Music Director/Organist

Music Director/Organist

Job Description for the Music Director and Organist

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), Escondido, CA

Job Title:

Music Director and Organist

Reports to:

Pastor of the Church and the Board of Elders


To serve Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) by administering a traditional, liturgical music program, and provide leadership to volunteers in the music ministry. 

Hours and Services:

This is a part-time position. The Music Director and Organist is responsible for music for the following services.  Evening Services generally occur at 7:00 pm.  Service times may change.

Required services:

  • Sunday Morning Divine Service, each Sunday at 9:00 am
  • Wednesday Advent Services
  • Christmas Eve Services
  • Christmas Day Service
  • Epiphany Service
  • Ash Wednesday Service
  • Wednesday Lenten Services
  • Holy Week Services – Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil
  • Ascension Day Service


  • Wednesday Evening Prayer (live-streamed) or  a Wednesday Noon service.
  • Fall Hymn Festival
  • Occasional other special programs

Music Selection:

Under the direction of the Pastor, the Music Director is responsible for selecting liturgically appropriate music for these services. This is to include preservice music, prelude, offertory and postlude. Hymns are chosen by the Pastor with the assistance and advice of the Music Director.

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church uses the Lutheran Service Book (LSB) for our worship services.  The Music Director is required to play the hymns and liturgical services chosen for worship in a beautiful way that helps the congregation to sing along.  

The Congregation and Pastor are accustomed with chanting parts of the service.

Currently the congregation uses the following liturgical services from LSB:

  • Divine Services 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Matins
  • Vespers
  • Evening Prayer


The Music Director is responsible for directing the adult choir.  The choir helps to lead the congregation in the singing of liturgy and hymns, as well as regularly providing a liturgically appropriate choral anthem.  Members of the choir at times provide a vocal solo during the service. 

The Music Director is responsible for creating a supportive environment in the choir for singers of all abilities with the focus of using the talents they were given by God to enhance the service and share in worship.

Instrumental solos and accompaniment can bring beauty to the worship service.  The Music Director is responsible to work with instrumentalists in the congregation to help select liturgically appropriate music and facilitate them playing in the service.  Gloria Dei aims to have a regular budget for hiring instrumentalists to play during the worship service on special occasions.  The Music Director is responsible to coordinate with Pastor regarding target dates, to hire instrumentalists, to select appropriate music, to rehearse and to accompany the instrumentalists during the service.

Handbell Choir:

It is preferred that the Music Director direct the handbell choir, which currently performs at least monthly during the Sunday Divine Service.

Sunday School Music:

It is preferred that the Music Director would coordinate with the Sunday School Director and Pastor to support the children’s Sunday School classes with some music time. This could be a combination of singing appropriate Christian songs, hymns, and playing hand chimes or other age-appropriate percussive instruments.  The children are encouraged to perform occasionally during the Sunday Divine Service.  It is desired that the children be involved in a Christmas pageant during Advent.

Weddings and Funerals

The Music Director is responsible for accompanying weddings and funerals as their schedule allows.  An appropriate fee for weddings and funerals can be agreed upon with the Pastor and the Board of Directors.

Other Administrative Duties:

The Music Director is to 1) oversee that the organ and pianos are properly maintained and tuned; 2) maintain the music library; and 3) work with the Board of Directors in preparing the annual music budget.

Ongoing Education:

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church aspires to be a model congregation in liturgical music.  To this end the Music Director may be compensated for ongoing education applicable to their position, up to an agreed upon amount.  A yearly budget will also be provided to reimburse the Music Director for tuition and travel to Lutheran liturgical music conferences and workshops sponsored by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod or groups affiliated with the Synod.


Salary will be commensurate with experience.  The employee can enroll in direct deposit into their checking account.  The employee will receive two paychecks per month.


The Music Director will receive 4 weeks paid vacation each year. The employee should communicate with the Pastor in advance of vacation plans.

Substitute Organist

The Music Director and Pastor will coordinate together to secure a substitute organist when absent or on vacation.

Employment Relationship:

The employment relationship between the Music Director and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is “at will.”  This means that employment is not for a specified time and is at the mutual consent of the employee and the church.  Accordingly, either the church or music director can terminate the employment relationship at will, with or without cause at any time.  The terms and conditions of employment may be changed with or without cause and with or without notice.  The status as an “at will” employee cannot be changed except through a written agreement signed by the Music Director and the President of the congregation.