Lest anyone think church choirs are full of only “old” people that will make choirs obsolete in the next few decades, I’m here to report that choir is alive and well among the under 40 crowd in my choir. A couple of weeks ago, one of our younger members, a married woman in her late 30s with three small children at home, sent me the note below (I’ve edited a few things to protect her identity). She grew up singing in choir in high school and college and longed to continuing using her gifts in worship leadership. Her story reminds me that church choral ministry can be a powerful tool for leading worship.
Around the time that R and I left our former church, they were starting a praise team group with two ladies that I loved singing with and they asked me to be apart of it. I was heartbroken that I was going to miss that opportunity. I knew we couldn’t stay, God was leading us to leave. We visited many different churches and the ones that seemed like they might be a good “fit” for us, did not have a choir. Finally, I had to come to the mindset that I might not ever have the opportunity to sing in the choir again. I put it to the bottom of my list because my desires could not, and would not, be more important than what R and I needed as a family [spiritually]. When we found Ivy Creek online, R and I were drawn to the sermons and the Awana program. By then, I had let go of trying to find a church with a choir. When we came to visit, I was excited to find out that the church had everything on the top of our list, even a choir. Not only that, but it was an awesome choir! What a gift from God! When I put my hope and trust in Him, He orchestrates things that I can’t even imagine. It took me a while to join the choir. Through that time, God really worked on my heart in many areas. He helped me to see that there were times I had been singing for my glory and not His. It’s just so amazing how everything falls into place. Thank you Will for everything you do. I feel so blessed to be able to sing with you all.
You know, some might say, “Why do you need a choir? You can sing from the congregation.” But, it’s just. not. the same! Not everyone around you sings or is passionate about singing. There is nothing like coming together with other singers and musicians and uplifting the name of The Lord.
I love hearing stories like this. I know personally how difficult it is for a young mother to juggle getting to rehearsals with three small kids. I know there are sacrifices that must be made in order to serve faithfully. I believe people make time for those things and activities for which they are most passionate. Because of that truth I hold, I aim to make sure that the musical experience in our groups is both fun, challenging, and purpose-driven. I want our people to feel valued as much as possible. It’s essential in retaining folks for the long haul.
Singing together with other passionate singers is truly powerful! A church choir allows singers of varying abilities the opportunity to work together in unity—the experienced helping the weaker and the weaker gaining strength from the stronger. Together we are moving towards the common goal of leading the congregation (fellow worshipers themselves) in musical praise and worship.
“Intergenerational Worship” is worship in which people of every age are understood to be equally important.