If you look around your street of residence, you will find out that some people do not attend any church. While you go to church on Sunday, they stay indoors watching TV, doing laundry, sleeping, or going to the stadium or some other friends. Though they claim to be Christians by birth, they refuse to attend any church.
Some of these unchurched have been discovered to the committed Christians but are now backsliders, while some of them never surrendered their lives to Christ.
The Unchurched are increasing every day for several reasons if you care to ask them. What are they doing instead?
Getting these pieces of information will help your church to take certain steps in reaching out to communities and begin to change lives for good even when such people are yet to enter the walls of your church.
Note that I did not say, “Attracting them to the church,” but rather the purpose is to attract them to Jesus, the Saviour of the world. However, we should also take note that some could be attracted to Jesus for the wrong reasons as we have in John 6:26-27 (NIV)
This should give us caution on how to attract the un-churched, because if we use the wrong method we may end up not achieving the goal of our outreach to them.
The thing that will attract or draw people – especially the un-churched to Jesus (not just to the church) through the effective music of the church
1. Give the Life
The life of Christ must be seen in the musicians – Mathew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so as to see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Remember that lights attract but today, may have disappointed Christ and even the people outside.
Some of these un-churched people saw the lifestyles of some of the musicians in the church and vowed never to come to Christ or church. Romans 12:2 instructs not to conform to the pattern of this world. The worst case is when the percentage of the genuinely born again in the choir is high, then no matter the music, unbelievers want to see the lives of that singing reflecting Christ.
When they see no difference between the lives of your choristers and theirs, the best that will happen is that they may be attracted to attending your church but not to Christ which will result in increasing the number of unbelievers who may never become born again but only attend church.
It is put this way, “the law of attraction states that “like energy attracts like energy.” That is you are drawn towards people and things you are in vibration.
In other words, when the un-churched see the life of Christ reflected through the choristers, they can be encouraged and attracted to Christ. Even after salvation, the choristers that will bring others in for Christ must be growing in the Lord through constant following of Christ.
2. Give the Testimonies
The Musicians’ songs of personal testimony show who Jesus is rather than the song in vogue. If the musicians in the church have no Christian testimonies they can neither attract the unbelievers to Christ nor to church.
Every effective minister or father or mother of faith in the Bible has authentic testimonies of their encounters with God. Every chorister should answer this question: what testimonies of my encounters and experiences with Christ do I have to share before I even open my mouth to sing, “Amazing Grace.”
3. Give the Money
The Church should find musical innovations that will encourage or strengthen outreaches. The Church can sponsor take the gospel through music to the neighborhood once in a while, especially during Easter and Christmas seasons.
Music is a form of offering to the Lord; therefore, we should attach quality to it, thereby giving God our best. You know every quality thing demands money and an effective music ministry is one such.
4. Give the Training
1 Chronicles 26:7 stresses the need for musical training for members of the music ministry. If this does not matter to us as a church, then we should forget about reaching out through music. You cannot give what you do not have therefore train or empower your musicians to maximize their potential or talents. Expose them to training on all aspects of church music.
5. Give It All It Takes
If Church Music Ministry will attract the unchurched/unbelievers to Christ without compromising Biblical standards, it must be given all it takes. In addition to the aforementioned,
- It requires your skill, give it. The musicians in the Bible are highly skillful too.
- It requires time, give it. The musician in the Bible too took quality time to rehearse before ministrations. Nothing goes for anything.
- It requires Church leadership/church pastoral support, give it. The musicians in the Bible enjoyed such support – 1 Chro. 25:1 (David); 2 King 3:14-15 (Elisha).
- It requires the power of the Holy Spirit, to be filled afresh daily. Acts 1:8, and Acts 2:2-12 state it clearly that the power to witness is from the Holy Spirit; therefore, church music has no other source of attraction than the Holy Spirit. Acts 16: 25-31 testifies that when musicians are filled with the Holy Spirit they will attract unbelievers to Christ.
Things to Avoid in the Music Ministry
There are things to avoid when you are trying to attract the un-churched to Jesus through The Music Ministry of the Church.
- Musicians without genuine salvation testimonies
- Music with empty or unscriptural lyrics but full of attractive tunes/rhythms just to entertain.
- The musical skill displayed for the glorification of the musicians, pursuing the art of music at the expense of the hearts of musicians
- Trying to appeal to the flesh for spiritual purposes
- Putting the music or musicians before. John 3:30 says, “He must become greater; I must become less, “How much of Jesus do people see in your musicians and their music?
- Bending or dropping the Biblical Standard in the music ministry because of some musicians. If there are places where standards are now being compromised in the name of modernization, the church is one of them. You all know what I am talking about. Examples are as follows:
- When we throw away our hymns because of certain modern songs, You all can testify to it that our hymns are loaded with scriptural messages that positively impact our lives. That does not mean that other varieties of music are also bad. Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16 stress the need for musical varieties: (1) When we cannot differentiate between those who go to clubhouses and musicians in the church and (2) you can mention more in addition to these.
This lecture was delivered by Mobolaji Olaniyi at Ibadan Baptist Conference Annual Workers’ Retreat 2021