Thursday, January 08, 2009

"Oh, The Choir's Not Singing Today"

That was the quote overheard by one of our choir members on a recent Sunday when they came into the Worship Center to sit down among other members of the congregation.

The lady seated behind the choir member said this rather disgustedly. When the choir member turned around to tell her that many of the choir members were out of town, the person replied, "I don't like it when the choir doesn't sing."

I get that alot!

I guess I should be grateful that people like our choir, and want to hear our choir, and expect to hear our choir each Sunday. I am one of those worship ministers who believe that the choir is but a part of the worship leadership of the church. Yes, they/we are an integral part of the worship leadership, but my prayer is that people would come to our services wanting so badly to meet Jesus, that it wouldn't matter who is standing on the stage in front of them leading them.

I am very concerned that we are living in such an "impress-me-consumer-oriented" culture, that even in church - maybe even especially in church - congregants come and "expect" to be "wowed", and if their favorite "whatever" is not on the stage leading them in their favorite song or if a certain thing does not happen in the service just the way they would have hoped, then they "can't worship"

On the Sunday after Christmas, I had the rare privilege to attend a worship service where

1. I was not in charge
2. I got to sit with my wife
3. I got to sit with my parents

(notice the "I" in each of those - I have become what I am ranting about!!!)

Actually, I don't think so - those three things were indeed important to me, but what was more important to me was the experience of worship in this wonderful church in Texas where the following were evident to me during my 60+ minutes being there:

1. The wonderful and kind gentleman who drove the golf cart up to our car and then to the door of the church so my aging parents did not have to walk all the way to the building
2. The way we were greeted, and the way people treated my parents as if they were Jesus and a few of His friends
3. The regular music minister was not there - it didn't matter
4. The choir did not sing - it didn't matter
5. The guest ladies choir was fun, genuine, and had an obvious love for Jesus
6. The children's sermon was memorable and engaging
7. The pastor's sermon centered around the candles of the Advent season was encouraging and challenging

So what?

Well, every Sunday of these kinds of worship experiences add up in a person's life. They all contribute to our journey with Christ. It's not so much about perfect attendance and being at church everytime the doors are open. It's way more about making the most of each worship experience (church service) that we are given - to (regardless of who is leading) learn more about the ways of Jesus so that we become more like Him so we are then better equipped to live our lives in ways that those around us can see that something is different about the way we think, the way we make important decisions, the way we treat our kids, our spouse, our friends, our co-workers, the way we love, the way we react - on and on I could go......I know you already know all of this!

I'm just not so sure that whether the choir sings in the worship service has that much to do with what is really important in our journey of becoming true followers of Christ.....