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SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MODELS THAT PROMOTE THE GROWTH OF

CHURCHES THROUGH MUSIC: A QUALITATIVE EXPLORATORY CASE

STUDY

by

Charles A. Kelly

Copyright 2017

A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment


of the Requirements for the Degree
Doctor of Business Administration

University of Phoenix




ProQuest Number: 10618485




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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this qualitative multiple-case exploratory study was to explore best

practice approaches of successful church music programs and try to understand what

those church leaders did to increase congregational membership size through music. The

study focused on the shared engagement of successful worship teams, pastors, church

board members, worship leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers, as it

pertained to the music programs of three churches in the Southern California Inland

Empire area. The study supported the premise that quality contemporary music industry

standards increase church membership. The literature review consisted of approximately

136 references. The references included subject matter such as the landscape of modern

church worship, characteristics of the modern growing church, demographics of growing

churches, church growth, and congregational membership. The sample size consisted of

31 interviewed participants. Interviews were semi-structured with the intention to

provoke in-depth thought by each participant. Findings from the study showed the

implementation of a best practice music program does influence church membership.

Four themes were identified to support the findings. Identified themes were 1) church is a

place where people can hear music to help them worship and think, 2) all facets of

ministry must be done with quality to make an impact, 3) outreach starting with music

impacts the growth of a church, and 4) diversity is critical to understand how to

communicate with people from different backgrounds. The recommendation from this

research concluded churches with multicultural congregations should consider embracing

a Five-Circle Integration model. The objective of the Five-Circle Integration Theory is to

focus on the commonality of gender, ethnicity, age-generation, and culture.

iii
DEDICATION

This study is dedicated to my dear wife Lisa of over 30 years. Thank you for

being the love of my life and my best friend. Thank you for knowing what is best for me

even when I did not know what is best for myself. I love you dearly. I also want to thank

my children Charles J, Jason, Alexander, and Charlisa. Thanks for putting up with the

time it took to accomplish this project. I hope that I have set an example of being

committed to accomplishing goals in life. I love all of you very much! I also want to

give a shout out to my brother Carl. I am honored and blessed to have you as my twin.

May God protect and bless you. Finally, I would like to dedicate this project to those

people who feel goals in life are not attainable.

We always think that life weighs us down, and this can be true in many cases. It

is so important to understand that when you are talking about making it through situations

and trials and tribulations, you cannot do this by yourself. There are so many times when

we try to do things in our strength, and it is just not good enough. In many cases, we

think that we are doing the right things, but we are outside of the will of God. There are

many times that the ills of the world can cause us to go into deep depressions, but

understand that Jesus came to overcome the world. He says this in His Word, so be

cheerful! To make it in life is really about Christ, to understand what His motives are, to

understand what His plan is for your life, and to follow that plan so that He can bring the

success in your life that you need. The only thing that can bring true success is having a

relationship with Jesus Christ, understanding and acting on His Word.

iv
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to acknowledge my family and friends who stood by me through the

ups, downs, victories, and trials. You are an inspiration to me, and your support will

never be forgotten.

I would like to acknowledge my brothers and sisters in Christ. You have taught

me so much through the years. It humbles me knowing together we serve a great God.

You have taught me purposeful living is critical to happiness. I wish nothing but the best

for all of you.

Some special thanks go out to my Chair and Committee. Thank you, Dr. Linda

Atkinson, for being my Chair, guide, and mentor. You encouraged and guided me

through the entire journey. Your faith never waivered, and I am truly grateful. Thank you,

Dr. Sonya Scott, for also sharing this journey with me. Your faithfulness and advice will

never be forgotten. Thank you, Dr. Jason Ward, for stepping in when I needed help. I am

forever grateful. Thank you, Dr.Twyla Williams, for helping me to get started.

Thank you, Dr. James E. Smith and Dr. Stephanie Briggs for taking a chance on

me. I am looking forward to accomplishing great things together. Thank you, Gary Kelly,

for your excellent counseling and advice. You are a true friend and a man of honor and

integrity.

v
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contents Page

List of Tables ..................................................................................................................... xi

List of Figures ................................................................................................................... xii

Chapter 1: Introduction ........................................................................................................1

Background of the Problem .....................................................................................2

Statement of the Problem .........................................................................................3

Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................5

Significance of the Study .........................................................................................6

Nature of the Study ..................................................................................................6

Theoretical Framework ..........................................................................................10

Research Question .................................................................................................14

Assumptions...........................................................................................................15

Scope ......................................................................................................................15

Limitations .............................................................................................................16

Delimitations ..........................................................................................................17

Definition of Terms................................................................................................18

Summary ................................................................................................................20

Chapter 2: Review of the Literature...................................................................................22

Methodology of Similar Research Studies and Design Appropriateness ..............22

Title Searches, Articles, Research Documents, and Journals ................................25

The Landscape of Modern Church Worship ..........................................................26

Historical Musical Influences of Modern Church Worship ...................................29

vi
Music and Worship in Small, Midsize, and Megachurches ...................................32

Characteristics of the Modern Growing Church ....................................................34

The relationship between board members and senior pastors ...................34

Budgets of growing churches.....................................................................36

Business models of growing churches. ......................................................36

The need for better music business models. ..............................................38

The business model for multisite churches. ...............................................40

The business model for paid and volunteer church staff. ..........................42

Demographics of Growing Churches.....................................................................44

Church Growth and Congregational Membership .................................................44

Components of the Contemporary Worship Team ................................................46

The skill level of worship team members. .................................................46

Disposition of successful worship teams. ..................................................48

Modern musical styles of urban worship. ..................................................49

Modern musical styles of suburban worship teams. ..................................52

Training programs available to worship teams. .........................................53

The Connection Between Business and the Church ..............................................56

The use of social media and growing churches. ........................................56

Marketing techniques of contemporary music. ..........................................58

Business models of the music industry. .....................................................59

Use of television in the modern church. ....................................................63

Educational level of church staff and volunteers of growing churches. ....64

The essence of worship and how it affects the congregation.....................67

vii
Gaps in the Literature.............................................................................................70

Conclusion .............................................................................................................72

Summary ................................................................................................................74

Chapter 3: Method .............................................................................................................76

Appropriateness of Method and Design ................................................................77

Research Method ...................................................................................................78

Research Design.....................................................................................................79

Field Test ...............................................................................................................80

Qualitative interview questions..................................................................80

Results ........................................................................................................81

Population and Sample Selection...........................................................................83

Informed Consent...................................................................................................85

Data Collection ......................................................................................................87

Conducting Interviews ...........................................................................................88

Conducting Focus Group Sessions ........................................................................89

Data Analysis .........................................................................................................89

Triangulation ..........................................................................................................91

Creditability, Confirmability, Dependability, and Transferability ........................92

Confidentiality .......................................................................................................95

Summary ................................................................................................................96

Chapter 4: Findings ............................................................................................................97

Data Collection ......................................................................................................98

Population Classifications ......................................................................................99

viii
Data Analysis .......................................................................................................100

Study Findings and Theme Development ............................................................106

The experience of worship team members ..............................................106

Rehearsals, skillset, song selection, sound quality ..................................111

Support of the church leadership .............................................................119

Viewpoints ...........................................................................................................132

Themes .................................................................................................................142

Church is a place where people can hear music to worship and think ....142

Ministry must be done with quality to make an impact ...........................144

Outreach impacts the growth of a church ................................................149

Diversity: understand how to communicate with different people ..........153

Summary ..............................................................................................................156

Chapter 5: Conclusion, Recommendations, and Future Research ...................................160

Conclusion - Church Models ...............................................................................161

Church model statistics ............................................................................164

Church model similarities ........................................................................171

Church model differences. .......................................................................173

Theme and literature comparison.............................................................177

Key considerations based on the conclusion. ..........................................180

Limitations ...........................................................................................................182

Recommendations to Church Leaders .................................................................183

Five-Circle Integration Model. ................................................................183

Technological investment ........................................................................184

ix
Outreach ...................................................................................................188

Worship team commitment ......................................................................189

Transformational leadership. ...................................................................190

Future Research ...................................................................................................191

Personal Reflection ..............................................................................................192

Summary ..............................................................................................................194

References ........................................................................................................................197

Appendix A: Interview Questions ...................................................................................216

Appendix B: Premises, Recruitment, and Name .............................................................218

Appendix C: Participant Pre-Screening Questionnaire....................................................219

Appendix D: Study Invitation Letter - Participants .........................................................220

Appendix E: Informed Consent .......................................................................................221

Appendix F: Field Test Invitation Letter – Participants ..................................................222

Appendix G: Field Test Question Rating Sheet ...............................................................223

Appendix H: Field Test Results .......................................................................................224

Appendix I: Traditional Business Music Model ..............................................................225

Author Biography ............................................................................................................226

x
LIST OF TABLES

Table 01: Accumulated Field Test Results ........................................................................81

Table 02: Parent Nodes ....................................................................................................101

Table 03: Word Frequency Top Five ...............................................................................103

Table 04: Quality Text Search .........................................................................................104

Table 05: Reach Text Search - Top 13 References..........................................................105

Table 06: Diversity Text Search – Top 6 References ......................................................105

Table 07: City Demographic Comparison .......................................................................164

Table 08: Rancho Cucamonga Ca. 2015 Census - Race and Age Demographics ...........166

Table 09: Fontana Ca. 2015 Census - Race and Age Demographics ..............................168

Table 10: Rialto Ca. 2015 census - Race and Age Demographics ..................................170

xi
LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 01: Traditional business music model ....................................................................60

Figure 02: Word chart - top one hundred.........................................................................104

Figure 03: Experience perception of worship team by church position ..........................110

Figure 04: Experience perception of worship team by ethnicity .....................................111

Figure 05: Rehearsals, skillset, song selection, and sound quality by church position ...118

Figure 06: Rehearsals, skillset, song selection, and sound quality by ethnicity ..............119

Figure 07: Perception of having a quality music program by ethnicity...........................124

Figure 08: Perception of having a quality music program by church position and age...125

Figure 09: Perception of music effectiveness by church position ...................................131

Figure 10: Perception of music effectiveness by age.......................................................132

Figure 11: Perception of positive points of view by church position ..............................140

Figure 12: Perception of positive points of view by ethnicity .........................................141

Figure 13: Perception of positive points of view by church position and age range .......142

Figure 14: Quality text search ..........................................................................................145

Figure 15: Reach text search ............................................................................................150

Figure 16: Diversity text search .......................................................................................154

Figure 17: Five-circle integration theory model ..............................................................161

Figure 18: Technical team resource model ......................................................................187

xii
Chapter 1

Introduction

There has been a steady decline of congregational church membership over the

past few years. Per the 2012 statistics released by the denomination’s Office of the

General Assembly, the total number of members of the Presbyterian Church within the

United States was 1,849,496 (Kincaid, 2012). Results show a decrease of 102,791 from

the 2011-figure of 1,952,287. The decrease is the largest decline since 1983. Lack of

diversity, financial instability, poor church location, and unstable leadership are issues

which caused the decline. There is also evidence to assume contemporary music

increases church membership (Kincaid, 2012). David A. Roozen is the author of a

research project titled “Faith Communities Today 2008.” The research focused on

musical styles of the fastest growing churches in the United States during 2008. Roozen's

research project became known as the Faith Communities Today (FACT) 2008 study.

Per the FACT 2008 study, churches that did not convert to contemporary music when

moving away from a traditional musical style were 41% least likely to see a 2% or more

growth in worship attendance (Abbamonte & Banks, 2009).

The focus of this study is to provide insight into what successful music ministries

are doing to help increase congregational membership size. The context of the study

consists of providing a background statement and a problem statement. These statements

included current music ministry business models and cultures. The population focused

on pastors, church board members, worship leaders, key congregation members, and key

volunteers from churches with significant growth. The objective of the research is to get

an understanding what successful churches are doing to increase congregational

1
membership size through music, specifically in the Southern California area. The method

of choice was qualitative, and the design was an exploratory case study. The literature

review section contains references used in the research, and the research question helped

the study to explore characteristics of successful church music programs.

Background of the Problem

For centuries, music has been part of many church services. Since the days of

Gregorian chant, music has been the tool by which people worship and praise God.

People positively respond when the music is good, and want to attend churches that best

fulfill spiritual needs (Abbamonte & Banks, 2009). Many church music departments are

starting to integrate technology into the associated business models to attract churchgoers

(Abbamonte & Banks, 2009). For example, since the rise of internet businesses,

organizations are attracting more listeners while increasing the customer base (Duncan,

2010). Small churches have adopted this approach and now can show church services on

the internet and attract listeners from around the globe (Latonero, 2003). It also might be

safe to assume if people who attend church do not like the music or the spoken word, will

eventually lose interest in attending church completely or go to a church where those

needs get fulfilled (Krejcir, 2001). While many churches make a valiant effort to provide

quality music and continue to grow, there are still churches that often do not try to

provide quality music. Many of these church leaders believe music does not contribute to

congregational growth. Also, many people in church leadership do not know how to

incorporate music to increase church membership. Both situations present problems for

many churches to create a transformational mindset within the church staff to promote

the importance of having a quality music program. It is critical to define quality as a

2
well-planned and executed worship experience through music based upon a foundation of

practice and commitment to excellence (Cooke, 2010). This study examines the

importance of having contemporary music in the church, and the importance to strive for

excellence to improve music programs, by using best practices of successful business

models. It is critical for church organizations that depend on volunteers with various skill

levels to achieve the goal of having a quality music presentation that enhances worship

(Seibold, 1999).

Statement of the Problem

Churches are struggling to increase or maintain congregational membership

(Cooke, 2010). Many churches lack vision and understanding how implementing new

business models can help attract new listeners and members. Depending on location,

culture, and classification, congregational church sizes are quite different and could cause

a severe impact on how the congregation perceives the experience (Cooke, 2010). Some

traditional churches are having an issue utilizing contemporary music, new technology,

and integrating changes into powerful music program models (Cooke, 2010). The

inability to integrate effective changes into music program models is a general concern

within the church community. The specific research problem for this study is that church

leaders in the Southern California area but not limited to Southern California, who do not

convert to contemporary music are 41% less likely to see a 2% or more growth in

worship attendance (Abbamonte & Banks, 2009). One to two percent of growth is not

enough to keep up with population growth thus leading to a decline in church attendance

(Shattuck, 2014).

3
Based on current trends, church attendance by the year 2050 will be almost half of

1990’s attendance, which is a drop from 20.4% to 11.7% (Shattuck, 2014). The forecast

for years leading up to 2050 are projecting a decline of 15.4% in 2020 (Shattuck, 2014).

While most small to midsize church leaders will acknowledge, congregational

membership is in decline; many are hesitant to make the required changes necessary to

increase growth. While many traditional churches move away from traditional music to a

more contemporary musical style, many congregation members will resist the change.

Implementing a contemporary musical style causes some congregational members to

leave (Abbamonte & Banks, 2009). Because of the potential conflict with long time

church members, many church leaders are not willing to make the change, even when

there is evidence of a decline in growth. Also, some traditional churches are having an

issue utilizing and integrating technology into current business models. Church leaders

that cannot embrace change could lose good volunteers. Churches cannot function

properly and could shut down if enough volunteers leave. Even through big churches

have an advantage due to congregational size, well organized smaller churches can still

compete with much larger churches and organizations.

According to the FACT 2008 study, 50% of churches using contemporary music

business models for longer than five years and have maintained it enjoyed more than 2%

growth in worship attendance (Abbamonte & Banks, 2009). Abbamonte and Banks

(2009) also stated that 64% of congregations who within the last five years converted to

contemporary worship saw an increase in worship attendance equal to or greater than 2%.

It is also a fact that megachurch worship is attracting more people because of its

contemporary style of music, bold and dynamic presentations, and high-powered tech-

4
electronics (Bird & Thumma, 2011). While it is unknown how contemporary church

worship contributes to the success of all churches, there seems to be a strong connection

to member growth and contemporary worship in megachurches (Bird & Thumma, 2011).

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this multiple-case exploratory study is to explore best practice

approaches of successful church music programs and try to understand what is done to

increase congregational membership size through music. Collected data came from

participants that belong to three megachurches with over 6000 congregation members

respectively, located in the Inland Empire, Southern California area. The study focused

on the shared engagement of successful worship teams, pastors, church board members,

worship leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers, as it pertains to the

music program. The study looked at churches that have increased in congregational

growth over the past three to five years. The study used qualitative methods to explore

the characteristics that contribute to having a quality church music program. It was

critical to emphasize the importance of understanding the business culture of churches

with successful music programs. The congregational membership size for each

megachurch used in the study was over 6000 people. Each participant interviewed from

the same questions. The purpose of an exploratory case study is to explore situations

where phenomenological contextual boundaries are not clear (Yin, 2003). Case study

research explores situations over time. Researchers using multiple-case studies examine

more than one instance to understand similarities and differences (Yin, 2003).

5
Significance of the Study

Since there are many churches losing membership, many church leaders are trying

to figure out how to keep church members (McMullen, 2008). While there are studies

that could help churches to increase membership, many studies do not focus on the

importance of how quality music programs increase church growth. Findings from this

study could help many churches understand the importance of music as a tool to preserve

church membership. Implementing findings that come from this study may also increase

sustainability in churches that are already stable. Researching what successful churches

do to increase church membership through music provides insight and options to help

struggling churches preserve and increase congregational membership. Looking at the

characteristics of what it takes to elevate the level of music, results of the study could

help senior level church leadership determine if it is worth the investment. Results from

the study could help music directors, sound technicians, and musicians from churches

with decreasing growth to understand the connection between quality music and church

membership growth. Study results could reveal to church leaders how and why churches

are enjoying success embracing a contemporary music business model.

Nature of the Study

The purpose of this multiple-case exploratory study is to explore best practice

approaches of successful church music programs and try to understand what is done to

increase congregational membership size through music. To accomplish the objective,

interviewed participants consisted of worship team members, pastors, church board

members, worship leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers. Interviewed

participants brought insight in understanding the mindset and characteristics of church

6
leaders that are part of successful music church program and business models. Since the

objective of the study was to explore the shared engagement of successful worship teams,

a qualitative case study was best suited to explore essential characteristics. Qualitative

research typically does not operate within strict technical guidelines. The technical

criteria are simply not as important as in quantitative studies. Therefore, a qualitative

research method was appropriate for this type of case study since quantitative

methodologies focus on significant amounts of quantity-based data and multiple variables

(Leedy, 2010). Qualitative researchers should also take into consideration ideas, and

conclusions of readers evolve when the understanding of the research context becomes

better (Willis, Jost, & Nilakanta, 2007).

Measuring subjective terms as quality and excellence of music would be difficult

using a quantitative research tool. Quantitative researchers measure variables by using

physically calculated data and measured by the various type of instruments, such as

mean, median or mode (Leedy, 2010). Qualitative researchers look at specific

characteristics, thought patterns, and qualities, which are not easily detected and cannot

be measured by numerical instruments. Qualitative researchers search to discover

nuances and complexities of a phenomenon (Leedy, 2010).

The methodology of choice was qualitative, and the design was an exploratory

multiple case study. Exploratory case studies help researchers explore situations where

phenomenological contextual boundaries are not clear (Yin, 2003). Case study research

helps researchers explore situations over time. Researchers can analyze each entity

across all entities using a multiple-case study (Yin, 2003). Similar results between each

case or conflicting results were assumed but not for likely reasons (Baxter & Jack, 2008).

7
While multiple-case research can be time-consuming it is considered sound and

trustworthy (Baxter & Jack, 2008). Stake (1995) describes case studies as intrinsic,

instrumental, and collective. An intrinsic study gets used when a unique situation

requires research, but the results could have limited transferability (Baxter & Jack, 2008).

Per Stake (1995), an instrumental case could be used to gain knowledge of a

phenomenon. A collective case study is an option when the research consists of multiple

cases (Stake, 1995). Multiple case studies consist of a variant that includes two or more

observations of the same phenomenon (Lewis-Beck, Bryman, & Liao, 2004). A

multiple-case study variant activates replication. Replication includes multiple cases to

helping researchers confirm developing theories and opinions independently (Lewis-Beck

et al., 2004).

The population of the study consisted of participants from Case 1 based in

Fontana Ca., Case 2 located in Rancho Cucamonga Ca, and Case 3 rooted in Rialto Ca.

Each participating church was within a 50-mile radius of each other. Case 1 has a weekly

attendance of 6,370 members. Case 2 has a weekly attendance of 6000 members. Case 3

has a weekly attendance of 6300. The sample size consisted of 20 one-on-one

interviewed participants and two interviewed focus groups which consisted of 11

participants.

An audio device and observation notes were used to assist the researcher to

collect data from each interview. Interviews were semi-structured with the intention to

provoke in-depth thought by each participant. Interview questions were consistent for all

participants. Since the data collection methods were one-on-one interviews and focus

groups, characteristics of worship teams and church music programs got collected from

8
each participant. All participants could answer each question openly and honestly.

Interview questions focused on exploring features such as sound quality, the skill level of

musicians and singers, the experience of the worship team, song selection, and support of

the church leadership that contributes to having a quality music program in churches. A

field test was conducted to ensure the interview questions were credible. Churches and

participants selected for the field test were experts in worship team building and music

production as it pertains to the church leadership. The participating Worship Arts Pastor,

Music Director, Senior Pastor, Senior Deacon, and Senior Worship Leader received an

invitation email. Each participant is a church leader with a proven record of

accomplishment in building successful music programs. The participants in the field test

were asked to provide feedback and rate each question ranging from one to five where

one is the least appropriate, and five is the most suitable.

The sampling technique used was a non-probability method known as purposive

sampling. Purposive sampling is used in qualitative or mixed-methods research (Lund

Research Ltd, 2012). The objective of this technique is to focus on specific

characteristics of a population, which helps to retrieve the optimal in-depth answers to the

research question. Multiple types of purposive sampling technique may be used within a

study (Lund Research Ltd, 2012). While there are many purposive sampling techniques

such as Snowball, Maximum Variation, and Homogeneous Sampling, critical case and

expert sampling were the sampling type used. Critical case sampling techniques are

useful in exploratory qualitative research where several cases can explain the

phenomenon of interest (Lund Research Ltd, 2012). Expert sampling is used when the

research requires assessments and opinions of people who are highly skilled and

9
professionally knowledgeable (Palys, 2008). This type of sampling technique has a

purpose in mind that includes participants of interest and excludes those who do not

provide an expert added value to the study.

Coding analysis with multiple-case node trees was used to analyze themes. Using

multiple-case nodes allowed each church to have a node and each participant that belong

to that organization to have a node. There were three churches and 31 participants. A

minimum of two participants from each church was selected. The NVivo Coding method

assisted the researcher in analyzing each case node. The kind of coding selected was

Cycle Coding. Two major stages of Cycle Coding were First and Second Cycle coding

(Saldana, 2013). First Cycle coding methods assist in analyzing the data chunks. Second

Cycle coding methods work with the resulting First Cycle codes (Saldana, 2013).

Theoretical Framework

Interviewed participants revealed how musicians, congregation members, church

staff, worship leaders, and singers understood how important quality music is to increase

church growth. For an organization to enjoy success, core values that represent the

vision, mission statement, objective, and goals of the organization must be established.

When targets and goals get established, there must be a transformational mindset

implemented. Transformation help leaders to change the way people think and work by

connecting to core values (Coggins, 2013). The goal is to allow people to evolve and

grow. Transformational leaders inspire individuals with a shared vision of the future

(Musser, 1987). The goal of transformational leadership is to transform the way people

think. Transformational leadership supports full alignment between the interests of the

leaders and the staff to implement strategies. Transformational leaders intellectually

10
stimulate the staff to move beyond self-interests by sharing an inspiring vision to

establish an emotional connection with each other. Sharing an inspiring vision is vital in

accomplishing organizational strategies to optimize operational performance to a level

above expectations (Bass, 1999). Theory Y leadership aligns well with a

transformational leadership style. Theory Y Leadership was a concept proposed by

Douglass McGregor, who wrote a book in 1960 titled, “The Human Side of Enterprise”

(Management Study Guide, 2012). Theory Y leadership is based on looking at the best

of the abilities of people. A Theory Y leader attempts to search for resources with talent,

intelligence, strength, integrity, initiative, and a positive outlook on things (Management

Study Guide, 2012). Work environments based on a supportive behavior model are

excellent for a transformational model. Supportive behavior models are good for

professional and career-oriented workers because it gives people a sense of ownership

and the ability to make company decisions. The basis of the supportive behavior model

is rooted in leadership with a managerial support system.

Osborn (2008) stated that organizational behavior is an interdisciplinary body of

knowledge and has a connection to the behavioral sciences including psychology,

sociology, and anthropology. Sources for organizational research methods are real-life

organizational settings for field studies, simulated and controlled settings for laboratory

studies, in-depth situations for case studies, statistical results for meta-analyses, and

questionnaires and interviews about sample populations for survey research (Osborn,

2008). The organizational management culture for this model is based on creating a

virtual environment that is both economically efficient and humanistic. The management

team can have a sense of international social responsibility that is believed and felt by the

11
international business world (Osborn, 2008). Social responsibility helps church leaders

gain credibility and do business at an international level. Successful international leaders

embrace a global corporate culture. Embracing a global corporate culture is critical due

to the growing awareness of the world’s socio-economic interdependence (Osborn,

2008). Establishing core values that represent what companies and organizations stand

for regarding vision, mission statement, objectives, and goals are key components in

determining how customers, employees, and business partners relate to each other. Core

values are important in determining how the general population perceives organizations.

Having a supportive model is also a critical value in determining buy-in from church

leaders and employees. Humility, loyalty, honesty, and excellence are key core

characteristics in building a strong relationship with congregation members. Church

leaders stuck in a paradigm could fail to see things correctly. Church leaders should help

shape behaviors and thought processes which help define cultures by creating an

environment for understanding other cultures (Wunderle, 2007). These influences can

reflect tendencies within cultures. These characteristics can influence the way people

think and behave (Wunderle, 2007).

The Human Relations School of Management Theory creates an environment for

employees to have synergistic pride in the work performed. Per Conrad and Poole

(1998), the human relations approach views businesses from a transformational

perspective. Conrad and Poole (1998) indicated worker morale is a primary contributor

to productivity. Productivity is increased by transforming the workplace and developing

better-skilled workers (Conrad & Poole, 1998).

12
Music industry models have shifted away from large corporations having all the

power to a digital music business model where independent companies can compete for

market share (Fischbeck, 2000). Fischbeck (2000) stated that digital music model

implementations are rapidly changing marketing strategies, operational, and supply

chains of the main music labels, churches, and new music businesses. Emilien Moyon

(2010) discussed the relationship between structure and institutional agency change

within the music industry. The research focused on the standard business models used in

the music industry for many years. In recent years, this model has shifted, incorporating

digital technology. During the last 20 years, the standard model has come up under

intense competition from direct social media models, which permit churches to broadcast

music and services directly to the masses (Moyon, 2010). The study compared

traditional business models to current models from Amazon, Apple, and Yahoo. The

review concluded more research would help due to the ever-changing developments in

technology that have a direct influence on the music industry, which will ultimately affect

the music business model (Moyon, 2010).

Gharakhani (2013) stated Total Quality Management (TQM) is a business model

that gives an organization the ability to respond to issues quickly and efficiently. The

purpose of TQM is to bring customer satisfaction, cost reduction, complaint resolution,

improvement of quality and have a client focused approach efficiency (Gharakhami,

2013). TQM theory concentrates on the organization working with a limited number of

suppliers to improve product quality and productivity (Gharakhami, 2013). Quality

creates excellent price and product value advantage over competitors while empowering

the organization to charge a higher per/unit sale price through differentiation

13
(Gharakhami, 2013). Superior quality can lead to a sustainable competitive advantage

and continuous product improvement (Gharakhami, 2013).

According to Damico (2017), metamodernism is a movement that attempts to

connect postmodernist, modernist and premodern concepts while moving into current

cultural beliefs. Metamodernism attempts to integrate social, artistic and thought

processes across generations, cultures, ethnicities, and genders (Damico, 2017). Musical

artists in the late 90s and early 2000s got identified as being part of the metamodernism

movement. Music within metamodernism becomes characterized by artistic choices

found in album art and live performances or instrumentation and vocal styles reminiscent

of Late Baroque music written 240 years ago (Damico, 2017). Anna Montgomery (2016)

stated innovation in technology is noticeable within our culture however the innovation in

leadership is not necessarily easy to detect. Montgomery (2016) said for transformation

in business to be effective, a leadership style based on a new philosophy is required,

which is found at the end of the progression of modernism through postmodernism to

metamodernism.

Research Question

Research questions are intended to reveal a phenomenon, unique problem, or

anything else that is considered an overall general concern to society. Research questions

consist of broad topics, gaps in societal knowledge, new societal problems, or unknown

issues from discoveries. The research question that addresses a problem is usually

narrowed down to a few questions or maybe even one. Another name for the research

question is the central question which is the focal point of the study. Where the research

14
question has one central theme, research interview questions are intended to support the

central question. There was one basic question in this study:

 How does the implementation of a best practice music program, influence

church membership in the Inland Empire area of Southern California?

The research question was central to the research design process. The research question

supported the research problem because the research question attempted to reveal the

phenomena regarding how successful church leaders use music to increase church

membership. Per Maxwell (1992), research questions have multiple purposes and keep

the research project focused. Research questions also offer guidance on how to conduct

the study and communicate research objectives (Fong, 2008).

Assumptions

Some church leaders are reluctant to incorporate contemporary music programs

that appeal to younger populations because music is not considered important enough to

use when attempting to increase church membership. Diverting from traditional business

models about music programs and embracing contemporary models, lead to increased

church attendance. Churches with declining membership do not want to stay that way.

The assumption is that declining churches are searching for ways to increase

congregational membership. The last assumption refers to churches with growing

membership. Many church leaders with expanding ministries use contemporary business

models.

Scope

The case study focused on three churches that have increased in congregational

growth over the past three to five years. Each participating church is a megachurch with

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over 6000 congregation members. Each church is in the Inland Empire, Southern

California area. Each church is a multisite church. Participant selection consisted of

worship teams, pastors, church board members, worship leaders, key congregation

members, and key volunteers. The population of the study consisted of participants from

Case 1 based in Fontana Ca Case 2 located in Rancho Cucamonga Ca, and Case 3 rooted

in Rialto Ca. Each participating church is within a 50-mile radius of each other. Case 1

has a weekly attendance of 6,370 members. Case 2 has a weekly attendance of 6000

members. Case 3 has a weekly attendance of 6300. Personal one-on-one interviews and

focus groups were the sampling methods of choice. The sample size consisted of 20 one-

on-one interviewed participants and two focus groups. The Young Adult Focus Group

consisted of six participants and the Seniors Focus Group contained five participants. A

minimum of two participants from each church was selected.

Limitations

The study was limited to three churches with congregation memberships

consisting of megachurch sized churches with over 6000 congregation members, located

in the Inland Empire Southern California area. The study limited participant selection to

worship team members, pastors, church board members, worship leaders, key

congregation members, and key volunteers, as it pertains to their music program.

Churches selected for participating in the study had an increase in congregational growth

over the past three to five years. The study was limited to personal one-on-one

interviews and focus groups. The sample size was limited to 31 participants. Interviews

and focus group sessions happened at the participant’s church.

16
There was always the potential for weaknesses to affect the study. However,

without being able to evaluate research openly and honestly, the study could have lent

itself to potential creditability issues. Bias could have also become an issue.

Intentionally collecting data from familiar participants in an unethical way could

compromise the credibility of the case study. It is important to expose any bias as soon

as possible. Exposing biases gives the study a better and more detailed perspective of

different points of view. It is important not to pretend to be objective (Willis et al.,

2007). Participants from the selected churches located in the Southern California area

were validated and verified to prevent potential bias.

Delimitations

The study explored best practices of churches with over 6000 congregation

members, located in the Inland Empire, Southern California area. The study focused on

the shared engagement of successful worship teams, pastors, church board members,

worship leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers, as it pertains to the

music program. The locations of each church and participant in the study were within a

50-mile radius of each other. The demographics consisted of a multi-ethnic participant

group. The age group ranged from 18 to 95 years old. Both males and females

participated in the study. All study participants live in the Southern California area.

Participants consisted of worship team members, pastors, church board members,

worship leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers. Qualitative methods

were used to explore characteristics such as the number of weekly rehearsals, sound

quality, the skill of musicians and singers, the experience of worship team members, song

17
selection, and support of the church leadership, that contribute to having a quality church

music program.

Since the study had a focus on how music increases church attendance, people

that understand how music impacts church services were of emphasis. Participants had a

diverse background regarding church duties, and most of the participants understood the

process of preparing music for a weekly service. Participants signed a document

confirming their participation in the study. Thirty-one participants across age groups

from 18 to 95 were selected. Participants consisted of different ethnicities that exist

within each church and the same number of male and females. At least two participants

from each church were chosen. Interview questions were consistent for all participants.

The 15 interview questions were semi-structured. Findings from this study could help

many churches understand the importance of music as a tool to preserve church

membership. Implementing findings that came from this study could increase

sustainability in churches that are already stable. Findings from the research could help

senior level church leadership determine if upgrading the music business model is worth

the investment. Music directors, sound technicians, and musicians from churches with

decreasing growth will have a better understanding of the connection between quality

music and church membership growth.

Definition of Terms

A definition of terms was used to provide clarity and understanding of the

concepts and theories used in this study. While the purpose of this multiple-case

exploratory study was to explore best practice approaches of successful church music

programs and try to understand what successful church music programs are doing to

18
increase congregational membership size through music, it was important to provide the

meanings of statements and words to the reader regarding church terminology.

Church Attendance – Church attendance refers to the number of people that attend

denominational church services or any other religious organization (Latonero, 2003).

Congregational Church – Congregational churches are Protestant Christian

churches that practice congregational church governance (Latonero, 2003). Each

congregation operates independently. Congregationalism is a system of church

governance where local church congregation is sovereign (Kincaid, 2012).

Church Leadership – Church leadership is the process of influencing other people

to work together to accomplish the desired purpose (Kelderman & Thomasma, 2005).

Church Membership - Membership in a local church involves a commitment to

worship the Lord corporately (Bethlehem Baptist Church Staff, 2001).

Church Membership Size (Latonero, 2003)

Small - Church membership ranging from one to 50 people

Midsize - Church membership ranging from 51 to 300 people

Large - Church membership ranging from 301 to 2000 people

Mega - Church membership over 2000 people

Contemporary Church Music Model - Contemporary Church Music Model

consists of modern musical styles, up to date technology and contemporary presentation

methods (Latonero, 2003).

Worship Team – Worship teams humbly lead people into a relationship with God

through song, praise, and worship. Having a spirit of humility is critical in this role.

Worship team members must reflect the Spirit of God in mannerisms and attitude when

19
interacting with all people. A spirit of submission toward the worship team leader and

team members is necessary to create a Godly-working environment (Kingman Christian

Church, 2008).

Summary

Chapter 1 focused on outlining the purpose of the study, background statement,

problem statement and other components that are critical to exploring best practice

approaches of successful church music programs. This qualitative case study explored

best practice approaches of successful church music programs and with a purpose of

understanding what was done to increase congregational membership through music.

The specific problem was that churches in the Southern California area who did not

convert to contemporary music when moving away from a traditional musical style were

41% least likely to see a 2% or more growth in worship attendance (Abbamonte &

Banks, 2009).

The study scope focused on megachurch sized churches with over 6000

congregation members, located in the Inland Empire, Southern California area. The

methodology of choice was qualitative, and the design was an exploratory multiple case

study. Personal one-on-one interviews and focus groups were the sampling methods of

choice. Interviews were semi-structured with the intention to provoke in-depth thought

by each participant. The study was limited to 31 participants across age groups from 18

to 95, different ethnicities that existed within each church, and an equal number of male

and females. Interview questions were consistent for all participants. Findings from this

study could help many church leaders understand the importance of music as a tool to

preserve church membership. Implementing findings that come from this study could

20
increase sustainability in churches that are already stable. Exploring what successful

churches are doing to increase church membership through music, helps struggling

churches understand how to preserve and increase congregation membership. Chapter 2

contains literature review, which outlined the academic foundation of the study.

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Chapter 2

Review of the Literature

The purpose of this multiple-case exploratory study is to explore best practice

approaches of successful church music programs and try to understand what is done to

increase congregational membership size through music. Best practices of three

megachurches located in the Southern California area were studied. The focus of the

research was to explore successful church music programs and business models. The

study also attempted to help church leaders understand what can be done to increase

congregational membership through music. The literature review helped the researcher to

analyze approaches to church leadership, components of the contemporary worship team,

connection between business and the church, educational level of the church staff,

volunteers of growing churches and the importance of music to church members. The

literature review revealed church leaders struggled to implement non-traditional church-

based solutions but eventually integrated diverse musical styles. The integration of

musical styles made it difficult for churches to integrate their business model strategy

concerning music programs. This difficulty was mainly due to lack of understanding,

training, expertise, vision, and resources.

Methodology of Similar Research Studies and Design Appropriateness

Penni Cooke in 2010 conducted a phenomenological qualitative study that

consisted of a population group of eight churches. The average attendance of each church

was less than 150 people. Cooke (2010) studied the characteristics of quality music

programs in the eight small churches. The sample size consisted of 24 participants.

Cooke’s phenomenological qualitative study concluded music could become a major

22
factor in choosing where to attend church (Cooke, 2010). Cooke (2010) stated results

and analysis for church leaders and musicians could assist in understanding the impact of

a quality music ministry in the small church. Cooke (2010) also stated prior research

confirmed 69% of adults, rank music as one of the top ten factors when choosing a

church to attend. The study concluded a quality music program is essential for the health

of the eight churches.

A theological qualitative research study performed by Kim in 2000 used

structured and semi-structured questions to retrieve information from study participants

in group formats. Kim (2000) used 34 questions to collect information. The purpose

Kim’s qualitative study was to help spiritually and emotionally hurting young people

through church music and to help them grow spiritually (Kim, 2000). Kim discussed how

biblical figures received help from music to solve problems. The sample size consisted of

35 students. The students who participated in the study used music to help manage

difficult situations (Kim, 2000). Kim stated since music played a significant role in

assisting youth in solving problems, more research must be done in the future to

understand further the role of music in helping young people solve problems (Kim,

2000).

Mashbern’s theological study in 1988 used 61 closed and open-ended questions to

retrieve information from study participants. The resultant data from Mashbern’s study

consisted of answers based on the problem of accomplishing church leadership training

for the volunteer and part-time music leaders in rural and emerging state regions

(Mashbern, 1988). Interview questions were related to planning and organizing events.

The study revealed there was a diversity of characteristics among associations, with

23
distinct differences between rural and urban partnerships. There were also differences

between associations in emerging and established state conventions (Mashbern, 1988).

The state music directors indicated there is a tendency to view the construction and

implementation of a detailed model for improving church music leadership training as

very positive (Mashbern, 1988). Mashbern (1988) said state music directors confirm that

the responsibility for administering such a model should get delegated to associated

associational music directors or some combination of offices including the associational

music directors (Mashbern, 1988). Mashbern (1988) stated music has a message

understood by all people and appropriately presented; music can inspire awe, create good

cheer, encourage reflection and worshipfulness for the purpose to unite diverse people in

their attention to God. According to Mashbern (1988), music’s effectiveness within each

Southern Baptist church depends on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the church

music leaders. The effectiveness of music in Mashbern’s study weighed heavily upon all

responsible for providing leaders with necessary expertise and attitudes that so many of

them remain untrained (Mashbern, 1988).

A qualitative methodology was appropriate to discover the phenomena of

successful worship teams and a structured method was implemented to select the

publications for review. Since interviews were the data collection method of choice, it

was appropriate to use a qualitative exploratory case study design. Interview data

collection was appropriate because interviews are in alignment with qualitative research.

Peer-reviewed literature about music quality, church growth and elements of successful

music business models were sources of information and data that supported the study. A

structured literature review is essential in creating the basis of information used in a

24
study. Structured literature reviews are assessments of previous research done

methodically, ardently, and scholarly (Bhaskaran & Menezes, 2014). While structured

literature reviews become implemented in business studies, the studies are predominately

meta-analyses or technical issues using quantitative techniques (Bhaskaran & Menezes,

2014). Bhaskaran and Menezes (2014) however stated there are benefits for qualitative

researchers to use structured literature reviews. Since literature reviews are the

foundation of knowledge employed in a study, there is a need to identify how gaps in

knowledge can be determined (Bhaskaran & Menezes, 2014). Based on the need to

define gaps Bhaskaran and Menezes (2014) stated the use of structured literature reviews

should be encouraged in business research projects.

Title Searches, Articles, Research Documents, and Journals

The search terms started from the viewpoint of church growth, membership,

music, musicians, and musicianship, worship teams, administrative and educational

levels for all denominations. It was critical to look at volunteers, women in the church,

successful worship leaders, church budgets, spirituality, strategic planning, organizational

leadership and religious organizations. Characteristics of quality music programs were

reviewed. The review led to the use of other search terms such as social structure, urban

churches, growing churches, and commitment. Due to the need to understand the thought

patterns of growing churches with good music programs, there was a need to see the

connection between excellence in music, commitment to growth, and the business model

used by the church. Servanthood and leadership also provided many literature references.

Based on the scope of the study, 195 search criteria were appropriate to the content. The

search terms connected to quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method dissertations.

25
Search terms connected by various methods such as phenomenological, grounded theory,

and case were used for the data collection process. The literature review search returned

more than 198 dissertations and articles. The time span was from the last 88 years.

Based on the amount of literature amassed, approximately 130 references were selected.

Many literature references came from the University of Phoenix eResource database, the

ProQuest Dissertations, EBSCOhost, and Theses libraries. Also, more than 15

supplemental e-book references related to organizational excellence, business,

operational processes, and research methodology contributed to the study. The Times,

Herald, and SAGE Publications Ltd. (SAGE) newspaper articles were resource

references.

The Landscape of Modern Church Worship

There have been many changes in the church over the last 100 years that could be

considered positive. During this period, methods of church administration have changed

considerably. It has not been a change regarding catastrophe, but one of growth

(“Modern Church Music,” 1900.) Years ago, only hymns, fugues, and European-based

musical styles were considered acceptable forms of church music (“Modern Church

Music,” 1900.) This type of thinking was rooted in religious beliefs, bigotry, and narrow

thinking (“Modern Church Music,” 1900.) To support the notion that bigotry and narrow

thinking existed in the church, the insertion of reed organs into Christian worship led to

disputes ("The American Civil War, Musical Worship, Revivalism, Racism," 2004.)

David Lipscomb in 1897 claimed to define instrumental music as not worship was silly

and the condemnation of instrumental music was a terrible sin ("The American Civil

War, Musical Worship, Revivalism, Racism," 2004.) As years went on, musical styles

26
rooted in the African-American, Latino, and other minority-based communities became

acceptable to many European based churches. This integration formed the nucleus of the

creation of the modern megachurch. Michael Raymond Galdamez (2012) stated in his

broad and general theological study that Pastors Timothy Keller and J. G. Machen are

pastors who have a worldview of integrating worship and preaching (Galdamez, 2012).

Galdamez (2012) provided a survey of key writings in six chapters of comparisons of

Machen and Keller’s work to construct their worldviews around the four elements of

Sire’s paradigm. Machen and Keller are examples of worldview evangelical preaching.

Comparing preaching styles allow other churches and pastors to examine how modern

pastors, preachers, worship leaders, and worship teams think. Galdamez’s study

concluded that worldview evangelical preaching is vital in the ministry of today's

Evangelical Church (Galdamez, 2012). Keller and Machen’s ministry provide a lens into

worldview concepts and styles (Galdamez, 2012). There should be a consideration to

study how the different preaching styles influence church music models. Researching the

connection between various preaching styles and their music programs could help to

understand further if different preaching styles help or hinder the creation of successful

music models.

Another example of the continued growth of the contemporary ministry style is

the Harpeth Heights Baptist Church. In 1995, Harpeth Heights Baptist Church found

themselves amid one of the fastest growing areas of Nashville, Tennessee. Per Hannah

(1998), there was much work to be done within the church for the congregation to

continue moving forward. Also, it had become clear the church could no longer rely on

the ideas that were 50 years old. The church leaders began to think out of the box to

27
pursue new ideas to help the ministry to grow. The church leadership adopted a growth

program that focused on the use of ministry teams (Hannah, 1998). This project explored

education, organization, motivation, and execution. The notion that every church

member is a minister was the basis of the theme (Hannah, 1998). This way of thinking

created opportunities for church members to see how God was working through anointed

people. Per Hannah (1998), church members were encouraged to use the gifts that God

had provided and join a ministry. Hannah in his theological study explained ministries

were used to meet the needs of others and to encourage spiritual and numerical growth

(Hannah, 1998). The church eventually grew from a committee-based system with 40 to

50 members, to have over 30 new ministries. Also, over 150 people became involved in

hands-on ministry. The church continued to experience continued growth utilizing this

model (Hannah, 1998).

Regarding different church music styles, Gesa Hartje (2009) suggested in the

article, “A Keeping in Tune with the Times - Praise & Worship Music as Today’s

Evangelical Hymnody in North America” similar characteristics between hymnal and

contemporary praise music get often ignored. Hartje (2009) opened the discussion

regarding technological, sociological, and theological perspectives for revealing how

these idioms are used today in modern worship. Per Barend Van Tonder (2001), the

definition of church music today requires a change in the development of practical

theology. Van Tonder (2001) explained there was a shift away from modernism to post-

modernism, which brought in a new generation of adolescents aligned with

metamodernism, known as the Lost Generation or Generation X. Van Tonder (2001)

made the comment that church music does not take these tendencies seriously. For this

28
reason, it would be valuable to research metamodernism's impact and influence in the life

of today's teenager. A study of this kind could prevent a decline in church attendance by

youth and hopefully bridge the growing gap between teenagers and church music (Van

Tonder, 2001). Sixty-one 2nd generation South Asian college students between the ages

of 18-27 were given surveys and participated in the study (Van Tonder, 2001).

Historical Musical Influences of Modern Church Worship

Since the start of recorded music, church music has been examined in a major

way. Understanding historical influences of modern church worship are important in

bringing people into a spiritual frame of mind to receive the spoken word (White, 2012).

James Emory White in 2012 wrote the book, “Church in an Age of Crisis.” White (2012),

stated if church leadership implements an ineffective model due to lack of knowledge,

church growth cannot be sustained (White, 2012). Remote recording, streaming,

podcasts, and videos are now a way of life for global church business models (White,

2012). Successful churches make huge investments to keep up with new technology

(White, 2012). Investments in new technology help to keep costs down and attract

younger audiences (White, 2012). Many people now watch church services from home

(White, 2012). Congregational members also can hear pre-recorded praise music via the

LAN/intranet/internet, virtually attend live praise and worship via streaming, and use the

internet as a primary means of communication (Davis, 2005). Although this will reduce

cost and allow church members to participate in church activities from a virtual location,

there must be rules and regulations implemented to ensure standards regarding

organizational guidelines. These rules and guidelines must be in alignment with church

culture and should be enforced at the church employee and congregation levels (Davis,

29
2005). When virtual technology operates effectively and efficiently, churches can reach

more people. While virtual church services do not replace physically attending church, it

does present an alternative to individuals who cannot attend church and opens the

opportunity to reach new listeners at a global level (Davis, 2005).

There are large parts of historical texts that are devoted to studying the music of

the Christian Church during the Middle Age, Renaissance, Common Practice Era, and

Twentieth Century (Elder, 2000). Elder (2000) went on to state that John Smyth founded

the first identifiable Baptist church of modern times in Holland during the year 1609.

Thirty years later, Roger Williams started the first Baptist church in America at

Providence, Rhode Island (Elder, 2000). Since this period, the Baptist denomination in

America has grown to become the largest Protestant church in the United States (Elder,

2000). Baptist denominations influenced different cultures and regions throughout the

United States. Baptists have many denominations, particularly in the state of Florida,

where there are over 12 different denominations (Elder, 2000).

During the early 20th century, music in the church saw tremendous growth and

contributed to important changes in American musical life. Music culture in America

during the beginning of the 20th century remains largely unexplored. For example, The

New Music Review and Church Music Review (NMR) from 1901 to 1935 displayed how

church music was in America (Fitts, 2009). For the last 35 years, the NMR has been a

very influential music journal in America with a good reputation for its editorials and

articles (Fitts, 2009). Fitts (2009) examined unexplored topics treated in the journal's

feature articles which include identifying American musical trademarks while also

promoting American composers (Fitts, 2009). Fitts (2009) also examined how the organ

30
was designed and created. Fitts reviewed the movement to standardize the organ console

while exploring the controversy over the unification of organ pipes, transcriptions,

service playing, programs, and accompaniment for motion pictures and choirs (Fitts,

2009).

In the middle of the 20th century, the L'Abri Fellowship in 1955 (Doran, 2002)

developed an art model that included Christians. The newly developed art model helped

the leadership to bring the arts to the Church. Nicole Ellen Doran (2002) discussed how

Francis and Edith Schaeffer helped Jane Smith and son Frank Smith to understand

creativity while avoiding legalism and aestheticism. The L'Abri Fellowship increased in

membership while learning about the creative arts. Church leaders also encouraged all

musicians to use natural talents (Doran, 2002). The L'Abri Fellowship believed that

participating in creating art and creativity was Godly (Doran, 2002). L’Abri taught

lessons such as judgment, context, and inspiration. Having musical and artistic

knowledge helped musicians to understand the nature of man. Dangers of cultural decay

were also detected (Doran, 2002). The L'Abri concluded that Christians must use

creative gifts responsibly (Doran, 2002). L'Abri believed people understand God

required creativity for implementing a Godly culture through redemption (Doran, 2002).

L'Abri also believed with the use of creativity, God's character would shine through the

music and would help worship leaders expand the creativity of evangelical Christians

(Doran, 2002). Evangelism began a restructuring period during the social turmoil of the

1960s and was a driving force behind the need to understand church models (Guder,

1994).

31
Melrita Foster (1989) outlined the relationship between historical characteristics

of the Church, Renaissance, Baroque, Classic, and Contemporary periods. Foster (1989)

provided a biblical perspective of worship and music from the Old and New Testaments.

Foster’s biblical perspective presented a functional description of the major concerns of

praise and worship while meeting the needs of the congregation. Foster (1989) stated

worship requires balance, stability, and variety, along with the order, visual, and musical

aspects of worship to be impactful. The most important word in this philosophy is

balance (Foster, 1989).

The purpose of Kim’s (2000) study was to help young people grow spiritually

through church music. Per Kim (2000), biblical statistics contributes to solving problems

through church music. Kim revealed how hurting young people would learn to manage

situations positively. Thirty-five students participated in the research and were members

of the treatment and control groups. Thirty-four questions were asked over an eight-week

period. Those in the treatment group received the training for 40 minutes a week for

eight weeks. The training consists of music as a form of playing church music, creativity,

composing, music appreciation and recognition, music appreciation and imagination,

music recognition and speaking, rhythm for life, spiritual healing, and praise worship

(Kim, 2000). Per Kim (2000), students that managed difficult situations listening to

church music felt better about the future. Kim (2000) also stated church music played a

significant role in helping young people solve problems. Kim’s study supports

metamodernism discussed in the theoretical framework.

Music and Worship in Small, Midsize, and Megachurches

32
Based on the theoretical framework, transformational thinking helps individuals

of organizations to become excellent regardless of size. Transformational Church leaders

can inspire worship teams to participate in a shared vision of the future (Musser, 1987).

While Transformational leaders can see the big picture, seeing the details could become a

problem, which is where many of the difficulties are for small and midsize churches. If

this is the case, it is essential for a church to employ personnel that has a futuristic pulse

on new technical and musical ideas (Musser, 1987).

Penni Cooke (2010) explored the characteristics of quality music programs in

small churches. The purpose of Cooke’s study was to look at the well-being of small

churches. The research focused on characteristics of a quality music ministry in the small

church as described from the experiences of 24 musicians and church leaders in Georgia

Baptist churches with less than 150 in worship attendance (Cooke, 2010). Thirteen

themes identified emphasized the importance of practice, music style, influences, comfort

level, and passion (Cooke, 2010). Cooke (2010) suggests opportunities for future

research in training, children’s choirs, the relationship between age and the perception of

a quality music ministry.

Bigger churches offer more programs and services while smaller churches provide

a more intimate surrounding (McMullen, 2010). Many church leaders believe there is an

increased pressure from congregation members to become larger. Many churches offer

multiple services to manage congregational expectations. Large churches provide more

services than smaller churches. According to McMullen (2010), there is evidence of

increasing church attendance in megachurches. McMullen’s (2010) quantitative survey

sampled study presented an opportunity for further research to understand why many

33
people perceive bigger churches being better than smaller churches. An example of this is

evident in the Iannaccone 1995 study. Iannaccone (1995) said megachurches are in a

better position to allocate larger amounts of money to projects and moving the church

forward to maintain a healthy financial relationship with local businesses and wealthy

congregation members.

Characteristics of the Modern Growing Church

The relationship between board members and senior pastors There is a major

concern and a point of interest in the declining weekly attendance of the average church.

In response, Burton (2010) stated large congregations give the appearance there is an

increase in church attendance. However, attendance is down in 80% of churches across

the United States (Burton, 2010). Church leaders do not agree about the significance of

pastoral leadership when it comes to managing a church in decline (Burton, 2010). One

of the issues is that many seminaries do not teach good leadership skills. The data

analysis outcome from the study showed that the highest regression coefficient was 0.138

or translated to 80% (Burton, 2010). Burton (2010) suggests there was a 20% decline in

confidence in seminaries teaching good leadership skills. Burton (2010) conducted

regression analyses for predicting which of the five leadership behaviors would influence

the growth of the church. Per Burton (2010), the highest participant scored 0.041 or

translated to 81%. This result revealed a 19% decline in the relationship between

leadership behaviors of senior pastors and church growth (Burton, 2010). Burton (2010)

suggested future researchers should consider studying denominations with larger

congregations. Another suggestion was to explore the comparison of leadership

34
behaviors between pastors of growing churches and the leadership behaviors of pastors

where membership is in decline (Burton, 2010).

Cantwell (1990) stated no comparative research was performed to determine the

relationship between exponential growth and selected theological concepts within the

Methodist and the Church of the Nazarene denominations. Due to the consistent

membership decline since 1968, both the Methodist and the Church of the Nazarene

denominations were part of the Cantwell (1990) statistical study. A survey got sent to the

Methodist and the Church of the Nazarene denominations. The survey findings and the

growth decline percentage provided statistical data (Cantwell, 1990). Cantwell (1990)

concluded a relationship exists between specific theological concepts and membership

growth. With recent concerns arising due to the slowing of growth patterns, the church

began to hold conferences to look at how the utilization of music could increase

attendance. Music performed at these conferences became the variable identified as a

factor in the growth and decline of denominational membership (Cantwell, 1990).

Various relationships such as Son/Jesus/Christ and Transformation/Transforming/Grace

were identified as significant and demonstrated that certain theological concepts have a

relationship with membership changes. It was also concluded that music, as well as text,

could be a viable factorial consideration for increasing attendance. Additional research is

required to understand the multiplicity of factors that affect an organization’s growth or

decline of membership (Cantwell, 1990). The theoretical framework identifies the

relationship between Christ and transformation (Cantwell, 1990). There are opportunities

for more research to explore why church leaders should embrace change. Holding on to

old mediums, methods, or paradigms could prevent future increase and expansion.

35
Budgets of growing churches. Budgets in churches have always been a point of

interest. Per Iannaccone (1995), the growth of religious organizations marketed as a

product, become a factor of money and time. Also, megachurches are in a better position

to allocate larger amounts of money to projects, moving the church forward and maintain

a healthy financial relationship with local businesses and wealthy congregation members

(Iannaccone, 1995). Today, however, small, and medium churches could also benefit

from emerging technology. Communication types such as teleconferencing and video

conferencing are now a way of life for global businesses. Since churches are businesses,

it would make sense to embrace these technologies. In keeping costs to a minimum,

organizations make huge investments in building global virtual teams. Having virtual

teams allow many employees to work from home. Employees can dial into work via the

LAN/intranet/internet, attend conference calls, have virtual face-to-face meetings, and

use the internet as a primary means of email communication (Davis, 2005). Although

this would reduce cost and allow employees to work from home, there must be rules and

regulations implemented to ensure guidelines are met. Small, medium, and

megachurches could all benefit from cost reduction.

Business models of growing churches. Effective business models of growing

churches can be detected watching television and listening to the radio. Churches with

quality outreach and promotional models could be on a growth trajectory. To support the

theoretical framework regarding building a church culture of integrity, excellence, good

ethics, and understanding the effects of politics, could help churches increase

membership. In a global environment, diversity is critical to understanding how to

communicate with other countries, organizations, and people from different backgrounds.

36
Regional and local understanding of heritage, religion, traditions, and language that bind

people together are essential in implementing a successful global culture that is rooted in

transformational thinking (Wunderle, 2007). Interpretation of the data is critical in

accurately influencing a group’s collective understanding of research topics. Researchers

have a responsibility to report variations of behavior, values, and ways of thinking that

are common to a culture accurately (Wunderle, 2007). While assimilation of language,

social rules, customs, structures, and institutions does not guarantee strong global

acceptance, it will assist in promoting success. Promoting cultural manifestations are a

key component in creating a global mindset (Wunderle, 2007).

Barry Lovett (2001) wrote an article that focused on ways to address the decline

in attendance in many churches. The main reason for the decline in church attendance is

that members attend less often than in years past (Lovett, 2001). Churches that want to

see an increase in weekly attendance must raise the expectations of membership. Church

leadership should require membership classes, encourage ministry involvement, and offer

more options for worship times and monitor attendance of each member (Lovett, 2001).

The study concluded congregational involvement is a major factor. People who

volunteer in the church are more likely to attend.

Lovett (2001) conducted a focus group based study with participants from

Covenant Baptist Church located in West Bloomfield, Michigan. The study presented a

theology and implementation strategy. Lovett revealed patterns of growth and decline

are similar in other denominations (Lovett, 2001). The church in 1996 began to see the

decline in membership based on issues between the Senior Pastor and other leadership

personnel. The average attendance dropped nearly 50% (Lovett, 2001). Conclusions

37
from the research helped church leadership to develop and maintain ministry teams.

Implementing a successful strategy was necessary for expanding the outreach phase of

worship teams. The study finally provided a theologically and strategic plan to

implement ministry teams (Lovett, 2001). Plans were created to help declining churches

grow and begin increasing congregational membership (Lovett, 2001).

Church cross-cultural groups contribute to building bonds between employees and

congregation members. Informal organizations based on informal groups are a great way

for cross-cultural communication to occur. These groups usually have the same interests,

likeness, and social relationships. The informal organization is the root of a body getting

along with each other. It is the cohesiveness, which helps management create long-term

employees, volunteers, members, organization culture, and a way to attract skilled people

(Newstrom, 2011). Since group members control informal organizations rather than

managers, informal organizations do not follow the traditional chain of command and

direction is more likely to come from peers (Newstrom, 2011).

The need for better music business models. The new music industry focuses on

connecting directly with listeners (Moyon, 2010). Many music companies connect with

listeners directly through websites. Many of these types of music companies are

considered independent record labels. Leaders from independent labels help musicians,

singers, and organizations market directly to customers (Moyon, 2010). Effective

marketing strategies help consumers will buy multiple products, thus creating a base

market. Churches can market products using the internet, intranet, and extranet

marketing. As with independent labels, churches can also market directly to

congregation members. Social media outlets such as YouTube can be used to upload

38
songs and sermons to provide listening value to church members (Moyon, 2010).

International and domestic communication strategies could focus on reaching customers

through mediums such as radio, TV, internet, print advertising, and social outlets.

Managers working with national communication strategies could use local radio markets

because consumers are probably familiar with existing advertising that makes it easier to

introduce new products (Moyon, 2010).

There was a need to develop a better music model for Seventh-Day Adventist

Churches. There were upgrades necessary so the church could have a better music

program. Raimo Lehtinen (1992) created a descriptive method research study for the

Seventh Day Adventist Church in North America and Europe. Similarities existed with

Johansson's contrapuntal design performed in 1984 and selected literature from

Lehtinen's study (Lehtinen, 1992). Lehtinen’s (1992) research concluded that the Holy

Scriptures provided the basis for having a music ministry. Lehtinen (1992) suggested the

essence of creativity is of God and music helps people to overcome conflicts between

good and evil.

To build a better church model, Robert Allen Rietveld (2003) conducted a mixed

method study focusing on the members of the Plum Creek Christian Church. Rietveld

focused on the lack of attention given toward church growth. The purpose of the study

was to gain insight into the perceived health status of the church as characterized by a

good church model (Rietveld, 2003). Rietveld (2003) examined what a healthy church

looks like along with characteristics required to have a healthy church. Per Rietveld

(2003), members that attended a sermon series titled “The Ten Sermon Series,” gained

knowledge of what constitutes a healthy church. Participants gained a clearer insight of

39
the state of the church. Requirements to resolve issues were also revealed (Rietveld,

2003). The studies of Lehtinen (1992) and Rietveld (2003) presented a real opportunity

for churches to understand how social media mixed with modern music industry models

are relevant and essential to a healthy modern church. Further study could help transform

the thinking of church leaders who have churches that are in decline to seek help.

The business model for multisite churches. When building business models for

multisite churches, it is critical to implement the culture, purpose, mission, and objectives

of the organization. While local differences might exist between locations, core values of

the church should not change. There must also be a sense of corporate social

responsibility that is believed and felt by the local site. Creating corporate social

responsibility will help an organization to gain credibility and do business collectively.

Per Hunt (2008), organizations with strong cultures operate with a clear vision. Internal

components of organizations with robust and positively active cultures include a high-

performance mentality that focuses on teamwork, risk taking, and innovation (Hunt,

2008).

Roger Shepherd’s (2010) dissertation addressed issues regarding the leadership

patterns in growing churches. Shepherd performed a study on churches in North

America. The dissertation contained three parts. Part 1 focused on the biblical,

historical, and contemporary context of the Churches of Christ (Shepherd, 2010). Part 2

presented the research methodology and findings. Part 3 addressed the meaning of

leadership and ministry patterns. The goal of Shepherd’s (2010) grounded theory study

was for the purpose identifying the best process for a change in patterns of leadership and

ministry, connect people to Christian values, and serve the needs of individuals within a

40
contemporary context. The best model was used to help grow churches that are balanced

in biblical theology while using progressive approaches to ministry and practicing

Christianity. This type of leadership style was called Shepherding, which consists of

involving the laity by delegating those roles in ministry (Shepherd, 2010). Per Shepherd,

it is critical for growing churches to participate in relational evangelism and small team

ministry (Shepherd, 2010).

The purpose of Harold Singleton’s (1980) quantitative survey-based research was

to study the job conditions, interpersonal relationships, self-realization, seminary

preparation, and continuing education of selected graduates of The Southern Baptist

Theological Seminary School of Church Music. The objective was to formulate

implications for the seminary preparation of professional Ministers of Music (Singleton,

1980). Singleton concluded the education of the Minister of Music should not end when

the process of formal seminary education ends. The conclusion from the research

revealed it is critical to consider other learning options such as universities,

denominational classes, workshops, online classes, lectures, and other forms of

expanding the educational experience (Singleton, 1980). Singleton’s (1980) findings

stated the Minister of Music must be willing to make the time and pursue avenues by

which the educational experience can happen.

Although the studies of Shepherd, Singleton, and Hunt are essential in

understanding why it is important to implement the culture, purpose, mission, and

objectives into churches with multisite campuses, the studies do not discuss the

advantages or disadvantages of churches that have multiple locations. Further studies

41
would help to explain what multisite churches are, the impact of having a multisite

church and how they can contribute to increasing church attendance.

The business model for paid and volunteer church staff. Today church models

heavily rely on volunteer staff. While a volunteer business model can be economically

beneficial for the church, volunteers must have the tools, direction, appreciation, and

respect to sustain free labor. Transformational leaders create an environment of

empowerment as discussed in the theoretical framework. Transformational leadership

states if people get treated with dignity, respect, and given the tools required to get the

job done they will perform well. Employees and volunteers can begin to embrace the

identity of a winning organization when using a transformational model. In general, most

people will perform at an optimal level when being part of a perceived higher purpose

(Osborn, 2008). The Presbyterian Church leadership performed a quantitative study

based on a leadership survey. The leadership survey asked the pastors who participated in

the research eighty-three questions regarding their leadership practices. The study

analyzed how women now make up 33% of active pastors in the Presbyterian Church.

Findings from this study identified significant ideas of a woman’s role in the early

Presbyterian Church. However, many female pastors do not know what leadership

practices would be effective in ministry. Not knowing what leadership would be

effective is important within the Presbyterian Church due to decline in membership and

church attendance in the last 40 years (Thro, 2014). Women now outnumber men as

candidates for ministry (Thro, 2014). Women must be considered for leadership

opportunities. Thro’s hypothesis stated there are leadership practices observed by female

pastors of growing churches that encourage congregational growth (Thro, 2014). The

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pastor’s responses did show four areas where pastors of growing churches demonstrate

strength regarding leadership practice (Thro, 2014). These areas consist of the following:

 Indicating the benefit of follower buy-in

 Growing and empowering followers

 Execution

 Vision

William Mashbern’s (1988) research project helped to develop a model to

facilitate the training of volunteer and part-time church music leaders serving in Southern

Baptist churches. While performing an assessment of the current church model, it was

determined to be ineffective and inconsistent. While many factors contributed to this

conclusion, the most significant was the establishment of the Church Music Department

of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board in 1941 (Mashbern, 1988). Pamphlets and

plan books produced by this department were analyzed (Mashbern, 1988). The books

that presented the clearest and most detailed descriptions of these programs were

installed. The participants reported that approximately two-thirds of all Southern Baptist

churches utilize volunteer and part-time personnel as the principal music leader

(Mashbern, 1988). Mashburn's research suggested the main responsibility for identifying

and meeting the training needs of these leaders resided with associational and state music

directors (Mashbern, 1988). Most of the participating state music directors, however,

indicated a desire to relinquish much of responsibility to the associational music directors

(Mashbern, 1988). Findings from the study show the need for additional research

outlining the need for understanding why the division and distribution of labor transferred

43
by the administration to the associational music directors are essential for meeting

training needs of volunteer and part-time church music leaders (Mashbern, 1988).

Demographics of Growing Churches

When churches move away from old musical styles to modern and contemporary

styles of worship, there is usually the challenge of congregational resistance (Abbamonte

& Banks, 2009). Findings from the article “Is Contemporary Music Key to Church

Growth” written by Abbamonte and Banks (2009) revealed churches that change styles of

worship then lose members often. The FACT 2008 study also supported Abbamonte and

Banks findings. However, this exodus can also lead to opportunities for higher

attendance. Abbamonte and Banks (2009) stated close to 64% of congregations that

converted to a contemporary worship style within the last five years enjoyed an increase

in worship attendance of 2% or more. The study revealed the results were the same for

independent denominational affiliations. Abbamonte and Banks (2009) supported the

implication that if a struggling church converts to a contemporary style of worship, there

will be an increase in membership quickly. Churches that contain a contemporary

worship team could grow up to 61% within a year (Abbamonte & Banks, 2009). Based

on the research, resistance to change could be an issue. Resisting change is also not a

transformational characteristic and is not supported by the theoretical framework.

Transformational leaders attempt to modify the way employees think and work by

connecting with their inner being (Coggins, 2013). The objective of transformational

leadership is to create an atmosphere for people to reach an optimum level of excellence.

The Transformational leadership goal is to transform organization (Burns, 1978).

Church Growth and Congregational Membership

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There is a healing component in music that is critical for churches to understand.

Church members that can identify with the music will often become members. Since

music has a healing component to it a closeness between the congregation, lyrics, music,

quality of the presentation is created. McGowan (2007) constructed a phenomenological

study based on five interviews from Santo Daime Church members from Brazil and five

interviews of Holotropic Breathwork participants living in Atlanta, Georgia. McGowan’s

findings of the interviews through the analysis helped to understand the experiences of

music so that there is more awareness of musical impact. The additional study could

provide a significant understanding how music is an excellent way to encourage or

facilitate positive healing experiences. The healing process helps people to become

closer to God (McGowan, 2007).

There must be caution when priests, pastors, and worship team leaders limit

decisions regarding the selection of music, rehearsal times, and worship team members

based on personal preferences. The Archbishop Mario Conti made statements that

cautioned against priests who indulged in personal preferences and conducted a study

focused on the Archdiocese Latin Mass worship team (Heaney, 2012). Heaney (2012)

suggested there was no reason to change what was a successful practice of the

Archdiocese. Although there were many reasons to alter the worship team structure and

process, personal preferences should not be a consideration. It was better to create

change rooted in the betterment of the process to reach the main objective. Personal

preferences should not give way to organizational needs and requirements (Heaney,

2012). Church leadership should create policy required to provide the environment to

promote decision making that helps to execute church objectives. Leadership should take

45
into consideration differences such as cultural history, logistical locations, family needs,

and communication. If board members and senior pastors are willing to view workers as

their most asset, more employer/employee gaps can be bridged which help churches to

grow and thrive (Heaney, 2012).

Components of the Contemporary Worship Team

The skill level of worship team members. Reviewed literature by researchers

helps to construct a basis to discuss the findings of the interviews. Findings from the

interviews with literature reviewed through analysis, will create a complete

understanding of the experience of music, and provide clues for an expanded

understanding of the power of music to facilitate healing and transformation. Findings

should also lead to an understanding of the many ways music is experienced, through the

creation of a matrix of musical experience enhanced by the skill level of worship team

members.

Miller (2007) conducted a study and stated the basis of musical influence is

looking at the experience of music in altered states of consciousness. The analysis

consisted of five interviews from Santo Daime Church members from Brazil, and five

interviews of Holotropic Breathwork participants living in Atlanta, Georgia (Miller,

2007). Also, Dennis Croker (1985) performed a study in investigating music leaders

trained in Nazarene colleges in the Church of the Nazarene. Croker (1985) wanted to

understand the current level of expertise. Croker (1985) also wanted to present possible

ways of making current music leadership more effective. The study included a survey

sent to 40 music graduates selected at random, a survey sent to 100 Nazarene pastors

chosen at random, and interviews with music administrators at each of the eight Nazarene

46
colleges in the United States (Croker, 1985). Approximately 52% of all music graduates

since 1939 are church music leaders, and 46% are currently music leaders in Nazarene

churches. What was interesting is that 86% of all music graduates held a position of

church music leadership at some point in time. The improvement in the retention of

music leadership in the Church of the Nazarene might occur through minor alterations in

church policy, more realistic college preparation, and through better music and worship,

preparation of Nazarene pastors (Crocker, 1985). Crocker’s conclusions from the study

determined the effectiveness of church music leadership could happen through making

church music courses mandatory for all music majors with an emphasis on field work,

apprenticeship in church music, the establishment of a graduate program in church music,

and increased denominational support (Crocker, 1985). Thomas McDonald (1993) said

there was a link between music and the spoken word to enhance the worship experience.

McDonald (1993) created a study with the purpose of reducing the shortage of Ministers

of Music in the Evangelical tradition while improving the level of music making and the

quality of instruction rendered by Ministers of Music. The purpose of the study was to

identify a new paradigm that will empower readers to pursue musical excellence and

leadership prowess (McDonald, 1993). McDonald (1993) examined the roles and

responsibilities of the office of the Minister of Music, in local congregations, based on

eight categories. These classes include the Minister of Music as Choral Conductor,

Orchestral Conductor, Worship Leader, Producer, Pastor, and Colleague. McDonald

(1993) indicated if such a textbook were available, 67% of church members would

purchase it. McDonald later stated that almost 50% of the participants would be

interested in enhancing skill sets in rehearsal techniques (McDonald, 1993). The task of

47
choral administration was of importance, both regarding starting a choir or maturing an

existing ministry (McDonald, 1993). McDonald’s findings from the study concluded that

the Minister of Music presents a dual purpose: pastor and musician (McDonald, 1993).

The study finally revealed that the gifting is musical, yet the calling is pastoral.

McDonald concluded by understanding the importance of developing quality skill sets in

both areas is critical to have a quality music program (McDonald, 1993). Additional

study would be required to show how integrating gifted musical ability with pastors

called to ministry are proven elements of church growth.

Disposition of successful worship teams. The disposition of people belonging to

any organization reflects leadership. Empowering Church employees and volunteers with

tools and solid direction, where transformational thinking can happen, is supported in the

theoretical framework. Work environments based on a supportive behavior model are

excellent for professional/career-oriented workers because it instills a sense of ownership

and the ability to make organizational decisions. A supportive behavior model within a

transformational leadership style is encouraged.

In 2010, Shepherd conducted a qualitative study done by questionnaires that

explored leadership patterns in growing churches. The purpose of the study was to

recommend a model of change in patterns of ministry and leadership (Shepherd, 2010).

Per Shepherd (2010), there are specific patterns of leadership that are more efficient for

growing churches. An example of an effective leadership style is Shepherding.

Shepherd’s findings help churches to grow by implementing strong worship, teaching the

effectiveness of small groups, and developing discipleship using family and youth

ministries. Shepherd concluded that Churches of Christ are balanced in biblical theology

48
while using a progressive methodology in ministry and practicing Christianity. Also, the

style of leadership that is effective in growing churches is a people oriented Shepherding

style involving the process of delegating ministry roles (Shepherd, 2010).

Modern musical styles of urban worship. Urban music is a driving force in

today's music scene. Roots of urban music stem from songs and chants sung by slaves,

African rhythms, American rhythm, and blues (R&B), and street hip-hop. Some

Christians consider music as sacred and should be performed using old hymns.

Christians rooted in African-American culture many times do not identify with old songs

that come from Europe. If the objective of the church is to bring people to Christ and

increase membership, this gap must be bridged. It, therefore, makes sense to engage in

musical interests of individuals and use music as a tool to grow the church. Church

leaders using music to increase church attendance supports the theoretical framework

regarding transformational thinking. Music within a transformational context can be used

to change the way people think and work by connecting to core values (Coggins, 2013).

James Cobbs (2001) created a study that focused on the members who participate

in the music ministry of the Rivermont Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Cobbs

revealed a shift from worship to entertainment in the music ministry, which led to the

implementation of a series of workshops and seminars targeting a test group of musicians

and singers. Worship team members received information regarding the history and

development of the African-American Spiritual and gospel music worship traditions.

Worship team members able to understand the responsibilities as Ministers of Music and

to distinguish the difference between religious entertainment and authentic worship as it

pertains to the church (Cobbs, 2001).

49
John E Freeman (2001) performed a survey based research for assessing the

Music Ministry of Central Chapel A.M.E. Church, Yellow Springs, Ohio. When worship

team leadership began using tools such as sermons, Bible studies, workshops, and music

appreciation seminars, created the need for manuals in the local African-American church

(Freeman, 2001). Further study would be required to determine if the handbook was

truly effective.

On the other hand, Chicago’s inner-city went through many changes during and

after the civil rights era of the 1960’s. While many churches were growing, smaller

churches were in decline. Churches that enjoyed an increase in membership later became

known as megachurches (Goodwin, 2011). Norman Goodwin (2011) produced a mixed-

method exploratory study that attempted to focus on why many of Chicago's African-

American churches in the inner-city experienced a decline in attendance and others have

become large or megachurches. Goodwin suggested when the congregation liked the

pastor and church, there was a higher level of attendance (Goodwin, 2011). Senior

pastors that were adaptive to change had a clear vision and plan which led to increased

attendance (Goodwin, 2011). Churches with a strong community presence had better

church attendance levels than churches without a strong community presence (Goodwin,

2011). Per Goodwin (2011), there were members from both types of churches that

experienced an increase and decrease in membership attendance. However, members

who were attending churches with declining attendance did not feel comfortable inviting

others to church (Goodwin, 2011). Olugbemi (2011) states that since the 1990s, urban

contemporary music has become a dominant force in the United States music scene.

Radio stations play urban contemporary music globally. Urban music was commercially

50
successful in the early 2000s’ and crossed over to popular music markets. African-

American recording artists in 2004 recorded the top 12 songs on the Billboard Hot 100

(Olugbemi, 2011). This statistic accounted for 80% of number-one R&B hits that year

(Olugbemi, 2011). Also, many urban radio stations play gospel music or urban

contemporary gospel music on Sunday (Olugbemi, 2011).

To take this a step further, Joelisa Johnson (2008) attempted to investigate

African-American sacred music performed in Los Angeles, California megachurches

(Johnson, 2008). The multiple-case exploratory case study focused on the megachurches

West Angeles Church of God in Christ, First African Methodist Episcopal Church, and

Faithful Central Bible Church (2008). To show how African-American music traditions

have progressed, Johnson (2008) documented and examined African-American musical

styles. The study outlined expression of the African-American experience in worship

music (Johnson, 2008). As the African-American experience in America continues to

evolve, the music will evolve as well (Johnson, 2008). There are also instances where

changes are adopted intentionally for creating a new environment (Johnson, 2008).

Across the United States, African-American megachurches have emerged over the

last 30 years. The emergence of African-American megachurches created new

paradigms, opportunities, and issues within the African-American Christian community.

The study outlined how megachurches in the African-American Community are

preserving older genres such as sacred music. Although some congregations are using

sacred music to overcome the challenges in the community, further research should be

done to determine the effectiveness of sacred music (Johnson, 2008).

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Modern musical styles of suburban worship teams. Contemporary suburban

worship teams have become diverse and dynamic. Many suburban neighborhoods are

very culturally integrated. The musical and worship styles should emulate the proper

level of integration. Musical styles for consideration should include rock, hip-hop, R&B,

global music, country and even classical. It is the blend of the music which is important

for influencing a diverse demographic of people.

John Kinchen (2012) created a study that compared two different approaches to

music theory instruction for church music students. Self-preparedness, attitudes, and

achievement are the key features covered in the curriculum. The quantitative, quasi-

experimental research study consisted of 286 participants. The experimental and control

groups experienced the same music theory content, but the experimental group learned

music theory which had an emphasis on a combination of pop, rock, and jazz musical

concepts. The study included a Nashville number system, rhythm chart writing and

reading, contemporary vocal harmony, and performance of theory concepts through in-

class lab settings (Kinchen, 2012). The control group, however, was taught music theory

using a traditional, conservatory-based music theory curriculum that consists of harmony

practices that exhibit traditional four-part writing (Kinchen, 2012). Per Kinchen (2012),

the contemporary group scored higher on music theory achievement, attitude, and self-

preparedness.

However, when the Liberty contemporary group matched up with the five other

universities, students instructed in a modern music theory curriculum achieved higher test

scores on traditional music theory concepts (Kinchen, 2012). Results of the scores

revealed that students instructed in a contemporary music theory curriculum had higher

52
scores toward a diversity of music styles as compared to students taught in a traditional

music theory curriculum (Kinchen, 2012). Kinchen’s study supports the effectiveness of

the use of contemporary church music styles, as being a critical part of educating worship

leaders (Kinchen, 2012). Jeremy Porras (2005) reported on the influence of rock and jazz

music from three original compositions for contemporary worship. Porras (2005)

explored worship music used in the organized church and its relationship to the evolving

music of the Western culture and gave details on the influence of jazz and rock elements

found in the worship music of the contemporary Protestant church. Porras also discussed

how the effect that jazz and rock music had in three original compositions for worship.

The elements influenced consist of specific rhythms, harmonies, melodies, and

performance characteristics inspired by jazz and rock styles (Porras, 2005). Malcolm

Moore (2006) however stated that Pope Benedict did not like the use of guitars and

tambourines. The Pope believes religious music can become modern. However,

Gregorian chants or sacred polyphonic choral music should not be ignored (Moore,

2006).

Training programs available to worship teams. Frequently in most

organizations, issues occur among managers who are burned out, lacking in needed

training and skills, overqualified, or lacking the resources required to accomplish

company objectives (Osborn, 2008). The church should provide the ability for people to

obtain the skills necessary to perform well. Providing employees training programs

allow people to stay current and is in alignment with the theoretical framework based on

empowering people. The Church of Christ is a Christian denomination that sprang from

the nineteenth century Restoration Movement in the United States of America (Brookey,

53
2013). Brookey (2013) suggested music is an important part of a worship service of the

Churches of Christ. Church services also utilize an active a Cappella singing style from

the congregation (Brookey, 2013). However, a suggestion indicated that instrumental

music should not be allowed in the church as a standard practice and not allowed in

traditional church choirs. Church services do not include special music presentations

often. Music schools of the 18th and 19th centuries in the United States influenced

churches to teach people to read music and strengthen congregational singing. Brookey

(2013) also stated Churches of Christ have always kept this tradition. The church

members still sing from hymnals today even though many current members have never

been trained to read this form of musical notation (Brookey, 2013). Other than hymns,

there is no evidence of the singing of choral music in the worship services of the

Churches of Christ. Churches of Christ colleges and universities often support choral

music programs. The study began with a historical account of the development of the

Church of Christ denomination by its Cappella singing tradition. Many Churches of

Christ programs use instrumental music. Further research could address the question of

how and why the church supports choral music and the performance of instrumental

music in the schools but not during worship services.

Regarding developing more contemporary curriculum models, Allen Hendricks

(2012) indicated the degree program at Charleston Southern University focused on a

European traditional/classical sacred music degree model. The problem was that the

degree model used was attracting fewer students. The final two students pursuing the

Sacred Degree graduated in May 2011 (Hendricks, 2012). Immediately before

graduation, the administration asked the music department to consider career markets and

54
the leadership training strategies of other institutions (Hendricks, 2012). Since there were

fewer students interested in attending the degree program, there was a big push to

develop a credible worship arts leadership degree and assist the university in enabling

churches in training music ministry leaders (Hendricks, 2012). Based on the survey

results, ideas from other university degrees and accreditation standards from the National

Association of Schools of Music were used to upgrade the school model and design a

complete undergraduate degree curriculum (Hendricks, 2012). Charleston Southern

University was finally able to attract more students (Hendricks, 2012).

On a very personal level, William L Rhoades (1989) created a short personal

philosophy paper for providing a philosophical and religious course of direction for the

Minister of Music in a church setting based upon personal belief. Some issues needed

consideration regarding music and its relationship to the Bible, creation, aesthetics,

excellence, worship, education, and evangelism (Rhoades, 1989). While it was not the

intent to deal with the organizational matters and daily issues, which face each music

minister or worship arts leader, it was intended to reflect the direction of a sound,

biblically based program of music that supports the worship, education, and evangelism

of the church (Rhoades, 1989).

Jeong S. Yang (2009) performed a study that compared specific music programs

in the United States to ten church music programs in South Korea. The purpose of the

study was to grow more qualified and educated church musicians in South Korean

churches (Yang, 2009). Yang (2009) stated that Korean graduate schools are deficient in

meeting the educational demands of many Korean students. Yang (2009) suggested this

was the driving factor that initiated Korean students to start attending schools in

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American universities. Currently, no study is available that shows a comparison of

programs in American and Korean universities (Yang, 2009). The study performed

identified the strengths and weaknesses of both the American University Korean

programs (Yang, 2009). Yang (2009) wanted the results to help evaluate and train

musicians to become better church musicians.

Even though many musicians have professional experience, playing in the church

is not entertainment. Professional musicians must attempt to understand church music

from the spiritual aspect and see it as a music ministry. Although denominational schools

are ministry oriented where the secular universities are professional oriented, secular

students can still become Ministers of Music and not just be a performer (Yang, 2009). It

is important that each denominational program shows the denominational emphasis or in

the case of secular schools, professionalism (Yang, 2009).

The Connection Between Business and the Church

The use of social media and growing churches. Social media is a critical

component of today's marketing and communication world. Facebook, YouTube,

Instagram, Google Soundcloud, and many other tools empower organizations to reach

customers and consumers directly. Churches that understand the importance of social

media has an advantage over those that do not. Since social media is considered

inexpensive marketing, it is worth the investment for churches to pursue the opportunity.

By using marketing outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, internet, iTunes, CD Baby,

YouTube, and other social media, churches will be able to keep costs low while

expanding into new markets. By implementing a solid risk assessment plan, upholding

the validity of data, ensuring the credibility of the research methods, and maintaining

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transparency regarding the results from measurable goals the marketing plan will mitigate

the risk of legal, ethical, and social issues. The implementation of a solid risk plan

should also satisfy the integrity of the organizational brand.

Leatha Still (2011) started an online program for clergy at Omega Baptist Church,

Dayton, Ohio. The project consisted of 16 participants and seven workshops. Still

(2011) chose a qualitative methodology to understand the level of education and learning

of each participant. The conclusion revealed that the participant’s knowledge of

mentoring increased by using the online program. Also, the online training process was

very beneficial (Still, 2011).

Dr. Dale Robbins (2000) outlined 12 technologies which help churches to have a

better internet presence. These technologies are as follows:

 Have a web page presentation

 Cyberchurch capabilities

 Audio cybercast

 Video Cybercast

 Email

 Chatrooms

 Online calendars

 Bulletin boards for announcements

 The online member database

 Online contact forms

 E-commerce capabilities

 VOIP capability

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Marketing techniques of contemporary music. Targeted and focused marketing

research plans can help church leaders achieve objectives regardless as to whether the

church objectives are branding, marketing, financial, operational, or technology related.

Modern marketing occurs on many levels such as internet, intranet, and extranet

marketing strategies. There is also direct marketing with companies regarding special

projects. Per MarketingSavant.com (2008), the fastest growing technological trends in

marketing are social media networks, smartphone applications, internet protocol

television, mobile marketing, virtual world advertising, and podcasting. Churches can

utilize many of these technological avenues in both domestic and international markets.

Various applications for mobile devices can be created and marketed toward specific

population segments that offer product comparison information, sale tracking, as well as

general updates about the products and developments at churches. Effective marketing

can help church elders create a loyal community of church members connected to the

church through a variety of technological applications.

Orlando Enrique Fiol (2012) produced a quantitative study focused on a popular

dance music genre known as Timba. Timba features structures, instrumentation, and song

forms from Cuban genres. Timba incorporates elements from Cuban folkloric music,

American jazz, and funk (Fiol, 2012). Focusing on the piano’s role within the Timba

rhythm section, the study traces the development of pianistic gestural and textural

vocabularies, exploring how the piano’s ensemble role interrelates with those of bass,

percussion, horns, and vocals, through a genre-based historicized lens. Fiol (2012) used a

series of examples such as Tres Style by Arcaño y sus Maravillas, Chordal Style, and

Chachachá by Orquesta Aragón, and Motivo Style by Orquesta Aragón. These examples

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show how these chord structures and rhythms construct the Timba Dance music style

(Fiol, 2012). The study concludes by Fiol discussing how classically trained pianists,

bassists, horn players, and percussionists have already bridged the translation chasm

between Cuba and the West’s rich musical patrimonies (Fiol, 2012). Fiol (2012)

concluded that skilled Cuban musicians bridge the translation chasm between Afro-

diasporic and European musical rubrics, fusing musical styles into creolized, transcultural

musical systems (Fiol, 2012).

Business models of the music industry. Music industry models have shifted

away from large corporations having all the power to a where the independent company

can compete for market share. Fischbeck (2000) stated that digital music business model

implementations are rapidly changing marketing strategies, operational, and supply

chains of the main music labels, churches, and new music businesses. Fischbeck (2000)

discussed the evolution of online business models is now the standard for the music

industry. Online business models include prevention, ad-supported, interim, and

streaming subscriptions models (Fischbeck, 2000). Emilien Moyon (2010) discussed the

relationship between structure and institutional agency change within the music industry.

In this qualitative methodology, Moyon presents the structure and institutional agency

change within the music industry by examining three processes which are (a) alternative

practices, (b) alternative practices modification, and (c) process duration (Moyon, 2010).

Moyon’s study used three results of coercive pressures on the agency, which are (a)

strategic adjustment, (b) traditional practices modification, and (c) legitimization

(Moyon, 2010). The information came from BMG, EMI, Sony Music, Warner, and

Universal Music (Moyon, 2010). These companies are considered the major music

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organizations in the world. The research focused on the standard business models used in

the music industry for many years. In recent years, this model has shifted, incorporating

digital technology. During the last 20 years, the standard model has come up under

intense competition from direct social media models, which permit churches to broadcast

music and services directly to the masses (Moyon, 2010). Within the business models,

strategies, tactics, and examples were used to show strategic responses to institutional

processes. The study compared traditional business models to current models from

Amazon, Apple, and Yahoo. The review concluded more research would help due to the

ever-changing developments in technology that have a direct influence on the music

industry, which will ultimately affect the music business model (Moyon, 2010). Moyon

used the business model below to illustrate the traditional standard model used for many

years (see Appendix I).

Figure 01. Traditional business music model

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From “Co-evolution between Stages of Institutionalization and Agency: The Case of the

Music Industry's Business Model,” by E. Moyon and X. Lecocq, 2010, Management

International, pp. 37-53. Copyright 2010 by E. Moyon and X. Lecocq.

Reprinted with permission.

Online based business models have recently challenged this model such as Apple,

Yahoo, and YouTube. Due to the compressed format of mp3 files, it became the standard

audio file format for the Internet. MP3 technology enables the user to copy and upload

music to websites and email file attachments to other listeners while minimizing a loss in

audio quality, compared to analog formats. MP3 files help the average musician to

compete with large record music labels (Moyon, 2010).

The implications of findings show a change in both musical art and business.

Within the last 15 years, there has been a cultural shift that includes Rock, Latin, Jazz,

R&B, Classical, and Country music into one synergistic form. Recent changes represent

how the lines of cultures become blurrier as time goes on. Displayed are rhythmic links

between African-American and Cuban backbeat-based beats in funky drumbeats from

hip-hop. Bassist Carlos Del Puerto was one of the first to find an affinity between sparse

funk bass lines, slap techniques, and Afro-Cuban rhythms. Blood Sweat and Tears,

Tower of Power, and Weather Report-influenced next generation (NG) La Banda’s jazzy

horn mambos arranged by flutist and director José Luis Cortés. This type of synergistic

energy occurs on the business side of music as well and illustrated by the working

relationships between many multimedia companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon,

YouTube, and many online music websites.

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Having the ability to stream music at a global level is a requirement.

Nieuwenhuis (2012) stated that building a loyal online audience requires investments and

knowledge of online media. Consumers can download music and stream music

(Nieuwenhuis, 2012). Maintaining healthy relationships with music consumers is critical

for music companies (Nieuwenhuis, 2012). Record companies have slowly become more

willing to sign deals with legal online music providers due to a decrease in CD sales

(Nieuwenhuis, 2012). Companies increase revenues from live performances and

merchandising. These type of record deals are known as ‘360-degree deals’. In a 360-

degree deal, the music company signs an artist, manages their complete business portfolio

which could include recordings, to live performances, merchandising and the rights for

online services, radio plays, use in films, games and TV series (Leurdijk & Nieuwenhuis,

2012). Per Leurdijk and Nieuwenhuis (2012), concert promoters such as Live Nation and

AEG also sign artists to 360-degree deals. Music industry leadership assume business

risks such as these in exchange for more control over the artists’ creative process and

business (Leurdijk & Nieuwenhuis, 2012). Music companies are putting money behind

well-known artists. Per Leurdijk and Nieuwenhuis, (2012), traditional music companies

want to regain control over the revenue side of online music. Changes in the industry

create the opportunity for artists to become independent from music companies (Leurdijk

& Nieuwenhuis, 2012).

Recommendations from the articles written by the Leurdijk and Nieuwenhuis

(2012) support the ever-changing evolution of music at the creative, artistic level, as well

as the business level. More research is required to show how music industry business

models will continue to evolve and the lines will become even more blurred. When

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musical styles are merged, people who listen to different musical styles start to learn

about each other through the music that leads to a better cultural understanding regarding

each other. This type of cooperation also exists on the business side. With the open

business model of emerging music streaming, downloads, and online distribution

companies, musicians can now sell music globally without the need for having to go

through the major labels. The emergence of this new model is a huge shift because it will

help to level the playing field for the average musician. Based on the old and established

business model, a musician had to try to get a record deal to get enough promotion to

earn a living. Today, there is no requirement for this middle step.

Use of television in the modern church. Dr. Dale A. Robbins (1995) outlined

the opportunities and the potential for churches to increase congregational membership

using television. The potential to reach people increased by broadcasting televised

church services, local churches broadcast church services become a positive force for

evangelism, not just locally but worldwide (Robbins, 1995). It also is a very effective

tool in marketing the church regarding activities, style of worship, and many other things

(Robbins, 1995). The exploratory study concluded the effectiveness of television is

ineffective without sufficient training and proper equipment. Without sufficient training

and proper equipment, TV presentations become compromised, thus potentially hurting

the church (Robbins, 1995).

Since more churches are using digital video to train staff and volunteers, effective

training programs and additional studies should focus on the connection between

business management requirements, types of computers, and software programs required

to record quality programs, sound system, and operation requirements (Robbins, 1995).

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Robbins (1995) recognized the advantage of quality video training. Videotape training

help instructors to repeat instruction until it is understood. All trainees can use this

technique repeatedly (Robbins, 1995).

Churches can and should take advantage of local government television stations

to broadcast television programs at no cost and will help local television viewers to see

the services. Local television also creates a medium for the church to market and

promotes them. Additionally, the television-broadcasting model could eventually

broadcast services on other cable television shows that have a bigger viewing market

(Robbins, 1995).

Educational level of church staff and volunteers of growing churches. It is

important to ascertain the perceptions of church volunteers, leaders, and members as it

pertains to using human resource principles on church volunteers (Banks, 2001). Banks

(2001) used nine focus groups across the country and examined principles such as open

recruitment, training, supervision, evaluation, and rotations/transfers of volunteers. The

selected participants also submitted viewpoints as to how these human resource

principles get implemented. The selected participants also identified the benefits and

challenges. Banks (2001) revealed churches expect and agree with the idea of enrolling

volunteers, training of recruits, and periodic training of existing volunteers. Church

volunteers should also be appropriately supervised and evaluated. Banks (2001)

examined the attitudes toward the rotating or transferring of volunteers into other

positions. All groups and regions had the same opinions in support of the five human

resource principles studied (Banks, 2001). Using focus group interview sessions as a

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research instrument was found to be valuable in creating cooperation and new ideas

within the church (Banks, 2001).

Lisa Dawson (2008) performed a survey to research attitudes and opinions of

Church of God musicians who wanted to pursue a higher level of education. Another

reason for the study was to discover different types of continuing education experiences

required by the church musicians (Dawson, 2008). Dawson (2008) suggested many who

led worship are not trained or educated in the skills and knowledge needed to serve

effectively. While many worship leaders are not opposed to continued education in

church music topics, many do not know where to look for training (Dawson, 2008).

Many times, educational resources do not exist. The results of the study revealed the

worship arts team has a keen interest in receiving continuing education. The study also

reported that time, money and family constraints prove to be significant obstacles in the

pursuance of further education by music and worship leaders (Dawson, 2008). Dawson

concluded there are many types of continuing educational experiences that musicians

require in the Church of God (Dawson, 2008). Those who provide such experiences must

take into consideration the constraints and barriers that most worship leaders experience.

Practical, theological, and philosophical elements should be considered as well (Dawson,

2008). Additional research regarding obstacles and constraints affecting worship leaders

would help explain additional reasons for ineffective music models.

Earlier studies performed by Seventh-day Adventist focused on challenges of

daily activities in the music ministry. The research did not contain how having higher

education affected music ministers. It also did not provide strategies for improving the

development of worship leaders. With this opportunity, Rafael Rodriguez Chalas (2012)

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created a quantitative study, which researched the effects of educational needs of the

worship team, which belonged to the Seventh-Day Adventist Churches in the Atlantic

Union Conference. The study used an online survey and examined a population of 552

Seventh-day Adventist. Music Ministers. This quantitative study focused on the

northeastern states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York,

Rhode Island, Vermont, and the territory of Bermuda (Chalas, 2012). The characteristics

of the study focused on the educational backgrounds, music, and worship practices of

each participant. Chalas attempted to capture the need to pursue additional education

(Chalas, 2012). The research questions focused on how each participant planned to

obtain additional education. Chalas (2012) examined perceptions and beliefs regarding

the adequacy, effectiveness, relevance, and support of the music ministry from the

Seventh-day Adventist administrative staff.

It was important to understand the obstacles and roadblocks that prevented the

music ministry from receiving additional education. Based on the results the music

ministers learned how to develop appropriate music for multiple worship styles, better

singing techniques, and where to find suitable literature for growth. Per Chalas (2012),

approximately 50% of the participants wanted to receive continuing education. The

participants also wanted to attend workshops, seminars, and clinics. The top three

participants reported obstacles about receiving an additional education (Chalas, 2012).

Some of these barriers were previous commitments, personal financial limitations, and

lack of local church funding (Chalas, 2012). Recommendations from the study consisted

of (a) increased offerings of workshops and clinics directed to Adventist music ministers,

(b) established worship, and music offices within the local conferences to support and

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coordinate music ministry, (c) opportunities for intercommunication among music

ministers such as internet forums that promote collaboration, and continuing education

(Chalas, 2012). Findings by Chalas enabled worship leaders to express professional and

educational requirements while attempting to make large educational and musical

contributions to associated churches (Chalas, 2012). Diab (2011) examined the

relationship dynamics between the Southern Baptist National Convention and the local

LifeWay Church as it pertains to children's music (Chalas, 2012). The quantitative

descriptive study focused on theological and organizational frameworks of national and

local churches. Diab attempted to understand how organizational frameworks affected

children and children's music in an autonomous local church setting (Diab, 2011). Diab

(2011) also suggested resources and programs related to children in the local church and

national convention level are critical in teaching children about the concepts of the faith

and worship.

The essence of worship and how it affects the congregation. The early Roman

Catholic Church reserved music for an exclusive group of composers and performers

(Rietveld, 2003). Out of a rebellious nature, many people privately worshiped with

prayers individually (Rietveld, 2003). Rietveld (2003) stated that Martin Luther's

Reformation during the Renaissance solidified worship as a congregational experience

that started the beginning of the Protestant Church. As Europeans and Africans migrated

to colonial America, two different streams of music culture developed an integration

between sacred and secular influences. The two musical cultures converged in the 1970’s

and began to mimic the music of the pop culture. The convergence was an effort to be

culturally relevant and to evangelize unbelievers (Rietveld, 2003). The foundation of

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Christian music in the Evangelical Church is rooted in Contemporary Christian Music,

which now adopts popular music styles musically and lyrically. The synergistic style is

used for reflecting an acceptable model to the church and as a magnet to attract

unbelievers (Rietveld, 2003).

The theological study by Andrew Arthur (2011) was written to examine the

sermons of Timothy Keller. Forty-two sermons were analyzed. Keller utilized a biblical-

theological framework to develop and deliver gospel-centered, expository sermons

(Andrew, 2011). Per Andrew (2011), Keller consistently demonstrated a discernible

relationship between the Word and the person, work, and teaching of Jesus Christ, only

then proceed to the life of the listener. There were implications produced from the study

for preachers, pastors, and worship leaders.

Andrew’s first implication stated that biblical theology encourages contemporary

preachers and worship leaders to adopt a definition of expository preaching that

necessarily incorporates the gospel. It is critical that every text must be interpreted in

light the Bible's overarching story line of salvation in Jesus Christ. Otherwise, the

interpretation falls short of providing a Christian understanding of the text (Andrew,

2011). Andrew’s second implication stated that biblical theology provides contemporary

evangelical preachers and worship leaders with a functional knowledge of the Bible's

coherent and cohesive story line. Having an understanding of biblical theory enables

worship leaders, preachers, and pastors to relate to various parts of salvation history.

Andrew’s third implication stated that biblical theology provides contemporary

evangelical preachers with the necessary framework for the effective employment of

Chapell's fallen condition focus (Andrew, 2011). Andrew’s fourth implication stated that

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an appropriate application of biblical theology safeguards preachers from preaching

moralistic sermons devoid of the gospel of God's grace in Jesus Christ. Finally,

Andrew’s fifth implication stated that biblical theology provides pastors, worship leaders,

and preachers with a goal in preaching that aligns with the purpose of salvation, namely

the worship of Jesus Christ (Andrew, 2011).

Cathcart (2012) stated preachers stand between the biblical and contemporary

worlds attempting to present a message that is faithful to the text while also engaging

with audiences in relevant and connecting ways. Tension existed in the minds of many

preachers when considering how to integrate new culture into a sermon (Catheart, 2012).

The question is, can the Bible, worship arts, and culture become effectively integrated

and connect with people without compromising the integrity and authenticity of the

Word? The research discovered ways in which preachers can build effective links

between scripture, music, and contemporary audiences by engaging culture in the

preaching event (Cathcart, 2012). Cathcart (2012) revealed cultural adjustments based on

the public are necessary for the gospel message and the preacher to be credible. The

conclusion showed that adjusting to culture does not mean compromising the essence of

the Word (Cathcart, 2012). Through careful, balanced, and intentional engagement with

culture, God’s Word and music will show power and authority. It can also connect with

listeners in ways that lead to comprehending biblical messages and transforming lives

(Cathcart, 2012).

There is also a push to help young men and woman with worship music. Woo

Yeon Kim (2000) performed a research study that is rooted in the notion that young

people have many problems. The study was designed to help young people grow

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spiritually through church music (Kim, 2000). Kim (2000) stated how key individuals in

the Bible received assistance in solving problems through church music and young

people learned how to manage tough situations positively. Kim (2000) selected 35

students and used 34 questions to perform the research, which was issued to the students

for the pretest and posttest during the eight weeks of training to understand the effect of

the training (Kim, 2000). Students received training for 40 minutes a week for eight

weeks. Training consisted of playing church music, using creativity, composing songs,

developing music appreciation, and recognition, developing music appreciation and

imagination, developing music appreciation, and speaking. This procedure was used to

help students develop a new rhythm for life, understand the concept of spiritual healing,

and create an appreciation for praise worship (Kim, 2000). Students were found to

manage difficult situations listening to church music (Kim, 2000). Church music played

a significant role in helping the young people solve problems, and this area should be

developed more in the future (Kim, 2000).

Gaps in the Literature

What was missing from the literature the most was the lack of research directed

toward what congregation members require and expect from church services. This

perspective is a critical component because ultimately the goal is to help increase church

membership. Also, without creating ethical standards regarding methodological variance,

there will not be enough commonality between domains. With proper ethics and having

a commitment to new ideas, there are opportunities for solid research to help churches

see opportunities and solutions that are interdisciplinary. Eliminating old ways of

thinking can help churches increase congregational membership.

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Regarding the literature, common method variance bias is always a concern.

Running reports with incorrect research results undermine credibility. Any hint of ethical

or bias issues should be made known to uphold the credibility of the study. Researchers

should include industry standard procedures regarding sampling methods, validity, and

reliability. A subset of elements retrieved from a larger population is called a sample

(Christensen, Johnson, & Turner, 2011). A full set of data elements is referred to as a

population (Christensen et al., 2011). An element is the basic unit of sampling

(Christensen et al., 2011). When the purpose of the sample is to represent the population,

it is important to use an equal probability of selection method or EPSEM (Christensen et

al., 2011). Key types of validity evidence include content-related evidence, internal

structure evidence, and evidence rooted in connections to other variables. Since validity

refers to the accuracy of the measurement procedure and validity accounts for the

correctness of information, the qualitative analysis process is dependent these factors

(Christensen et al., 2011). The mitigation of risk is a critical part of any study. Without

proper risk assessments, credible and reliable research is in danger. Risk assessment

instruments must identify the entire organization. Although some organizational leaders

attempt to manage risk at the department level, many leave themselves open for gaps at

the organizational level. It is important to understand sampling, tools, and scope of the

study to mitigate risk correctly.

Finally, regarding the literature reviewed, the potential threat of biases and lack of

articles regarding television, church growth and the comparison of multisite local church

business models to national multisite church business models could be a concern. Since

qualitative research rejects the idea of neutrality in research, there is always a potential

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for bias. Interpretivists believe it is better to recognize personal biases and values.

Implications of not detecting biases can undermine the credibility of the study. Another

issue would be how biases influence readers. Safeguarding against bias is critical

because of the responsibility to the reader (Mehra, 2002).

Conclusion

While a significant amount of research exists regarding the growth of churches,

there were also gaps found in the literature. Missing from the literature the most was the

lack of research directed toward what congregation members required from church

services. This gap is critical because ultimately the purpose of educating worships teams

and music ministry staff is to reach more people. By building better business models,

upgrading technology, implementing social media marketing and promotion plans, and

upgrading skills to facilitate better worship, more people are likely to attend church. It is

important to understand what congregation members need regarding expectations,

dilemmas, concerns, and requirements.

A review of the literature indicated more must be done to train worship team

members regarding skill, continuing education, technology, understanding the value and

need of multiple musical styles, better communication between senior church staff,

volunteers, and music ministers. The review pointed out there is a lack of available funds

in many churches to inject the required investment to implement the change needed to

increase congregational membership. Many churches also struggle with the shift to a

contemporary musical style.

The literature indicated some denominations believe contemporary musical styles

are not appropriate for church services. Those churches are torn between the demands of

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the denominational leadership versus doing what is in the best interest of the church.

Other studies noted the importance of maintaining the standards of true worship while

using contemporary music to reach more people. There is a core theme that ran through

most of the studies that indicated the integrity and essence of Spirit-filled worship should

not change. Also, a common theme emerging from the literature that indicated true

worship is not entertainment. While contemporary worship leaders use musical styles

that can be rooted in secular music, there is a huge difference in the presentation. The

literature pointed out that while there is an instance of entertainment that goes with

implementing a contemporary music worship style, the core of the presentation must be

about pure worship. Without understanding the difference between entertainment and

worship, switching to a contemporary business music model might turn off some

congregation members.

Regarding the synthesis, the general theme throughout the literature review was

the need for the church to keep up with congregational needs regarding music in the

church. Throughout the literature review, it was evident that people from different

demographics, regional locations, and times through history were attempting to overcome

emotional, spiritual, and physical problems. While individuals in need were looking for

the church to help them overcome many issues, it was evident the church did not have

sufficient music programs implemented to provide the required help. Many people,

therefore, left the church to seek assistance from secular institutions. It was also evident

that many church leaders struggled with implementing non-traditional church-based

solutions, therefore losing congregation members. It was also clear that while there were

many forms of church music, eventually there was an integration of styles. The

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integration of musical styles made it difficult for churches to integrate their business

model strategy concerning music programs. This difficulty was mainly due to lack of

understanding, training, expertise, vision, and resources.

The findings of the literature review support the objective of the study which is to

explore best practice approaches of successful church music programs and try to

understand what successful church leaders do to increase congregational membership

through music. With many technological, entertainment, and media options available to

people, it is important for the church as an institution, to have the will to implement

change if it is to stay relevant. There must be a certain level of adaptation of secular

music program models and structures while upholding core values and beliefs critical for

maintaining credibility with the core base of the church.

Summary

Chapter Two consisted of literature from approximately 86 references. The

references included subject matter such as the landscape of modern church worship,

characteristics of the modern growing church, demographics of growing churches, church

growth, and congregational membership. The review also helped the researcher to

analyze philosophical approaches to church leadership, components of the contemporary

worship team, connection between business and the church, educational level of the

church staff, volunteers of growing churches and the importance of music to church

members. Worship leaders, church leadership, businesses, scholars, and church staff

brought unparalleled insight and knowledge into what the needs, concerns, requirements,

issues, and opportunities are to help declining churches increase congregational

membership and how successful churches are using music to enjoy increased growth. By

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using a qualitative methodology to discover the phenomena of successful worship teams,

churches that are in decline could expand their congregational membership.

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Chapter 3

Method

The purpose of this multiple-case exploratory study is to explore best practice

approaches of successful church music programs and try to understand what is done to

increase congregational membership size through music. Best practices of megachurches

located in the Southern California area were studied. The research method and design of

the study got defined in Chapter 3. Christensen et al., (2011) suggested qualitative

research methods rely on the subjective interpretation of collected data from the

perspectives of situations of people situated within a natural environment. A qualitative

study is an approach to empirical research, which depends on collecting qualitative data

such as words, pictures, or images (Christensen et al., 2011). Words, pictures, and

images are the three primary components that are essential to understanding the nature of

qualitative research (Christensen et al., 2011). The most critical job of any qualitative

researcher is to understand and dissect the views and perspectives of the data collected.

The interpretation of the research must be subjective and report the essence of the result

(Christensen et al., 2011).

While there are multiple types of qualitative designs, a case study was considered

appropriate. Case study research presents a detailed analysis of one or more cases with a

focus on one specific facet, such as a person, organization, group, process, or activity

(Stake, 1995). The processes involved in preparing a case study are interdisciplinary, so

a variety of different theories and concepts can emerge when it comes to interpreting a

case study (Stake, 1995).

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In qualitative research, the best questions lead participants into a conversation.

These conversations consist of questions asked by someone who is keen on listening to

unexpected answers (Susewind, 2012). Interviewers should care about not just what

people do, but also about what those deeds mean (Susewind, 2012). When the worship

teams, pastors, church board members, worship leaders, key congregation members, and

key volunteers from the selected churches got interviewed, it was important to collect a

broad range of viewpoints and perspectives to create a dynamic cross section of

information. Different points of view help church leaders to see the phenomena from a

broader perspective. The qualitative interview process for this study focused on

characteristics of successful worship teams. Questions were answered openly and

honestly, without limitations.

Appropriateness of Method and Design

A qualitative method was appropriate because the objective of the study was to

explore the shared engagement of worship teams and reveal the phenomena of best

practice approaches that create successful church music programs. The central research

question was:

 How does the implementation of a best practice music program, influence

church membership in the Inland Empire area of Southern California?

Since interviews were the data collection method of choice, it was appropriate to use a

qualitative exploratory case study design. Interview data collection was appropriate

because interviews are in alignment with qualitative research. The essence of this

qualitative research was the collecting, analyzing, and understanding the shared

experiences of worship teams, pastors, church board members, worship leaders, key

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congregation members, and key volunteers, as it pertained to the music program from the

selected churches. The main criteria for selecting the research method was based on the

research question. Since case study researchers use interviews as a means of collecting

data, it was appropriate to support the research questions using a qualitative approach

(Englander, 2012).

Research Method

The methodology of choice was qualitative. A qualitative method was

appropriate because the objective of the study was to explore the shared engagement of

worship teams and reveal the phenomena of best practice approaches that create

successful church music programs. Shared engagements collected from interviews of

worship team members, pastors, church board members, worship leaders, key

congregation members, and key volunteers were analyzed. Open-mindedness was

encouraged because readers of the research came understood the research context better.

The approach selected to interview participants were semi-structured, and the

research study did not operate within strict technical guidelines. There must be a will to

accept ways of obtaining information knowing researchers must go well beyond the

scientific method. Researchers must also be open to participants talking honestly, and

openly. Having multiple perspectives based on information and beliefs should be

expected (Willis et al., 2007). Qualitative researchers that use positivist and interpretive

approaches present generalizations and theories to explain patterns of behavior. Since

technical criteria were not as important in this qualitative study, the NVivo Coding

method was sufficient. Qualitative research does not consist of pre-specified methods

and specific hypotheses that rigidly guides the scholar throughout the study (Willis et al.,

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2007). Qualitative research help researchers examine non-measurable information

(Willis et al., 2007).

Research Design

A qualitative multiple-case design was selected. Phenomena were identified by

collecting the one-on-one interview data and perform the analysis to determine its

universal theme. This information came from the perspective of worship teams, pastors,

church board members, worship leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers

participating in the interview. Case study researchers attempt to understand how others

view situations based on interpretation. Expectations for this information vary from each

participant. A common thread was found running through information collected from

each participant. The common thread became the basis of the findings. Exploratory case

study researchers examine problems based on one or several cases in a bounded system.

Internal validity was incorporated into the design and supported the research

question by identifying the 31 participants and their closeness to the overall nature of the

study. Former relationships among the participants were documented to avoid the

appearance of bias. Including internal validity makes accountability easier for potentially

biased statements.

The conclusion from this study was rooted in a detailed, in-depth data collection

process involving multiple sources of information such as observation notes, interviews,

audiovisual material, documents, and reports (Stake, 1995). Multiple case studies consist

of more than one instance. Since each case is unique, it could be difficult to generalize a

standard sample size for a case study research. However, since this study consisted of 31

participants and two focus groups, the objective was to find phenomena within the data.

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The data analyzed used the who, what, where, when, and why methodology.

Conclusions from the study were rooted in the relevance of collected data to identify

major themes and consistencies. Results from the study provided a detailed description

of the case. Reporting consisted of facts, not interpretation. The purpose of the

interpretation was to present the findings of the collected data. The perceptions and

beliefs of the research study participants could be valuable for churches that are

decreasing in church membership. Results from the research could help shed light on

how successful churches perceive how important their music program is to that growth.

Field Test

Qualitative interview questions. A field test was carried out on the interview

questions. There were 15 interview questions (see Appendix A). The interview

questions were emailed to four worship arts music experts from the selected churches

participating in the research. The field test experts consisted of a Worship Arts Pastor,

Senior Pastor, Worship Arts Ministry Director, and Senior Worship Leader. Expert

sampling was used to select the worship arts music experts. Each field test expert has a

proven record of accomplishment in building successful music programs. Each expert

chosen for the field test understood what was required to create successful worship and

music production teams as it pertained to increasing congregation growth in their

respective churches. The timeline for each field test expert to complete the field test was

two weeks.

The participants in the field test were asked to provide feedback and rate each

question ranging from one to five where one is the least appropriate, and five is the most

suitable. Each field test participant factored in characteristics such as substance,

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effectiveness, completeness, ability to engage, clarity, and openness of each question

before issuing a rating. Each interview question had to have an average score of three or

higher to pass the field test. Questions with a score lower than three were not part the

study. The same participants would have been used with a different set of research

questions if there were eight questions or more with a rating lower than three. A

minimum of eight questions had to pass the field test, else the test would have been

repeated. Each expert emailed a signed copy of the results to the email address specified

by the researcher. Results from conducting the field test were used to provide validation

and credibility to the interview questions. The results of the field test also helped to

determine the best way of allowing research participants to become engaged openly and

honestly in the interview process.

Results. Four experts were invited to participate in the field test. Each participant

received an invitation letter (see Appendix F). The four experts validated 15 interview

questions (see Appendix G). Below is the average rating for each interview question:

Table 01
Accumulated Field Test Results

Average
Interview Questions Score
1 What is the musical background of the church leadership? 3.75
Do church board members support the recruitment of experienced
2 singers and musicians? 4.25
3 How many worship leaders does the church have? 4.25
Is the senior level church leadership willing to pay for professional
4 sound technicians? 4.25
5 Is the music integrated into the church sermons? 4.25
Does the church have a vision of reaching people beyond the local
6 neighborhood? 4.75
7 Does the church have a seasoned music director? 3.5
8 Does the church have a system to review congregational feedback? 3.75

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Can the church host events such as concerts, musical specials, and
9 comedy shows? 4.75
Do church leaders understand the musical tastes of the
10 congregational members? 3.75
11 What is being done to support congregational growth? 4
How does the church leadership perceive music as a means of
12 growing the church? 4.25
Is there a clear understanding of the importance of good worship
13 music? 4.5
Are church leaders willing to invest resources in making the music
14 program better? 4
Are church leaders willing to explore new directions in the music
15 program? 3.75

The field test experts consisted of a Worship Arts Pastor, Senior Pastor, Worship Arts

Ministry Director, and Senior Worship Leader. Participants in the field test were asked to

provide feedback and rate each question ranging from one to five where one is the least

appropriate, and five is the most suitable (see Appendix H). Each field test participant

factored in characteristics such as substance, effectiveness, completeness, ability to

engage, clarity, and openness of each question before issuing a rating. Each interview

question had to have an average score of three or higher to pass the field test. No

questions had a score lower than three. The lowest average rating was 3.5, and the

highest mean score was 4.5. Based on the field test results, the participant interview

process included all 15 interview questions. The eight questions with the highest scores

had an emphasis. Results from conducting the field test provided validation and

credibility to the interview questions and helped determine the best way to engage with

the interview participants openly and honestly. The closing interview was “How effective

is the music worship in reaching people in the congregation?” This question was not part

of the field test and was considered a bonus question in the interview process.

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Population and Sample Selection

The study focused on successful megachurches enjoying a significant increase in

congregational growth over the last three years. Each selected church was based in the

Inland Empire Southern California area and located within a 50-mile radius of each other.

The study consisted of a population of three megachurches with multiple campuses. The

congregation sizes for the selected megachurches were composed of over 6000 members

respectively. These churches are considered megachurches (U.S.A. Churches, 2013)

Megachurches have over 2000 people attending services each week (U.S.A. Churches,

2013). Sampling included 31 participants from the selected church population. Data

collection consisted of 20 one-on-one interviews, and two focus group interviews. Focus

group participants consisted of different age groups. The first focus group consisted of

young adults from 18 to 26 years of age. Six participants were part of the first focus

group. The second focus group consisted of senior adults over 62 years old. Five

participants were part of the second focus group. Leaders from the chosen church and

campuses received a formal invitation to participate. Those church leaders elected to take

part in the study were asked to respond either in person or by using email or fax. The

electronic mail or fax included contact information along with a personal background

document. Some participants were chosen based on results from a questionnaire

consisting of seven questions. A candidate’s background as it pertained to church

involvement was critical in the selection process. Semi-structured interview questions

guided each interview session. Semi-structured interviews help research participants to

respond freer to interview questions while still providing a level of structure

(Groeneweld, 2004). The rigidness of predefined questions would then be much more

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lenient (Groeneweld, 2004). Semi-structured interviews are usually based on predefined

questions.

The sampling technique used was purposive sampling. Purposive sampling is a

non-probability method used in qualitative or mixed-methods research (Lund Research

Ltd, 2012). The objective of this technique is to focus on specific characteristics of a

population, which helps to retrieve the optimal in-depth answers to the research question.

Critical case sampling was used to determine those churches essential to finding a

phenomenon. The most important criteria for the church selection process was finding

churches having the greatest congregational growth within the last three to five years.

The second criteria consisted of church size based on small, midsized, and megachurches

requirements respectively. The third criteria consisted of location. There was a signed

document to grant permission to conduct the research, recruit participant, and use the

name of the church or other organizations associated with the study (see Appendix B).

Before selecting participants, each candidate received a pre-screening

questionnaire (see Appendix C) that was assessed to determine who were skilled and

knowledgeable enough about the music program model. Characteristics used in the

selection process were:

 knowledge of music program

 knowledge of sound quality as it pertains to the congregational impact

 musical skill

 church culture

 church business knowledge

 the length of time involved with the church

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 the level of church leadership impact

The process continued until there were 31 confirmed participants. A minimum of two

participants from each church participated in the study.

Informed Consent

The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (1991) got enforced.

The study did not discuss or disclose personal or confidential information of the

participants to individuals not part of this research study. Selected participants first

received an invitation letter (see Appendix D) and a phone call. When a verbal

confirmation was received, the participant select was emailed or handed the Informed

Consent statement (see Appendix E). The participant-select signed the Informed

Consent. The signed document was either mailed, handed in person, faxed, or scanned

back to the researcher. The names of individuals participating in the study remained

undisclosed. Each participant was interviewed privately at the church of the participant.

One participant was phone interviewed due to sickness. Each participant received a copy

of their interview. Emailing or mailing a copy of the interview to each participant helps

to prevent any integrity or misrepresentation issues from occurring. Once the study was

over data was stored on a hard drive. The hard disk is in a secured safe box for 3-years.

Collected data was scanned, digitized and electronically stored. Collected data did not

get uploaded to the internet or cloud. The data was also password protected. The data

had a 3-year retention period. If the participant had any questions about the research

study, assistance was available by phone or email. For questions regarding rights as a

study participant, or any concerns or complaints, each participant could contact the

University of Phoenix Institutional Review Board via email at IRB@phoenix.edu.

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Study participation involved orally answering the interview questions openly and

honestly. Each interview or focus group session went up to 40 minutes. Each participant

prepared for a two-hour commitment. If the participant was not willing to have the

interview or focus group session recorded, their participation from the study ended

without participant consent. If any participant committed acts of dishonesty, deceit, or

illegal activity during the interview process, their involvement in the study ended. Each

participant decided to be a part of the research. Each participant could have withdrawn

from the research at any time without any penalty or loss of benefits (see Appendix E).

No participants withdrew from the study, however, if they did, the identity remained

confidential (see Appendix E). If a participant wanted to pull out of the study, they

would have received an email and a signed letter of confirmation. Data collected from a

withdrawn participant would have been treated the same way as an active participant.

Each participant had the ability to document any foreseeable risks in participating in the

study and describe any benefit while taking part in the study as well.

All churches and participants involved in the study resided within a 50-mile

radius of each other. Churches used in this study resided in the Inland Empire, Southern

California area. Per John Dart (1990), 25 of the top 100 churches are in the California

area. Per Duke Helfand (2009), California has more megachurches than any other place

in the country. Most megachurches are in the suburbs of Los Angeles and San Diego

(Helfland, 2009). Helfland (2009) stated the upbeat presentation of megachurches is

attracting thousands of people to church services each weekend. Eleven of the top 100

fastest growing churches are in California per an article that was written by

SermonCentral (2008).

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Data Collection

Face-to-face interviews and focus groups were the methods of data collection.

Interviews were appropriate because participants could reveal critical viewpoints.

Interview questions were semi-structured. No more than 31 people across age groups

from 18 to 95 participated in the study. Demographics included different ethnicities that

exist within each church and a relatively equal number of male and females. An audio

device and observation notes captured data from each interview. The objective of the

interview questions was to provoke in-depth thought by each participant. Interview

questions were consistent for all participants. The data collection process captured deep-

rooted perceptions, thoughts, and ideas from each participant, so answers from interview

questions were open and honest, without limitations. Results from interviews confirmed

what participants thought about topics such as weekly rehearsals, sound quality, the skill

of musicians and singers, and the experience of the worship team, song selection, and

support of the church leadership about having a quality music program in churches.

Instrumentation used were audio recordings and interview notes. These data

collection types were combined and analyzed. When performing the analysis, the main

goal was to find key themes that recur across the collected data from the interviews.

Getting enough cross-sectional information from interviewed participants was important.

The collection of cross-sectional information helped to analyze a diverse collection of

information and view the phenomena from a broader perspective. The collected data was

kept confidential. The releasing of information did not occur without written consent.

The data source identification in the publication and relevant information associated with

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the data was available to the dissertation Chair, dissertation committee, and school for

educational reasons.

Conducting Interviews

Interviews consisted of 31 participants ranging from 18 to 95 years old, with

different ethnicities that existed within each church and an equal number of male and

females. Interview questions were consistent for all participants. Interviews occurred

over a three-week period. All selected participants were contacted via a phone call, text

or email before each interview took place. Each participant was interviewed privately at

the church of the participant. There was one phone interview due to the participant being

sick. Study participation consisted of orally answering the interview questions openly and

honestly. The maximum interview time was 40 minutes. Each participant prepared for a

two-hour commitment. An audio device and observation notes collected data from each

participant interviewed. Interviews were semi-structured with the intention to provoke

in-depth thought by each participant. There were 15 interview questions. There was one

closing question. Interview questions were consistent for all participants. The wording of

each interview question helps the person interviewed to reveal honest thoughts and

feelings of the mental framework of the participant.

Notes were taken based on participant responses, mannerisms, and facial

expressions. Listening to each participant allowed the study to cross into unknown areas

and remove barriers to subject content. Intellectual and emotional barriers between the

participant and researcher were also bridged (Rubin, 2012). It was important for the

interviewer not to interject personal assumptions into the research. Techniques for

conducting quality interviews depend on interviewer conversational skills (Rubin, 2012).

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The best interviews are often when the interviewer is doing most of the listening (Rubin,

2012).

Conducting Focus Group Sessions

The study included two focus groups, comprised of five and six members

respectively. The Young Adult Focus Group consisted of six participants, 18-26 years of

age. The Seniors Focus Group consisted of five participants, over 62 years of age. Each

participant was randomly selected. Each focus group session used 15 interview questions

and one closing question. All participants consisted of age groups from 18 to 95,

different ethnicities that exist within each church and a good balance of male and

females. The timeframe for each focus group session was limited to 90 minutes. Focus

group participants did not have access to the interview questions before the session. An

audio device and observation notes were used to record the interview. Questions were

semi-structured with the intention to provoke in-depth thought by the focus group

participants. A moderator conducted each focus group session. Before each session

began, there was an icebreaker limited to 15 minutes to create a level of comfort for the

participants.

Data Analysis

Researchers can interpret data holistically or through coding. The holistic

analysis consists of theories based on the entire collection of data. Coding analysis

systematically identifies sections of the data collection and categorizes specific

observable actions or characteristics (Merriam, 1988). The analysis phase in this study

used coding analysis with multiple-case node trees. Using multiple-case nodes allowed

each church to have a node and each participant that belong to that organization to have a

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node. There were three churches and 31 participants. Seventeen nodes were created.

Attributes were used to link nodes. Case nodes were saved in a tree structure by using

case type nodes. These types of structures are essentially folders that hold cases or other

case type nodes (Gibbs, 2002).

The NVivo Coding was the analysis method. Nodes were assigned to the

characteristics. Gibbs (2002) states that case nodes should be linked to all the data in a

specific case including text associated with the case. The type of coding used was Cycle

Coding. The two key stages of Cycle Coding are called First and Second Cycle coding

(Saldana, 2013). First Cycle coding methods are assigned to the data chunks. Second

Cycle coding methods work with the resulting First Cycle codes themselves (Saldana,

2013). First Cycle coding methods include up to 25 different approaches, each one with

a particular function or purpose (Saldana, 2013). It can also be mixed and matched based

on the requirement and need. Data was pulled together from First Cycle coding material

into more meaningful and similar constructs of analysis (Saldana, 2013). Pattern codes

came from observed behaviors, actions, norms, routines, and relationships (Saldana,

2013). The Second Cycle groups summarized First Cycle codes into a smaller number of

categories, themes, or constructs (Saldana, 2013). First and Second Cycles help

researchers to see the most in-depth issues surrounding the phenomena. Analyzing

themes, causes, relationships, and constructs reveal patterns from the data collected. The

Second Cycle helps to identify the analytical aspects and characteristics of the data

collected. The connection between the raw interview data and the analysis that begin to

identify relational themes and patterns was critical.

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The NVivo Coding method was appropriate for this study because of the use of

the original recording from the participant interview. NVivo Coding was a key

component in learning the characteristics, concerns, likes, dislikes, and needs of

participants. Per Saldana (2012), coding should label the interview and link it to concepts

or patterns. First Cycle coding data gets reviewed repeatedly many times (Saldana,

2012). The second and possibly other cycles of recording help researchers to manage,

analyze, and group the essential characteristics of the data for creating categories, themes,

concepts, interpretation, and building theories (Saldana, 2012). Therefore, coding is a

combination of summarizing and dissecting the data into purposeful ways to bring toward

transformational questions regarding the information (Saldana, 2012). NVivo Coding

helps the study to stay true to the words and ideas of the participant while permitting

researchers to document observations during the interview process. Actions intertwined

with the dynamics of time, such as things that emerge, change, occur sequences or

become strategically implemented (Saldana, 2013).

Triangulation

Data triangulation was used to establish validation. Providing one-on-one

interview data from 20 participants and two focus group sessions established

triangulation to enhance the validity of the study. Since this study was a multiple-case

study, triangulation, was appropriate to use in the data collection process (James, 2011).

Data triangulation increased data reliability and contributed to corroborate the data

gathered from multiple sources (Denzin, 1978). Triangulation of data is an important

strategy that can be used to support case study research, where phenomena are viewed

and explored from multiple perspectives (Baxter & Jack, 2008). Triangulation is a

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method used by qualitative researchers to check and establish validity in studies by

analyzing research questions from multiple points of view. Guion (2002) states there is a

misconception that triangulation will always create consistency across data sources.

Using triangulation could create inconsistencies which may have strengths of different

approaches Guion (2002). Per Guion (2002), inconsistencies do not weaken evidence but

can help researchers discover deeper meaning in the data.

Creditability, Confirmability, Dependability, and Transferability

In qualitative paradigms “credibility,” “neutrality” or “confirmability,”

“consistency” or “dependability” and “applicability” or “transferability” are terms used

for quality (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The term “reliability,” and the term “dependability,”

correspond to “reliability” in quantitative research (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). If the validity

or trustworthiness is optimized, it can lead to generalizability (Stenbacka, 2001).

Reliability and validity of qualitative research are rooted in trustworthiness and quality

(Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Qualitative research credibility depends on the ability and effort

of the researcher (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Lincoln & Guba (1985) stated reliability and

validity are treated separately in quantitative studies. In qualitative research reliability

and validity are viewed collectively (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Qualitative research uses

terms such as credibility, transferability, and trustworthiness (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).

According to Eisner (1991), qualitative research helps people to understand confusing

and complicated situations. According to Stenbacka (2001), reliability is often misleading

in qualitative research. However, Patton (2002) states that validity and reliability get

considered when designing a qualitative study, analyzing results, and determining the

research quality. Seale (1999) stated trustworthiness is essential to ensure reliability in

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qualitative research. The trustworthiness of a research study depends on validity and

reliability (Seale, 1999). Lincoln and Guba (1985) stated there could be no validity

without reliability, and validity is a requirement to establish reliability. Patton (2002)

stated reliability and dependability is a result of validity in qualitative research.

Validity is rooted in the processes and intentions of methodologies and projects

(Winter, 2000, p.1). While a few qualitative researchers have believed validity is not

applicable in qualitative research, qualitative researchers understand there is a need for

controls, checks, and balances to ensure research credibility. In qualitative studies,

discovering truth through measures of reliability and validity is replaced by the

trustworthiness (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Testing and increasing reliability, validity,

trustworthiness, quality, and rigor in research are essential to the credibility in a study

(Lincoln & Guba, 1985).

Credibility establishes the findings of qualitative research and assures

believability. From the perspective of credibility, qualitative research should describe or

understand the phenomena of interest from the participant's point of view, and each

participant can solely judge the credibility of the results (Trochim, 2006). According to

Trochim (2006), transferability says qualitative research can be generalized or transferred

to other contexts. Transferability is primarily the responsibility of generalizability

(Trochim, 2006). According to Trochim (2006), qualitative researchers can increase

transferability by understanding research context and assumptions central to the research.

The idea of dependability, on the other hand, emphasizes the need for the researcher to

account for research context. The researcher is responsible for describing the changes that

occur and how these changes affected the way the researcher approached the study.

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Confirmability is how results are confirmed or corroborated (Trochim, 2006).

Researchers can document procedures for checking and rechecking data throughout the

study (Trochim, 2006). Researchers can search and describe negative instances that

contradict prior perceptions (Trochim, 2006). Data audits are performed to analyze the

data and make conclusions regarding potential bias or distortion (Trochim, 2006).

Descriptive and interpretive are types of validity used in qualitative research.

Descriptive validity depends on the accuracy of the data (Maxwell, 1992). Information

from a study should reflect what the participant said or did honestly (Thomson, 2011).

The design included external descriptive validity. Reporting information also reflected

the same accuracy. This point is important because the descriptive validity of a study

could have become devalued due to the omission of data. Descriptive validity is the core

component and nucleus of other forms of validity. Interpretations depend on the

perspective of the participant. For the study to assure an accurate evaluation of the data,

researchers should identify important body language and key transcription clues

(Thomson, 2011).

Cycle Coding researchers use and depend on the reliability of the data. First

Cycle coding took the audio recordings created from the 20 interviews and identified the

keywords and phrases. Second cycle coding combined keywords and phrases from the

First Cycle and constructed the common themes, causes, relationships and theoretical

constructs. Research reliability assumes that universal laws come from samples rooted in

real and accurate data. Cycle Coding can help researchers validate the accuracy of the

methods and truthfulness of accumulated information. All data used in the study was

sampled correctly to ensure patterns within the information were repeatable. Studies that

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contain controls and trustworthiness are critical in the assurance of reliability and

validity.

Interpretations of the data depended on the perspective of each participant. Since

qualitative research rejects objectivity and neutrality in research, there is always a

potential for bias to enter in (Leedy, 2010). It was important to get any possible bias out

in the open as quickly as possible so that readers were aware of it and can make a

balanced decision. The possibility of bias of any type was stated clearly and openly.

Reliability and validity are important for qualitative researchers (Olson, 2002). The

concept and process of implementing verification strategies were critical to maintaining

the credibility of the study. Implementing verification strategies helped to guarantee

research integrity (Olson, 2002).

There was a written section that explained the study rules and procedures, the

steps to ensure confidentiality, explanation of any potential conflicts of interests, data

security, and archive process. It was important that details which support evidence found

in the data be accurate due to future testing by other researchers. It was also critical to the

discriminant validity of constructs and measures (Neuman, 2006). Future research

should provide evidence of the actions to assure behavior and contextual performances

are reliable, valid, and distinct from measures of closely related constructs (Morse, 2005).

Confidentiality

Private interviews occurred for each participant and were kept confidential. Each

research participant remained undisclosed, and privacy was ensured. Each participant

received a copy of the interview. Giving each participant a copy of the interview protects

the study against potential integrity or misrepresentation issues. The church of the

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participant was the interview location. Data was collected in confidence and used only

for the study. Information was not given to a third party or parties.

Summary

Chapter 3 presented the context of the research design and methodology of this

exploratory case study. An exploratory case study was appropriate because the purpose

of the research was to explore best practices of successful church worship teams. There

was one research question that guided the study to reveal the phenomena occurring in

churches which use music to increase congregational growth successfully. A semi-

structured interview approach was selected and, the research study did not operate within

strict technical guidelines. Phenomena were identified by collecting the one-on-one

interview data and perform the analysis to determine its universal theme. This

information came from the perspective of worship teams, pastors, church board members,

worship leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers participating in the

interview. Interviews were appropriate because participants could explore shared

engagement and revealed key viewpoints. Interview questions were semi-structured. The

field test consisted of four field test experts. The four experts validated 15 interview

questions. The closing question was not part of the field test and was considered a bonus

question in the interview process. The field test used expert sampling. Chapter 4 contain

the findings from the data collection, analysis, findings from the study and present theme

development. Chapter 5 provide recommendations based on the findings. Findings from

Chapter 5 create the climate for additional studies performed, and possible solutions

revealed to churches that are in decline.

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Chapter 4

Findings

The purpose of this multiple-case exploratory study is to explore best practice

approaches of successful church music programs and try to understand what is done to

increase congregational membership size through music. The population of the study

consisted of male and female adults ranging from 18 to 95 years old, who attend Case 1

based in Fontana Ca, Case 2 located in Rancho Cucamonga Ca, and Case 3 rooted in

Rialto Ca. Each participating church resided within a 50-mile radius of each other. Case

1 has a weekly attendance of 6,370 members. Case 2 has a weekly attendance of more

than 6000 members. Case 3 has a weekly attendance of 6300.

The sample size consisted of 20 one-on-one interviewed participants, a young

adult focus group comprised of six participants, 18 to 26 years of age and a seniors group

which consisted of five participants, over 62 years old. The study concentrated on the

shared engagement of successful worship teams, pastors, church board members, worship

leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers, as it pertains to the music

program. Each participating church has enjoyed an increase in congregational growth

over the past three to five years. The study used qualitative methods to explore the

characteristics that contribute to having a quality church music program. It was critical to

emphasize the importance of understanding the business culture of churches with

successful music programs.

The data collection process captured deep-rooted perceptions, thoughts, and ideas

from each participant. Results from interviews captured thoughts and beliefs about

weekly rehearsals, sound quality, the skill of musicians and singers, and the experience of

97
the worship team, song selection, and support of the church leadership about having a

quality music program in churches.

Data Collection

The data process consisted of 20 personal one-on-one interviews and two focus

group interviews. Audio recordings and field note were used to collect data. Case 2, Case

3, and Case 1 were the location for the interviews. Observation notes were also taken to

capture visual expressions and body movements. Personal one-on-one interviews lasted

up to 30 minutes. Focus group interviews lasted up to 25 minutes. Participants had no

access to the interview questions before being interviewed. The senior focus group

interview consisted of five participants. The young adult focus group consisted of six

participants. Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Transcribe software was used to

convert audio interviews to text files. The Virtual Audio Cable Driver was used to send

audio interviews to Transcribe internally. This process was successful in capturing

approximately 40% of the data. The researcher manually transcribed the remaining audio

recordings. NVivo was used to capture 22 interviews as sources. Seventeen parent nodes

were created based on interview questions. Nine child nodes got linked to each parent

node.

Two case folders got created. The first case folder contained each church (Case 1,

Case 2, and Case 3). Each church linked to sources containing the participant’s interview.

The second case folder contained cases which were directly related to each participant’s

interview. Each interview was related to the data source and reference. Case 2 had two

participants linked to the associated case. Case 3 had 18 participants linked to the

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corresponding case. Case 1 had two participants linked to the relevant case. Case 3 hosted

focus group interviews.

Population Classifications

Characteristics came from each parent/child node relationship and were used to

combine comments from each participant to explore the likenesses, differences, points of

interest, critical issues, positive, and negative beliefs. Text search and word frequency

queries were used to identify themes. The study used four classifications: 1) Gender, 2)

Age Range, 3) Church Position, and 4) Ethnicity. Each classification had values assigned

to them. Classifications and values were employed in queries to identify thought

processes, deep-rooted perceptions, developing theories, and opinions. Below are

classifications and associated values:

 Gender

o Male

o Female

o Male/Female Group

 Age Range

o 18-30

o 31-62

o Over 62

 Church Position

o Worship Team – Singer

o Pastor

o Church Board Member

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o Worship Leader

o Key Congregation Member

o Key Volunteer

o Sound Technician

o Worship Team – Band

 Ethnicity

o African-American

o Caucasian

o Hispanic

o Hispanic, African-American, Caucasian

Data Analysis

The study explored the thought patterns of growing churches with good music

programs, due to the need to understand the connection between excellence in music,

commitment to growth, and successful business models used by each church. NVivo

11.4.1.1064 (64-bit) Pro Edition was used to perform data analysis. Seventeen parent

nodes came from the analysis. Each parent node linked to an interview question. Nine

child nodes were related to each parent node. Two cases existed. Case one consisted of

the three participating churches. Case two included 20 participants and two focus groups.

Each interview linked to a source and reference. There were four classifications. Each

classification linked to values. The study used NVivo 11 Pro software and Cycle Coding

methodology. First Cycle coding assisted in combining the participant comments by

interview questions and populated parent nodes with results. Second Cycle coding

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worked with the results of First Cycle coding and extracted results to populate nine child

nodes. Below is a summary of the 17 parent nodes:

Table 02
Parent Nodes

Question Sources References


What is the musical background of the church 22 22
1 leadership
Do church board members support the recruitment of 22 22
2 experienced singers and musicians
3 How many worship leaders does the church have 22 22
Is the senior level leadership willing to pay for 22 22
4 professional sound technicians
5 Is the music integrated into the church sermons 22 22
Does the church have a vision of reaching people 22 22
6 beyond the local neighborhood
7 Does the church have a seasoned music director 22 22
Does the church have a system to review conversational 22 22
8 feedback
Does the Church host the event such as concerts 22 22
9 musical specials and comedy shows
Do church leaders understand the musical tastes of the 22 22
10 congregational members
11 What is being done to support congregational growth 22 22
How does the church leadership perceive music as a 22 22
12 means of growing the church
Is there a clear understanding of the importance of good 22 22
13 worship music
Are church leaders willing to invest resources in making 22 22
14 the music program better
Are church leaders willing to explore new directions in 22 22
15 the music program
How effective is the music Worship in reaching people 22 22
16 in the congregation
Is there anything else you would like to add (Closing) 22 22

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Nine child nodes apply to each parent node. Although sources and references are

different for each parent/child relationship, the child node names are identical. Child

nodes consisted of the following:

1. Experience of worship team members

2. Interesting points of view

3. Negative points of view

4. Positive points of view

5. Rehearsals

6. Skill of musicians and singers

7. Song selection

8. Sound quality

9. Support of the church leadership that contribute to having a quality church music

program

Seven queries came from the case coding process. The purpose of each query was to

probe the data in each child case node to explore the beliefs, perceptions and thought

patterns of pastors, worship leaders, sound technicians, singers, musicians, board

members, key congregation members, and key volunteers. Each query used

characteristics and attributes to analyze the comments, thought patterns and beliefs of

each participant. The queries are as follows:

1. Experience of worship team members

2. Interesting points of view

3. Negative points of view

4. Positive points of view

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5. Rehearsals, skillset, song selection, sound quality

6. Support of the church leadership that contribute to having a quality church

music program

7. How effective is the music in reaching people in the congregation?

Eighteen charts were created to graphically showing what singers, band members,

pastors, board members, worship leaders, key congregation members, sound technicians,

and key volunteers consider negative, positive, and interesting points of view. Attributes

such as age, ethnicity, and gender were used to show detailed findings of the exploratory

study.

An analysis report using word frequency and text search queries were run using

exact matching. A word frequency query was run showing the 100 most frequently used

words. The top five words, “church,” “music,” “people,” “worship,” and “think” are

shown below.

Table 03
Word Frequency Top Five

Word Length Count Weighted Percentage (%)

1 church 6 613 2.93

2 music 5 527 2.52

3 people 6 467 2.23

4 worship 7 384 1.83

5 think 5 276 1.32

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The word chart below shows the 100 most frequently used words. The top five words

helped to identify the central theme.

Figure 02. Word chart - top one hundred

Text search contributed to identifying the second theme based on the word “quality”

shown below.

Table 04
Quality Text Search

References Coverage

16 0.71%

5 0.35%

5 0.25%

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2 0.11%

2 0.11%

2 0.09%

2 0.15%

1 0.07%

1 0.05%

Text search helped to identify the third theme based on the word “reach” shown below.

Table 05
Reach Text Search - Top 13 References

References Coverage
8 0.02%
7 0.43%
7 0.22%
7 100.00%
5 100.00%
5 0.29%
4 99.87%
4 0.61%
4 0.55%
4 0.17%
4 0.29%
4 100.00%
4 0.27%

Text search helped to identify the fourth theme based on the word “diversity” shown

below.

Table 06
Diversity Text Search – Top 6 References

References Coverage

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10 0.74%
10 0.72%
10 100.00%
7 0.59%
3 0.01%
2 0.26%

Study Findings and Theme Development

The experience of worship team members. As far as the worship team goes,

the musical background of the worship leaders and the assistants are quite varied. Most of

the worship leaders are quite talented and diverse in their talents, having lots of

experience. The worship pastor is responsible for the overall worship arts ministry. The

worship pastor has people below him to manage the rehearsals, oversight of the singers,

the dancers, and the band. The leadership displayed in the practice sessions come from

the worship director, worship pastor and his managerial staff within his worship team,

praise band, praise singers. Senior level leadership indicated there needs to be a mix of

accomplished and in some ways un-experienced musicians who have a desire to raise the

bar in their life for their musical ability. Participants said there must be a healthy mix. If

there were all un-experienced musicians, it would be noticeable. Having all professional

musicians might be acceptable but what is trying to get accomplished? Music ministry is

not a performance or a concert. It is a time of worship and leading the people in worship

and encouraging those in attendance who come to get involved.

Case 1 has five to eight worship leaders that lead worship for two segments.

Youth ministries have their choirs and worship leaders. Each main sanctuary choir had a

music director that lead the main and the youth choir. Worship leaders and worship

teams lead the worship services, which depends on the type of music presented that week.

The church has one music director with several sub-directors that oversee different parts

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of the music ministry. Worship leaders frequently rotate leading worship in multiple

venues. There are a couple of worship leaders on hand for every event in case of

emergencies. This model helps to prevent worship team members from getting burned

out. Most of the worship leaders are quite talented and varied in their talents.

Case 2 has many members of the choir and musicians who are professionals that

work in the secular world, or perform and tour with other musicians that are in the gospel

music industry. There are a combination and mixture of professional and non-

professionals in the choir and band. The church has one musical director and

approximately ten worship leaders. The leaders are very poised and experienced in

leadership and have the heart for people. They value the arts, the music ministry and see

the purpose behind it. Musicians come with various amounts of practice and experience.

Worship team members go through a rigorous process. Not only do they have a gift and

talent to be able to sing, but they also study the Bible. Praise and worship team choir

members are Bible students at the Bible College. The worship team takes the music

ministry very seriously. It is not just the musical gifts, but it is also their experience,

background, and willingness to continue learning. Participants discussed the definition of

worship leadership. It was stated people often limit worship to thinking it is just with

music but everything done within a church ministry includes worship, so from that

standpoint the congregation full of worship leaders. Worship is not just music leading

people in the presence of God. Worship can be Bible study that leads people to the

presence of God. Every leader in the church is a worship leader to a certain degree,

therefore creating a dynamic team. Regarding the audition process, there is a review of

the people who are asked to audition for positions on the praise team. Both singers and

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musicians must go through an audition. Some want to sing in the choir, but they may not

have a golden voice. They sing regardless because they are making a joyful noise unto

the Lord which is stated clearly in His Word. Choir members for Case 3 do not have to

audition. People who pass the auditions along with choir members, tech team members,

and praise dancers must fill out paperwork sign a form. Filling out paperwork is because

of church policies and requirements from board members. Police conduct background

checks on team leaders who work with children. Team member candidates must also

quickly become members of the church if they are not already. Participants were fine

with the process because it communicates to the church who is joining the praise team

and the person is joining for the right reasons, which is the praise and worship of Jesus

Christ, more so than just their talent, although their talent is also critical.

Case 3 has one primary worship leader, and he has two leaders, one serving as a

backup to him when he is gone and the other being the worship leader of the band. This

structure is for the Rialto campus. Regarding the other campuses, if they do not have a

worship leader, they are striving to find somebody. Participants stated it would be

difficult for any church that did not have a worship leader because of the congregation

expectations. It is especially difficult for young churches without the capital to pay for

someone. There are other leaders involved that work with the dance ministries and other

services. The primary worship leader is a paid employee. The others are volunteers. The

Worship Arts Pastor is very experienced. He has quite a bit of experience before he came

here and he continues to grow. Case 3 performances come across in a sophisticated way.

The band director puts songs together, and he has much experience. There are a lot of

experienced musicians and vocalists, and that has the support of the church leadership.

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There is a strong connection between the worship arts and the senior leadership. Worship

team leaders set guidelines for the expectations for anyone serving in the worship arts

ministry. Regardless of the direct experience or knowledge, certain worship team

members may have regarding the music; they do set guidelines for the musicians and

singers in the church who are representing the church. Choir members and praise team

singers have experience. Vocal abilities are unique to the worship arts ministry, Worship

Arts Pastor, versus the board members. Some volunteers are professional quality while

others only have experienced throughout their school years. Most vocalists do not have

professional experience and come from serving in a church.

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Figure 03. Experience perception of worship team by church position

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Figure 04. Experience perception of worship team by ethnicity

Rehearsals, skillset, song selection, sound quality. Worship leaders see how

the music impacts people on a multitude of levels and how the people react, specifically

when congregation members hear a great song. Whether it is a lyric or melody or drum

beat or whatever musical element of it, the music speaks to the congregation in ways that

don't happen when pastors are preaching. Congregation members react differently when

the music leads them into a state of worship. It was said clearly from several participants

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that members who are “smart,” understand the value of Spirit-filled music and do their

best to support it. Participants said worship and tech teams are interchangeable.

Participants discussed the usefulness of having one team and how critical and essential it

was. Tech team members said all teams must support one another, especially if the

church is investing resources in the worship arts or tech. Encouragement and uplifting

one another is necessary.

At Case 1, the board members listen to a group and trust their judgment to hire

skilled and talented people. It is considered paramount to hire someone with excellent

skills at the sounds board. The church leadership wants excellence behind the board and

behind a microphone. It is also important that everyone be spiritually ready to lead

people into worship before the service begins. It is a thorough process to work for the

church. Regarding the service, the worship leader collaborates with the pastor before

putting the music together. The pastor and worship leader communicate what music

would be appropriate for each sermon, what are the best songs to reach the people and

what is going to open their heart for the message essentially. This collaboration is

important because the purpose of worship music is to prepare people for the sermon. The

pastor and worship leader acknowledges they need to work together successfully. Tech

team members do not participate in those meetings. The tech team meets with worship

leaders regarding the services. While the pastor will request a certain selection of songs

and a particular arrangement, the collaboration still happens. However, demand in this

instance is a single choice. This type of request usually happens because the pastor felt

the selection would be good to share with the people. Even if there is a request such as

this, the conversation is still fluid between the pastor and the worship leader. Participants

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stated poor communication between the pastor and musicians attributes to some churches

being unsuccessful. Poor results occur when the team is working as two separate entities.

Clear and open communication should be the objective. Everyone should work together.

Pastors and worship leaders from successful churches work together and with a common

goal to prepare the hearts of people to receive the spoken word.

Case 2 believes in contemporary music that involves all types of the ministry of

the gospel of music. The song selection at Case 2 consists of a variety of music, ranging

from Hillsong selections, old gospel, jazz, and contemporary music. There is a variety of

music presented to the congregation each week in an anointed way. Church services have

a mixture of old-time gospel standards and uplifting praise music. The music occurs

before the spoken word happens. Also, the music is incorporated in some of the sermons

and sometimes its separate, where it can be considered a separate ministry. Depending on

whether it is a special occasion or holiday the music ministry will have its theme. The

ministry’s theme depends on the sermon presented that week.

Song selections at Case 3 do not break in and out of the church sermons. The

Worship Arts Pastor attempts to select songs that go with the theme of the pastor’s

service message. The pastor and worship leader work at making the songs and the

worship blend, so the service has a flow. Participants said the team does an excellent job

in attempting to integrate the song selection to what the message might be for that week

based on the sermon series. The church has a vast catalog of music. Songs are selected to

relate to the sermon series or a sermon. After the spoken word is complete, there is a time

of ministry where people are invited to come forward for healing and prayer. This

approach is effective. Congregation members enjoy the idea that whatever the message

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the pastor is delivering, the music supports that message. Most people who only hear the

music say it sticks with them after they leave the service whereas the word may not.

Congregation members consider it appropriate to integrate the songs into the sermons. It

takes time for the worship arts ministry to find out what the message is going to be and

integrate selected songs into the sermons. Each week volunteers from the worship team

must prepare to sing new songs with little practice time. However, the quality of the

singing and musicianship is always noticeable by the congregation, and the lack of

practice goes undetected. There are usually no more than two rehearsals per week. The

leadership makes sure worship leaders are competent with what they do and

knowledgeable not only for what is practical but also educationally. The church strives

for competence and excellence in the skillset of singers, musicians, and song selection.

Case 3 wants the highest quality of people to be on the stage. However, while other

churches pay musicians and singers, this church has a volunteer model. The senior level

leadership is more concerned about the team members’ heart and their ministry to serve,

in that compacity. However, quality is still a requirement because the music is what the

congregation experiences first, other than volunteers helping in the parking lot and the

greeters. The worship music makes the first impression on people, and worship leaders,

musicians, singers have a lasting impact on the congregation.

What is noticeable about each church is how the worship arts team gets

acknowledged for their hard work. Some participants said that worship team members

work diligently to line up the music with the teaching. Preaching pastors on an average

provide the basic outline, major points, and some points of what the sermon message is

going to be a week in advance. Worship teams do an excellent job of trying to find

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appropriate songs and integrate them into the weekly service. Most participants said it

makes a huge impact. For example, if the song selected is a song of commitment to

prayer, dedication, or a statement of faith based on the word taught, often it becomes the

spark that solidifies a person’s commitment, which is valuable. Also, worship pastors and

directors are trusted to oversee and make the right decisions regarding interviews and

tryouts of potentially new team members. Band members and singers get recruited every

year. There are auditions for praise singers and musicians. There are certain levels and

standards for each church. There are also opportunities for less experienced musicians to

grow. For example, if the person is a beginner on an instrument, they can take classes.

They can learn from a seasoned musician for getting better. If churches are missing key

resources from the worship team and requires a specific skill set, they will hire from the

outside to fill in and to play at different services.

Participants unanimously agreed singers and musicians are very skilled and play

at a professional level. It was considered important that musicians and singers come in

with the knowledge that they are expected to perform at a level that is pleasing to not

only the congregation but also meets a higher standard than most churches. For example,

regardless of the difficulty, genre, or style of the music for any given weekend, the

expectation is to come to rehearsal and be prepared and know the parts. When rehearsals

begin for the weekend service, singers and musicians should have listened to the music

and practiced the songs individually before coming together collectively. Preparedness

helps the team to have an idea of the roadmap for a song or song set. Preparedness also

helps the team to play without being frustrated and holding up the process of having the

music ready for the weekend service. Participants that originally come from other

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denominations such as Catholic, Evangelist or Baptist Churches, the music was very

pertinent to the sermon for the service that week. An example showed how a song could

reach the congregation. A specific song was selected because it was catchy, and the

words could easily be understood. One participant said people sang to it within minutes

after the song began because it was easy to remember. Once people are singing the songs,

they are engaged and anticipate participating in the rest of the service., Regarding service

order, music typically follows a pattern of four songs up front and there's a theme

noticeable throughout the music set. The early songs invite people into a time of worship

and celebration with one another. The message is brought in afterward and followed by a

time of reflection. During this period, the songs tie the whole set together with the music.

The music is used to integrate the message, time of prayer and meditation for the people.

The main campus and other satellite campuses provide the same service message. There

are also those special moments when the service becomes unscripted. Some pastors who

are being led by the Holy Spirit might speak, and the choir will sing something about

what the pastor mentioned. For example, the pastor's message might be for mercy, and

then the choir begins singing something about grace. Then he will say, "wow, you know,

before I even came up and started talking about this you were already on one accord with

me singing songs about mercy!" This type of worship interaction is spontaneous

accidental. However, it is intentional when the theme of the songs fit the message that he

is portraying. Spontaneous interaction has a high impact on a congregation. At the end of

the service, there is worship music playing while as people are exiting the church.

It was stated all three churches want to create an environment that will uplift

people and draw people in but at the same time invest in growth in volunteers and

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developing people. Worship is a big part of each church. It is how each service begins.

The music worship time is the face of each church. It is what people see first and gives

congregation members an impression of what the church can offer. Even for special

prayer services during the week, music is a big part of them also. Below is a chart

showing the level of positive perceptions by church position regarding rehearsals, the

skill set of team members, song selection, and sound quality.

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Figure 05. Rehearsals, skillset, song selection, and sound quality by church position

Below is a chart showing the level of positive perceptions by ethnicity regarding

rehearsals, the skill set of team members, song selection, and sound quality.

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Figure 06. Rehearsals, skillset, song selection, and sound quality by ethnicity

Support of the church leadership. Each participant stated church leadership

provided support to having a quality church music program. Each church has one main

worship leader who is on staff. That job entails building the worship arts ministry based

on the mission and objectives presented by the senior level church leadership. Each main

worship leader has people underneath them to assist in reaching the goals and objectives

set forth by the church board members. The model includes main and satellite campuses.

The worship arts business model to grow the music ministry includes recruiting

people for leading services throughout the week effectively. The model also includes

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special services, venue services, and special events. For the ministry to stay effective, it is

important to continue bringing in people and mentoring them with experienced team

members. Another role is to provide leadership in the song selection process for bringing

people into a relationship with God. Other people under the direction of the main worship

leader, share this responsibility as well. Senior leadership supports the team regarding

money, resources, time, promotion, and events. Each church has at least three additional

resources which assist the main worship leader in accomplishing the goals. Each main

campus has approximately four assistant worship leaders and at least another four

worship leaders to run satellite campuses. For example, Case 3 own six campuses. Each

campus has its worship arts department. Each worship arts department has a worship

director. Each main worship leader, pastor, or director delegates authority to other

directors to lead the bands, and dance ministries, and technology such as live streaming,

sound engineering, and visuals. Choir captains assist in communication, leading, singing,

and teaching harmonies to choir members.

The senior leadership supports the notion that everyone on stage is a worship

leader, whether they sing, play keyboards, drums, guitar, flute, or soprano sax. The

dancers are considered worship leaders. The percussionists are worship leaders. They all

speak in one voice to lead people into a relationship with God and Christ. Since senior

leadership considers everyone on stage a leader, each leader has a responsibility to carry

themselves honorably. Even when the Children's choir sings, they are just as must

worship leaders to the church congregation as anyone who stands behind the microphone.

Those are all worship leaders who are supported by the leadership to create a quality

music program. It was stated the singers and musicians always get the big "thank you."

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The lead pastors go out of their way to let them as singers and musicians that they are a

valuable part of what goes on and the music is an intricate component of the service.

Each church supports technology regarding money, purchasing equipment,

resources, and training. Support is considered a commitment to excellence. Audio and

video departments are organized cohesively and considered ministry. Because worship

services get streamed on the internet, sound engineers who mix the sound in the front of

the house and video camera operators work in close cooperation together to present the

best service possible. Web administrators also collaborate with the choir. They all work

closely together and are financially supported by the church leadership. Participants said

support helps the church to grow. One interviewee from Case 1 said the church is a place

that is growing rapidly. It used to be on the brink of the smallest big church or the largest

small church. Church leadership is transitioning, and investing in the technology side of

things. They are investing in the digital boards; they are investing in the lighting and the

production aspect of it. Case 1 leadership spare no expense regarding production. Good

production is significant because according to multiple interviewees, the younger staff is

much more into music than senior staff. While each church has a commitment to

excellence and are willing to support the music ministries, Case 3 had a model where the

top technical resource is a paid staff member, and other technical personnel is volunteers.

Also, Case 1 pays several technical resources to run the sound. An interviewee said, “I

would say the sound by far is excellent here, so I have a feeling they are paying.” Even

with volunteers, the sound per most interviewees is excellent and considered well

supported by church leadership. Each church has technicians who are volunteers. Some

participants stated there was some discussion where to go with a paid model versus

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continuing with a volunteer model. One leader said that is one of the issues the church

has gone back and forth on because churches have limited budgets. It can be difficult

attempting to handle that. One participant said:

Most churches go one of two ways... one is you try to hire people to run the sound

equipment, or you hire a full-time person who recruits, develops, equips other

people. Moreover, it is the same way with singers and instrumentalists. We have

taken the second approach where we want to hire the coach instead of hiring the

star player. We want to hire the coach who can recruit, develop, and equip people

to do ministry effectively. That is with the technicians. It is also so with our

worship arts ministry.

Another participant in a church leadership position said:

If we do not sound right if we do not look good, it shows. Again, we are not

performing, but appearance does make a difference and can be the reason that

some people who are not Saved, who are not in the church come back, and that

can be the hook to bring them back. For them to know Christ in a real way

through attending.

Other participants said for the church to be able to provide the standard or the quality of

music and the quality of sound required for the worship services, it is important for to

have someone on staff. Staff members must commit to making sure everything is correct,

rather than only using volunteers. Regarding training volunteers or hosting special

events, each church is willing to make the investment. During Christmas or Easter, Case

2, for example, will hire outside people to come in and make the event very professional.

Hiring professionals for special events (especially since they began streaming online)

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ensure the sound is top-notch. Case 1 has invested in bringing in outside professional

musicians both in the choir and in the band. There is also a heavy investment in the

quality of the equipment and significant investments in the audio system. It was stated

sizable investments in the music program indicates how important the music ministry is

the church. One participant said the following:

If there is anything that can have an inkling to promote growth for the church,

they are all about it. That is not to say their requests get ignored; requests get

considered, and a wish list gets made. Once approved the leadership purchases

equipment. The team got told they are spoiled because they have much more gear

that a lot of other churches do not have. It is a blessing. Water of Life Family

Church has a lot, and they have done a lot with what they have. It makes sense

that leadership would invest in resources for ministry here.

Participants said Case 3 and Case 2 have invested in professional music recordings. Case

1 has not invested in a professional music release so far, but an interviewee stated that

they see it being done possibly in the future.

Senior leadership for each church is committed to having a quality music program

and understands it is important. Whether the person is a volunteer or a staff employee,

there is a commitment to excellence. While there are many more individuals who are

serving in ministry as volunteers, a participant stated there is more of a commitment of a

person when there is a salary involved. However, the other side to that is the budget.

Below is a chart that shows the level of positive perception of the church leadership’s

commitment, to have a quality music program - broken down by ethnicity:

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Figure 07. Perception of having a quality music program by ethnicity

Below is a chart that shows the level of positive perception of the church leadership’s

commitment, to have a quality music program - broken down by church position and age:

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Figure 08. Perception of having a quality music program by church position and age

. How effective is the music in reaching people in the congregation? All

participants stated the music is very effective in reaching people in the congregation.

Participants mentioned people come up to the altar and participate once listening to the

music. Congregation members participate as worshippers not just spectators. An

interviewee from Case 2 said the following:

Worship is for the Lord. There is a song that says, ‘praises go up, and blessings

come down.’ People will see a lot of that in our congregation where people are

there praising the Lord and praising and thanking him for his greatness and

goodness daily. It is part of the service that inspires a lot of the people to bring

that anointing down, and the Word follows.

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An example of effectiveness at Case 2 is the worship service in the main building. There

is a significant production process that goes into the service not only music worship team.

The tech, staging and production teams are involved as well. The church leadership has

invested tremendously into making sure that when someone attends a church service, he

or she has an experience that is noticeable. It is not just traditional songs that get played

in very basic song forms, it much more beyond that.

A participant from Case 1 stated it is an ‘experience’ for the congregation

members. People attending services appreciate having stellar lighting and video

departments. The congregation appreciates how it gets put together. Musicians are also

appreciated. It was stated they put on a big production show weekly. For many people

that don't get out much, this might be the only time to experience something of this

caliber. The worship and tech teams work hard on their craft, making sure the final

product is something that can reach the people. Also, Case 1 promotes a multiple venue

business models. For example, if the individual attending church is Spanish speaking,

rock music might not resonate with them. However, the person might prefer to attend a

Spanish speaking service. The Spanish venue at Case 1 provides a Spanish service.

Venues consisting of different styles of music are going on simultaneously. Another

venue is called ‘Soul Celebration,' which is rooted in a gospel music style. Congregation

members feel it is important to have a place with multiple styles of music. A participant

said it creates a community within a community. The participant felt it is a great way for

people to get plugged in with the church. Having music styles which get catered to

different individuals and personalities is smart.

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Participants interviewed at Case 3 stated a significant portion of the congregation

meets God through the worship time. One person said they were sure of this because they

hear it from ladies constantly. While the participant stated, they are not a huge

worshipper, the significance of music being part of the worship service gets noticed.

Woman sing songs during the service frequently, while many older men do not sing and

stay uninvolved. The participant said younger men are more engaged than older men. The

interviewee went on to say among women; music is one of the primary tools in

connecting with God. Many people at Case 3 agree that the music is very effective and it

is important to keep up with changes in society and the latest technology.

Many times, tech teams will gauge the room where the service is being held and

see if people are effectively worshiping. The participant said this was “their moment with

God.” Tech engineers get from behind the mixing board or the cameras and have time to

speak to God through song and praise. Sound engineers stated the music presented is very

effective. The way the music worship gets presented to the congregation positively

affects many people, and many people get lost in their world. A participant stated the

worship takes them to a place where they are in the presence of the Lord. Per participants

who got interviewed, worship team members see hands raised up and people participating

in the music worship. Regarding participation, some people are more outward while

others are more inward. People often mention certain songs that just really touch them.

People often discuss how the music touched and comforted them. An interviewee from

Case 3 stated the following, “They are participating. They are reacting emotionally,

clapping praising God with their hand in the air, clapping and we know they are

rejoicing!”

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However, participants also stated that all services are not about how good and

appealing the music is, but unless but there are high-quality sounds, video, solid musical

ability, singing, and dancing, what comes across in the pulpit may not reach the people.

Quality music gives people an opportunity to experience a different type of church

service. Moreover, in that, people can come to know Christ. For example, some people

might say they do not like choirs. Those same individuals then come and listen to a

quality contemporary music church service and change their minds. Participants agree

that music is a ‘hook’ to having people come to church. When people come and stay,

they hear the word of God, and it penetrates their heart. People come to know Christ

vibrantly, and most importantly they stay. Another participant said:

And when people stay most of the time they get involved, and they continue to

grow in their walk with the Lord... So, having good quality worship music that's

diverse coming from a church service I think it is critical for the health of the

church... Case in point; if a church plays nothing but hymns, chances are in this

day and age in 2017 it is going to be a small congregation with older people who

enjoy that type of music, and very few young adults and youths get involved in

that. It is just the way it is here in Southern California.

Criticism occasionally comes from the congregation. For example, if a person in the

congregation does not like something about the worship, team members get to hear about

it. However, if a congregation member does like something, the team will hear about that

also. All participants agree there are many more positive comments than negative

comments. Participants said that most negative comments pertain to new songs. Many

times, people are uncomfortable about experiencing new things, but after people attend

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the church for a while, and heard the music for a while, then they tend to enjoy the new

songs as well. Another testament to the effectiveness of the worship got discussed by an

interviewee:

Extremely potent… when I am worshiping, I have noticed others that are

worshiping, even after the songs have stopped playing. Some people have

expressed the joy of the song that touched their hearts that made them cry, that

just made them feel loved and that it just shed some light on their situation, which

brought them to contentment in their hearts.

The effectiveness of the music is also a question of outreach. Music is a powerful

vehicle for outreach. People get drawn to it. A participant stated people would say "I

came back because the music was amazing" or "The music touched me." People new to

the worship experience often enjoy the music, and the congregation responds

wholeheartedly to the music if it is touching them in a place where they are in their

relationship with God. People who are invested in their dealings with God and enjoy

worshiping in a musical way, respond to the music. The congregation is supportive and

appreciates the music because it is God-centered. One of the most powerful statements

made while interviewing a participant was the following:

I can say for me I have gotten comments about how the worship has affected them

in a positive way. Surely other members of our worship arts team have

experienced the same thing. A person in the congregation heard a song; they

listened to how a singer sang a song. Maybe someone played an instrument, a

kind of fill in or solo and it touched them. Moreover, they felt the need to tell us

and share it. Moreover, that is perfect for us because it tells us as performers that

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we are touching people. We are setting that worship stage where people are just

getting lost in Jesus. That is the essential point on that one. They are just getting

lost in Jesus, and they are just thinking about him and praising him. Moreover, so,

that we had a small part in that is wonderful, and we appreciate it. When people

do say something, but they do not need to because our audience is not the

congregation. Our audience is God.

It is critical for the music to be effective. If praise and worship are ineffective

before the pastor delivers the word, the service could get compromised. Also, some

people may not necessarily become impacted through music, but most of the people get

touched in some compacity. Some people link experiences to a song, or the lyrics of a

song may appeal to a person, or the passion gets seen from various vocalists and

musicians. A participant said there are several instances where different people have

come up in the congregation and stated that they decided to follow Christ based on a song

that got presented to them or that they decided to get baptized because of a certain song

they heard, or that the music touched them. Many times, people are going through issues

in their lives, and the lyrics or a song touched them in a way. The music helps people get

through problems. If worship teams are believable to the congregation, it can help people

get involved in the ministry. Ministry involvement is not limited to the music ministry. If

people can look at how the worship team members can use musical gifts, it can inspire

other people to use their gifts to help their churches grow as well. Below is a chart that

shows the perception of music was effective in reaching people in the congregation -

broken down by church position:

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Figure 09. Perception of music effectiveness - breakdown by church position

Below is a chart that shows the perception of music was effective in reaching people in

the congregation - broken down by age:

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Figure 10. Perception of music effectiveness – breakdown by age.

Viewpoints

Case 1, Case 2, and Case 3 were all traditional churches in their origins. Over the

years, each church has become diverse, contemporary, and technologically advanced,

with the purpose to reflect the people in the neighborhood and reaching out to people

beyond the neighborhood. Each church has a vision of attracting people from all

ethnicities. Each church has a special needs ministry, teaches spiritual growth and Bible

classes, outreach ministries, small groups, young adult ministries, children’s, women’s,

and men’s ministries. Each music ministry attempts to draw people in and prepare them

for the spoken word so they can get connected and participate in the ministry of their

choosing. Congregational growth is a top priority for each church ministry. Pastors from

each church believe diversity is critical to the growth of a church. Each pastor also

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understands the importance that churches must reflect the music of its’ congregation.

While everybody will not agree with the musical taste on one given week each week will

have something for everyone. A participant stated it is important to present a little bit of

something for everyone, so it reflects the diversity of the congregation.

All three churches host special events. For example, Case 3 has hosted concerts in

the past featuring artists such as CeCe Winans, Selah, The Katinas, Salvador, Jeremy

Camp, MaryMary, Gungor, Tommy Walker and Israel Houghton. Each year Case 3 hosts

comedy shows during Easter and other special times of the year. Case 2 hosted many

musical events like Jonathan Butler, full string orchestras for Easter, and recently hosted

a concert featuring Montel Jordan. What is interesting about Montel Jordan is that he

used to be a secular jazz artist, but recently became a minister. A secular artist who got

converted to a Christian artist can attract a wider group of people. Case 1 has hosted

events with musical artists such as Jeremy Camp, teacher and author Jennifer Rothschild,

actress and singer Lisa Whelchel, and actress Karen Abercrombie.

It was stated and observed by interviewees that congregational growth starts in the

pulpit. The pastor of Case 2 moved away from traditional to non-traditional dress.

Participants agreed church leadership cannot say any longer the way pastors and worship

leaders dress doesn't affect congregational growth. More pastors are dressing in very

casual outfits or attire. For instance, a participant said the Senior Pastor from Case 2

sometimes would come in with a jersey, as he did during the Olympics. An interviewee

said, “He came in with the jersey with the Olympics, and he supported the athletes…

other times like when we had the Super Bowl he would wear his Super Bowl outfit and

root for his team.” Participants said when the leadership connects with the congregation,

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it is a motivator and an inspiration for most people. It is a major thing regarding the

service that most people enjoy.

A positive viewpoint made by most of the participants was the effort made by

each church to reach people beyond its’ neighborhood and engage in global outreach. A

participant stated the following:

That is one of the reasons we came to this church. My father was very adamant

about picking a church that had connections beyond the borders and did the

mission and missionary groups. Because of his background or his experiences, he

would say if the church is not reaching people outside of this country and helping

people, what is happening with the money?

The participant stated people are very interested in how tithe money gets invested.

Participants felt church leadership have the heart for others and it shows in their personal

story, upbringing and why they are in ministry. People know when churches have the

heart for serving others and genuinely helping human beings. Outreaches are critical in

helping people from other parts of the nation of the world. Each church is also actively

engaged with the local government. Case 1 works in close collaboration with the City of

Fontana; Case 2 works in close partnership with the City of Rancho Cucamonga; and

Case 3 works in close cooperation with the City of Rialto. Participants stated that a city is

going to lend itself to the church, the church should help reach out and help those within

its’ community. Outreach is a good way to show God’s love. Participants from Case 3

shared an example this with the following comment, “We have done Christmas caroling

with the praise team. We have sung at different places, so we have done outreaches

musically to reach the community.” On the other hand, a Case 3 participant stated, the

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church is cautious regarding how many concerts they host. Hosting comedy shows and

concerts will attract people, but normally unchurched people come for entertainment and

not necessarily for connection and spiritual growth. That is ok but, if people do not come

back to church, that could be unhealthy and resource intensive with limited added value

over a period.

Participants mentioned how important it is to respond to congregation feedback.

Comments left by congregation members get saved on bulletin boards. Comment slips

tell church leadership how members feel about a given situation. It could be an

anonymous message or something on- personal. Participants from each church stated

leadership is excellent at responding and implementing solutions. Leadership attempt to

understand, listen and respond to comments made by congregation members. Because

each church is growing, leadership make a consorted effort to answer to any feedback

received quickly. When people know that leaders are responding to comments in a

responsible manner, it helps to build trust and credibility with everyone. For example, if

the congregation feels a certain way about the music being too loud, they will place their

concerns in the communication slip. Depending on the comment, is it dispersed to the

appropriate person. Every Sunday people are asked to put their comments and prayer

requests on the card and turn it in. Cards get collected in the offering bag at the end of

each service. People are also encouraged to call the church office. People can also email

the church and post comments. Case 1 and Case 3 have cell phone apps so people can

give feedback and receive information. People are encouraged to give positive or

negative praise reports. There are plenty of ways people can give feedback. The tech

team has gotten comments, concerning the music being too loud and music being off

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balance for example. Through communication slips, issues get identified and resolved.

Regardless if the leaders agree with all problems identified, people will respect the fact

that leadership did respond quickly. Congregational compliance and credibility is

ultimately a reflection of the church’s business model, commitment, and its’ leadership.

Each church invests significantly in children’s ministries. Youth, young adult, and

children’s ministries are an important focus of growth for each church. One participant

stated the following:

Having a nephew being about six years old who is involved in the church, I see

they are investing in the family. The reason I believe they are going strong is that

if the kids have a good experience, it does not give the parents much of an excuse

not to go. It is much like a business outside of the church. Children products are

selling well.

All participants agreed when churches invest in the youth; they invest in the future. The

opposite of that reasoning could be, churches do not invest in the youth, they are not

investing in the future. The three churches are employing excellent leadership in the

youth ministries. The caliber of leadership that normally get used to lead ministries for

older people are being hired to lead fifth and 6th graders. Participants said employing

more qualified resources for younger ministries is a great thing and is an excellent way of

reaching more families, kids, and youth. The belief is that, if the kids and youth gravitate

toward the specific church leadership, the parents follow. Children's programs consist of

a variety of activities. Each church host children events constantly. An interviewee said:

We are a very hard-working church. At one point our main worship center was in

operation six out of seven days a week with different things going on. There are

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activities everywhere for kids during the week. In the middle of the week. At the

end of the week, we have movie nights.

Outreaches help to attract people. Services are live-streamed so that more people can

view them. Outreach events help build the congregation. Participants expressed the use of

an annual survey. The study is used to identify what are the needs of the people and how

they are growing in their walk with God. Participants said these are one of the things that

draw so many people to church and keep them engaged. Once church leadership had

identified the needs and concerns, the people get led through a process that continues

them to grow. An interviewee made a key statement:

Accepting Christ is automatic but becoming a Christian is a process and these

different classes that we offer here help them to grow in their spiritual life so that

they can be able to go out into the community and be a light that shines, that

others see… moreover, then because we know that sometimes we may be the only

Jesus that anybody sees. It is reflected not only in our talk but our walk as well.

Without an annual survey, needs of many people could go undetected. While it was

unknown if Case 2 has a formal survey or feedback process, the pastor makes himself

available to meet and greet people. He always says if there is an issue, anyone can reach

out to him and write a letter or reach out to the elders. The pastor is out in the front of the

church to meet and greet the parishioners at the end of the service. Feedback is welcome

from everyone.

Each church uses social media, phone apps, automatic emails sent to congregation

members, text messaging, internet streaming, and the use of websites. They also have an

excellent internet presence when people look for them using Google search. Each church

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as videos uploaded to YouTube that is good quality. Quality is critical to promoting

events, getting messages to volunteers, communicating changes, and keep everyone up to

speed. Case 3 uses a software called “Planning Center Online.” This software permits

lyrics, mp3 files, rehearsal schedules, service information, resource contact information

and other documents to be shared with the worship arts and other ministries.

Conferences, for example, are advertised through social media, email, phone text and

paper advertisements. The advertisement is valuable when churches have the number of

ministries these churches have, such as Upward Sports, Release Time, Christian

Education, Marriage Ministries, Abundant Business Leaders, Empowered Kids, Singles

Ministry, City Link, Refinery, Seniors, Spiritual Growth, and many others. Investments

in technology allow ministry workers, employees, congregation members and people

interested in attending to stay connected.

Each church attempts to make attendance easy. For instance, seniors and visitors

can park very close to the front of the church while pastors, volunteers, church staff and

others park away from the building. There are no reserved spots up front for the Senior

Pastor or his wife. Priority parking close to the build is encouraged for visitors, disabled

and elderly. The parking model is an example of how each church attempts to reach out

and welcome people. Each church works hard to make people feel welcome. Participants

used Bible scripture to support the meaning and purpose of outreach and said the

following:

We want to reach as many individuals and as many places as possible. We look at

the Great Commission that was given in God's word to make disciples of all

nations. In Matthew 28:18-20 and then in Acts 1:8 in all areas is it said that he

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told his disciples, that in Jerusalem, in all Judea-Samaria to the ends of the Earth.

Jerusalem was their city Judea-Samaria whatever surrounding provinces. So we

want to be able to do that too! That is why we reached out to other places and

started campuses and church ministries in other locations.

Outreach is a big asset to each church and helps them to connect with the people in the

community who might not otherwise come to church. The goal is to expose as many

people as possible to the church and what it means to have a relationship with God.

Education and spiritual growth is also an important ministry for each church.

Each church has a spiritual growth process or Bible classes that emphasize the

importance and purpose of God in the life of people. The goal is to get everyone plugged

in, and that involves some one-to-one relationship. Participants from Case 3 stated that

they wanted to encourage everyone to participate in the five-week one-to-one follow-up.

They have a class called “Discovery.” It is important for the get people in small groups

that help attendees to get their feet on the ground and grow. They have had thousands of

people go through at least a portion of it. The church feels it is an important, structured

process to help people grow from beginning Christians to mature spiritual leaders. Below

is a chart that shows the perception of positive points of view - broken down by church

position:

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Figure 11. Perception of positive points of view by church position

Below is a chart that shows the perception of positive points of view – broken down by

ethnicity:

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Figure 12. Perception of positive points of view by ethnicity

Below is a chart that shows the perception of positive points of view - broken down by

church position and age range:

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Figure 13. Perception of positive points of view by church position, age range

Themes

The church is a place where people can hear music to worship and think. The

underlining basis for the important themes can get detected from the word frequency

chart. The top five words from data collected from the audio interviews are, “Church,”

“music,” “people,” “worship,” and “think,” which is shown previously (see Table 3:

Word Frequency Top Five). By using the five most frequently used words, a central

theme was formulated: “Church is a place where people can hear music to help them

worship and think.” Participants stated the purpose of music in a church service is to

bring people into worshipful place and prepare them for the spoken word. The following

statements made by the participants support this theme:

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 If the word is going forth in the music and gets done in a way that it evokes

the people into the presence of the Lord, hey you got it going on. Yes!

 Music in growing the church is a critical part because if the music is not

appealing to the congregation, that is the first thing that catches the person's

interest in coming to the church.

 Music helps to encourage the people that know and love God. Singing the

songs helps reinforce their faith, their commitment. When God’s people are

going through hard times, difficult times, where their life it seems to be

shaken, it is often the music that reminds them of God's love, God's grace,

God's help, God's mercy, God's hope, and God's healing. It is just a reminder

not only to their minds but their emotions that God is in control and I can

make it.

 I cannot say for sure, but the signs that I get, especially from the pastors in this

church is they feel that the music is something that helps people get closer to

the Spirit before the sermon gets done. Especially when the songs tend to

relate directly to the scripture that they are using, as part of their sermon for

that weekend, evening or whatever it might be.

 Music did not bring me here. God knew what would keep me in church, and it

was music. I guess God knew that would bring me on Sunday’s instead of

going out and doing something else.

 The music department is key pretty much in any church because I believe, in

all honesty, it is the hook. It is what's going to bring people in.

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 A worship leader is someone who seeks God. A worship leader is someone

that reminds people of God's presence. Moreover, God is here. Worship

leaders lead congregations into the worship and not just be a performer. It is

like one of our other worship leaders say. They are not just up there to

worship. They are up there to guide the congregation into worship. They care

about worshiping God. They are governing the congregation through worship.

It is not just listening to us sing or listens to us play an instrument. Let's get

everybody into this. Everybody needs to know how to worship God. It does

not matter how it happens. If they are worshiping God, that is what counts.

Based on the above statements, there is support for saying music is a fundamental

component in bringing people to a place where they can be receptive to the spoken word.

Ministry must be done with quality to make an impact. Participants stated that

music by itself does not keep people coming to church. Other characteristics such as

quality and helping people overcome life issues are also important. For example, quality

services make it easier for people to accept the church environment. All people can

appreciate singers that sing in the key, ushers that are kind and helpful, clean bathrooms

and individuals who are friendly. Based on the statement made by participants and

analyzing the data a case could be done for the second theme being, “All facets of

ministry must be done with quality to make an impact.” A text search supports the theme

to understand further how quality impacts the growth of a church as it relates to music.

The findings show that there were 36 references linked the word ‘quality.' The word tree

illustrated statements such as 1) Quality of the light work, 2) Quality of the tech, 3)

Quality of the sound, 4) Quality of the music, 5) Quality of the musicians, and 6) Quality

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of the singers. It was determined quality be a key characteristic in attracting people. It

was stated quality must integrate into every

Figure 14. Quality text search

Worship service. A participant stated the following:

The more quality you have, the easier it is to accept it… our goal that everything

we do in the worship service. The music, the prayers, the offering even

announcing upcoming events is a way of trying to get people involved.

Everything is important in reaching the people and needs to make an impact. I

think it all needs to get welded together. It is like a good dinner. You do not eat

only cake, or only steak, or only vegetables. I think when people come, a good

meal has diversity and it not only tastes better to have some variety but also, it is

healthier... and I think when people come, the music is an important part of that...

it provides encouragement and praising and often sets the tone. I believe the

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prayer is important and the Bible teaching… So, I want to say it is like preparing

a good meal for the soul.

While music can be considered an important aspect in attracting people to the church, it is

not the only thing that keeps people coming back. Everyone interviewed indicated the

objective in growing a church is to get people plugged in with spiritual growth and Bible

classes, encourage weekly attendance, and to join a ministry. A participant stated when

family members are part of a quality ministry, growing spiritually, and participating in

outreach; the percentage is higher they will stay. When people stay, the church will grow.

Quality as a theme gets supported with participant comments such as:

 The reality is we just need to do all things well if we are going to make an

impact.

 Music in the growing of the church is a crucial part because if the music is not

appealing to the congregation, that is the first thing that catches the person's

interest in coming to the church.

 The performance of the music is important regarding how it stacks up against

secular music. The music must be top-notch. It must be comparable to what

people hear when audiences go to a paid performance. Most congregations are

judged based on the outside world, or you have a standard to meet up with the

outside world regarding the quality of the singers, the quality of the musicians,

the quality of the direction and the quality of the worship. All those must be

state of the art, at the top, to reach out to the congregation because they

usually do not accept anything less than that.

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 We as worship leaders are doing this to lead someone at least one-inch closer

to God and want to bring them one-inch closer.

 The personality, qualifications, and talents of the worship leader do affect

what musicians they can attract.

 The expectation is not only for worship team members to be accomplished

and to spend time rehearsing, but it is encouraged for everyone to grow

spiritually.

 Spiritual and relational health come before quality musicianship.

 Some people just come for the word. Some people come for the music. Some

people might like one song but stay for another. It depends on the individual

but due to the different varieties of music and the different ethnicities they

seem to come to one common ground, and that is to lift the voices to the Lord.

 The music needs to touch different cultures and different people groups so that

everybody can come together as one accord.

 Music is reflective of the community, reflective of the members of the church.

Sometimes music is the way some people hear things. Some people are visual.

Some people are copacetic, and some people prefer to learn and grow through

hearing things and sometimes music is a way to touch individuals and draw

them in.

Implementing and maintaining quality requires a financial commitment. While each

church has unwaveringly made this commitment, there were some concerns regarding

fiscal and budgetary limitations, which were discussed by some of the participants.

Although each church fully supported their music program, investments needed to be

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justified and had to get budgeted into the overall church financial structure. Participants

also stated churches have many needs, and investments made to the music program must

be prioritized and done in proportion to other requirements within the church. For

example, in certain situations, investments in youth, children, or senior ministries, could

be more important. It becomes a question of needs, wants, and proportionality. Because

the church must make financial and human resource investments in all areas of the

church, there must be an assessment done to determine financial priorities for each

ministry, to keep balance within the church. For example, people interviewed said some

investments are valuable or necessary by the church. In that situation, funds and

resources are made available. Participants stated for other investments; it is a question of

showing the senior staff those investments are beneficial to the congregation and the

growth of the church, and in that scenario, it could be a little harder to get funding. When

some investments do not get funded, it is not a lack of caring but it a difference of

perspective. Moreover, because of the difference of perspective, it makes certain goals a

little harder to obtain. Some people do not see or understand the need for certain things

versus somebody else could see the need immediately. It is not that there is not a desire to

grow, but there may not be an understanding of what it would take to grow. Also, getting

people on the same page could be part of the issue. For example, a participant stated a

mixing board needed to get upgraded, so the leadership approved the investment. The

leadership recognized it was the right investments to make. Prioritization and justification

are part of the model.

Board members and other church leaders must evaluate what the actual worth of any

investment is. Each church has a process where everything gets evaluated so many times

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things do not happen right away. It is the responsibility of the team to elaborate on why

something is needed and its’ purpose. Also, is there repeated value and optimized utilized

in the investment. For instance, can the investment be used purposefully on other

campuses? Just like any other business, each church wants to get the most use out of

something. Regarding investing in equipment to be better, it is not easy, it takes time, but

it does happen. Worship pastors and the directors in any ministry understand their

operating budget and realize they need to stay within the framework of that project while

doing their best to having the best equipment possible. A participant stated it is critical to

have the right equipment working together, to have the best sound capability, and the

least amount of problems.

Outreach impacts the growth of a church. A third theme that began to develop

became centered around outreach. A text search supports the theme to understand further

how “outreach starting with music impacts the growth of a church.” The findings show

that there were 49 references linked the word ‘reach.’ The word tree illustrated statements

such as 1) Reach out to the community, 2) Reach out to elders, 3) reach out to people, 4)

Reach the younger generation 5) Reach out to the world.

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Figure 15. Reach text search

Participants stated that reaching lost individuals in need of a savior is critical in growing

church ministries. For example, the purpose statement for Case 3 is, “Be One, Bring One,

Build One.” Be One means to be one person who is faithful to God, by knowing Jesus

Christ in a personal relationship, by coming together to worship God joyfully, and by

living in daily obedience to God’s Word (Case 3, 2017). Bring One means to bring one

person to a personal relationship with Jesus by communicating the gospel in our

neighborhoods, and around the world, by meeting the needs of individuals lovingly, and

by daily living a God-honoring life (Case 3, 2017). Build one means to building people to

maturity in Christ by teaching God’s Word, the Bible, by caring for one another as a

community of Christian friends, by making disciples and disciple makers, and by

equipping Christians for ministry. ‘Build One’ pertains to every ministry member

(Church, 2017). The Bring One component is referring to outreach. Case 2’s vision

statement is “Seek the Lost, Teach the Found, Send the Disciples,” and the mission-

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driven statement is, “We are a mission-driven church. We are committed to world and

community outreach, social needs, evangelism, soul-winning, and good works (Case 2,

2017).” Case 2 stated they are committed to outreach. Core values for Case 1 are Healing,

Sending, Equipping, Caring, and Relationships (Case 1, 2017). The second core value,

Sending, pertains to outreach. The church believes outreach is foundational to all God

wants to do in us (Case 1, 2017). The church does local outreach as well as in remote

parts of the world such as Cambodia and Thailand, as well as other nations they have

reached (Case 1, 2017). Outreach as a theme gets supported with participant comments

such as:

 The biggest thing that affects congregational growth is encouraging the mindset

that everyone is inviting people back to church. Worship does not cause

congregational growth in and of itself. Bible studies do not exist in and of itself. It

is getting new people into the building and then putting them in environments.

 Congregational growth starts in the pulpit.

 When a diversity of music gets performed, it cannot be song selections that only a

small segment of people can embrace.

 It starts with having a mindset that everybody wants to reach out and love to the

lost world and invite them in.

 The church does not use music as a means of growth, but it uses music as a means

of communication and fellowship. It is a common language that everybody

speaks, which is another reason it needs to be demographically correct.

 Music is not necessarily a means of growth as much as it is a vehicle of the

community. If it brings in people to touch lives to the glory of God, that is good.

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Music is not on the platform of entertainment. It is used on the platform to impact

a life.

 It is not just about singing and performing. It is about growing as a Christian and

making sure that everything exemplifies Christ and brings a positive message. We

are here to help the congregation worship and Outreach.

 We have always been good about reaching out to others and trying something

different. Moreover, with that comes growth.

 We draw people there that are hurting and in need of a savior.

Once people make the connection and begin coming to church, they are instructed to

attend spiritual growth and Bible classes. There were concerns mentioned in the

interviews with participants that there are several classes and studies that tend to get

limited regarding application potential linked to opportunities. Participants stated it is

great to learn, but if what is learned cannot be applied to opportunities, are missed

opportunities. The church must be willing to transform their thinking while being open to

new ideas. One participant stated the following:

I do not know if there is a challenge of changing the church's culture, trying to

apply what is getting learned; we are learning a great deal but how you put that

into practice in a larger sense, in how you impact the community? We have

excellent teaching, but there does seem to be a need for outreach to match the

teaching. Not in any way is there a de-emphasis on the educational aspect that the

church has established over decades. That is important, and it must be there but to

recognize there is a value in integrating. There’s a strong interaction of the

teaching aspect of the worship music ministry that has not gotten fully explored

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yet. Worship music will not take away from the need for solid biblically based

grounded teaching. Worship music would go more into trying to get off the page

in the sense of taking what’s on the page and making it real, and flushing it out

and making it ‘3D’. We commit to the songs and put them on the board while

dancing like David danced and everything but if we do that will somebody get

upset? There seems to be that disconnect between what we study and what we

practice at times. I do not think it gets realized that at times there is this

disconnect. My comment would be to see the church grow passionate about their

relationship with God in all aspects. Passionate about the teaching. Passionate

about their relationship with him. Passionate about praising him. There is a right

and proper passion that's focused that gets correctly directed and to have that

passion for the Lord manifested. That is not a bad thing. That would be good to

see to carry over too many areas of life. Carry over to business. Carry over to

home. Carry over to interactions of the outreaches. What are we passionate about?

Diversity is critical to understand how to communicate with different people.

A fourth theme that began to develop got centered around diversity. A text search was

performed to understand further how “Diversity is critical to understand how to

communicate with people from different backgrounds.” The findings show that there

were 15 references linked the word ‘diversity.’ The word tree illustrated statements such

as (a) diversity of ages, (b) diversity of ethnic tastes and generations, (c) diversity of

music, (d) diversity of people, and (e) diversity of perspectives.

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Figure 16. Diversity text search

All participants stated each church is rooted and committed to diversity. Each church is in

a multi-ethnic, cultural, generational, and gendered community. People enjoy diverse

styles and varied genres of music. What someone might think is a good song someone

else might not care for it, because they like another genre. Each church strives to make

songs and worship services as diverse as humanly possible. It does not always happen,

however. Worship teams do not get reprimanded if something goes wrong but the goal is

to provide diversity, and they attempt to lead congregations with the best and most

diverse worship possible. Moreover, that is why each team puts so much time and effort

into the preparation because they want it to be an experience for everyone. Participants

stated worship teams want everyone touched by the music time of worship. For diversity

to be understood, worship leaders must understand there are many ways to worship and

not just with music. Worship includes videos, testimonies, prayer, and anything that gives

God praise. These are the types of various presentations that incorporate into the worship

service. Case 2 participants said when they hired a new music director who understood

how to incorporate diversity into the worship services, the congregation the transition

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happen. The old classics still got performed, but the services began to appeal to the

younger generation and still appealed to the older people as well. While the pastor likes

the older songs from a personal point of view, he understands the importance of

appealing to a diverse group of individuals. The pastor now embraces the new style of

music because it not only reaches a wider group of persons, but he can now communicate

better with his children who are in their twenties. The congregation can positively feel the

influence of diversity. However, nothing is out of balance. It does not go too far. It stays

right in the middle. Case 3 has a delivery music based on finding the ‘middle’ or the

‘sweet spot’ that appeal to everyone. For example:

 The music style should not be too extreme for anyone.

 It must be a style that contains music that is representative of the community.

 All congregation members should be able to relate to songs, delivery, and volume.

 Each service should include songs that people from the community can hear on

the radio.

 Each song should focus on the commonality of the culture and ethnicity of the

community.

 Lyrics should be God-centered.

 Self-promotion or personal preferences are not encouraged.

 Songs should not go past six minutes.

 The music portion of the worship should complete within 30 minutes.

 Songs selected should be uplifting and inspirational.

Participants have stated while this integrated style is very popular with congregation

members, many tech engineers, musicians, and singers feel they can take the music

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further. Sometimes musicians feel the music gets ‘watered down,’ or because of time

constraints, the flow of praise spirit gets impacted. There are times when the worship is

Spirit-filled. At certain times, praise team members can feel the Spirit flowing in the

congregation but rather than allow that to flow; they, unfortunately, must cease.

Participants have stated they could do so much more, but they do a lot with what they

have. Many worship team members felt church leadership did not have the kind of focus

of what worship arts (music, dance, and drama) can do as they have. Participants in

senior leadership positions stated perceived restrictions are an attempt to maintain

balance and keep everything proportional. There is an emphasis on proportionality

because each church is multicultural, the services as it relates to praise are designed to

reach various age groups and the different cultures. There isn't a specific genre that is

unique to a specific age group. Therefore, it becomes difficult to please everybody all the

time but if the multicultural, multigenerational, multi-gendered, centered-majority can be

fulfilled then diversity is successful in helping to church to increase and grow. For

example, participants said people close to the senior age group have requested or asked

for the old gospel or older worship arts songs from years past as opposed to the newer

songs. The request will get fulfilled but in a balanced way. If too many older songs get

played, other groups will feel marginalized. Therefore, proportionality is critical.

Summary

The purpose of this multiple-case exploratory study is to explore best practice

approaches of successful church music programs and try to understand what is done to

increase congregational membership size through music. The population of the study

consisted of male and female adults ranging from 18 to 95 years old, who attend Case 1

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based in Fontana Ca, Case 2 located in Rancho Cucamonga Ca, and Case 3 rooted in

Rialto Ca. Each participating church resides within a 50-mile radius of each other. Case

1 has a weekly attendance of 6,370 members. Case 2 has a weekly attendance of more

than 6000 members. Case 3 has a weekly attendance of 6300.

Chapter 4 contain the findings from the data collection, analysis, findings from

the study and present theme development. The sample size consisted of 20 one-on-one

interviewed participants, a young adult focus group composed of six participants, 18 to

26 years of age and a seniors group which consists of five participants, over 62 years old.

The study concentrated on the shared engagement of successful worship teams, pastors,

church board members, worship leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers,

as it pertains to the music program. Text search and word frequency queries were used to

identify themes. The study consists of four classifications, which are gender, age, church

position, and ethnicity. Values got assigned to each classification. Classifications and

values were used in queries to identify thought processes, deep-rooted perceptions,

developing theories, and opinions. NVivo 11.4.1.1064 (64-bit) Pro Edition was used to

perform data analysis. Seventeen parent nodes got created. Each parent node got linked to

an interview question. Nine child nodes connected to each parent node. Two case folders

got created. The first case folder contained 3 cases, consisting of one for each church.

Each church linked to sources containing the participant’s interview. The second case

folder contained cases which were directly related to each participant’s interview. Each

interview got linked to the data source and reference of the participant. Seven queries

were set up from the case coding process. Each query used characteristics and attributes

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to analyze the comments, thought patterns and beliefs of each participant. Findings

consisted of:

1. Experience of worship team members

2. Interesting points of view

3. Negative points of view

4. Positive points of view

5. Rehearsals, skillset, song selection, sound quality

6. Support of the church leadership that contribute to having a quality church music

program

7. How effective is the music in reaching people in the congregation?

Twenty-three charts were created to graphically showing what singers, band members,

pastors, board members, worship leaders, key congregation members, sound technicians,

and key volunteers consider negative, positive, and interesting points of view. Attributes

such as age, ethnicity, and gender were used to show detailed findings of the exploratory

study. An analysis report using word frequency and text search queries were run using

exact matching. A word frequency query was run showing the 100 most frequently used

words. Four themes were developed, consisting of:

1. Church is a place where people can hear music to help them worship and think

2. All facets of ministry must be done with quality to make an impact

3. Outreach starting with music impacts the growth of a church

4. Diversity is critical to understand how to communicate with people from different

backgrounds

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Chapter 5 will provide conclusions and recommendations based on the findings from

Chapter 4. Findings from Chapter 4 create the climate for additional studies performed,

and possible solutions revealed to churches that are in decline.

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Chapter 5

Conclusion, Recommendations, and Future Research

The purpose of this multiple-case exploratory study is to explore best practice

approaches of successful church music programs and try to understand what is done to

increase congregational membership size through music. The study focused on the shared

engagement of successful worship teams, pastors, church board members, worship

leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers, as it pertains to the music

program. Findings from this research can help churches understand the importance of

music as a tool to preserve and increase church membership. Implementing study

recommendations could increase sustainability in churches that are already stable.

Results from this study can help churches with decreasing growth to understand the

connection between quality music program and church membership growth and why

churches are enjoying success embracing a contemporary music business model. The

population of the study consisted of male and female adults ranging from 18 to 95 years

old, who attend Case 1 based in Fontana Ca, Case 2 located in Rancho Cucamonga Ca,

and Case 3 rooted in Rialto Ca. Each participating church is within a 50-mile radius of

each other. Case 1 has a weekly attendance of 6,370 members. Case 2 has a weekly

attendance of more than 6000 members. Case 3 has a weekly attendance of 6300.

Findings of the study showed the implementation of a best practice music program does

influence church membership in the Inland Empire area of Southern California and four

themes surfaced to support the conclusion. Burton (2010) suggested future researchers

should consider exploring the comparison of leadership behaviors between pastors of

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growing churches (Burton, 2010). This study was a response to Burton’s statement and

justification to conduct this exploratory research.

Conclusion - Church Models

The way each church handled diversity is rooted in what can be called a Five-

Circle Integration Theory. Below is an example of the ‘Five-Circle Integration Theory.'

Figure 17. Five-circle integration theory model

The objective of the Five-Circle Integration Theory is to satisfy the ‘Centered Majority.'

When music, quality, the spoken word, outreach, diversity, and every other facet of the

church experience gets directed toward the collective needs of the people in the

community, the church’s congregation members and the cyberspace family, there is a

higher percentage of membership increase and church growth. Because the Centered

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Majority focuses on the commonality inside the ‘Centered Majority’ circle, the consistent

increase in the Centered Majority will continue to grow.

It is important that generational issues get solved quickly. It may take some time

to help educate older people who are in positions of leadership why certain things are

important in reaching younger people, but it must get done. A participant stated some

older people think that quality sound is “something coming out of a speaker and a

microphone that gets plugged into the wall that got purchased from the supermarket.”

However, the quality and the volume of sound systems evolve just like all technology, so

it is important to stay current. Generating the best acoustics possible is important. These

types of investments are necessary for attracting people to grow the church. A participant

stated:

You are sitting on the balcony; it is not that good, you are sitting in the open it is

much better, and so are they willing to invest, yes. Do they get sticker shock

because of lots of times? Yes. It is not like buying a Sunday school book or

sending somebody to camp. We got to get a new soundboard, and the sounds are

100K. We must invest in new lighting and $150k. We need new video

technology, which is important. The quality of the video that comes out. That is

important also for younger people because this is the quality that they get. They

watch it on Netflix; they watch it going to a movie. They understand the quality.

Old guys like me, eyes are bad, ears are wrong. We may not get it. However, it

needs to have that quality. Are we willing to spend the money? Yes. Sometimes

the leadership gets a little older so, it takes a bit more time. The essential point is

that the leadership committed to it, the direction.

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It is important to understand it may take time to implement a Five-Circle Integration plan.

It must also be understood there might be other ministry leaders that think worship is no

different from taking the offering, for example. Moreover, the offering is just as

important as the music worship. To illustrate this, a participant stated the following:

I appreciate that worship, that was good... Where did you come up with that song?

We will ask, and we will interact. It is not a priority. It just really isn't. They take

it as part of the service, and it is no more important than preaching. Music,

however, is important to many people and a lot of the old guys like me. I am

finding more ways to reach the younger generation that my kids and grandkids to

be able to do it so. However, others, I do not think it is. It is not a priority, or they

do not want to invest the time or willing to do it.

Some may feel music has an important place but it is secondary to some other issues, and

if those other matters are in place the music will take care of itself. There could be

another hurdle regarding the perception of what is good. Defining ‘good’ becomes rather

difficult because what gets perceived as being excellent to one person from one

background may not seem excellent to someone from another background, so there is a

challenge for people from diverse backgrounds agreeing on what is ‘good’ and what is

beneficial versus what is minimal.

Implementing a Five-Circle Integration plan could create turnover within the

worship team. There could be key congregation members who will not support the type

of changes required for success and will leave. There could be members of the worship

team that consider the limits of the Centered Majority to be too restrictive. Understanding

what the Centered Majority means for a single church or organization takes careful

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thought, research, planning, and commitment. It will take time, resources, and patience to

build an appropriate model that is effective at an optimum level. The most important

component in implementing a successful Five-Circle Integration plan is being committed

to the direction. Many people tend to resist change. However, what is evident from all

participants interviewed in this study, is that senior leadership changed direction and

implemented a strategy rooted in diversity. Each church committed to that plan, and each

church has enjoyed significant growth for over a three to five-year period. It took having

a ‘servant's heart’ to the committee to the needs of the many.

Church model statistics. Participants clearly stated the purpose of music in a

church service is to bring people into a worshipful place and prepare them for the spoken

word. To support this notion, participants stated each church relates to its citizens of their

corresponding city and make a consorted effort to reflect the demographics of the

community regarding music. The chart below illustrates city comparison information.

Table 7
City Demographic Comparison
People Rancho Fontana City, Rancho City,
Cucamonga City, California California
California
Population
Population 175,236 207,460 103,132
estimates, July 1,
2015 (V2015)
Population, 165,269 196,069 99,171
Census April 1,
2010
Education
High school 91% 72.50% 67.40%
graduate or
higher, percent of
persons age 25
years+, 2011-
2015

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Bachelor’s 32.40% 15.70% 9.80%
degree or higher,
percent of
persons age 25
years+, 2011-
2015
Health
With a disability, 5.30% 6.10% 7.30%
under 65 years,
percent, 2011-
2015
Persons without 10.90% 21.50% 21.50%
health insurance,
under age 65,
years percent
Income and
Poverty
With a disability, $77,396 $54,824 $50,971
under 65 years,
percent, 2011-
2015
Per capita income $30,939 $19,706 $16,451
in past 12 months
(in 2015 dollars),
2011-2015
Persons in 8.80% 16.10% 19.70%
poverty, percent

Case 1 is in Fontana CA. According to official Fontana 2010 statistics, the median

age was 35.2 years old. The 2016 US Census Bureau states the average age was 29.6

years old. The 5.6% decrease indicates a younger age trend. The total population in 2010

was 196,069. In 2015, the estimated population was 207,460, which shows an upward

trend of approximately 6% (US Census Bureau, 2017). The ethnic breakdown in 2010

indicated the city was 54.14 % Caucasian, 9.67 % African-American, 5.99% Asian, and

66.7% of people are of Hispanic or Latino origin (US Census Bureau, 2017). In 2016, the

city was 46.1 % Caucasian, 9.3% African-American, 6.9% Asian, and 70.1% of people

are of Hispanic or Latino origin. The 2016 statistical numbers indicate there is an

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upwards trend toward people of Hispanic or Latino origin (City of Fontana, 2016). Also,

the median household income from 2011-2015 was $64,824, with 15.7% of citizens 25

years of older having a bachelor's degree and 72.5% of high school students graduate.

The level of diversity indicated by the statistical numbers support the need for Case 1 to

incorporate a business model that is inclusive of the diverse population an increasingly

more diverse, younger, moderately educated, and prosperous population. Based on

statements made by participants it is appropriate to incorporate a Five-Circle Integration

model rooted in community outreach and supplying quality needs to the people of the

community. Case 1’s success is rooted in their commitment to embracing a combination

of multiple venues, willingness to spend for quality church services, global outreach and

creating a genuine connection with people in the City of Fontana Ca.

Table 8
Fontana Ca. 2015 Census - Race and Age Demographics
Population by Races Population Percent of Total

Total Population 196,069 100

Hispanic or Latino 130,957 66

White 92,978 47

Some Other Race 58,449 29

Black or African 19,574 9


American
Asian 12,948 6

American Indian 1,957 Below 1%

Three or more races 599 Below 1%

Native Hawaiian 547 Below 1%


Pacific Islander

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Median Age in Fontana Age

Both Sexes 28

Male 27

Female 29

Case 2 is in Rancho Cucamonga CA. According to official Rancho Cucamonga

2013 statistics, the median age was 34.6 years old. The 2010 US Census Bureau states the

average age was 35.2 years old. The 0.6% decrease indicates a younger age trend. The

total population in 2010 was 165,269. In 2015, the estimated population was 175,236,

which shows an upward trend of approximately 6% (US Census Bureau, 2017). The

ethnic breakdown in 2010 indicated the city was 64.66% Caucasian, 8.80% African-

American, 12.15% Asian, and 36.1% of people are of Hispanic or Latino origin (US

Census Bureau, 2017). By 2016 the city was 61% Caucasian, 9% African-American, 10%

Asian, 34% of people are of Hispanic or Latino origin and 12% of some other race (US

Census Bureau, 2017). Also, the median household income from 2011-2015 was

$77,396, with 32.4% of citizens 25 years of older having a bachelor's degree and 91% of

high school students graduate.

The level of diversity concluded by the statistical numbers support the need for

Case 2 to incorporate a business model that is inclusive of an increasingly more diverse,

younger, more educated, and prosperous population. Also, 54% of people are married.

Based on statements made by participants it is appropriate to incorporate a Five-Circle

Integration model, rooted in community outreach, and providing quality church services

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to meet the needs of the people in the community. Based on statements made by

participants from Case 2, the church’s success was due to their commitment to excellence

and professionalism. Statistical numbers from median household income report of 2011-

2015 support the ability and need for the church to pay for technical personnel and

multiple worship leaders to create a top-notch worship team, where quality and

excellence is a premium.

Table 9
Rancho Cucamonga Ca. 2015 Census - Race and Age Demographics

Population by Races Population Percent of Total

Total Population 165,269 100

White 102,401 61

Hispanic or Latino 57,688 34

Some Other Race 19,878 12

Asian 17,208 10

Black or African 15,246 9


American
Two or more races 8,959 5

American Indian 1,134 Below 1%

Three or more 703 Below 1%


races
Native Hawaiian 443 Below 1%
Pacific Islander

Median Age in Rancho Age


Cucamonga
Both Sexes 34

Male 33

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Female 35

Case 3 is in Rialto CA. According to official Rialto 2013 statistics, the median

age was 28.3 years old. The 2016 US Census Bureau states the average age was 28 years

old. The 0.3% decrease indicates a younger age trend. The total population in 2010 was

99,171. In 2015, the estimated population was 103,132, which shows an upward trend of

approximately 4% (US Census Bureau, 2017). The ethnic breakdown in 2010 indicated

the city was 60.20% Caucasian, 14.58% African-American, 1.82% Asian, and 71.6% of

people are of Hispanic or Latino origin (US Census Bureau, 2017). In 2016, the city was

43% Caucasian, 16% African-American, 6.9%, 2% Asian, 67% of people are of Hispanic

or Latino origin and 31% of some other race (US Census Bureau, 2017). Also, the

median household income from 2011-2015 was $50,971 with 9.8% of citizens 25 years

of older having a bachelor's degree and 67.4% of high school students graduate.

The level of diversity indicated by the statistical numbers support the need for

Case 3 to incorporate a business model that is inclusive of the rapidly changing diverse,

younger, modestly educated, and prosperous population. Based on statements made by

participants it is appropriate to incorporate a model rooted in empowering volunteers.

Case 3 uses a volunteer-based model because of the cost savings, spiritual and emotional

connection people get with serving in the church. Also, an investment in volunteers is a

repeatable model that can get duplicated throughout multiple campuses. Per statements

made by Case 3 participants, a Five-Circle Integration model rooted in community

outreach is preferable. A Five-Circle Integration model provides quality need to the

people of the community. Case 3’s success is rooted in a commitment to identify and

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create genuine connections with people in the city of Rialto Ca. Some participants,

however, stated it there can be consistency drawbacks in implementing a 98-100%

volunteer staff model. An example of this is the tech team. It is tough to have a model

with one paid staff person and the rest volunteers. If a tech team volunteer cannot be

available due to family or work conflicts, it is tough to replace an experienced tech team

member with another resource. When a technical team is deficient, the worship

experience can become compromised.

Table 10
Rialto Ca. 2015 Census - Race and Age Demographics

Population by Races Population Percent of Total

Total Population 99,171 100

Hispanic or Latino 67,038 67

White 43,592 43

Some Other Race 30,993 31

Black or African 16,236 16


American
Two or more races 4,669 4

Asian 2,258 2

American Indian 1,062 1

Native Hawaiian 361 Below 1%


Pacific Islander
Three or more races 357 Below 1%

Median Age in Rialto Age

Both Sexes 28

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Male 27

Female 29

Church model similarities. Based on US Census Bureau information, each city

has similar trends such as:

 The culture is becoming more diverse

 The median age is getting younger

 The population is increasing

 Over 50% of the population is married

 The median family income is $50,000 to $78,000

 Approximately 15-33% of citizens 25 years or older have a bachelor's degree

 More than 67% of high school students graduate.

Each church implemented a version of a Five-Circle Integration model. Findings from the

Abbamonte and Banks (2009) study showed churches that change styles might initially

lose members, but the exodus can also lead to opportunities for higher attendance.

Abbamonte and Banks (2009) also stated close to 64% of congregations that converted to

a contemporary worship style within the last five years enjoyed an increase in worship

attendance of 2% or more. Contemporary worship is critical to each church since the

median age for Case 2 is 35.2, 29.6 for Case 1 and 28 for Case 3. It is important to note

going back 30 years; some of the top musical artists were Michael Jackson, Spandau

Ballet, Bon Jovi, Madonna, Prince, The Police, and Heart. People born in the 1980’s

remember the musicianship, quality of the recordings and performances of these artists.

Church music must reflect the level of quality people expect. Abbamonte and Banks

(2009) supported the implication that if a struggling church converts to a contemporary

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style of worship, there will be an increase in membership quickly. Churches that contain

a contemporary worship team membership increases 61% within a year (Abbamonte &

Banks, 2009). Participants clearly stated the need for contemporary music. The need for

contemporary worship was also discussed by Olugbemi (2011). Since the 1990s, urban

contemporary music had become a dominant force in the United States music scene

(Olugbemi, 2011). Urban music was commercially successful in the early 2000s’ and

crossed over to popular music markets. Many urban radio stations played gospel music or

urban contemporary gospel music on Sunday (Olugbemi, 2011). Coggins (2013) stated if

the objective of the church is to bring people to Christ and increase membership, this gap

must get bridged between cultures. It, therefore, makes sense to engage in musical

interests of individuals and use music as a tool to grow the church. Church leaders using

music to increase church attendance supports the theoretical framework regarding

transformational thinking. Music within a transformational context can be used to

change the way people think and work by connecting to core values (Deed, 2013). The

findings supported the notion that contemporary suburban worship teams have become

diverse and dynamic and suburban neighborhoods are very culturally integrated. Musical

styles include rock, hip-hop, R&B, global music, country and even classical. The blend

of the music is crucial for influencing a diverse demographic of people. It is important for

churches not to ignore these findings because the family income range is approximately

$50,000 to $78,000 which gives people options to do different things and go to different

places. Participants said each church was rooted and committed to diversity. Pastors

from each church believed diversity was critical to the growth their church. Each pastor

understood the importance of making sure the music impacts the congregation. It was

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understood how important to present music representative of everyone, so it reflects the

diversity of the congregation.

It is crucial for each church to help people in the community and congregation.

Each church actively works with the local government which helps them to understand

citizen’s needs. One participant said it was critical to touch the wounds of people and

offer help when churches implement effective programs. The study showed the need for

having effective outreach programs. Churches with quality outreach and promotional

models could be on a growth trajectory. Lovett (2001) said implementing a successful

music strategy was necessary for expanding the outreach phase of worship teams.

Participants also stated in Chapter 4 that music outreaches are critical in helping people

located in other parts of the nation, and the world. Music is a big asset for churches, and

it helps them to connect with the individuals in the community who might not otherwise

come to church. The purpose of outreach is to expose as many people as possible to the

church with the purpose of them having a relationship with God.

Church model differences. Each church presented a slightly different business

model. For example, Case 2 believes in paying their key people which include singers,

musicians, and technical people. William Mashbern’s (1988) research project support

Case 2’s model as being valid. Mashbern’s (1988) study helped to develop a model to

facilitate the training of volunteer and part-time church music leaders serving in Southern

Baptist churches. While performing an assessment of the current church model, it was

determined to be ineffective and inconsistent. The participants reported that

approximately two-thirds of all Southern Baptist churches utilized volunteer and part-

time personnel as the principal music leader (Mashbern, 1988). Many volunteers

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relinquished much of responsibility to the paid music directors which led to inconsistency

within the ministry (Mashbern, 1988). Penni Cooke stated in her 2010 study that

implementing change is often the most difficult task for seasoned professional full-time

staff members who seek to gain strength through volunteers (Cooke, 2010).

The positives in paying the worship team include insurance of commitment. There

is a higher likelihood that people will take the commitment seriously when getting paid.

There is also a higher percentage of having a more capable and qualified worship team.

Employing worship team and technical team personnel is support by Musser’s study in

1987. Musser said it is essential for a church to employ personnel that has a futuristic

pulse on new technical and musical ideas (Musser, 1987). Since Case 2 resides in

Rancho Cucamonga, this method works well because there is a high premium on

professionalism. Paying people does have its concerns. Not only can it be costly to pay

various worship team members, but the model can also become difficult when expanding

to new campuses. If a church purchases satellite church in a new location, chances are

there is no tithing base. Without having a tithing base to receive revenue, the new campus

becomes an expense. Until expenses get managed, it would be harder to pay for singers

and musicians consistently. Another concern could be the lack of emotional commitment.

It is possible a singer or musician works for the church only for the money. If this is the

case, congregation members could tell the spiritual connection is missing thus creating a

disconnection between the worship team and the congregation. Also, paid singers and

musicians could leave if a better opportunity comes along, thus creating turnover and

inconsistency.

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Case 1 also believes in paying core people and particularly the technical team.

The church pays worship leaders who are responsible for the Soul Celebration, Main and

Spanish venues. Since Case 1 employs key team members, they have the same positives

and concerns that Case 2 has. Also, they believe in paying for premium technical

equipment and personnel, which is supported by Musser’s research study 1987. There are

many positives in paying for a qualified technical team such as consistency, industrial

expansion, sound excellence, lighting excellence and in-house depth and knowledge.

Since Fontana has a median age of 29, it is critical always to present a sound quality that

is acceptable to a younger demographic. Case 1 also uses volunteers also. This model has

concerns as well. Since there are multiple venues, the cost is proportionally higher. It also

takes additional resources to cover each venue, which is costly. Although multiple

venues are initially more appealing, it becomes much harder to replicate when expanding

to new locations. Not only is this more resource intensive congregation members become

alienated from each other, due to having multiple venue services occurring at the same

time.

It was stated earlier the Case 3 model relies heavily on volunteer staff. While a

volunteer business model can be economically beneficial for the church volunteers must

be presented the tools, direction, appreciation, and respect for the church to sustain free

labor. Transformational leaders create an environment of empowerment.

Transformational leadership states if people get treated with dignity, respect, and given

the tools required to get the job done they will perform well. In general, most people will

perform at an optimal level when being part of a perceived higher purpose (Osborn,

2008). Penni Cooke (2010) said empowering and motivating volunteers to lead with

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commitment and excellence is a topic of concern, not just in Southern Baptist churches,

but also shared by many leaders of the Pentecostal denomination. Music and leadership

skills must be developed for volunteer musicians to become effective. Volunteers with

little or no formal training and accomplished musicians must practice regularly (Cook,

2010).

Case 3 employs the lead person in each ministry. The lead person could be a

Pastor, Worship Leader, or Director. It is the responsibility of each leader to develop their

team of volunteers. There are many advantages in having a volunteer base model. Some

of these benefits include cost savings, easier to replicate when expanding to new

locations, and the creation of strong emotional connections to the church. Having a

volunteer-based staff can grow at an unlimited rate without the church spending much

money. If a church wants to expand into new locations using a volunteer-based model is

the most profitable model. Strong emotional ties get created between the volunteer and

the position they fill. Many times, the volunteer will become passionate about the job and

will perform their duties joyfully. Due to the emotional ties to the situation, there is a

commitment, thus less turnover. Participants stated most people perform at an optimal

level when being part of a perceived higher purpose (Osborn, 2008). While a volunteer

business model can be economically beneficial for the church, volunteers must be

empowered with the tools, direction, appreciation, and respect for the church to sustain

free labor. The development of the volunteer model got discussed with William

Mashbern’s 1988 research. William Mashbern’s (1988) research project helped to

develop a model to facilitate the training of volunteer and part-time church music leaders

serving in Southern Baptist churches. The participants reported that approximately two-

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thirds of all Southern Baptist churches utilized volunteer and part-time personnel as the

principal music leader (Mashbern, 1988). Most of the participating state music directors,

however, indicated a desire to relinquish much of responsibility to the associational

music directors (Mashbern, 1988).

Findings from the study showed the need for additional research outlining the

need for understanding why the division and distribution of labor transferred by the

administration to the associational music directors are essential for meeting training

needs of volunteer and part-time church music leaders (Mashbern, 1988). Having a

volunteer model also presents concerns not only in training but also in commitment if the

emotional connection does not exist. Since there is no monetary commitment, a volunteer

can quit at any time. Participants in Chapter 4 stated that when volunteers are inconsistent

in their dedication, the ministry becomes compromised and applies in particular to tech

teams. Having a technical team full of volunteers is tough. Experienced technical are

difficult to find when a trained professional volunteer does not show up. It is not

recommended to replace a trained volunteer with a new volunteer in an emergency or a

replacement scenario. Based on interviews with participants it is recommended to have a

base level of paid technical staff to ensure the sound and lighting quality required by an

increasingly younger population.

Theme and literature comparison. The research finding resulted in four

themes. The first theme, “Church is a place where people can hear music to help them

worship and think” is supported by the theological study by Andrew Arthur in 2011. Per

Andrew (2011), Keller demonstrated after a discernible relationship exists between the

Word, people, and the teaching of Jesus Christ, will the life of the listener get

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transformed. Rietveld (2003) stated that Martin Luther's Reformation during the

Renaissance solidified worship as a congregational experience. Rietveld also stated as

Europeans and Africans migrated to colonial America, the different musical styles and

cultures developed an integration between sacred and secular influences. The inclusion

of styles was an effort to attract and evangelize unbelievers (Rietveld, 2003). A

synergistic model to prepare people for the spoken word aligns with Andrew’s fifth

implication which stated that biblical theology provides pastors and music worship

leaders with a goal that aligns with the purpose of salvation, namely the worship of Jesus

Christ (Andrew, 2011). Catheart (2012) raised the question, can the Bible, worship arts,

and culture become effectively integrated and connect with people without compromising

the integrity and authenticity of the Word? Cathcart (2012) revealed cultural adjustments

based on the public are necessary for the gospel message and the preacher to be credible.

The conclusion showed that adjusting to culture does not mean compromising the essence

of the Word (Cathcart, 2012). Through careful, balanced, and intentional engagement

with culture, God’s Word and music will show power and authority. It can also connect

with listeners in ways that lead to comprehending biblical messages and transforming

lives (Cathcart, 2012). Kim’s (2000) study attempted to help young people grow

spiritually through church music. Per Kim (2000), biblical statistics contributes to

solving problems through church music. Kim revealed how hurting young people would

learn to manage situations positively.

The second theme, “all facets of ministry must be done with quality to make an

impact” can compare to Penni Cooke’s study in 2010. Cooke (2010) explored the

characteristics of quality music programs in small churches. The study determined that

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music is a factor in choosing where to attend church (Cooke, 2010). Miller (2007)

conducted a study and stated the basis of musical influence is looking at the experience of

music in altered states of consciousness. Croker (1985) present possible ways of making

current music leadership more effective. Crocker’s conclusions from the study

determined the effectiveness and quality of church music leadership could happen

through making church music courses mandatory for all music majors with an emphasis

on field work, apprenticeship in church music, the establishment of a graduate program in

church music, and increased denominational support (Crocker, 1985). McDonald’s

findings from the study concluded that the Minister of Music presents a dual purpose:

pastor and musician (McDonald, 1993). McDonald concluded by understanding the

importance of developing quality skill sets in both areas is critical to have a quality music

program (McDonald, 1993). Additional study would be required to show how integrating

gifted musical ability with pastors called to ministry are proven elements of church

growth.

The third theme, “outreach starting with music impacts the growth of a church,”

compares to Lovett’s study in 2001. Lovett (2001) said implementing a successful music

strategy was necessary for expanding the outreach phase of worship teams. The study

provided a theologically and strategic plan to implement ministry teams (Lovett, 2001).

Shepherd in 2010 said successful models that grow churches are balanced in biblical

theology while using progressive approaches to ministry and practicing Christianity. Per

Shepherd, it is critical for growing churches to participate in relational evangelism and

small team ministry (Shepherd, 2010). Shepherd’s findings help churches to grow by

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implementing strong worship, teaching the effectiveness of small groups, and developing

discipleship using family and youth ministries.

The fourth theme, “Diversity is critical to understand how to communicate with

people from different backgrounds” is supported by Kincaid’s 2010 study. Kincaid

(2010) said lack of diversity, financial instability, poor church location, and unstable

leadership are issues which caused the decline. Jeremy Porras (2005) discussed the

influence of rock and jazz music from three original compositions for contemporary

worship. Porras (2005) explored worship music used in the organized church and its

relationship to the evolving music of the Western culture and gave details on the

influence of jazz and rock elements found in the worship music of the contemporary

Protestant church. Fiol (2012) used musical styles to bridge the musical translation

between Afro-diasporic and European musical rubrics, fusing musical styles into

creolized, transcultural musical systems.

Key considerations based on the conclusion. While it is true that all parts of

ministry must be done with quality to make an impact, music by itself does not keep

people coming to church. Shepherd’s 2010 study explored leadership patterns in growing

churches. Per Shepherd (2010), Shepherding is an effective leadership style. Shepherd’s

findings helped churches to grow by implementing strong worship, teaching the

effectiveness of small groups, and developing discipleship using family and youth

ministries. Shepherd concluded that Churches of Christ are balanced in biblical theology

while using a progressive methodology in ministry and practicing Christianity. Other

attributes such as quality and helping people overcome life issues are also important. The

performance of the music is important regarding how it stacks up against secular music.

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As stated by participants from Case 2, the music must be top-notch. It must be

comparable to what people hear when they go to a paid performance. As discussed in

Chapter 2, Crocker’s conclusions from his 1985 study support the statement that music

must be excellent. Crocker determined the effectiveness of church music leadership could

happen through making church music courses mandatory for all musicians with an

emphasis on field work, apprenticeship in church music, and the establishment of a

graduate program in church music (Crocker, 1985). According to McGowan’s 2007

study, there is a healing component in music. Closeness between the congregation, lyrics,

music, and quality of the presentation gets created. McGowan’s findings helped to

understand the experiences of music so that there is more awareness of musical impact.

The healing process helps people to become closer to God (McGowan, 2007).

It is also true that outreach starting with music impacts the growth of a church.

The biggest thing that affects congregational growth is encouraging the mindset that

everyone is inviting people back to church. Worship does not cause congregational

growth in and of itself. Diversity is critical to understanding how to communicate with

people from different backgrounds. Pastors from each church believe diversity is

essential to the growth of a church. Each pastor also understands the importance that

churches must reflect the music of its’ congregation. While everybody will not agree with

the taste on one given week, each week, however, will have something for everyone.

Participants stated it is important to present a little bit of something for everyone, so it

reflects the diversity of the congregation. Jeremy Porras discussed the influence of rock

and jazz music from original compositions for contemporary worship. The 2005 study

explored worship music used in the organized church and its relationship to the evolving

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music of the Western culture. The study gave details on the influence of jazz and rock

elements found in the worship music of the contemporary Protestant church. Jazz and

rock music had a significant effect on compositions for worship. The items consisted of

specific rhythms, harmonies, melodies, and performance characteristics inspired by jazz

and rock styles (Porras, 2005).

Limitations

The study was limited to a sample size of 31 participants from the three churches.

Participants in the study consisted of worship team members, pastors, church board

members, worship leaders, key congregation members, and key volunteers. Each

interview occurred at the church of participant. One participant got interviewed over the

phone due to sickness. The study was multicultural and diverse. The sample size

consisted of 18 men than 13 women. Although most participants came from Case 3,

findings were honest and strictly based on the data collected. There was not a hint of bias.

Participants had no influence on another participant’s interview. Each participant got

asked the same questions which got reviewed in the field test.

An audio device and observation notes were used to assist the researcher to

collect data from each interview. Interview questions focused on exploring features such

as sound quality, the skill level of musicians and singers, the experience of the worship

team, song selection, and support of the church leadership that contributes to having a

quality music program in churches. The field test used expert sampling. The sampling

technique used for interviewed participants was purposive sampling. The kind of coding

selected was Cycle Coding. Two major stages of Cycle Coding were First and Second

Cycle coding (Saldana, 2013). Coding analysis with multiple-case node trees was used to

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analyze themes. Using multiple-case nodes allowed each church to have a node and each

participant that belong to that organization to have a node. The NVivo Coding method

assisted the researcher in analyzing each case node.

Recommendations to Church Leaders

Five-Circle Integration Model. Based on the results of the study it is

recommended for churches with diverse congregations or churches located in growing

communities should consider embracing a Five-Circle Integration model. The objective

of the Five-Circle Integration Theory is to connect with the needs of the ‘Centered

Majority.' The Centered Majority means when music, quality, the spoken word, outreach,

diversity, and every other facet of the church experience gets directed toward the

collective needs of the people in the community, the church’s congregation members and

the cyberspace family, there is a higher percentage of membership increase and church

growth. Kincaid’s 2012 study discussed Chapter 2 supports the needs for to embrace a

more diverse model such as the Five-Circle Integration Theory. Kincaid stated lack of

diversity, financial instability, poor church location, and unstable leadership are issues

which cause church attendance to decline.

There is also evidence to assume contemporary music increases church

membership (Kincaid, 2012). The study by Abbamonte and Banks said close to 64% of

congregations that converted to a contemporary worship style within the last five years

enjoyed an increase in worship attendance of 2% or more (Abbamonte & Banks, 2009).

The study revealed the results were the same for independent denominational affiliations.

Abbamonte and Banks (2009) supported the implication that if a struggling church

converts to a contemporary style of worship, there will be an increase in membership

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quickly. Churches that contain a contemporary worship team could grow up to 61%

within a year (Abbamonte & Banks, 2009). Potential growth applies to the Southern

California area. Based on demographic trends stated earlier, churches that do not embrace

a business model rooted in a Centered Majority methodology, are at high risk to see a

decline in church attendance. Because the Centered Majority focuses on the commonality

inside the Centered Majority circle, the consistent increase in the Centered Majority will

continue to grow. Implementing a Five-Circle Integration model may also increase

sustainability in churches that are already stable and help churches with decreasing

growth to understand the connection between quality music and church membership

growth.

Technological investment. Making key investments in technology is crucial for

any church to increase attendance in the millennial generation. It is recommended

churches embrace social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, phone

applications, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook Messenger, Musical.ly, Nextdoor,

Kik Messenger, Google, and many others. Based on the current demographic trend,

where the youth presence is increasing, communicating effectively to young people is

critical. Investing in social media applications is supported in studies performed by

Moyon (2010), Rietveld (2003) and Lehtinen (1992). The studies of Lehtinen (1992) and

Rietveld (2003) helped churches to understand how social media mixed with modern

music industry models are relevant and essential to a healthy modern church. Social

media is worth the investment for churches to pursue the opportunity because it is

relatively inexpensive. Marketing outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, internet, iTunes,

CD Baby, YouTube, and other social media, churches help churches reach more people

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to make a real connection. Also, churches are recommended to make investments in

building internet websites, online stores, and direct email marketing. Having an online

presence gives the church a global platform. Nieuwenhuis (2012) stated that building a

loyal online audience requires investments and knowledge of online media.

When investing in technology, churches must also make an investment in

technical resources to not only run Internet related applications but also run music, video

streaming, sound, stage, and lighting equipment. The importance of investing in technical

resources should not get underestimated. Participants discussed in Chapter 4 that each

church supports technology regarding money, purchasing equipment, resources, and

training. Each church also considered investing in technology is a commitment to

excellence. Participants said technical assistance helps the church to grow. It was also

stated some churches struggle with investing in a sufficient level of technical resources

because of limited budgets. Some churches substitute paid technical staff with volunteers

to compensate for having limited budgets. While this is cost effective, there are risks in

this scenario. Participants said if volunteers cannot show up for any number of reasons,

the service and ministry could suffer due to lack of coverage. Also, it would be tough to

replace a volunteer with another volunteer without the replacement having sufficient

training and knowledge. Osborn (2008) frequently stated in most organizations; issues

occur among managers who are burned out or lacking in needed training and skills.

Churches with at least 500 members should have at a minimum of four paid technical

staff personnel and as many volunteers as possible. A four-person core technical team

will not only help stabilize the ministry but also contribute to training volunteers. It is

tough to train volunteers while struggling to handle all the full workload. Keeping a

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technical team stable is crucial because of sustained quality requirements, training

investment, resource burnout concerns, and continuity between congregation, worship

team and church leadership expectations.

Participants stated it if there are issues with volunteer commitment, the staff must

fill the gap. If there are not enough staff members to handle the workload, workers get

overloaded. An overworked environment creates an unwanted turnover, thus creating an

inconsistency in the presentation of the church service. It must also get noted expenses

and budgets of a paid technical staff are justified and carefully planned. Church

leadership must understand the need to pay for employees. Below is an example of a

tech team model:

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Figure 18. Technical team resource model

Whether the staff is part-time or full-time will depend on the ability of the church

to pay people. The director should set policies and procedures allowing for volunteers to

have the necessary resources to get up to speed as soon as possible regarding church

culture, managing expectations, technical skill, and workload responsibilities. It rests

with the director to set the vision for the technical team and to meet the needs of the

church, congregation, and community regarding technology. James Emory White’s 2012

study supports investments in technology. He said remote recording, streaming, podcasts,

and videos are now a way of life for global church business models and successful

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churches make huge investments to keep up with new technology (White, 2012).

Investments in new technology help to keep costs down and attract younger audiences

(White, 2012). Finally, Foster (1989) stated worship requires balance, stability, and

variety, along with the order, visual, and musical aspects of worship to be impactful. The

most important word in this philosophy is balance (Foster, 1989).

Outreach. A huge investment in outreach must occur. Participants stated in the

study outreach is a critical process in the growth of a church. Outreach involves

connecting with the local organizations to understand opportunities for outreach might be

available. Outreach also involves talking to people in small groups, conducting street

ministries and inviting people from all backgrounds and nationalities to church for

understanding their pains, hurts, and needs. Finally, outreach is a tool to help people

overcome the issues of life and to bring them into a closer relationship with God.

Wunderle (2007) said churches with quality outreach would grow. Robbins (1995) stated

that the internet and television have the potential to reach people by broadcasting church

services. Broadcasting church services become a positive force for evangelism, not just

locally but worldwide (Robbins, 1995).

Another example of support for outreach was the Hannah study of 1995. Hannah

explained how ministries met the needs of others and encouraged spiritual and numerical

growth (Hannah, 1998). The church eventually grew from a committee-based system

with 40 to 50 members, to have over 30 new ministries. Over 150 people became

involved in hands-on ministry (Hannah, 1998). The recommendation of outreach

investment was also supported by participants who got interviewed. Participants stated

outreach shows the love of God and attracts people and is a big asset in connecting with

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people in the community to church who might not otherwise come to church. The

purpose of outreach helps to bring people into a relationship with God. Scriptures in the

Bible that support outreaches are:

1. Mark 16:15 – “And he said to them, go into all the world, and proclaim the gospel

to the whole creation.”

2. Romans 10:14 – “How then will they call on him in whom they have not

believed? Moreover, how are they to believe in him of whom they have never

heard? Moreover, how are they to hear without someone preaching?”

3. Matthew 28:19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them

in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

4. Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,

and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria, and to the

end of the earth.”

5. 2 Timothy 4:2 – “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove,

rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

Successful outreach begins with reaching one person at a time. All ministries such as

worship arts, singles, sports and security, and clothing are considered outreach.

Worship team commitment. There should be a substantial investment made to

instill a strong commitment to worship arts. A strong commitment requires teaching

volunteers the importance of the ministry and the value it has in helping people. It is

recommended church leaders put a focus on teaching and supporting the volunteer staff

to perform their jobs. It is important for church staff to give volunteers encouragement,

upliftment, empowerment, and the tools required to make their jobs easier. Volunteers do

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not get paid and are part of the ministry because they want to there. Volunteers do have a

choice, and if they get mistreated, they can leave the ministry. Banks (2001) stated the

importance to ascertain the perceptions of church volunteers, leaders, and members as it

pertains to using human resource principles on church volunteers (Banks, 2001). Banks

(2001) revealed churches expect and agree with the idea of enrolling volunteers, training

of recruits, and periodic training of existing volunteers. Cooke (2010) stated it is critical

for church staff to define quality as a well-planned and executed worship experience

based upon a foundation of practice and commitment to excellence. It is recommended

for church leadership to require worship team members to attend weekly rehearsals and

practice individually. When singers and musicians are musically and vocally proficient,

they can become conduits for God’s Spirit to work through them and touch the souls of

people. When people get touched at a spiritual level, they make real connections. When a

commitment is made to become excellent, God’s work can get done.

Transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is a fundamental

component in the success of any church. Leaders must be able to accept change and adapt

to new realities. It is recommended for church leadership to conduct studies annually for

understanding how changes in demographics, culture, gender, ethnicity, and age can

create opportunities and potential concerns. Musser (1987) said the objective of

transformational leadership is to create an atmosphere for people to reach an optimum

level of excellence and inspire individuals with a shared vision of the future (Musser,

1987). The Transformational leadership goal is to transform organization (Burns, 1978).

If church leaders are willing to conduct studies annually not only will they stay informed

of changing communities and demographics, leaders can be proactive and be on the

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forefront while managing current financial and business models. Musser (1987) said

transformational thinking helps individuals of organizations to become excellent and

leaders can inspire worship teams to participate in a shared vision of the future.

Transformational leaders must be able to manage the day to day issues while being able

to see the big picture, which is where many of the difficulties are for small and midsize

churches. If the objective of the church is to bring people to Christ and increase

membership it, therefore, makes sense to engage in musical interests of individuals and

use music as a tool to grow the church. Music within a transformational context can

change the way people think and work by connecting to core values (Coggins, 2013). It is

also recommended for church leadership to invest in implementing a Total Quality

Management model to help respond to the needs of their congregation members.

Gharakhani (2013) stated Total Quality Management (TQM) is a business model that

gives an organization the ability to respond to issues quickly and efficiently. The purpose

of TQM is to bring customer satisfaction, cost reduction, complaint resolution,

improvement of quality and have a client focused approach efficiency (Gharakhami,

2013).

Future Research

Additional research needs to be done to analyze the benefits to a church

implementing a Five-Circle Integration model. Research especially needs to be done for

churches located in diverse regions. Research should focus on the advantages,

disadvantages, success rate of implementing diversity within the church, financial

commitments, resource commitments, effectiveness, re-engineering of the business

culture, re-engineering of the business model, and implementation strategies and

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considerations. The objective of the Five-Circle Integration Theory is to satisfy the

Centered Majority. The theory is rooted in the notion that when music, quality, the

spoken word, outreach, diversity, and every facet of the church experience gets directed

toward the common needs of people, there is a higher percentage of membership increase

and church growth. Because the Centered Majority focuses on the commonality inside

‘Centered Majority’ circle, the consistent increase in the Centered Majority will continue

to grow.

Findings from this study could help many churches understand the importance of

diversity as a tool to increase or preserve church membership. Implementing findings

that come from this study may also increase sustainability in churches that are already

stable. Results from the study could help church leadership, music directors, sound

technicians, and singers, musicians, and other worship team members from churches with

decreasing growth to understand the connection between diversity and church

membership growth.

Personal Reflection

Many church leaders and pastors want to know how to increase membership.

Many churches have good people running them, but the leadership lacks the resources,

support, skill set, and knowledge to prevent a decrease in membership. It is the

researcher’s passion to help churches who are in decline to return to a healthy status. It

was important to provide as much knowledge as possible so churches can understand

what successful churches are doing to increase congregational growth. It is critical for

church leadership to pay attention to changes in demographics. Many cities and states

across the United States are becoming increasingly more diversified. Many cities are also

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becoming younger. To reach a more diversified younger population the music, church

services, locations, and presentations must relate to new generations. If church leaders

can understand how to increase church membership, more lives can get restored. If more

lives are restored people can help other people. Once church leadership is willing to

accept the reality of changing demographics, actions are required. Church leaders must

also be prepared to let go of old standards. For example, if a church has 50 members and

three primary financial backers threaten to leave, changes are necessary, and leadership

cannot be afraid to proceed. Church leaders must also be willing to step out on faith

knowing if the correct policies and models will get implemented, the percentage of

membership increase will change. Church leaders that cannot embrace change run the

risk of losing volunteers. Those churches that lose enough volunteers might not function

properly and could shut down.

The Bible clearly states we are all are ambassadors of Christ. In John 21:17 Jesus

tells Peter to “feed my sheep.” It is important for the church to reach out to all people

and bring them to a place of spiritual maturity. If it was important to Jesus Christ for

people to grow spiritually, it should be essential to the body of Christ. The passion of the

researcher was to help people understand the freedom, love, and happiness that comes

with growing in Christ. For people to grow to spiritual maturity churches must reverse

the trend of declining church attendance. For this to happen, the church must learn how to

attract people and get them to stay. If this study can help churches to reverse declining

attendance, the research was successful.

The focus of this study is to provide insight into what successful music ministries

are doing to help increase congregational membership size. Participants consisted of

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pastors, church board members, worship leaders, key congregation members, and key

volunteers from churches with significant growth. The objective of the research was to

get an understanding of what successful churches are doing to increase congregational

membership size through music, specifically in the Southern California area.

Summary

This qualitative exploratory study explored best practice approaches of successful

church music programs and attempted to figure out what is done to increase

congregational membership size through music. Findings from the study showed the

implementation of a best practice music program does influence church membership in

the Inland Empire area of Southern California. Four themes were identified to support the

findings. The study focused on three churches with congregation memberships

consisting of megachurch sized churches with over 6000 congregation members, located

in the Inland Empire Southern California area. Churches selected for participating in the

study had an increase in congregational growth over the past three to five years. The

study was limited to personal one-on-one interviews and two focus group sessions. The

level of diversity concluded by the statistical numbers from the US Census Bureau

support the reason Case 1, Case 2, and Case 3 incorporated a business model that is

inclusive of an increasingly more diverse, younger, more educated, and prosperous

population.

There were four themes created from the findings. The first theme titled “the

church is a place where people can hear music to worship and think” was formulated

from the top five words collected from the audio interviews. Participants clearly stated

the purpose of music in a church service is to bring people into worshipful place and

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prepare them for the spoken word. The second theme titled, “all facets of ministry must

be done with quality to make an impact.” was formulated by a text search based on the

word, “quality.” Participants stated that music by itself does not keep people coming to

church. Other characteristics such as quality, and helping people overcome life issues are

also important. A third theme that began to develop became centered around outreach. A

text search supports the theme to understand further how “outreach starting with music

impacts the growth of a church.” The fourth theme became centered around diversity. A

text search was performed to understand further how “diversity is critical to understand

how to communicate with people from different backgrounds.”

The recommendation from this research is that churches with multicultural

congregations or communities should consider embracing a Five-Circle Integration

model. The objective of the Five-Circle Integration Theory is to connect with the needs

of the Centered Majority. The Centered Majority focuses on the commonality inside the

Centered Majority circle. If church leadership support the growth of the Centered

Majority, there is a better chance for church membership increase. Additional research

needs to be done to analyze the benefits to a church implementing a Five-Circle

Integration model. Findings from this study could help many churches understand the

importance of diversity as a tool to increase church membership. Additional

recommendations include:

 Churches need to embrace social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter,

Instagram, phone applications, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, and many

others.

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 Churches with at least 500 members need to have a minimum of four paid

technical staff personnel and as many volunteers as possible.

 Outreach programs require significant investments for outreach programs.

 A substantial investment needs to be made to instill a strong commitment to

worship arts.

 Church leaders need to put a focus on teaching and supporting the volunteer staff

to perform their jobs.

 Church leadership needs to conduct studies annually for understanding how

changes in demographics, culture, gender, ethnicity, and age can create

opportunities and potential concerns.

 It would be valuable to research metamodernism's impact and influence in the life

of today's teenagers.

The passion of the researcher was to help people understand the freedom, love, and

happiness that comes with growing in Christ. For people to grow to spiritual maturity

churches must reverse the trend of declining church attendance. For this to happen, the

church must learn how to attract people and get them to stay. If this study can help

churches to reverse declining attendance, the research was successful.

196
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Appendix A

Interview Questions

Each interview consisted of 15 questions:

1. What is the musical background of the church leadership?

2. Do church board members support the recruitment of experienced singers and

musicians?

3. How many worship leaders does the church have?

4. Is the senior level church leadership willing to pay for professional sound

technicians?

5. Is the music integrated into the church sermons?

6. Does the church have a vision of reaching people beyond the local neighborhood?

7. Does the church have a seasoned music director?

8. Does the church have a system to review congregational feedback?

9. Can the church host events such as concerts, musical specials, and comedy

shows?

10. Do church leaders understand the musical tastes of the congregational members?

11. What is being done to support congregational growth?

12. How does the church leadership perceive music as a means of growing the

church?

13. Is there a clear understanding of the importance of good worship music?

14. Are church leaders willing to invest resources in making the music program

better?

15. Are church leaders willing to explore new directions in the music program?

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16. How effective is the music worship in reaching people in the congregation?

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Appendix B

Premises, Recruitment, and Name

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Appendix C

Participant Pre-Screening Questionnaire

1. What is your knowledge of church music programs? Please give an example.

2. What is your knowledge of sound quality as it pertains to congregational church

impact? Please give an example.

3. What is your level of musical skill from one (lowest) to five (highest)?

4. What is your knowledge of church culture? Please give an example.

5. What is your level of knowledge regarding church business? Please give an example.

6. What is the length of time (if any) you have been involved with your church?

7. What is the level of church leadership impact from one (lowest) to five (highest), if

applicable?

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Appendix D

Study Invitation Letter - Participants

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Appendix E

Informed Consent

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Appendix F

Field Test Invitation Letter – Participants

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Appendix G

Field Test Question Rating Sheet

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Appendix H

Field Test Results

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Appendix I

Traditional Business Music Model

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Charles Anderson Kelly was born October 22, 1957, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

and currently resides in Rialto California. Charles is an innovative professional with more

than 20 years of experience as a successful business owner, SAP preferred partner,

project manager, consultant, instructor, and developer for Business Objects, Sales and

Distribution, Governance Risk & Compliance, and Retail software modules worldwide.

Charles has worked as a senior consultant in the Semi-Conductor, Retail, Technology,

Insurance, Automotive, Medical, Music/Entertainment, Government, Energy,

Pharmaceutical and Manufacturing and Non-Profit (Education and Religious) industries.

Charles is also a gold record (RIAA, BMI) musician/keyboardist, record producer, film

composer, music director, and songwriter. He has worked with Stevie Wonder, Neil

Diamond, Elton John, Sister Sledge, The Pointer Sisters, Debbie Allen, Nathan Watts,

Paul Jackson Jr., The Walt Disney Company and many others. He also was an actor on

the TV series “Fame.” Charles is currently working on business, music, and film projects

while serving God since 2005 as the Music Director for one of the largest churches in

Southern California. Charles also earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Information

Technology in 2006 and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 2012.

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