As an INTJ, I analyze everything. As a musician in my church, do my best attempt to analyze and translate into language the lifestyle of musicians.
I think that the social environment in the music ministry is as important as the capacity to play well as individuals or together. In my church, the musicians average age is more than 50 years old. This means that I’m the only young person that regularly plays music. Musically it might not matter significantly but socially I feel alone. My father is also a musician so that acts as a buffer, but when my father is not there I feel alone. I may joke about things here and there to provoke a less tense environment, but I don’t feel a connection to my fellow musicians.
In my mind (I can’t say for other musicians) I have the impression that musicians should form a tight bond that it’s unlike that which is formed in other ministry environments. I think that the musician bond is similar to the bond formed in team sports. The music ministry is mainly a team effort where each of the members have a specific role to play and you are competitive against your former self… and former musicians. This, to me, makes the musician ministry different than many ministries in the church because most ministries are solo projects.
The tendency is to form a brotherhood because you are constantly away from the rest of the congregation during the service and the idea is that the only people that are going to have your back in “the moment of battle” is your fellow musician. The music ministry is one where you have to trust that whoever is in your ministry with you has all the skills required and the right mentality to fit in with you. You get influenced by your fellow musicians, but you also influence your fellow musicians.
Going through the hardships of having to deal with church members who don’t know how to keep a tune or rhythm, or having to play a difficult song after only one practice session, or having to follow the piano player without knowing where he is really going musically (which is actually a good jam session bonding experience), or having to play a song that we have no idea how it goes unites us musicians in a way that the congregation has no idea about. On the other hand, there is no greater joy and feeling of being spiritually bonded to our fellow musicians than to play a song where each of us is playing our instrument in a awesome complimentary and God inspired way.
If the musicians have animosity towards each other or they are resistant to form a social bond, then a military-like brotherhood can’t form. I think that it’s important to be able to have a conversation with musicians outside the ministry and about other topics outside of music. I think that it promotes the musician bond and it forms trust. No one will be able to back you up in your Christian walk better than a fellow musician.
There is a impression that musicians appear to be different genus of Christian. That is because our experience makes us into something different. We face different challenges. We are constantly going into “battle”. We are constantly under judgement. We are leading the rest of you into praise and battle musically, and because we are unarmed servicemen and women we are always vulnerable to attack. We have physical and sound barriers to the rest of the congregation that separates us from the rest of you. We interpret the service differently than the rest of you. Our challenge to execute our ministry better affects the rest of the congregation. This unites us to our fellow musicians.