Isn’t it great to have our Senior Choir back after the summer break? Isn’t it exciting to hear talk of a new Bell Choir forming? Frankly, if we knew how essential our choir is to our life as a congregation, maybe more would consider contributing as our lead singers.
So here are five reasons to be grateful. 1) Choirs support good congregational singing. With only amplified soloists, it actually blocks the rest of us singing. The message is like a rock concert: sing along if you please, as unhelpfully and sloppily as you please. But with the choir, our voice swells as a congregation. It becomes primary, not secondary. It encourages us to lift up our voices, without overpowering us with a wall of amplification.
2) Our choir’s visual presence encourages us. I don’t get to see their faces, but you do. Choral faces remind us that faith is not first about our families, not about the individual, but about living in community. With only a few leading, we forget this, we feel alone. As we look up and behold a mini-fellowship of faces looking back, we are reminded that we are not alone. I love it how Dan grasps our Senior Choir is a fellowship group that sings.
3) Choirs increase repertoire available to us in worship. I hesitate to blend in new hymns when our choir is not with us. With a good arrangement, choirs can sing selections from practically any genre, from classical, to folk, to contemporary/popular music, something that isn’t possible for a contemporary “worship leader” and a praise band. I like Dan’s eclectic choices, how we don’t just work one genre. It shows the richness of Christianity.
4) A choir offers up more complex music than is possible for the greater congregation. Besides leading our moments of corporate singing, because choirs actually rehearse, they offer up musical praises on our behalf that would otherwise not be possible. In this sense, a choir can be a preaching and praying group, proclaiming God’s self-revelation, to which the congregation can listen, meditate, and respond worshipfully in their hearts.
5) Participation in choirs helps introduce outsiders to faithful living in the church. Many who have come into church by way of a choral ensemble, have experienced the gospel there, and deepen their commitment to Christ. Our choir connects people to the faith. Our choir actually cares about one another. They stick together. They take in musical youth early in life and stand by us when our voices are no longer what they once were. Such care for one another with Christ solidly at the center of the music, it builds up faith.