Ever wonder how the guitarist and drummer know how to play their parts alongside the pianist as you sing along on Sunday mornings?
How about those playing the clarinet, flute, saxophone or trumpet in the church orchestra? How do they know when to come in and which notes to play?
How do they know when to breathe in deep to hold those whole notes or scatter out those eighth notes?
In some cases, the minister of music, orchestra director and/or others assisting with the church’s music ministry know how to write out each of those parts.
Arranging the music
In many cases, however, the sheet music handed to the musicians providing the background for our joyful noises to the Lord came from the resource LifewayWorship.com — at least when playing songs out of the Baptist Hymnal.
You can get an arrangement or just the chords for any instrument in any key and written in a style easier for instrumentalists to play.
The limited arrangement options from other resources are many times in keys too high for congregational singing.
The resources through LifewayWorship.com also offer song mapping where you can transition smoothly from one song to the next.
“No one else does that,” explained Karen Gosselin, coordinator of worship resources for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.
“LifewayWorship.com is unique in what it provides and would cripple many churches without it,” she explained.
When Lifeway president Ben Mandrell paused the recently announced decision to eliminate LifewayWorship.com, Gosselin and her counterparts across the nation breathed a sigh of relief.
It’s not a permanent decision but it does provide the opportunity for Lifeway leaders to better care for, resource and hear from those depending on Lifeway’s service in this area.
We at The Alabama Baptist understand difficult financial decisions must be made sometimes, but we commend the Lifeway leadership team for realizing — and owning — the misstep of the process in this case.
The quick decision by Mandrell to pull back when the misstep became apparent provides a lesson for all of us.
A few takeaways:
- When the service we provide is trusted and considered part of the family, feedback may be rare.
That could lead us to believe our audience wouldn’t miss us if we were gone, but the opposite is likely true.
We are an assumed part of the family and sometimes family is taken for granted, so a difficult situation should be communicated clearly and before it becomes a crisis.
- For the areas in which we choose to participate, we should let those who serve us know why we are part of their world and why they matter.
A quick note, call or face-to-face mention of appreciation and even suggestions for improvements truly make a difference for those working to serve us. Let’s not take them for granted, and let’s not assume it’s a one-way transaction.
- Constant complainers become white noise, but those who allow the ones chosen for various positions to do their work with a bit of grace and understanding are heard when they speak up.
If we try to listen more than talk, seek to understand all aspects of the role, support the work being done and affirm the people involved, then our concerns should be taken seriously when a situation outside our comfort level surfaces.
Mandrell and the Lifeway Worship team heard the pleas that came with the recent announcement and are working to find an appropriate path forward.