Larry ShackleyBy Larry Shackley, Alfred Composer

Whether we like it or not, church musicians live in the spotlight. If you play, sing, or conduct every week, everyone in the congregation knows who you are, and you help set the standard for their opinion of church music and musicians. Young people who have any interest in using their talents for the Lord will look up to us as role models for their life and career.

Some of this modeling happens passively. For instance, if you set a high musical standard, they will learn to respect church musicians, because they will notice that you are just as serious about the Lord’s music as other types of musicians are about their music. On the negative side, you never know whose ears might hear you making comments like, “Close enough for church work,” or criticizing a soloist or member of the choir.

Are you aware of young people in your church who have musical gifts? Do you look for talented young singers or instrumentalists to take part in special musical events? If we get young people plugged in to musical ministry, they will come to think of church music as a viable option in the many musical choices they have before them. The important thing is for you, as a musical “authority figure” in the church, to show young musicians that you value them, and then model Christ-like service in your leadership and performance.