Sunday, August 16, 2009


One of my favorite relatives (and friend and role model and former church musician - more on that later) passed through Ohio and spent the night at our house. It was a great chance to catch up, and of course part of our discussion was about church music. One thing that he said has stuck in my mind this week. He mentioned that he misses being a part of music ministry, but it's his belief that he is no longer qualified because of "where he is with his faith" (in other words, his questioning of faith).

It actually makes me a bit sad that he would think church music requires anything akin to doctrinal purity or perfect faith or anything of that sort. I highly doubt anyone in the church who would claim to have a full and complete understanding of God. I think that healthy skepticism and doubt should spur reading, study, and discussion. We are all part of an imperfect creation, on a quest for understanding. In my opinion, being a church musician requires technical skill, an understanding of basic theology and how music can enhance it, and a desire/work ethic for high quality music.

Imperfection is the norm, and no amount of practice will ever overcome it. The church exists to minister to the imperfect, just as Christ did, and it's important that we don't impose a double standard on church employees.

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