We’ve been focusing on worship in our devotionals so far this year. In the past few weeks I touched on the subjects of the role of mind and emotion in worship, how we prepare for worship, and even the importance of worship. But how does all this really affect us as a choir? Several worship leaders/choir directors across the country have begun to explore this concept in greater detail, and I would like to share some of their thoughts, as well as my own, with you.
The most important thing we need to understand with our choir is that we are not here to perform for an “audience” but to lead a congregation in worship. Going back to our mission statement, we are here to “empower believers to worship Christ.” This should put two thoughts at the forefronts of our minds: first, that worship is for Christ (and no one else); second, that we are here to worship, not perform.
What’s the difference? Dave Williamson says that the worship leading choir
- is not primarily about performance; it is primarily about worship.
- is not about being slick, it is about passion.
- is not about acquaintanceship; it is about family.
- is not about momentary emotion; it is about eternal significance.
- is not about competition; it is about servanthood.
- doesn’t view talent as primary; it does view character and faithfulness as primary.
Robert Eric Walker also has this to say about the difference between worship leading choirs and performance choirs:
- Don’t just rehearse the music, rehearse the worship!
- A song will never mean more to the people than it means to you.
- God transforms us as we are committed to spending time in daily worship.
- As you sing and play, don’t forget to engage your heart!
- Don’t let people just sit there! Draw them in!
- Your depth of expression is a reflection of your testimony and witness.
- A life of obedience is the foundation of passionate worship.
- God expects us to be committed to “cleaning the inside of the cup.”
- Worship without passion is a contradiction in terms.
- Take the message of each song we sing and make it personal.
- God expects us to fulfill His command to forgive as we have been forgiven.
- What will it cost you to convey this song with total authenticity?
- There is nothing worse than a boring choir!
- God’s worth remains constant, regardless of how we are feeling on a particular day.
- God challenges us to walk in humility, seeking the last place.
- Our goal is to turn passive observers into active participants.
- God is the audience, we are the prompters, the congregation, the actors.
- Our calling is to help facilitate a Throne Room Encounter.
- Not just a worship ministry, but a ministry of worshipers.
- God blesses us as we are committed to lives of servanthood.
As I read this list (which I think is a pretty good one), I notice there is a huge emphasis on the state of individual hearts of each choir member, as well as the integrity of their individual lives. I also see the common theme of worship running through the list and not music.
It’s also a great list to use to reflect upon in regards to how we measure up in each area. This week why not focus on number #3 (daily worship). Take some time every day to worship the Lord individually – either in song or prayer or however you best worship him. That way our worship on Sunday will be an overflow of our worship throughout the week and not an isolated event. And that will truly transform our worship.