The Director of Choirs is responsible for leading all choral activities for Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines, Iowa. This includes directing choirs, selecting appropriate music for worship services, and playing keyboard instruments as needed. The Direct or Choirs works in close collaboration with the Director of Music/Organist and the Senior Pastor. This is a part-time role working nine months per year (September-May) for approximately 10 hours per week.
Music Program Overview:
Grace United Methodist Church has a rich history of music excellence. The music program staff includes the Director of Music/Organist, the Director of Choirs, and section leaders in the adult choir. Prior to the COVID pandemic, Grace had an adult choir, youth choir (6th-12th grade), children’s choir, and adult bell choir. Currently, the adult choir is active and regularly includes 10-18 vocalists every Sunday at worship. In addition to directing the adult choir, the ideal candidate will also relaunch the youth, children, and/or bell choirs in 2023-2024. The estimated time commitment and salary above are reflective of this desire. However, we are open to discussion about these goals with interview candidates.
- Lead and direct choir(s) during Sunday worship services and other services as planned (Holy Week, Easter, Christmas, etc.)
- Select skill appropriate musical selections for the choir and congregation
- Prepare and distribute sheet music and other resources to choir members
- Attend rehearsals, meetings, and other church-related events as needed
- Recruit and train new choir members
- Integrate instrumentalists and soloists in worship services
- Play keyboard instruments as needed for worship services and rehearsals
- Collaborate with the Senior Pastor, Director of Music/Organist, and others on the worship team to plan and coordinate music for worship services
- Previous experience directing a church choir or other liturgical music experience
- Strong musical skills and knowledge, including the ability to select appropriate music for different age and skill levels
- Proficiency in playing keyboard instruments
- Good interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to work effectively with church staff, choir members, and volunteers
- Familiarity with United Methodist Church liturgy and hymnody is preferred
Core Competencies, Integrity, Personal Strengths and Character of Grace United Methodist Church Staff:
- Attention to Detail: Consistently attends to the many small pieces which must be assembled into an organized whole; resolves unanswered questions needed to address a problem; keeps the larger picture in mind while tending to the smallest of details.
- Decision Making and Problem Solving: Uses sound logic to approach difficult problems and apply effective solutions; can distinguish between symptoms, causes and implied solutions; decides in a timely manner based upon a blend of research, experience, risk-taking and judgment.
- Ethics and Values: Honors the core values and beliefs of the organization in his/her/their choice of behaviors; consistently embodies appropriate behavioral choices in both stressful and non-stressful situations; practices the behaviors he/she/they advocates to others. Supports the inclusive ministries of Grace UMC.
- Integrity and Trust: Is seen as trustworthy by others; practices direct, honest and transparent communication; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; responds to situations with constancy and reliability.
- Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to lead others. Demonstrates the skills of active listening and openly accepts criticism. Productively engages and resolves interpersonal conflict. Holds others accountable in a spirit of love. Engages people positively, with a demeanor of optimism and abundance. Is graceful about interruptions.
- Self-Development: Sets appropriate personal work objectives, measures own progress, identifies personal gaps in knowledge, understanding and skill; undertakes appropriate activities to develop needed skills; seeks regular feedback on performance; knows personal strengths and weaknesses, is sensitive to changing personal and organizational requirements and changes accordingly.
- Time Management and Project Management: Is able and willing to focus time on tasks that contribute to organizational goals; uses time effectively and efficiently; values time and respects the time of others; concentrates his/her/their efforts on the most important priorities; can appropriately balance priorities. Identifies the key objectives and scope of a proposed project; garners needed resources and project support, develops a realistic and thorough plan for achieving key objectives, keeps team members briefed on progress, implements action plans, communicates progress to affected parties, identifies and resolves barriers and problems.
This job description is intended to convey information essential to understanding the scope of the position and expectations of employment at Grace United Methodist Church. It is not an exhaustive list of skills, efforts, duties, responsibilities, or working conditions associated with it.
About Grace United Methodist Church:
Grace United Methodist Church is a vibrant, progressive community in metropolitan Des Moines, IA that gathers for worship, study, and service. Rooted in Christ’s vision for the world and the church, we are a servant people dedicated to spreading love for God and neighbor.
At Grace, everyone is invited to bless our church with their love, presence, and active participation. We are a community that encourages deep thinking and authentic expressions of faith. We prioritize nurturing and supporting our children and youth through dedicated ministries. We actively serve our community through a free medical clinic, mental health clinic, legal services clinic, weekly neighborhood meals, grassroots organizing, and more. We gather together for worship every Sunday, blending progressive faith with tradition in our beautiful sanctuary with inspiring preaching and music.
We welcome and affirm people of every gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, who are also of every age, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, level of education, and family structure, and of every economic, immigration, marital, and social status. As followers of Jesus, we commit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and pledge to stand in solidarity with all who are marginalized and oppressed. Grace United Methodist Church is proud to be a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network.