Should a church music ministry hire non-Christians?

My mother subscribes to the newsletter emailed by the website worshipideas.com, and whilst setting up her Outlook Express after the family bought a new computer, a portion of the newsletter caught my eye. Don Chapman asks (and answers) the question of whether a church should hire non-Christian musicians to support their music ministry. He cites a few personal examples of hiring professional musicians who came into his music team as unbelievers and, usually when employed by a different church, came to know Christ as examples that there may be merit in it.

My personal response to this article is that it really is rather important to make sure that each person in a music ministry has a true servant heart and knows that their role is secondary to the glorification of God in the meeting of God’s people. Someone who hasn’t turned their life to Christ and is immersed in a musical culture of performance and virtuosity probably is well equipped in a musical sense, but regardless of whether or not they’re singing the words of a song, they are not equipped with what matters the most. In my opinion that is the ability to take their creative abilities and make the most of them in the acknowledgement of who has bestowed those gifts upon them.

This may be harder for churches not well endowed with musicians who can capably lead congregational singing, but I would see it as a negative witness and example if those from outside the church were to be paid to assist in providing music. I agree that the standards when setting up a ministry team should be set appropriately to ensure musical wellness, but the spiritual wellness of that team is more important. It’s not good enough to enlist a non-believing drummer who may be great at getting a band to lock in, but can’t provide a discipling influence nor the openness of heart to be discipled. It unequally yokes a teamwhen it comes to corporately praying for a service and all but one of you earnestly desire for God to be glorified in every aspect of the meeting together.

So my answer to the question put forward by Don Chapman is “No”. The primary aim should be to bring them to a knowledge of Christ and His loving sacrifice for their sins, and disciple them and help them to reinforce their faith. Then, if they are equipped with the musical gifts and competency needed to play during a service with a worshipfully servant heart, they should be encouraged to do so. Upfront ministry in a church service is no place for those who haven’t embraced Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.

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4 Responses

  1. Yeah, well said mate

    We have to be thankful that we have been raised in churches where questions like this arent even thought about, becasue of our knowledge and teaching in the truth of the gospel.

    you cant be a servant if you do not know the master

  2. I totally agree. They should come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ first. Hence the name “ministry” You should not be in any type of ministry unless a) know the One you are Ministering to and for and b) called by God for that Ministry

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