There he or she stands, waving their arms at a bunch of people holding books and singing. Maybe they are all dressed alike. Maybe there’s a solo part. Maybe there are musicians. Maybe the music is piped in. The congregation watches. Maybe they are thrilled. Maybe they are bored.
Question for the ecclesiastical expoits: Is not having a choir a thing these days? The churches I pastored all had choirs. If I had attempted to replace the choir with any kind of alternative band, praise team, permanent ensemble, barbershop quartet or whatever, that would have gotten me a quick ticket to ecclesiastical freedom, otherwise know as ‘fired.’
I spent most of the last ten years in a church start with a volunteer staff position. No choir there. Never had been a choir there. Never will have a choir there. The church is a successful church plant. Love the pastor. Love the church.
The stage of life for my wife and me is such that we moved to a larger church, my home church actually.
They have a choir. My wife sings in it. I haven’t been invited to sing in it. I will die a happy man not having to sing in anyone’s choir. Choir directors everywhere, along with my highly vocally skilled wife, rejoice.
But there’s a strange thing going on here. People in this church love having a choir. I talk to people casually who love a choir in worship. My wife goes to the hairdresser who reports, and this occupation above all others has an ear to the ground, that customers in churches that eliminated a choir are at the point of looking for another church.
I wouldn’t have wanted to be a music student in any seminary in the 1980s and 1990s. Seems like the whole concept of music ministry was changing fast. What do you music people call it, a “classical” music ministry education and approach? And, I’m on the side of not particularly caring for most of the alternative, more contemporary music. Not to finesse that; I hate a lot of that stuff.
The Lord may lead otherwise but having a choir as a ministry of the church, one that provides a major place for volunteers to serve, to use their gifts and talents, just seems like a good thing to have. Is there something about doing church in the 21st century that has made choirs a bad thing to have?
What’s the alternative in the long haul – we discourage people with music skills from serving in an area they enjoy and are beneficial to the entire congregation and let the matter of choral music atrophy?
People who like a choir, either as participant or not, will find a church with one and decline the church without.
I write this with the understanding of great personal risk. People close to me say I don’t know squat about music. Hah! That never slowed me down.
Have a good, short work week.