How to Use Your MP3 Device in Your Ministry
My MP3 player is a ZUNE but the following applies to IPODs, SANSAs or any other types of MP3 players.
These are valuable tools for your ministry; especially if you are involved in music ministry. I have thousands of Christian songs stored on my MP3 player. The real beauty of these devices is their ability to store songs in user-defined “Playlists.”
As I listen to my player, I jot down notes based on the song lyrics, noting particularly where they might be used in worship. I then put them in “folders” on my device referred to as “Playlists.” For example, my playlists include:
Hymns – This is where I store all my hymns.
Scripture Songs – This is where I store songs that are scripture put to music. Todd Agnew’s song “Isaiah 6” is a good example.
Songs Done Before – This is music that we’ve already used in worship. I find this to be handy because I know that these songs do not require a lot of band practice should we decide to use them again in the future.
But the bulk of my playlists refer to our church calendar. Here’s a sampling:
And finally, I use other playlists to store songs for special services such as:
Vacation Bible School
This enables me to quickly find songs for any worship event.
Another use of an MP3 player is to store and listen to Podcasts. These are audio or video files that you can subscribe to over the Internet. They are free, available on any subject matter you can think of, and will update automatically whenever new content is added and when you sync your device to your PC. There are thousands of Podcasts available now which are of interest to Pastors and Worship Leaders. I am only going to recommend one Podcast here, but I regularly listen to about a dozen or so per week. My favorite is actually put out by our Synod (WELS) and is called WELSTECH. You can subscribe in ITUNES or you can find their link in my BLOGROLL sidebar. This is a weekly Podcast that discusses various technologies that can be used in the teaching and worship ministries. It is in fact this Podcast where I learned to BLOG. I have also learned useful things like creating custom worship videos through this Podcast. You need to give podcasts a try if you haven’t yet.
For your convenience, here’s the WELSTECH site where you can sign-up for their podcast:
III. MUSIC PRACTICE:
I also use my MP3 device as an instructional aid for the music that I’m scheduled to lead. In my ministry, I play guitar and sing for one Sunday each month. Prior to this service, I will place all of the upcoming songs into a special playlist and I listen to each song a couple dozen times, or until the groove and rhythm really hits home with me. I then sing along with the song and also play along with it. The MP3 player is a nice substitute for a metronome.
IV. CHOIR / BAND TOOL:
Oftentimes during band rehearsal, I’ll plug my MP3 player into my guitar amplifier so that my fellow band members and singers can hear the song that we are about to learn.
V. SONG SHARING:
Be careful with copyright issues here. There is one on-line musical source for church musicians called “Songtouch.” At their site, you can download Christian MP3s and you are allowed to legally make up to 10 copies of each downloaded song. When we first started learning contemporary music at our church, I used this service to get hundreds of potential songs into the hands of our choir/band. “Songtouch” is associated with CCLI so you can find them at their home page or at this link:
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this brief “how to” post. I plan to do a few more in the upcoming weeks. Please post a reply if you have found other uses for your MP3 device in your ministry.