In today’s society, success is measured by various means. For someone that is employed in the medical field, success may be measured by number of lives saved. If you are a lawyer, success may be measured by amount of cases won. In a much more general sense, success may be viewed by how little or how much money or possessions one has.
When you try to measure success in the church world, the scales by which success is measured should change. The success of a ministry, or church, may be viewed by outside individuals as the size of the building or congregation, or the amount of money that the church has. The problem with this way of measurement is that some successes in the church aren’t always measurable. We try to take the measurements of success used in a secular world and apply them to the church world. In almost every case, this way of measurement gives no real indication of the success of the individual, ministry, or church. With all of that being said, lets take a look at some ways one can attempt to measure success in the church:
1) Look at the overall growth of an individual:
Our jobs as music ministers, worship pastors, etc. is to help people to develop their potential and to help them realize some type of projected growth. What I mean by that is this: Goals should be set with individuals to insure that improvements are made. Projected Growth means: I am projecting that my bass player will know their major/minor scales in “x” amount of time. This gives clear vision to the person concerning their future as a musician or singer. When this goal, or “projected growth”, is achieved, don’t stop there. Look at other ways to improve and create new goals and a new plan. Never stop growing.
2) Look at the overall growth of the department:
One great way to measure success is to look at the growth of your department. This means looking at both the development of specific talents and the overall size of the department. When looking at the development side, consider cross-training individuals so they are able to fulfill different roles in the department. (i.e. someone that is a drummer as well as a bass player) This makes room for the individual to grow and it makes room for others that may join the department in the future. (This also allows for you to escape the dreaded “Entitlement Issues” that plague departments that have had the same person in the same role for a long period of time). When it comes to growth in number, you must also look at how your church has grown. If your church isn’t growing, it is going to be extremely hard (not impossible) to see growth in the numerical size of your department. However; if your church is seeing growth, it is important to make a push every quarter or so to invite people that are interested to join your department. This has benefits both to the department and the individual attending church.
3) Look at the departments ability to handle new material/adversity:
I know this one seems that it can be broken up into two different thoughts, but it really boils down to the same principle. How does your music team handle new songs? How does your music team handle adversity? (i.e. One of the musicians or singers is missing) Their ability to handle both of these things shows that your team’s maturity level is increasing and that their abilities as musicians/singers are increasing. A few weeks ago, the planets aligned just right and our praise team was left sapranoless. This meant 2-part harmony and different song choices. Our team handled it like champs. This shows me that they have grown since my wife and I have taken over the department. When we first started, they would have found this situation much more difficult. Their improvement as a group and individuals made this terrible situation much better.
There you have it. Three simple ways to measure success and achieve it in your music department. Remember, one is never truly done improving. Don’t stop once you’ve achieved your goals. Create new ones and continue to push forward.