all let’s calm down and use the term MIP.
MIPs are the new VIPs of church music.
MIP stands for Musically Interested Person. Not necessarily trained, not necessarily someone who has been involved for 30 years, but some who might have some experience, and really does like “church music.”
MIPs really do want to help, really do like music, and want to worship God and help other people do the same. These are people who are willing to follow someone who has some expertise, of course, but more importantly who cares about each one of the MIPs. They need to feel welcomed – not like they are auditioning for American Idol.
How do you lead people interested in music into the future together? How do you lead them into thinking about doing things differently? How do you make it
easy for them to participate and become part of the music community in your church? You’re still the leader, that hasn’t changed, but maybe there are some things that could make your leadership easier and more effective.
We still want to maintain
- Excellent, beautifully performed music that helps draw people closer to God
- A place for more people to sing, play, or just support what you do
- A community that builds each other and the church.
What if in choosing music for worship, you chose music your choir could do beautifully and elegantly rather than difficult “standards” that aren’t done well, and well, “don’t sound so great.”
What if we redefined a few things and realized that Musically Interested People:
· Really do want to participate but not painfully so
· Really do want to help but not as an avocation
· Really do want to do well, but not take the joy out of music
What if instead of a 3 hour evening rehearsal which most people don’t have the time or interest to do, the choir rehearses/really focuses on Sunday morning for an hour to prepare an anthem and lead the service really well? Most MIPs will really appreciate this rehearsal plan and be willing to attend (instead of having to make another excuse about missing Thursday night rehearsal). What if we got to the point that this was our new reality and we could lead and build from there?
Let’s look for ideas that could help all of us build a community of VIP MIPs into a vital part of the church and music program. A fellowship, if you will, of like-minded intentional Musically Interested People who want to serve in some way, and not only feel good about it but have a pride in the fact that they did something really well? Are you excited? I know I am just thinking about it.
David Jordan, media specialist and his wife, concert organist Dr. Jeannine Jordan are the creators and performers of two multi-media organ concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.