When King David wrote Psalm 98, and penned the infamous line, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” he didn’t say anything about the noise being on key. He simply said, “Make a joyful noise.” Thankfully, as long as our praise is sincere and heartfelt, it’s all music to God’s ears, no matter how out of tune we may sound to our neighbors. And fortunately, there are also talented, gifted vocalists and musicians who lend both their time and talent to make up the church choirs around the country. So their joyful noise is indeed joyful to hear, too.
Lest you assume that a church choir simply gets together to dress in robes on Sunday morning, think again. There is a ministry to the music we enjoy each week.
Take, for instance, the church choir at Ardmore Baptist Church. Led by David Fitzgerald, with musical accompaniment by Jonathan Williams, the Ardmore Baptist Choir is comprised of dozens of men and women who spend far more than a few minutes singing together on Sunday morning. Being a member of the music ministry is a collective team effort, with the goal to honor God through musical worship and praise. In fact, Ardmore’s music program is hardly limited to the adult choir, but also includes the senior adult choir, children’s choirs, youth choir, hand bell choirs, instrumental and vocal ensembles, as well as various instrumentalists and soloists who frequently make appearances in worship services. It’s a truly multi-faceted musical ministry that is built on worshiping Jesus.
The ministry of music—whether traditional or contemporary—is a vitally important part of the worship experience. And it should never be undervalued. The men and women who serve in church choirs spend hours breaking apart songs, not just by the notes, but by the context of the lyrics and overall message and tone that needs to be delivered. There’s a theatrical element, too, that musical worship includes, and it adds a significant “oomph” to the final performance.
And the outcome benefits us all.
In fact, worship music provides:
- A deeper understanding of theology. Hymns and worship music teach God’s grace and mercy in a melodic pattern, helping ingrain Biblical truth in our minds and hearts.
- Emotional experiences. Music moves us. Period. There are certain songs that evoke memories and emotions that we can’t express in any other form.
- Connection with Jesus Christ, as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ. Worship music crosses generational divides and unites us as a family of believers.
- An opportunity to obey Biblical instructions. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
- An opportunity to easily write God’s words on your heart. Many hymns are Biblical passages set to music. As we are told to hide God’s words in our heart (Psalm 119:11), having them set to music is an easy way to learn them, especially if memorization isn’t a strong point.
With all this said—thank your choir director. They don’t choose songs that sound pretty. They choose songs based on the message and relevance of the worship experience. And thank your choir members and musicians. Thank them for their commitment to leading worship and praise through song.
Learn more about Ardmore Baptist Church’s Worship, Music, and Arts program at ArdmoreBaptist.org.
Christmas is a great time for music, and because we live in a community that both celebrates and appreciates the arts, we have hundreds of ways to celebrate the birth of Christ through music. We have invited local churches to share their upcoming Christmas programs, including Christmas concerts and cantatas. Please visit page 77 to learn about 20+ options to celebrate the birth of Christ this holiday season.
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