An Open Letter to Community Choir Directors

I have seen tons of community choirs in my life. I’ve even been in a few. The other day I was thinking that there are just some things community choir directors need to know. Most of us have been thinking these things, but maybe just never said anything. So, I decided to write a letter to all community choir directors offering a few tips that will help progress their ministry.

Dear Community Choir Director,

First of all, I’d like to commend you on making the decision to start a ministry. Being part of a community choir can be a very special thing. You get the opportunity to travel to different places and minister to a variety of different people. Before you start or continue with your ministry, I think there are a few things you should know:

1. This is God’s ministry. It is not yours. Please treat it with extreme care and respect.

2. You should only pursue this ministry if you have a heart and passion for conveying the gospel to others. If you embark on this ministry in order to pursue fortune and fame you may have a hard time finding lasting success.

3. Your choir members are God’s children. Please treat them with care and respect also.

4. Understand your choir member’s priorities. God is first, then family, work, and their home church. Your choir comes after all of those things. If you don’t accept your place in the pecking order you may lose a number of choir members.

5. Always be yourself. Do not try to be like Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker, Tye Tribbett or Ricky Dillard. Imitation will not progress your ministry.

6. Try to be creative when choosing a name for your choir. The following terms have been used extensively: new, nu, praise, of Christ, for Christ, friends, company, and singers. Challenge yourself to come up with something different.

7. It is important that you are prepared for choir rehearsals. Lack of preparation will cause you to lose choir members quickly.

8. Know the abilities and dynamics of your choir. There are some songs that some choirs just do not sound good singing.

9. Please make sure that you and your choir are active participants in the services you attend. It is not good to sit there like zombies and then try to pump up the crowd when it is your turn to minister. You’re not really impressing anyone or winning over any new fans when you behave like that. In addition, that is not a good way to honor God.

10. When you participate in concerts, please remember that you are there to minister in song. You are not there to preach and give a 30 minute sermon. Often times there are other choirs on the program.

11. In the end, the anointing of God will make all of the difference. Without the anointing, it won’t matter how good your choir sings or how good your band is.

When it gets down to it, if you acknowledge God and follow him with all of your heart, you will be blessed. I am praying that God will continue to increase your ministry.

God bless,

Cliff Holmes

Is there anything else you think should be added to this list? Please let me know.

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  • msnononsense

    Please give me some advice. I moved my church membership and joined a new church. I expressed a desire to be a part of the praise team because that was my ministry at my old church. Well, it was expressed to me that as rehearsals are scheduled I would be able to participate, then sing with the praise team. Well, my opportunity to sing has been few because the team rarely rehearses and knows all of the songs and sings them in repetition quite frequently. Sometimes I feel as though I should not have expressed an interest until I had been a member for a little while longer. A couple of praise team members asked me why don’t I sing more! I explain that I don’t feel comfortable getting up if I don’t know what we’re going to sing. I feel like I joined without fully counting the costs, but then the minister of music doesn’t seemed to be bothered by the fact that I don’t sing. I just feel it looks odd. I don’t want to stop singing, yet I don’t want to half do what I’m called to do (did that make sense?) :^) What do you all think?

  • EJ Gaines

    WELL done, bro. This list is respectfully worded, but honest and necessary!

    You’re on a roll. Keep it up!

  • Cliff

    @msnononsense…I can completely understand your discomfort. It is not easy being “new kid in town.” I suggest that you talk to your minister of music and express to him/her how you feel.

    Since your praise team doesn’t rehearse often, you could set up a private rehearsal with the minister of music. During this time he or she can go over some of the more frequently sung songs.

    I also suggest you get a list of the songs your praise team sings and practice them on your own. Between Imeem, Napster and Rhapsody, you should be able to listen to plenty of songs for free.

    I will keep you in my prayers.

    @EJ…Thank you. I appreciate it!

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