I read an article recently that has bothered me. I have tried to not write about it but I am going to have to. The article was entitled There Is No Such Thing As A Music Minister.
To understand that music ministry is, in fact, a ministry, let us define ministry/minister:
Minister – Properly, a chief servant; hence, an agent appointed to transact or manage business under the authority of another; in which sense, it is a word of very extensive application.
Ministry – Agency; service; aid; interposition; instrumentality. Ecclesiastical function; agency or service of a minister of the gospel or clergyman in the modern church, or of priests, apostles, and evangelists in the ancient. Acts 1. Rom.12. 2 Tim.4. Num.4.
Both of these definitions come from AV1611.com (KJV Dictionary.)
To further define ministry, we turn to the Bible. For this instance, I am using 2 Timothy 4:5 (which is referenced in the KJV dictionary)
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
The word for ministry in Greek is διακονίαν, transliterated to diakonia. In which Bro. Strongs defines as:
service, ministering, esp. of those who execute the commands of others
of those who by the command of God proclaim and promote religion among men
of the office of Moses
of the office of the apostles and its administration
of the office of prophets, evangelists, elders etc.
the ministration of those who render to others the offices of Christian affection esp. those who help meet need by either collecting or distributing of charities
the office of the deacon in the church
the service of those who prepare and present food
Ok. I really don’t even feel like I have to go any further, but I will. Not only am I an Apostolic preacher, and apologetic, but I am also a musician. I play the organ and sing every service our church has. Not only do I play the organ, and sing, but I also play the piano. So I feel that I have somewhat of a platform to speak on.
The first thing I want to make clear is this: Ministry is service. To be a minister is to be a servant. The pastor of a church is a servant to the people of the church. The children’s minister is a servant to the children. Servanthood is the first and foremost characteristic of a minister. In all the above definitions, service is the common denominator. If you wash the toilets at church, YOU are a minister. If you turn on the lights and mow the lawn, you are a minister. So, by default, music is a ministry. I am not sure about your church, but at my church, not one musician is paid. We all do it out of service to the Lord and to our church. The posts that are referred to in this post go on to say that apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teachers are the only true ministers (Ephesians 4).
We pray, we lead, we exhort, we talk, we sing, we praise, we worship, we serve, so who decided that those things aren’t ministry? You can quote scriptures and divide them up until you can’t find anything true, but that doesn’t mean that you are right. The kicker in the post is this line:
If you are a musician or singer, do not try to perfect the saints, build up the body, or minister. It isn’t your job. Your job is to praise the Lord by singing/playing, and that is all.
Let’s consider these verses:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. (Ephesians 5:18-19)
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. (Acts 16:25, 26)
If a singer is only supposed to sing and not perfect the saints or build up the body, then why did Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:18 tell you to? Paul said just as much as you admonish one another in all wisdom, sing! He even equates being filled with the Holy Ghost and singing as the opposite of drunkenness and debauchery. So, music MINISTER, keep ministering!