When I am preparing for the fall choir season, and the first rehearsal, I spend several weeks thinking and praying to discern the single most important goal or theme the Lord wants us to focus on for the year. Sure, we always work on precise diction, blend, accurate part-singing, etc.- the usual choral ensemble goals. I mention the importance of faithful attendance at rehearsal and building community in the group. We even make sure everyone has a robe that fits. But, more than anything, I want to cast a vision of what our role is in the service. Are we just a bunch of people who like to sing and like each other? For many sitting in the congregation, that may be the perception.
But the worship choir, along with the instrumentalists that work with us, are so much more than that! This year, at our first rehearsal, I gave the musicians a sheet of paper with the following charge written on it:
“God desires for His singers, musicians, and worship leaders to be powerful and convincing proclamation tools on the earth. As you combine your God-given talent and carefully-developed skill with a full understanding of your purpose in God’s kingdom you will become a more powerful and convincing voice. You will release your full potential and fulfill God’s purpose for singers and musicians.” (Great and Precious Promises for Singers and Musicians, p.9-10)
God’s clear purposes for musicians are:
To precede and proclaim His presence, His power, and His Word: preparing God’s people to receive Him. (1 Chron. 15:25-26)
To lead God’s people as they celebrate, thank, and praise Him. (1 Chron. 16:4 NAS)
When the singers, musicians, and worship leaders under King Solomon became “as one” (harmonically and with unified purpose), God responded mightily:
“…the temple, the Lord’s temple, was filled with a cloud. And because of the cloud, the priests were not able to continue ministering, for the glory of the Lord filled God’s temple.” (2 Chron. 5:13-14)