Your choir is the voice and visible heart of the church. They lead the congregation, lifting their voices in praise to the Almighty. A solid group of individuals dedicated to this purpose can help your church grow and flourish.
As a pastor, pouring into these people should be part of your mission. They devote precious hours each week to serving the church. How can you best serve them so they can fulfill their essential work?
1. Fix Their Eyes on God
It’s all too easy for choirs to get so caught up in the music and technique that they forget the real reason they’re performing. Check in with them frequently to share their music’s impact on the congregation.
Also, work with your music director to ensure the song choices are gospel-centric and Biblically sound. Have the leader dedicate rehearsal time to studying lyrics to new pieces. The choir’s performance will be more impactful if they know and understand the message of their music at a heart level.
2. Create a Balance
Without a challenge, any hobby or passion can grow stale. Picking the same songs week after week will make your choir grow stale. Instead, work with your director to balance old favorites and new selections.
Introduce a challenging piece once in a while to stretch the choir’s skills or something fresh and uplifting but simple. Vary styles, difficulty and pace of the selection to keep membership interesting.
3. Get Together Outside of Practice
A church choir spends at least a few hours a week together, if not more. The group’s success rests on their ability to get along and work as a team. Showboats and big personalities will audibly and visibly alter the work you’re trying to accomplish. Petty disagreements and minor discord will show on Sunday and take away from the message in the music.
Spending time together outside of practice can knit a group together in unexpected ways. It will remind them of the people behind the sheet music. Choir members can disciple one another and strengthen their bonds as the family of Christ. Open up the church facility or your home to host regular potlucks or a game night to give them the opportunity to know one another better.
4. Teach Music Theory
Your choir will only be as good as the weakest member, so offer growth opportunities. In school, chorus allows kids to learn how to read music and master exceedingly more challenging pieces.
Give your adult church choir the same attention. Ask your director to teach them about music theory. Help them learn to harmonize more effectively and try new techniques. Improving their skills and practicing their craft will give choir members even more reason to attend rehearsal each week.
5. Prepare Weeks in Advance
Your church choir will benefit from having multiple weeks to prep pieces for an upcoming service rather than trying to learn something new the week before. Work with your musical director to create a lineup at least a month ahead.
Ideally, you should also have your sermon ideas planned that far in advance so they can select music to coordinate with your message. Something amazing happens when the words the congregation and choir sings aligns with the truths in the sermon.
6. Upgrade the Equipment
Long gone are the days when choirs rely solely on their voices. Most churches bring in a considerable amount of equipment to improve the experience. In fact, churches with many performances will often have 10 to 15 microphones to keep safe.
Hand, stand and ceiling microphones help boost the sound and capture it for live streaming services. Musical instruments or sound recordings give new life to the vocals and sound equipment ties it all together.
All these tools are expensive, but it’s well worth the splurge if your church choir sounds too quiet or you want to reach those tied up at home. Ensure you also spend money to keep your investments safe and at peak functionality.
7. Invest in the Next Generation
The best way to ensure a successful church choir is to invest in them early. The children of your congregation are the future of music. Raise leaders in the church to practice songs with them in Sunday school. Teach them how to read music and play instruments.
Help them develop their skills and passion for song, and they’ll grow up to become part of your church’s music ministry.
Grow a Choir With the Right Focus
Music is an integral part of the church. It’s one way we bring praise to our holy God. As you shepherd the flock in scriptural and theological matters, the choir disciples the congregation and leads them in worship, raising their voices in song.
However, they can’t do this job on their own. They need your support, guidance and encouragement to flourish. With care and attention, your church choir can level up from a bland group of people singing disconnected words to a powerful force of praise who uplift their fellow believers’ spirits and prepare their hearts.