Longevity, Adaptability, and Continuing Education

3 Things That Contribute to Survival in Church Music and Worship Ministry


Earlier this month, I was part of a celebration of my mother-in-law's 90th birthday. While it is clear that she's slowing down, from other outward appearances, not much has changed since the day I first met her nearly 25 years ago.But things have certainly changed around her during that time...Assuming you are older than 25, think back to the phones, computers, TV, prices, cars, traffic, travel (and whatever else you can think of ) 25 years ago. Now think back to your career, and responsibilities therein...

I also read an article recently that reported a significant recent economic change that is largely unreported: there is a "donut hole" in available jobs. There are lots of minimum wage jobs, and "high end" high paying jobs as well. But the "mid-level" jobs are few and far between. And the dividing line, apparently, is education.

In essence, the data indicates that if you don't have, or opted out of "higher education" the upward mobility part of the American dream is not so available any more.

On the other hand, if you are highly educated, but haven't adjusted to the changes of the past 25 years, you are looking at severe underemployment, retirement, or joblessness.

Who is finding work?
 Those who are already employed make up the largest share (which puts pressure on a person to stay in an "unhappy" situation because once you are out of work, you may be out of luck...but that's a subject for another day...). But the other group doing well is those who have regularly continued their education: either refining their skills in their primary specialty, or broadening their skills in complementary areas of expertise.

Where is this going?

If you are currently employed, longevity is an asset. Barring the pastoral change that upsets all apple carts, if you have 10+ years in at a particular place of service, you have developed relationships which provide some protection from the occasional ill wind, and you have a backlog of understanding of the "operating system" of that particular congregation that allows you to avoid most minefields and find the enlightened path when confronted with a metaphorical fork in the road.

But adaptability is also a great asset, and, in some ways leads to longevity
. In church music and worship ministry, you don't much find the same job description you did 25 years ago. Now, in a small to medium sized church, someone serving in that role is just as likely to be the web designer/manager, the tech specialist, and/or the marketing expert.

In this latter case, the most highly leveraged option is to continue to invest in your continuing education.

Which is where Creator comes in. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of our article knowledge base, which is fully available to our subscribers (click here to become one).

But we also know that we can best serve you by knowing what you best need. So if you would like to see a particular subject covered, please click here to email me and let me know how we can help, and we will do everything we can to help you with what you need to know.

So...to sum up:

• If you have been some place for a while, don't let your longevity lull you into complacency - you may know "how things work" now, but you need to continue your education in order to stay flexible
• If your situation changes, don't be surprised by it - prepare for the inevitability of change by continuing your education in the areas that will increase your value as a ministry leader
• if you find yourself "out of step" with your ministry colleagues, mend your fences quickly - and discern what you might learn through continuing education that will help you be a more valuable part of your church's team
• if there are things about your church/ministry/team that you don't like -work with the people and situations to improve the things that are difficult and make them better by finding solutions through continuing education
• If you are employed, don't just thank your lucky stars - invest in your own future through continuing education
• If you are unemployed, don't just mope - be proactive about making yourself more valuable as a ministry colleague through continuing education
• If you are wanting to take the next step, and be a leader of leaders -find a leadership mentor and improve your skills through continuing education

© 2012, 2014, 2021 All Rights Reserved

One Reply to “Longevity, Adaptability, and Continuing Education”

Comments are closed.