• The Basics Of Ministry Musicianship

    in Motivational Minutes,Non-Music

    Post image for The Basics Of Ministry Musicianship

    In this post, we’ll be looking at the basics of ministry musicianship.

    Most people limit the term ministry to the office, duty, and work of a pastor, however in actuality, ministry goes beyond the pastor to Christians generally and musicians specifically.

    Any musician who has an office in church, and has understood his work as a musician and approaches it with a sense of duty is into ministry.

    Take note that by saying “who has an office in church” I don’t mean having a room in the church building. Office here has to do with occupying a position in the church work force.

    In this 101 lesson, we’ll be looking at the unction, function and conjunction of ministry musicianship.

    Receiving The Unction

    Unction has to do with the act of anointing and consecration. As ministry musicians, we need the unction of the Holy Spirit to distinguish us from other musicians.

    Whenever you come across a musician who has the unction of the Holy Spirit, you can discern it because his or her music is God-inspired and has a way of changing the atmosphere.

    Believe it or not, melodies that are coming from a heart that is panting after God, chords that are played by someone who is set apart and anointed for the purpose of music ministry are entirely different.

    The unction is missing in a vast majority of church musicians. Who although are thoroughly equipped with the technical and intellectual demands of music making, are lagging behind in the aspect of the unction.

    Irrespective of your skill level, style, achievements etc., you need to unction of the spirit to become a vessel for honorable use in the hand of God.

    “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” 1 Timothy 2:20,21 (ESV)

    In the scripture above, it’s clearly written that the vessel for honorable use (which refers to the musician in this context) is set apart (or consecrated), and ready for every good work. In a nutshell, one of the striking differences between a musician and a ministry musician is the unction.

    One of the frequently asked questions is “how do I get the unction?”

    Well, there are so many ways to get and also to increase in the unction of the Holy Spirit and I’m not going to say “fast and pray, study the bible, and register for the school of the ministry in your local church” inasmuch as those are still a part of it.

    However, one thing is sure; as you keep setting yourself apart and developing the heart and mindset for ministry, and understanding how to use the gift (musicianship) to worship the giver (God), you’ll not only get, but increase in the unction of the Holy Spirit.

    Understanding The Function

    The place of ministry is the place of service. Therefore placing God first, others second, and self last is a requisite. A ministry musician will always consider the following things while playing…

    Does what I’m playing and how I’m playing it glorify God?

    Does what I’m playing and how I’m playing it edify others?

    …and he feels fulfilled if the answer to both questions is yes.

    Ministry musicianship is sacrificial. It requires a lot of unconditional commitment and uninterrupted devotion to God through the agency of your local church.

    Therefore, without mincing words I want to say that the function of the ministry musician is to serve. When you know that your playing is service, you’ll approach it with a humble and contrite heart. So many musicians are haughty, proud, arrogant, and even incorrigible because they are yet to come to grips with the function of the music ministry; which is service.

    Summarily, a call into the ministry is different from a call into the industry. I know that there’s industry in the ministry today, however, we must learn to draw a fine line between both of them, so we can approach the ministry with humility and service.

    Working In Conjunction

    A ministry musician understands the power of conjunction. He belongs to a particular local church were he works in conjunction with other ministry musicians, a pastor and other church workers to make every service unique.

    The ministry musician doesn’t overplay in the band or quarrel so much with the instrument he’s given. Rather he/she maximizes the moment, musicians and musical instrument he/she is given and brings out the possible best.

    The ministry musician is easy to work with and fun to be with. He/she has understood the pastor’s favorite voice (whether piano, strings, organ, etc.,) and is sensitive to the musical taste of the congregation and does his best to meet them.

    The ministry musician works in conjunction with the choir director and other musicians during choir rehearsals and ministrations. He neither comes late to choir rehearsals nor to church service.

    Final Words

    I’ll want to get your opinion on the issue of paying ministry musicians. We’ll be discussing it in the 102 lesson. But before then, what do you think? Is it proper for ministry musicians to be paid or not?


    Learn more about the music ministry by ordering our Gospel keys Ministry Musician DVD course by Jason White – a top-notch keyboardist in the industry and a ministry musician.


    The following two tabs change content below.
    Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku (aka - "Dr. Pokey") is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. Inspired by his role model (Jermaine Griggs) who has become his mentor, what he started off as teaching musicians in his Aba-Nigeria neighborhood in April 2005 eventually morphed into an international career that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world. Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.


    { 10 comments… read them below or add one }


    There’s no doubt saying that without divine unction, the work of a ministry musician is futile, to say the least. When we function under the unction of the Holy spirit, we create room for the expression of divinity in humanity. Also, the issue of working in conjunction with others as a ministry musician is a timeless classic as it is oft on this that ministry music is made or marred. Thanks Dr. Pokey for this awesome treatise.You are a blessing to the body of Christ first, and to musicians in general.


    2 Bright O. Man GospelKeyz

    Great article indeed!….


    3 Victor MP

    Nice. I totally agree with this write-up. Thank you.


    4 Bobby Twine

    On the question of should a ministry musician be paid? Categorically YES!!!
    It takes a lot of time, skill, training, precision and devotion to the art of music ministry!
    It is an office of the church and should be monetarily rewarded!!!


    5 Richard Ross

    This was a great article. I am currently serving as a Children’s Minister and training up the praise and worship team in ministry musicianship and this is a good help. I recently talked about how Elisha called for a minstrel in 2 Kings 3:15 and when he played the Hand of the Lord came upon Him. Btw, that was 2 Tim 2:20.

    On being paid: in my church there are probably 30-40 singers and musicians. None are employed by the church full time. None receive payment for their services on Sunday or Wednesday. We see it as a helps ministry like every other ministry we have. Some teams serve behind the scenes and others are more in front. All are equally important. One musician is employed full time but does so many other things during his week that he definitely practices on his own time. He is not paid to play. I put in alot of hours preparing for my children’s service every week. Live and breathe it, the Lord is always ministering to me about the next week or the next series, do this, do that, etc. I sit in front of my laptop preparing probably 8-10 hours a week. I do not expect to be paid by the church to do this, but the Lord shall repay me. I have a full-time job but I still rely on the Lord for what we have and receive. Now, if a church sees fit to hire someone to sit at the church piano and practice 40 hours a week, or they provide some other function as well as music ministry throughout the week, then that’s obviously different in my opinion. Also, if you are called upon to travel with a Minister then that’s different as well. But, again in my opinion, I don’t believe someone needs to be paid to serve on Sunday.


    6 Zino



    7 Eremi samuel

    I think that ministry musicians should’nt be paid.it is true that they sacrifice their time,efforts and resources in it to meet up with their rivals.but should not forget that it is only god that will bless them in that his/her ministry.Also,it is a church here we are talking about not live band.only liveband musician(industry) should be paid and not ministry musician.tnx u


    8 Iyare

    Oh dear… This article blessed me sooooo much. God bless you.


    9 Iyare Usen

    Should gospel musicians be paid? Well it depends. We must realize that a full gospel musician like a keyboardist that has no other business than to play the keyboard for churches must feed, transport himself and must carter for his family too. So why muzzle the ox that tread the grain?. If he can be considered for some financial allowances it will go a long way. It would also allow him to buy lecture resources and be better. How can you expect a musician to give you his best when his wife in sick in the hospital or can’t afford three square meals?. Common, people of God!. I have served in that capacity before and I will say it is easier said than done. It is for this reason a lot of good hands leave their church for paying jobs. Some even quit playing entirely because they are being muzzled and worked to death. Those chasing the highest paying church have sold their ministry for bread and pierced themselves with many arrows. From experience, I have noticed that most churches that minister to my spirit and cause me to grow in the things of God wielding the very presence of God, are hardly the best paying churches around. I stand to be corrected. Looking forward to your next article.


    10 Akinwunmi Oluwaseun

    So inspiring!


    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: