We need a huge choir.
That's not to say the choir we have is insufficient. In fact, from a strictly numbers standpoint our choir is very large. The average “large” choir in churches across America is 10% of the worshiping congregation. Our choir is almost always over 10% of our worshiping congregation.
So why do we need a “huge” choir?
So glad you asked, dear reader. To answer that I invite you on a journey into your imagination.
You enter the sanctuary for the 8:30 service (or the 10 am service during the summer) and take your seat. Unfortunately, you cannot sit in the back two rows of the sanctuary because those two rows are full. You may recognize some of the people, you may not.
Are they a family?
Ummm… yes. Yes, I suppose they are a family.
You smile at the happy exchanges among them. It is apparent these people love each other, and that kind of affection can’t help but erupt occasionally in the form of quiet laughter and happy smiles. The joy that emanates from these people is infectious.
You turn your attention to the front of the sanctuary, because it’s creepy to stare over your shoulder at others. Your mother (or father, or grandma, etc.) taught you better.
You notice there are three rows of pews on the stage. This section is often referred to as the choir loft.
Why is it called a loft? It’s not that high.
You start to pull out your phone to google exactly what a choir loft is but remember church is about to start. Dutifully, you make sure your ringer is silenced and slip the phone back in your pocket (or purse, or satchel, etc. You get the idea.)
Seated in the choir loft is another large group of people. The same easy comfort is there. There is quiet conversation, quiet laughter and much love.
Music starts and the congregation begins to settle as you all prepare for worship. The group of people at the front stand up. You may or may not notice a rustle of motion behind you that indicates someone in the back of the sanctuary is standing up.
A wave of sound washes over you as the choir up front sings.
But what's this? A wave of sound comes from behind as well, and you find yourself immersed in a sea of music. You are surrounded by beautiful melodies and powerful words. Stunning harmonies swirl and eddy around you, lifting your consciousness to a higher level than that to which you are accustomed. As you are washed in sound a thought occurs to you:
Here is a collection of lives - each with a story, a history; A collection of heartbreaks and joys and struggles and pains. They have come together to create a moment on earth that will never be exactly reproduced. They sing together with one voice and one sound and create an auditory treasure that moves you to your bones.
The service carries on and the first congregational song begins. If you were moved by the music before, you understand now that it pales in comparison to what happens next.
Perhaps you like music, but are not comfortable singing because you think you sound bad. Perhaps you are a professional vocalist with a successful and lucrative career. Odds are you're somewhere in between.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, you discover that with a choir in front and a choir in back, you are surrounded by leadership that reaches into the song in your heart and helps you give it voice as, for the next few minutes, you become part of the choir.
No longer are you a spectator waiting to be moved or led, but now you are a fellow worship leader, shaking the sky with fearless praise and helping raise the praises if those around you.
This is an art form that can be engaged by every humble and loving human, and - in this context - is the highest form of art available to mankind. There is no greater expression than many hearts and lives lifted together as one in the earnest and unfettered praise of our God.
We need a huge choir, and if this sounds good to you, you should probably be a part of it. Bring a friend.
What about the quarantine?
I'm working on putting together a virtual choir. No need to read music, no need to get close to sick people. If you have a smart phone, earbuds and a quiet place to record you have everything you need to be part of it. Details can be found on the church website. Just visit tecumsehcove.org/onlinechoir