Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving to Advent

It's that time of year when church workers, especially music makers, find themselves up to their eyeballs with stuff to do. Cantatas, special music, Christmas Eve services, etc. demand their attention. And as a result they tend to suffer burnout quickly and find themselves unable to enjoy the holiday season that begins on Thanksgiving Day.

And that's not how it should be.

What can the church do to help these selfless servants? Is there a way to take some of the stress off of them as they go into one of the busiest seasons of the church year? Or does anyone not involved with the music ministry truly understand what it takes to prepare the music offering for this special time of year?

Most, if not all, church choirs prepare their music 4-6 weeks out from when they offer it on Sunday, and with a cantata it takes even longer. It's not a "happy coincidence that the music matches the Scripture or the message the preacher gives. It's all planned out, weeks in advance. And this planning doesn't just involve the rehearsal time with the choir. The director often spends countless hours prior to that time listening to music, reading Scripture, talking with the pastor, and coordinating with the organist (if there is one) for each week's music. Add into this mix any special music offering, or a choral cantata, and the time required becomes even greater. And unless the director is a full time employee of the local church (not very often- usually part time or a volunteer) they also have an outside job that has its own requirements.

So this year ask your director of music if there's anything you can do to help take the strain off of them. Even if it's something as simple as helping set up chairs for a rehearsal. Be a servant to the music servants.