Every instrument needs love, care, maintenance, and things that just plain cost money.
- Research what it takes to maintain your pastor’s instrument and bless him with what he needs.
- If he plays piano offer to pay for a tuning of his family’s piano.
- Buy strings and picks for an acoustic guitar player and see what kind of new pedals an electric guitar player might enjoy (I like these strings but others might have a completely different preference). For acoustic players you can also see if they need a humidifier or a hygrometer (humidity sensor).
- For more traditional music ministers: valve oil for brass players, strings for string players (these are considerably more expensive than guitar strings, by the way.),reeds for wind players. Humidifiers and hygrometers are useful for all traditional stringed instruments as well.
- Important note for all of these: don’t buy cheap gear. Your music pastor has invested a lot of money in his instrument. Do good research, just plain ask what the best choices are, or take him on a shopping trip to his favorite music store.
Good musicians are continually looking to improve on how they play. Good music and worship pastors should be continually looking to approve on how they think.
- Pay their way to a conference they’ve been wanting to attend.
- See if there are any online training courses they’re interested in.
- There are countless training DVDs for every instrument you can imagine.
- Ask which one they would like and purchase it for them.
- Research and purchase some great worship planning books. Worship Matters andChrist-Centered Worship are two of the best I’ve ever read.
- Ask your lead/senior pastor to recommend theology books that would be helpful to them and purchase them.
3. Music and Appreciation of Music
Music and worship pastors are constantly on the lookout for new and good music.
- It could be brand new worship songs in a more contemporary church or new arrangements for choir or other ensembles in a more traditional church.
- Don’t offer it just because “you think it sounds cool.” Do good research. Get good recommendations.
- Also, offer to just listen to all of the new music they’ve been excited about lately. We get very, very excited about the newest thing we’ve found and would love to share it with you.
- If you’re not a musician, ask them to help you understand what it is they appreciate about the music.
4. Recording and Publishing
Has your worship or music pastor written a lot of music for the church?
- Help them get it recorded. Pay for all or part of the recording process. This includes studio time, paying instrumentalists and vocalists to be on the recording, artwork for the album cover and sleeve, printing and distribution.
- If you can’t afford to invest this much time and effort, or if the musician is just getting into songwriting offer to pay for a system like the Pro Tools Mbox 2 Mini for them which includes recording software and hardware that can be used with any one’s home computer.
- They also might need a couple of microphones, direct boxes, and other gear as well.
- Ask them what they’d need to get a home recording studio set up.
5. Coaching and Mentoring
Many local worship and music pastors might not have someone in their life that is a musical (or even spiritual) mentor.
- If you’re not a musician but you’re a deacon or elder in the church offer to mentor them spiritually.
- Connect them with an experienced worship pastor who can coach them.
- Find out who their long-distance mentor is and arrange a way for them to spend time with that person.
6. Something Very Thoughtful and Personal
My absolute favorite gift of appreciation I’ve ever received was this piece of artwork that a piano player I worked with made specifically for me. She took a picture of my hands playing the guitar, sketched it, and then used wood pieces to create the amazing matte. Thanks, Pam. I know you’re reading and I cherish this piece of art every day.
By Ryan Egan