It’s springtime and I love it. It brings a renewed sense of life, quite literally. I love the green buds on the trees, the grass coming back to life and the birds once again chirping at dawn. The property needs tending. We begin the process of cleaning out our flower beds, pruning our trees, ripping out dead bushes, replanting new shrubs and flowers, and aerating the lawn. Living things need to be cut back. Dead things need to be removed. Fresh things need to be planted. This makes a healthy property– a vibrant landscape.
In the landscape of church music, many churches have choirs as a large part of their expression of worship. I’ve served as a worship leader for over 25 years now in churches with and without choirs. I currently serve in a church with a vibrant choir ministry and I love it! It’s extraordinary. Our choir is a force for service in the community and a powerful leader in the worship life of our church family.
If you have a choir in your church, this is my message to you . . . INNOVATE or DIE. I’m not speaking of a death of the body, or even a death of the choir. I’m talking about a death of effectiveness. Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Yet we know it is true. We must do the work of tending the landscape of anything that God has entrusted to us if we want it to be healthy, vibrant, growing, and effective.
INNOVATE (verb): to make changes to something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.
It’s not rocket science, as they say. The question is, are we humble enough to admit we need help and are we willing to do the work? It’s not an easy task, but worth it! Choir leaders, if we want to expand our influence in our churches . . . if we want to be effective in connecting with those we are trying to lead . . . if we want to bring our very best, artful worship to the Lord, there are a few things for us to consider.
Here are 8 ways for Choir Directors to be more innovative:
- Work tirelessly to learn and submit to the vision of our senior leaders
- Be wise in our pace of trying new things
- Refresh the old songs and methods
- Bring in new songs, treatments, and instrumental soundscapes
- Celebrate our seasoned leaders and cast vision for needed change
- Recruit and equip the younger generation and give them opportunities to lead
- Create something new and compelling visually
- Ask what needs to die? What needs to be removed? What is the new “seed” to plant?
I truly believe the greatest days of choir ministry in the church lie ahead of us! It’s just up to us to get out there and tend the property.
Join Michael Neale, along with legendary Choir Director Stan Endicott, for a One-Day only, CHOIR LEADERSHIP LAB on April 27th, 2018 at Prestonwood in Plano, TX. They will address all these things and much more! Learn more and register at slingshotlab.org/choir