9.20.2009

The Future of the Choir in Worship

What is the choir's role in worship? That is the million dollar question these days when it comes to the traditional choir that many of us grew up with and are now seeing less and less of in our churches. What is the worship choir going to look like in the next five, ten, 20 years? I wish I had a crystal ball to see because right now I am worried about the future for choral music in worship. I tried to illustrate with the above picture collage that music leadership in worship takes one many faces and includes many different kinds of music. I am a true believer in doing what works for your congregation and worship style. So, I expect to see differences. I would hope though that our one similarity would be that we produce quality music and strong music leadership in whatever setting we are working with.

I ran across an article by Robert Eric Walker from the Robert Eric Walker - From the Heart Blog called "The Worship Leading Choir" that gave me some new ideas on how we can and should rethink the choir's role in worship and how we should think of ourselves as worship musicians. I have always thought of any church choir that I was a part of as an extension of our worship community and ambassadors to worship. Robert lists some thoughts for worship leading musicians. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Don't just rehearse the music, rehearse the worship!

4. As you sing and play, don't forget to engage your heart!

9. Worship without passion is a contradiction in terms.

12. What will it cost you to convey this song with total authenticity?

16. Our goal is to turn passive observers into active participants.

So, what would it cost us to convey music in worship with total authenticity? How can we, with music increase the passion for worship in our churches? These are the jobs of the church choir and it's our job as musicians called to serve to rethink our role and make music in worship even better and more engaging than ever before. How has being in church choir changed how you worship? How important is the church choir to you? I would love to hear about your favorite moments where music impacted your worship experience. Join the discussion in the comments.

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