Shortly after I was saved while serving in the United States Air Force, a friend in the Baptist church we attended convinced Elsie and me to join the choir. Just so you won’t think it was because of our sterling voices, Elsie and I have “choir voices.” Since there were only 20 or so in the choir, they needed people. We rehearsed every week and sang every Sunday. All special music: solos, duets, trios, came from choir members. It was fun and a great way to serve the Lord. So whatever happened to the choir? Yes, Teen Challenge has a 300 voice choir and several mainline churches have choirs but the choir has fallen out of fashion. Now most evangelical churches have a praise band with singers leading the worship. I’m not writing to rip on praise bands or the way worship is conducted today. God wants our worship and I think He’s delighted with hearts which praise Him regardless of the style. As long as it is worship “in spirit and truth” He’s delighted (John 4:23, 24)! If everything is cyclical, might we see the choir coming back into vogue sometime in the future? I hope so. I love the choir!
Here are some reasons why I love the choir. It is biblical. In Revelation we see two instances of choirs singing to the Lord in worship. In Revelation 5:9 & 10 we see the four living creatures and the 24 elders form a choir and sing to the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus. In Revelation 5:12 & 13 we see an incalculable number of heavenly residents joining the living creatures and the elders to form a massive choir singing praises to the Lord Jesus Christ, the only One worthy to open the seals of the scroll. When John, the writer of Revelation describes the number in the choir, the best he can do is 10,000 times 10,000. So that’s the first reason. It’s biblical and it happens in heaven, our ultimate destination.
Secondly, on a practical level, the choir allows many in the congregation to be involved. They come together to sing praise to God and lead the congregation in worship. They are not professional singers but are simply the saints of God exercising their spiritual gifts of serving, encouraging, and leadership (Romans 12:7 & 8).
Thirdly, the choir teaches ordinary saints to read music and sing parts: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. I found out that I was neither a tenor nor a bass. Somebody told me I was a baritone. That sounds pretty cool, so I’m going with it!
Finally, the choir can form its own tightknit community. Choir members can build relationships, care for one another, and pray for one another. The choir director can serve as their shepherd to lead them and pray for their needs. Choir members have something in common which connects them. They all love singing and worshiping the Lord through song.
So, Bring Back the Choir! I can’t wait!