Catholic Music Ministry: From Music to Worship

One reason many disengaged Catholics have left the Church and joined other Christian communities is the music experience during Sunday liturgies. Fr. Michael, Tom, and the team at the Church of the Nativity explain in Rebuilt how they tried many different approaches to music ministry, finally settling on one key difference:

Make your music program a worship program!

The point isn’t about building a music program anyway. It’s about moving the congregation beyond the position of musical consumers, who are either delighted or comforted or bored or offended by the music, and helping them become worshipers. At the same time, it’s about growing musicians from performers with a “gig” mentality into worship leaders. And, it’s about worship through song.

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How can you transform your Catholic music program into a Catholic worship program for your Sunday liturgies?

To get where you need to go isn’t about talent or luck or even money. It’s about consistently following a few basic principles:

  • Make sure you have the best musicians you can find (paid or volunteer) and use them; do the difficult thing and ask people who are holding your program down or even making it worse to step aside. Face the hard facts and lean into the conflict in order to advance your program.
  • Raise your music and musicians up in prayer. Fast for them.
  • Whatever the style, make sure your music is worship and your musicians are worship leaders.
  • Take care with the selection of your music and do it in view of the liturgy as well as the lost. You need to be talking to your musicians about the music. It’s not about what you like or they want; it’s about the lost.
  • Don’t be afraid to repeat music from week to week. In loving ways, encourage your congregation to sing and sing with them.

For more information, ideas, and tips on developing an incredible weekend experience, read chapter 6 of Rebuilt.