Stepping Out of the Choir Loft and Into the Community

We all love singing in the choir. For many of us, that is our primary ministry in the church. We gather together on Sunday mornings (or Wednesday night rehearsal), sing, and worship the Lord with all our hearts. It’s a wonderful routine that we take great pride in. But why are the beautiful sounds the choir makes only reserved for your congregation?

You love the songs you sing and your congregation loves them. Don’t you think other people in your community would enjoy them too? Don’t you think we should take our gift out of the sanctuary and offer it up for people who don’t have the luxury of hearing it every week?

More than Sunday mornings

Getting outside the walls of the church can be difficult sometimes. But community outreach is something that can grow your choir musically and spiritually. First, having something to prepare for can motivate people to learn their music quicker. No one wants to be that person who doesn’t know the words while standing in front of people at a community center or music festival.

Second, you have a chance to try out music that could challenge the choir. For example, my choir has sung at Japanese festivals, Jewish Synagogues, and Norwegian concerts. We had to sing in three different languages for those particular concerts. At first, learning all of that may seem tedious, but when you see someone moved to tears because they are hearing about the love of Jesus in their own language, it is worth every second of rehearsal.

Get the wheels turning

Another good outreach idea is to plan a trip for your choir. Not only will it give the choir something to be excited about, but you may even pick up more members who want to come on the trip. It can be one concert or a whole choir tour. You’d be amazed at how many churches, nursing homes, community centers, or even detention centers would love for your choir to come and share some music.

I remember taking a trip to New York City with my youth choir in high school. We turned our choir tour into a mission trip. We had probably six different concerts and services, all while renovating an underfunded church in Queens. It was one of the best trips I have ever been on. We even had time to catch a Mets game and a Broadway musical.

If you have the funds, you can even go international! I’ve never seen a choir shy away from a good fundraising event. In my experience, if you are planning to raise money to do the Lord’s work, the funds almost always show up.

Keeping it local

Obviously you don’t have to travel all across the country for outreach. Most of the time, you can find places to sing no more than four or five miles from your church. My church sings at a nursing home right down the street once every month. All we do is take some hymnals down there and spend time singing old hymns with the residents. It’s always worth taking an hour out your Sunday afternoon to brighten up someone’s day.

If you can’t go out into the community, have the community come to you. Plan a choir concert at your church. This is easier around Christmas or Easter. However, have you thought about doing a community concert during the summer, or combining with a few other choirs and having a patriotic celebration?

The reason we sing 

Outreach is a simple concept that many of us overlook. We get so comfortable in our choir loft that we forget about those who aren’t there on Sunday mornings. People need to hear about this good news that we have. The Bible says, “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” So get out there and let everyone see and hear the gift that God has given you!

Comment below and share your choir outreach ideas with us.

 

About the author:
garrenGarren McCloud is a Regional Sales Rep. at Brentwood Benson and a dedicated member of Christ Church Choir in Nashville. Previous to working at Brentwood Benson, Garren received a degree in Music Business from Lee University where he sang in Voices of Lee. Garren enjoys playing golf, cheering on the Atlanta Braves, and spending time with his wife, Sarah.

5 thoughts on “Stepping Out of the Choir Loft and Into the Community

  1. Our choir has joined with choirs from 4 other churches and a youth group from yet another church in our town on 2 occasions now to present a community outreach. These churches are from different denominations and have different traditions of worship and different styles of music. The first time, late last summer, each choir sang separately and then all combined to sing one final song. On Valentine’s Day we did it a little differently in that all choirs sang all music as one combined choir with each choir director choosing and directing 2 songs from their individual church libraries. In both programs, the youth group performed interpretive dance/drama to music they selected. Both events were a resounding success. We are in the process of planning another event for this summer.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Connie! It’s great to hear about choirs from different denominations and styles joining together for one purpose. Best of luck with the event this summer.

  2. Our choir, in addition to our Christmas program that includes a full orchestra, choir and P&W team, does two community events. Early December, we (our Methodist choir) perform with choirs from other denominations for a community Christmas evening of music. A combined choir, various-sized ensembles, solos, instrumentals round out a wonderful evening. Each choir director makes a selection and directs the combined choir in his/her music selection. It is a wonderful way to begin our community’s Christmas season! The second community event we participate in is “A Great Night of Methodist Singing.” Choirs from 7 area Methodist churches form a mass choir…the various directors select/direct a choice selection…and, to round out the program, small groups, ensembles and a full orchestra also participate. This is one of our favorite evenings of music…held at the college campus…funds are raised for a music scholarship. It is fun to see “old” friends with whom we’ve been singing for several years show up each year–as we make a “joyful noise” unto the Lord!

  3. Let me start by saying I brag on the Lord and His grace for providing the following ministry opportunities. I have taken choirs to prisons, outreach centers, and an inner city church with an ethnic background different than our own. Have also combined with choirs from other churches for meaningful musicals and worship concerts. We even combined with another church to make a recording. I have found more fulfillment in ministry by partnering with sister churches and reaching out to people who might not have opportunity to come to my church to hear a concert or experience a worship service.

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