Music in the Small Church

What does music look like in the small church?

Since resources are smaller, that is, people and finances, it is not as produced as it is in the large or mega-church setting. Often, it is spontaneous or planned on the run because no one is dedicated solely to care for the music program. The people resources include only volunteers, and those volunteers are employed in other occupations during the week. Most small churches have a music leader or music director. That person may or may not also be the choir director. They may also be responsible for other decisions or activities involving music.
Hymns are likely to be the favorite style of the small church as well as the songs connected to the cultural experience of the congregation. It may be our music which identifies us most. From the urban black congregation to the mountain church house the difference is as great as the location of the buildings those churches meet in. My congregation is a transplanted group with roots in Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. They love the shape-note hymns they grew up singing. However, that music took on a local flavor as the years passed.
The small church also depends greatly on the abilities of the people involved. Piano, guitar, harp, trumpet, or whatever the Lord has blessed the church with. From church to church the combination will be as different and unique as the people. This uniqueness colors the music and adds a sense of ownership to what is experienced.
So what does music look like in the small church? It is a rich collection of dedication and tradition. The familiarity is comforting and makes for a beautiful worship experience.

Stay strong!

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