Taking an Honest Look

My husband and I are friends with a Methodist pastor.  He’s an incredible guy – always thoughtful and deliberate.  While visiting over Christmas, he described the music situation in his parish, and made the following comment: “This may offend you, but I really don’t care if we have a regular pianist or organist.  After all, worship is the people’s gift to God, and if the people play the accordion and the spoons, then that is what we should use in worship.”

As a professional musician, it is so easy to jump into a defensive mode about my role within the church.  But then it occurred to me: how many organists don’t have the time or willingness to prepare?  How many church musicians merely do the minimum in a week-to-week role?  (Especially in the context of a minister who is laissez-faire about the music.)  How am I to defend the importance of organ music when so many organists are unengaged with their tasks?

So here we are, with a rather odd cycle, which has no good outcome until someone (ahem….like the church musician) re-engages.  It’s why I made my “Being Better” series.

There are some careers where the world will constantly tell you how important your work is (hello, firefighters).  Unfortunately, church organist isn’t always on that list.  And it is up to us to find within our musical souls the push to perfect our offerings to God and the church with renewed creativity, determination, and grace.

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