I read an article today, in one of the magazines that comes to my office every month. It was written by a guy i respect – and have studied, and have read – and the title of it was “letting volunteers go.” The premise of the article was answering a “question” from a reader about how to let a volunteer go – one that has been involved in the ministry for years, simply because they weren’t a solo-quality voice.
I’d offer a different perspective.
I’m grieved at the thought that was would use “distraction” or “not-as-skilled” to justify excluding someone from worship ministry as opposed to setting up your ministry to use whomever God might bring. Instead of insisting that everyone be “solo-ready,” have ensembles, or a choir! where you can plug weaker vocalists in with stronger – which can do nothing but build their confidence and musical ability.
Have an acoustic guitarist that only knows 4 chords? Don’t cut him! He knows enough to play 95% of worship music. Instead – pair him up with a stronger guitarist. Be specific with him on what you want him to play, and how you’d like him to strum. Give it a few months, and you’ll have a more confident guitarist.
Has your congregation turned “solos” into an idol, and it’s dividing your volunteers? Quit doing solos! Take a break from them. Use that “solo” time to teach your congregation a new song – have a corporate prayer, read together a question from the Heidelberg Catechism.
Don’t forget – the object of our affection – the audience of our praise is One. Our job – not for people to notice us . . . for people to notice the Savior. By trying to exclude you’re taking your focus from a ministry to a program.