As a professional Church Musician, I am essentially a pastor just like a priest, vicar, rector, or curate...etc. The only difference is that I help people worship through Music.
Here are some thoughts.
A Church Music Director and Pastor worry about the same things at the same points in their careers.
- When we both start out, our opportunities to lead are probably limited.
- We both sit reading calls and job descriptions from thriving and healthy churches, wishing and praying that we would be called to one of those places.
- We both receive lots of "The Letter". You know exactly which one I'm talking about! "The Letter" that you get when you have sent your credentials in for positions and calls that look very fulfilling, but....
- We both hope and pray that we will, someday, be called to a parish that is well-supported and has a good financial future...because we both know that well-supported and financially blessed congregations are able to do things much differently than congregations that struggle.
- The only difference is that a pastor is the "boss" of the church; he/she is the person is charge, and ultimately the supervisor of the Music Director. Other than that, we both have the exact same issues on our plates at any given time during our careers in ministry.
- When we work together in a church, your problems are also my problems, my joys are also your joys, your accomplishments are also my accomplishments.
- We both reach a point of "burn out" at a certain point in our careers.
There we have what I call "Common Grounding". Sometimes, thinking like this might help shape a pastor's mind when looking for a new Musician or considering what we Church Musicians think about.
Now, the only place where we might be different is the way transition ministry works. As a Professional Church Musician, I don't really have a "service" of sorts that places me at a particular place. There is not any particular "supply Musicians" listing like there is "Supply Clergy". While there are organizations like the American Guild of Organists and Association of Anglican Musician, they only let me know what opportunities are out there. It's still the same...but somewhat different. A Call for a Rector or Dean is similar, but different.