There seems to be a resurging interest in the choir in the postmodern church. I get to speak to this on a regular basis at conferences, and a common question that is asked is, “What are the benefits of having a choir as part of our worship experience?” I have a long list but let me offer just three benefits for you to consider.
1. The choir is a place of inclusion for your ministry.
As people consider their place of service in your congregation, it seems that many want to participate in the worship team. While it’s not realistic or even advisable to give everyone with a desire to lead worship a spot in the worship band, the choir becomes a place of inclusion in this ministry. Many churches do not even include serving as a vocalist on the worship team as a volunteer option on their website because it is such a particular service role. In other words, you either have that skill set to be a main singer, or layer, or you don’t. With the choir you can include people of all levels of talent and not worry about the lowering the bar of excellence for the quality of music in your worship.
2. The choir gives permission to the congregations to sing.
The regular guy in the congregation has no interest in picking up a microphone and being a lead singer in your church. However, when he sees another regular guy in the choir, singing his heart out, it seems to give him (and the rest of the congregation) a unique permission to participate. I want my congregation to engage, and our choir seems to be effective at giving everyone permission to sing.
I have recently been asked to put together a choir for the Harvest America Crusade in Dallas, Texas, on March 5, 2016.The reason this happened was a YouTube video of our choir in San Antonio was sent to Greg Laurie. When he saw the level of engagement that was brought to the worship in that video, he felt it was something he wanted in the Dallas Crusade.
3. The choir is a place to disciple the next generation of worship leadership and a place to identify new talent.
Our choir rehearsals are as much about pouring the churches philosophy of worship and biblical principles of worship into the choir members as it is about learning the music for the next weekend. Our mandate to disciple others does not stop at the worship ministry door. We must be teaching, training, and using the gifts that God gave to the people in our congregations, and the choir is a great place to do that. The church is certainly a place for people to receive, but just as important, it is a place for people to make use of their talents to further the kingdom of God. There are musically gifted people in your congregation. They may never be on your worship team as part of the band, but they can join your worship team as part of the choir. We have the opportunity to turn people into ministers. It is the call of church leadership everywhere.
These are three benefits of the worship choir, but there are so many more. The relationships, the sense of community, and the picture of inclusion on display bring an image and a real sense of welcome to your church. This is ideal for everyone in your community and is even more profound for the guest that walks through your doors for the first time.
Join the Conference Choir at the National Worship Leader Conference in San Antonio, Texas!
Ray Jones will lead the conference choir, supporting Laura Story, at NWLC July 27-28. Find out more.