By Kristen Johnson
The role of music in Church is one that, though varied across different denominations, brings us together as a congregation. Listening to and singing along with a Church Choir, Bell Choir, band or orchestra, can uplift us and bring us closer to God.
Different people respond to different styles of worship. I know that I do not respond well to “praise groups” or “contemporary” styles of worship. I was raised in a really charismatic denomination and I always felt that the style of worship was “fake” and like the musicians were putting on a show. This doesn’t mean that a charismatic style of worship is “bad” – simply that it’s not my preference. So, as an adult I can certainly appreciate the style of music in my United Methodist Church. We sing hymns, we have a church band (in which I happily serve), and we all enjoy a rather “low-key” church choir, men’s ensemble, and bell choir.
So, why is it important for musicians to serve in choir, band, orchestra, etc. in their churches? I can speak for myself by saying that I really enjoy serving in the church band because it gives me a place to share my musical skills. Although I play several instruments, it’s hard to find a place to play them after the glory days of high school. But, the biggest reason I enjoy music ministry is that it allows me the opportunity to be in community with my fellow band members. If you’ve never played in a band before, you just don’t know the fun you are missing! Musicians are a riot and rehearsals aren’t a chore – they are wildly fun.
Worship music glorifies God. Patheos also lists some great reasons to keep choirs alive in Churches: they encourage the congregation to join in the worship, the ministry is a wonderful way to encourage non-believers to join the band/choir, etc. and learn about the Christian faith that way (I’ve seen that happen on more than one occasion!), and they bring artistry and beauty to worship services.
So, sing along. Play along. Worship with the group and enjoy the musical talents of your fellow congregants.
Psalm 150:1-5 (NRSV): Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament![a] 2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness! 3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! 5 Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Serve all with love.
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