Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Archive for the ‘About Choral Worship Ministry’ Category

Worship Ministry Team Top 12 Tasks

An Essential “To Do” List

For All Worship Team Members

 

What is needed for effective ministry from each member of the Worship Ministry Team?

Whether you serve in a Worship Band or Rhythm Section, Praise Team, Choir, Orchestra, or as an Accompanist, the essentials are the same:

Those who seek the LordIn order to glorify the Lord, lead God’s people in worship, and allow the Lord to use your gifts to speak to the hearts of others through His Spirit, you need to apply prayer, passion, preparation, flexibility, clarity, commitment, faithfulness, and authenticity!

Here are 12 ways to become most effective

as a member of a worship ministry team.

1. Pray for your Worship Pastor and for all of your ministerial staff. Pray for their families. Pray for the congregation at your church (church family) to worship the Lord and serve Him with all of their hearts. Pray for your own testimony and spiritual walk. Pray for other worship ministry team members and for the worship ministry as a whole. Pray through the order of worship, and pray during the worship service.  Be real (authentic) with the other members of your worship ministry team.  If you are struggling in some area, ask for prayer.

God is Faithful sunrise photo2. Be faithful in attendance at rehearsals and in every congregational worship service. Unless your are too sick to go or out of town, be there. We all understand that seasons of life occur, such as when you are caring for a loved one who is ill. However, if there’s nothing keeping you from being there, please be faithful!

Your passion for the Lord and for serving Him through worship ministry is the thing that makes you a worship team member. Others sit in the congregation every week who could be an asset in worship ministry, and yet the lack of passion for serving in this way prevents them from making that commitment to the calling. If your passion has begun to wane, ask the Lord to revive it within you so that you may contribute week by week, worshipping with passion in spirit and in truth.

KEY TRUTH ABOUT  FAITHFULNESS:

Your presence,

more than anything other than your prayers,

allows your worship ministry to effectively reach up to glorify the Lord

and reach out to encourage and inspire others.

Especially for Chor and Orchestra members:
Be aware that many churches are eliminating choirs and orchestras.  If you want your church to still have these groups as a regular part of worship ministry leadership a year from now, 5 years from now… 10 years from now, make it your priority to be there!

If you say that you love singing in the choir or playing in the orchestra, love having these groups as a contributing part of worship ministry, and love the sound and the impact they can make, you need to be one who will be there faithfully. When the choir and/or orchestra suffers from low attendance week after week, the level of excellence suffers. The director has difficulty choosing what to sing or play, not knowing who may be there. The overall sound is less than it could be without you and others there. After weeks and weeks of low attendance and less than stellar sound due to the low numbers, how much support can we expect from church members and leaders for the continuation of choir and orchestra ? In other words, if you want to have a choir and orchestra , you MUST be committed to it.

give God the glory3. Be spiritually prepared. Do all that you can do to walk closely with the Lord. Abide in Him. Spend time in private worship. Learn all that you can about Him and about what true worship really is. Listen to worship music often. Love the Lord and find joy in His presence.

4. Be musically prepared. Attend every rehearsal that it is possible for you to attend, and be on time if at all possible.  It is great to have everyone in place with music ready and instruments and voices warmed up if possible (sing with the radio on the way there!).  If that is not possible due to your work schedule or some other factor, please do the very best you can to arrive ASAP.   

* Even if the choir or orchestra is going to be sharing music that you know well, your presence and participation can help others to learn the music. Having the full group present helps with things like balance, interpretation, and choral tone, as well as with division of parts, marking any changes in the music, and unifying vowel structure.

* If your director sends out an e-mail with links to the music you will be singing, spend 15 minutes listening to the demos a couple of times during the week.

Sing praises with understanding*  With new technology have come new tools for worship ministry. We can listen to demos on our computer and do so almost anywhere with wireless technology. We can look up sample pages to a choral anthem and even be able to see the music as we listen to a demo. We can hear several different versions of the same worship song at ccli.com or other sites. Many worship teams have their own website, facebook page, or blog to keep everyone informed. Sometimes e-mails are sent to worship team members with listening links. There are worship conferences, worship blogs, and “how to play” videos online. All of this means that we have more resources available than ever (and fewer excuses for being unprepared).

* For choir members:  If you know there’s a part that you’re not getting during rehearsal, speak up and ask the director for help. Often, as your section (Altos, Sopranos, Basses, or Tenors) sings through a passage a couple of times, the re-inforcement of hearing your part played will help everyone.

If you have a piano and can play a tricky part yourself, take your music home to spend some time working on those hard to hear parts.

* For orchestra, praise band, or praise team members:  If there is anything that you struggle with in rehearsal and are not confident about, spend some time working on your own before Sunday.

Speak up if something sounds “off” in rehearsal, even though it appears everyone is playing (or singing) what is written.  Sometimes you may help to find a mistake in the music.

*  For All Worship Ministry Team Members:Love is patient  with heart  cropped

Remember that what we are doing is very important and sometimes very difficult.  Patience is required in order to work up an entire “worship set” of music for congregational worship each week, often with very limited rehearsal time.   We must all be as diligent as possible and patient with each other and with ourselves.  We are confronted with our own humanity when preparing music; and there is no better time to thank God for His patience and grace with us, even as we choose to employ patience and grace with others (and with situations that are out of our control).  You may be doing all that you can do and wish that others took their opportunity to serve as seriously.  However, we always need to remember that we never know what others are facing and the challenges that may keep them from being as faithful or as prepared as they would like to be.  We just need to pray for one another and employ a lot of grace, continue to be faithful, and encourage others as much as possible.

5. Remember that every Sunday’s worship is important. The special programs can be a wonderful time of worship, but every Sunday   needs to be just as important.

The Lord is the same year-round,

and

He deserves our best every week!

Give Him your best (in terms of commitment, passion, faithfulness, and effort). Make it a priority to be there, be prepared, pray through the service as you worship, and do your best to bring glory to the Lord in every service of congregational worship that you are able to attend. Pay attention when your director goes through the order of worship for next Sunday’s service during rehearsal. You can help with leading in worship most effectively when you are able to share with clarity because you know what is going on.

Never forget that God is the one who created music,

gave you musical gifts, saved you,

and gave you some incredible and eternally glorious

reasons to make musical praise!

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart: I will tell of all Thy wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.” ~ Psalm 9:1 & 2

Never take the opportunity

to use your voice or instrument

(and your faithfulness and availability) 

to glorify the Lord within the congregation

for granted!

“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.” ~ Psalm 107:31 & 32

Love the Lord calligraphy6. Support the worship ministry through your own giving. You can give financially as well as giving of your time for rehearsals, personal prayer time, and worship times. You can give and redeem your time in worship ministry when help is needed in preparation for a special program, ministry opportunity, or mission trip. You can give time to working with worship ministry groups for children and youth, investing in the lives of these future worshippers and worship leaders.

7. Be well groomed. Here, I am not talking about the cost or name brands of your clothing. Just make sure that your appearance is well-groomed and not distracting. (Well-fitting clothing and well-groomed hair are a must.)  Your own worship ministry may have additional requirements for appearance that are more specific.

8. Invite others to come to know the Lord, to come to church, and to attend services and special programs. Encourage the faithfulness of others through your own faithfulness (which is a silent witness) and through verbal encouragement, letting them know that you are glad to see them and that their presence is important.

9. Invite others to participate in approriate areas of worship ministry when you know that they have the special gifts to contribute both spiritually and musically. Take some time to talk with them about the blessings of serving in worship ministry and how much it means to you. When new members come, welcome them! Don’t be stuck in a rut as far as who you have to sit beside. Make sure the new member feels comfortable.

10. Don’t fossilize! Be flexible and open to change when it is needed.

* If a change in schedule (such as letting the choir leave the loft to sit with families after the musical worship portion or your service is over) allows more people to participate, be open to that change.  This would include changes in rehearsal schedule.  If you have an unavoidable conflict, let your Worship Leader, Director, or Music and Worship Minister / Pastor know as soon as possible.  When you know that you will be out of town, please let them know your schedule.  Advance notice of absences allows for better planning.

sing a new song to the Lord* When new music is introduced, be open to it. You will likely grow to love it! Even if a song is not your favorite, worship the Lord as you sing and/or play it!  Be open to new styles and new musical techniques as well.  It’s always a good thing to keep learning and growing as a musician and as a member of the worship leadership team.

* Be open to wearing robes or not wearing robes (depending upon what works best for all of the considerations at your church).  You may be asked to wear a certain color.  Please help your group to follow worship ministry leadership in this area by cooperating fully.

* Be willing to sit or stand anywhere that you are asked to be, in both the worship center and in the rehearsal room (unless you need to be seated for physical reasons).

* Be willing to let go of traditions and procedural routines that may no longer be effective.

11. Communicate visually as well as musically. Remember that only part of your worship team’s presentation of any song or participation in worship is the sound component of ministry. The other component that can be observed is visual.

Praise   Lets just praise the Lord* In order for the messages that you are proclaiming to be as effective as possible, choir members, praise team members, and others who sing need to communicate through their facial expression and posture as well. Even those who play instruments need to support the message of what is being shared through appropriate facial expression and/or posture.  People want to know that you are authentic in your beliefs and that you are passionate about your beliefs and your relationship with the Lord… passionate about Him! Your face should reflect the message that you are singing or playing (especially for non-wind players). Your posture should not look stiff and formal.

* If your Director or Worship Pastor wants you to memorize a song in order to communicate it most effectively, do it! (Hint: being there at every rehearsal and listening to demos or working on your own a little bit helps!)

* If you are holding a music folder or looking at music on a stand, hold it high enough (or adjust your stand) so that you can see your director just over the top of the music. Get your head and your eyes up as much as possible. No one wants to look at the tops of everyone’s heads or at a platform full of worship ministry personnel whose eyes appear to be closed because they are looking down all of the time.

NOTE: Our choir sings from memory as often as possible so that we can communicate visually and musically with more effectiveness, and we have recently begun utilizing an on-stage monitor with lyrics. Although we have used screens at the back of the worship center for the lyrics to congregational music and anthems for many years, we can include information on the on-stage monitor that it not meant for the entire congregation to see. We utilize a different color of print for cues to the choir that precede a section of lyrics. These on-screen cues are often very brief and include: “Men” when only the tenor and bass are singing (could also use “TB”); “Women”; “Unison”; “4-part”, “2-part”, “2X”, “3X” or “4x” to show the number of repeats; and even cues for dynamics. Notes that are held for a long time can be indicated by using a line after the word (Example: “love___”)

Lift up His name!

Lift up His name!

12. Participate and worship in the entirety of the congregational worship experience. Remember that you are not there just to “perform” a “special” piece of music. You are there to worship! You are a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and and worshipper of Almighty God! Every song, scripture reading, testimony, and message is important! Seek to bring glory to God in all of it. Come to worship ready to give to the Lord the praise and thanksgiving of your heart, the honor and glory He deserves, the obedience and open-ness that are a sweet offering to Him, and the entirety of who you are. Seek His face and reflect His joy.

 

“Whatever you are doing, let your hearts be in your work, as a thing done for the Lord and not for men.”
~ Colossians 3:23 (Weymouth New Testament)

 

SUGGESTED  READING   FOR  WORSHIP  MINISTRY  TEAM  MEMBERS

1.  Our Worship Scripture page is a very comprehensive worship resource, with scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments in Biblical order.  Our bold key words before the beginning of each scripture make it easy to search and find particular passages.  This is an excellent resource for worship scriptures.  Also, try the key word or topical search features at Bible Hub or Bible Gateway.

Here’s the link to “Lift Your Voice”, our worship scripture page:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lift-your-voice/

1. “The missing piece…What Every Christian Should Know About Worship”
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/the-missing-piece-what-every-christian-should-know-about-worship/

2. “31 Days of Praise (Scripture Devotions)
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/31-days-of-praise/
This post has been recommended on Worship Links @ http://www.worshiplinks.us/2013/09/devotions-praise/

3. “Walking in Worship”
Note:
This article has also been published in the online magazine, “ChurchMag” with its original title
@ http://churchm.ag/walking-in-worship/
and on churchleaders.com , using the title, “What Worship REALLY Means” @

http://www.churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/163955-cynthia-boyd-worship-really-means.html

* found on this blog @ https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/walking-in-worship/

OUR OTHER POSTS ABOUT WORSHIP: (Our pages, like the one on Lifestyle Worship, have titles that are always visible on the blog header. Our posts are categorized, and all of the posts on worship can be found in our category called “Worship…with Wonder!” (and the sub-categories in that topic). Here are links to 7 of our most widely read posts about worship.

Music is a gift…Worship the Giver!
This article was also published by TheWorshipCommunity.com @ http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/music-is-a-gift-worship-the-giver/

Worship Planning and Preparation

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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How to Help Keep Church Choirs from Becoming Extinct

An Effective Ministry

FBC Snellville Choir

FBC, Snellville Church Choir, Christmas 2009

Church Choirs can minister very effectively in any worship setting if they are properly prepared to contribute to the ministry of worship.  Although there are some people who consider a church choir to be an out of date relic, a group of Christian singers with a desire to bring glory to the Lord through the ministry of worship can be a blessing to the entire church family.  Here are seven ways that choirs can joyfully serve as worship leaders to strengthen and bring life to the ministry of worship.

* 1 * 
A Choir can help to support congregational singing
, allowing the congregation to sing more confidently and join their voices with those who are already singing, helping to lead God’s people in worship.

* 2 *
A Choir will help the congregation to know when they are supposed to sing.

When arrangements for the congregational singing are lead by a praise band, worship leader, and praise teams, sometimes people in the congregation become uncertain about when they are supposed to sing along.  A well prepared choir helps to prevent confusion as they assist in leading the service.  Since the choir will know when a verse or chorus is supposed to be sung as a solo and when everyone is supposed to sing, the congregation will begin to take their cue from the choir.

* 3 *
Choirs provide spiritual encouragement and inspiration to the church family.

When the life stories and faith journeys of the people who make up the choir are coupled with their faithful commitment to praising the Lord and leading in worship, the choir serves as a collective testimony of walking by faith.  The presence and praise of a choir member who is walking through a trial, remaining faithful as a choral worship leader, can be a powerful message in itself.  Since choir members are often some of the busiest church members, serving in many ways and being vitally involved in church life, their ministry and testimony has personal significance for a large percentage of the church body.

 “O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him; talk of all His wondrous works. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”  ~ Psalm 105:1 – 3

The 280 voice Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Brooklyn, NY, under the direction of Carol Cymbala, recorded 2 CDs in 2013,

The 280 voice Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Brooklyn, NY, under the direction of Carol Cymbala, recorded 2 CDs in 2013, “Redeemed” and “Love Lead the Way”.

* 4 *
Church choirs can share messages of praise, reverent worship, testimony, exhortation, encouragement, comfort, thankfulness, and perseverance 
through the songs (both anthems and congregational worship songs) that they sing.  Since choral anthems often have lyrics that are full of scripture and of Biblical truth, the choir can share a message in song that is full of meaning with even more impact than the spoken word because of the marriage of music and lyrics that amplifies the truths being shared.  The choir’s ministry is one of proclamation, praise, and encouragement as they and the congregation “speak to one another in Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs”.

  “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of Him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord.”  ~ Psalm 104:33 & 34

* 5 *
As worship leaders, the choir can also help the church to learn new songs and worship choruses. 
 It is possible to find choral arrangements of new worship songs that are in congregationally friendly keys, which also have chord and rhythm charts and even full orchestrations available.  These can be prepared as an anthem and introduced by the full worship team (choir, praise band and / or orchestra, praise team).  Later, as the congregation becomes more familiar with the song, they can be invited to join in singing the worship song with the same arrangement.

* 6 *
A choir can help to break down generational barriers in worship.
The fact that choirs (and praise teams, rhythm sections, and orchestras) are often made up of young, median, and older adults (and sometimes students) communicates the message that the new song is a vehicle of praise and worship for the entire congregation, regardless of age.  As members of the worship leadership team, choir members have invested time in preparation for worship, both musically and spiritually as they have learned the new music.  Because they have rehearsed and lived with the lyrics of the songs being shared (both Anthems and congregational praise), choir members have the opportunity to internalize these messages of truth and to communicate them meaningfully, as a group that is visually representative of the church body (in age range and other factors) rather than just as professional musicians.

KEY GOAL:  Ideally, the worshipping choir will be both spiritually and musically prepared to praise the Lord and to encourage and inspire God’s people.  Because of this investment of time in preparation and their heart for the Lord, a choir can be a living, vibrant team of worship leaders,  messengers of hope and praise. 

The Mount Pleasant Christian Church Choir in Indianapolis, IN, directed by Brian Tabor, September, 2013.

The Mount Pleasant Christian Church Choir in Indianapolis, IN, directed by Brian Tabor, September, 2013.

* 7 *
There is nothing else like the sound of a well-prepared choir
,
and the secular music industry often employs a choir to maximize the impact of a powerful ballad or to visibly and audibly celebrate with an upbeat song.  Choirs are often seen in the music videos and television appearances of pop stars, on music specials, and at events where the entertainment is an extravagant production, such as an Olympic opening ceremony or even a Super Bowl halftime show.  If secular entertainment still values the impact that a choir can make, those of us who love and worship the Lord should realize that choral singing can be a an effective testimony of God’s goodness that can touch the hearts of a congregation (and of others who hear them when they sing in public places).

 “O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”  ~ Psalm 95:1 – 7a

* 8 *  There is Biblical support for choral worship ministry.

A.  Since there are many Biblical accounts of choirs, and since 55 Psalms are written to the Choir Director or Director of Music; there is certainly a Biblical precedent for choral worship.

The First Baptist Concord Choir, Knoxville, TN, directed by Jeff Lawrence.

The First Baptist Concord Choir, Knoxville, TN, directed by Jeff Lawrence.

B.  In addition, the Biblical exhortation to use our gifts to honor and bring glory to the Lord calls for opportunities for those who are a part of our congregations and who have musical gifts to serve and contribute to the ministry of worship.
What these service opportunities may be in an individual congregation depends upon the musical gifts that are present among members who are willing to faithfully serve in worship ministry.  A smaller congregation might have a choral ensemble rather than a full choir, in addition to their praise band or accompanists.  Larger churches may have a full choir and perhaps an instrumental ensemble or orchestra in addition to their rhythm section, praise band, and / or accompanists.  Some churches may use a choir to help serve as worship leaders, but the choir may sing a choral anthem only occasionally.  Some churches also use choirs only seasonally (for a special Christmas program, for example).

Every congregation is different, and no one can prescribe what your church should be doing in musical worship from the outside.  Your ministerial leadership is more in tune with the musical and spiritual gifts of your congregation and to the music that speaks to the hearts of your congregation as well as to the visitors and seekers that your church can reach.  This article is not being written in order to bash churches that don’t have a choir but rather to encourage the ministry of choral singing in those places where it can be shared effectively to praise, encourage, inspire, lift up, exhort, challenge, and worship.

“Above, the hosts of angels sing praise; below, men form choirs in the churches and imitate them by singing the same doxology.  Above, the seraphim cry out in the thrice-holy hymn; below, the human throng sends up the same cry.  The inhabitants of heaven and earth are brought together in a common assembly; there is one thanksgiving, one shout of delight, one joyful chorus.”  ~  St. John Chrysostom

First Baptist Church of Duluth Adult Choir, Duluth, GA, directed by Travis L. Boyd

First Baptist Church of Duluth Adult Choir, December, 2013, Duluth, GA, directed by Travis L. Boyd, singing the upbeat final song in the Travis Cottrell Christmas worship musical, “Joy of Every Longing Heart”.  Note:  Many of the choir, orchestra, and praise band members are out of the frame in this photo, taken by a member of the congregation.)

KEY:  Church choirs can stil minister and serve and bring glory to the Lord when they have the commitment, support, and prayers necessary to do so.

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 
~
I Corinthians 10:31  NASB

Although choirs have been eliminated in some congregations, existing choirs can strengthen their ministryNew choirs can focus on effective ministry from the beginning.  Below, you will find some suggestions for helping to keep church choirs alive and serving in the 21st century.

 “Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to the sons of men! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!”  ~ Psalm 107:21 & 22

For Members of the Congregation

If you are a member of the congregation in a church that has a choir, here’s how you can support and encourage their ministry:

1.  Pray for your church choir.  Pray for individual members if you know them.  Pray for unity of spirit and faithfulness to the commitment of singing in choir.
* Pray for God to use them as they seek to minister and lead in worship, and pray that God will speak to their hearts as they prepare spiritually and musically.
* Pray for them as they stand to sing and for the congregation as the choir is singing.

2.  Worship and praise the Lord as you are listening and praying!  If your church’s worship ministry has a facebook page, “like” the page so that you will know better how to pray for your church’s overall worship ministry as well as for the choir.

praise and give thanks to the Lord3.  Listen expectantly when the choir shares a message, whether that is a Choral Anthem or a worship chorus that is being introduced by the choir.  Remember that everything your church does in ministry is constantly being evaluated for effectiveness.  Therefore, one of the best ways to support a choral ministry in your church is to allow the choir to minister to you and to praise the Lord in your heart right along with them.

Thank you music notes4.  Encourage!  If a message shared by the choir was particularly meaningful or worshipful to you, let that be known.  Speak an “amen!”, share a word of encouragement, or send a note or e-mail to the choir, Worship Minister, and / or Pastor expressing how the Lord has used that ministry in your own heart and life.   The people who sing in choirs are not seeking accolades.  (If that was their motivation, they probably would have given up long ago!)  Choir members would rather hear about the spiritual impact of their ministry than about the beauty of the music.  They love the beauty of the music as well, but they mainly want to know that what they are doing makes a difference for the Kingdom!

5.  Be faithful in your own attendance in congregational worship.  Not only are you being faithful to the Lord when you worship along with His people, your presence is also an encouragement to others.  In addition, your presence allows for everything that is done in worship to be done more effectively as you are praying throughout the service that the Lord would be glorified  and personally worshipping Him.

6.  Attend any special presentations that your Choir and Worship Ministry have prepared, and invite others to come as well.  At most churches, there are special musical worship opportunities such as Christmas and Easter programs and worship musicals only a few times a year (usually 2 – 4 times annually for the Adult Choir).  These events are wonderful opportunities to invite your neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers.  Invite the clerk who checks out your groceries.  Invite others at every opportunity.  Your worship ministry team members have been preparing to share messages of hope and faith and praise to the Lord for several weeks leading up to any special worship event.  Attend these events expecting a glorious time of worship, pray for those involved, and bring others with you.  Put these special events on your personal calendar as soon as they are announced, and make them a priority.  If you want your church to have worship events such as these and to continue to have a worship choir, your presence must testify that this is important and meaningful to you.

7.  Support the worship ministry at your church through your giving.  There are expenditures that are necessary for a vibrant and effective worship ministry.  Sound and lighting equipment, media equipment, sets and seasonal decorations, music for worship ministry participants, musical instruments, piano tuning, CCLI (the service that allows your church to legally put song lyrics on screens), and salaries for paid personnel such as your Worship Pastor and accompanists, are all a part of the financial cost of worship ministry support.  Your faithfulness allows all of the ministries of your church, including worship ministry, to function and to minister within the congregation and to reach out to your community and beyond.

8.  Let grace abound!  Don’t expect musical and technical perfection.  Give your worship ministry team the grace of realizing that they are human and that they are participating in this ministry as volunteers rather than as professional musicians and technicians.  Music and productions that you hear on the radio or see on TV and in the movies are very highly produced and involve much expertise, equipment, and time that is not available for local church ministry.  Many times, the sounds that you hear on radio or TV cannot be produced at the same level of perfection in live performance, even by the pros.  One recorded song may be a result of dozens of “takes” and hours of recording and re-recording.  In addition, remember that every worship song, hymn, or choral anthem may not be your personal taste; but it is still your joy to worship the Lord through all that is spoken and sung.  Pray for others.  Look around you.  What may not be your favorite worship expression may be ministering to the hearts of others.  Pray for those around you throughout the worship service.

* IMPORTANT  NOTE:  For greater understanding about the importance and meaning of worship and for help with preparation for teaching about worship, see our Addendum at the end of this blog article, where you will find links to articles on worship found on our blog and on TheWorshipCommunity.com , on the online magazine, ChurchMag , and on ChurchLeaders.com (or recommended on WorshipLinks) .

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
~
Colossians 3:17

The Adult Worship Choir anchors the worship ministries of Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon, FL, directed by Dr. Doug Crawley.

The Adult Worship Choir anchors the worship ministries of Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon, FL, directed by Dr. Doug Crawley.

For Pastors and Ministerial Staff

Here’s how you can help to support the ministry of the Worship Choir at your church.

1.  Pray for and encourage the worship team members and Worship Pastor at your church.  Pray for your congregation and for yourself as worshippers.

2.  Live a life of worship, seeking to intentionally give God glory in all that you do.

* NOTE For greater understanding about the importance and meaning of worship and for help with preparation for teaching about worship, see our Addendum at the end of this blog article, where you will find links to articles on worship found on our blog and on TheWorshipCommunity.com , on the online magazine, ChurchMag , and on ChurchLeaders.com (or recommended on WorshipLinks) .

3.  Whatever your responsibilities and concerns may be during a worship service, make an intentional effort to let them go (as much as is possible) and personally worship the Lord.

4.  Attend special worship ministry programs, and invite others to do so as well.  Speak with enthusiasm when sharing announcements about upcoming Worship Ministry events.

5.  When doing calendar planning, recognize that each ministry decision impacts every ministry.  Remember that above all, every Christian is (or should be) a worshipper, and do what you can to strenthen all of the ministries of your church, including worship ministry.

“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
~
 I Peter 4:11

For Choir Members & Worship Team Members

What is needed?  Prayer, passion, preparation, flexibility, clarity, commitment, faithfulness, and authenticity!

1.  Pray for your Worship Pastor and for all of your ministerial staff.  Pray for their families.  Pray for the congregation to worship the Lord and serve Him with all of their hearts.  Pray for your own testimony and spiritual walk.  Pray for other worship ministry team members and for the worship ministry as a whole.  Pray through the order of worship, and pray during the worship service.

2.  Be faithful in attendance at rehearsals and in every congregational worship service.  Unless your are too sick to go or out of town, be there.  We all understand that seasons of life occur, such as when you are caring for a loved one who is ill.  However, if there’s nothing keeping you from being there, please be faithful!  Your passion for the Lord and for serving Him through worship ministry is the thing that makes you a choir member.  Others sit in the congregation every week who could be an asset in worship ministry, and yet the lack of passion for serving in this way prevents them from making that commitment.  If your passion has begun to wane, ask the Lord to revive it within you so that you may contribute week by week, worshipping with passion in spirit and in truth.

KEY:  Your presence, more than anything other than your prayers, allows your worship ministry to effectively reach up to glorify the Lord and reach out to encourage and inspire others.

If you want your church to still have a choir a year from now, 5 years from now… 10 years from now, make it your priority to be there!
If you say that you love singing in the choir, love having a choir, and love the sound and the impact of choral music, you need to be one who will be there faithfully.  When the choir suffers from low attendance week after week, the level of excellence suffers.  The director has difficulty choosing what to sing, not knowing who may be there.  The choral sound is less than it could be without you and others there.  After weeks and weeks of low attendance and less than stellar sound due to the low numbers, how much support can we expect from church members and leaders for the continuation of choir?  In other words, if you want to have a choir, you have to be committed to it.

3.  Be spiritually prepared Do all that you can do to walk closely with the Lord.  Abide in Him.  Spend time in private worship.  Learn all that you can about Him and about what true worship really is.  Listen to worship music often.  Love the Lord and find joy in His presence.

4.  Be musically prepared.  Attend every rehearsal that it is possible for you to attend. 

*  Even if the choir is going to be singing music that you know well, your presence and participation can help others to learn the musicHaving the full choir present helps with things like balance, interpretation, and choral tone, as well as with division of parts, marking any changes in the music, and unifying vowel structure.

*  If your director sends out an e-mail with links to the music you will be singing, spend 15 minutes listening to the demos a couple of times during the week.

*  If you know there’s a part that you’re not getting during rehearsal, speak up and ask the director for help.  Often, as your section (Altos, Sopranos, Basses, or Tenors) sings through a passage a couple of times, the re-inforcement of hearing your part played will help everyone.

*  If you have a piano and can play a tricky part yourself, take your music home to spend some time working on those hard to hear parts.

5.  Remember that every Sunday’s worship is important.  The special programs can be a wonderful time of worship, but every Sunday  needs to be just as important.  The Lord is the same year-round, and He deserves our best every week (in terms of commitment, passion, faithfulness, and effort).  Make it a priority to be there, be prepared, pray through the service as you worship, and do your best to bring glory to the Lord in every service of congregational worship that you are able to attend.  Pay attention when your director goes through the order of worship for next Sunday’s service during choir rehearsal.  You can help with leading in worship most effectively when you are able to share with clarity because you know what is going on.

Never forget that God is the one who created music, gave you a voice, saved you, and gave you something incredible and eternally glorious to sing about!

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart: I will tell of all Thy wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.”  ~ Psalm 9:1 & 2

Never take the opportunity to use your voice to glorify Him within the congregation for granted!

 “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.”  ~ Psalm 107:31 & 32

6.  Support the worship ministry through your own giving.  You can give financially as well as giving of your time for rehearsals, personal prayer time, and worship times.   You can give and redeem your time in worship ministry when help is needed in preparation for a special program, ministry opportunity, or mission trip.  You can give time to working with worship ministry groups for children and youth, investing in the lives of these future worshippers and worship leaders.

7. Be well groomed. Here, I am not talking about the cost or name brands of your clothing. Just make sure that your appearance is well-groomed and not distracting. (Well-fitting clothing and well-groomed hair are a must.)

8.  Invite others to come to know the Lord, to come to church, and to attend services and special programs.  Encourage the faithfulness of others through your own faithfulness (which is a silent witness) and through verbal encouragement, letting them know that you are glad to see them and that their presence is important.

9.  Invite others to sing in the choir or to participate in some other area of worship ministry when you know that they have the special gifts to contribute both spiritually and musically.  Take some time to talk with them about the blessings of serving in worship ministry and how much it means to you.  When new members come, welcome them!  Don’t be stuck in a rut as far as who you have to sit beside.  Make sure the new member feels comfortable.

10.  Don’t fossilize!  Be flexible and open to change when it is needed.

*  If a change in schedule (or letting the choir leave the loft to sit with families after the musical worship portion or your service is over) allows more people to participate, be open to that change.

*  When new music is introduced, be open to it.  You will likely grow to love it!  Even if a song is not your favorite, worship the Lord as you sing it!

*  Be open to wearing robes or not wearing robes (depending upon what works best for all of the considerations at your church).

*  Be willing to sit or stand anywhere that you are asked to be, in both the loft and in the rehearsal room (unless you need to be seated for physical reasons).

*  Be willing to let go of traditions and procedural routines that may no longer be effective.

11.  Communicate visually as well as musically.  Remember that only part of the choir’s presentation of any song or participation in worship is the sound component of choral ministry.  The other component that can be observed is visual.

*  In order for the messages that you are proclaiming to be as effective as possible, choir members need to communicate through their facial expression and posture as well.  People want to know that you are authentic in your beliefs and that you are passionate about your beliefs and your relationship with the Lord… passionate about Him!  Your face should reflect the message that you are singing.  Your posture should not look stiff and formal.

*  If your director or Worship Pastor wants you to memorize a song in order to communicate it most effectively, do it!  (Hint:  being there at every rehearsal and listening to demos or working on your own a little bit helps!)

*  If you are holding a music folder, hold it high enough that you can see your director just over the top of the music.  Get your head and your eyes up as much as possible.  No one wants to look at the tops of everyone’s heads or at a choir whose eyes appear to be closed because they are looking down all of the time.

NOTE:  Our choir sings from memory as often as possible, and we have recently begun utilizing an on-stage monitor with lyrics.  Although we have used screens at the back of the worship center for the lyrics to congregational music and anthems for many years, we can include information on the on-stage monitor that it not meant for the entire congregation to see.  We utilize a different color of print for cues to the choir that precede a section of lyrics.  These on-screen cues are often very brief and include:  “Men” when only the tenor and bass are singing (could also use “TB”); “Women”; “Unison”; “4-part”, “2-part”, “2X”, “3X” or “4x” to show the number of repeats; and even cues for dynamics.  Notes that are held for a long time can be indicated by using a line after the word (Example:  “love___”)

12.  Participate and worship in the entirety of the congregational worship experience.  Remember that you are not there just to “perform” a “special” piece of music.  You are there to worship!  You are a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and and worshipper of Almighty God!  Every song, scripture reading, testimony, and message is important!  Seek to bring glory to God in all of it.  Come to worship ready to give to the Lord the praise and thanksgiving of your heart, the honor and glory He deserves, the obedience and open-ness that are a sweet offering to Him, and the entirety of who you are.  Seek His face and reflect His joy.

* IMPORTANT  NOTE:  For greater understanding about the importance and meaning of worship and for help with preparation for teaching about worship, see our Addendum at the end of this blog article, where you will find links to articles on worship found on our blog and on TheWorshipCommunity.com , on the online magazine, ChurchMag , and on ChurchLeaders.com (or recommended on WorshipLinks) .   http://www.worshiplinks.us/2013/09/devotions-praise/

“Whatever you are doing, let your hearts be in your work, as a thing done for the Lord and not for men.” 
~  Colossians 3:23  (Weymouth New Testament)

University Presbyterian Church Choir, Seattle, WA, directed by Dr. David Gardner

University Presbyterian Church Choir, Seattle, WA, directed by Dr. David Gardner

For Choir Directors, Ministers of Music & Worship, 

and Worship Pastors

What is needed for you?  The same priorities for worship as your worship team:  Prayer, passion, preparation, flexibility, clarity, and authenticity!

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth.”  ~ Psalm 108:1 – 5

1.  Pray for your fellow ministerial staff members, the congregation, and all of your worship ministry team members. 
Pray that people will understand the importance of worship as a way of life (Romans 12:1 – 2, I Corinthians 10:31 ).  Pray for personal passion for ministry and worship.  Pray for holiness and obedience, both personally and collectively.

2.  Make personal worship a top priority.
Seek to lead as a fellow worshipper.  Let your passion for the Lord and for worshipping Him be clearly evident.  Every word, every song, and every moment should be focused on the eternal:  worshipping God, praising and thanking Him, and testifying of His goodness, grace, mercy, love, and faithfulness.

Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forever more! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory is above the heavens.”  ~ Psalm 113:1 – 4

3Function as a Pastor whose primary responsibility is worship ministry. 
People are more important than notes and rhythms.  Minister accordingly.

4.  Function as an equipper. 
Teach and equip your worship ministry team.  Teach them about worship and discipleship.  Teach them about music and techniques.  Teach them about effectiveness as worship leaders (spiritually, musically, visually).  Teach your choir that true worship is giving (giving praise, honor, glory, blessing, our hearts, and all that we are). Build excitement about the ministry potential of choral worship.

*  IMPORTANT  NOTE:   For greater understanding about the importance and meaning of worship and for help with preparation for teaching about worship, see our Addendum at the end of this blog article, where you will find links to articles on worship found on our blog and on TheWorshipCommunity.com , on the online magazine ChurchMag , and on ChurchLeaders.com (or recommended on WorshipLinks) .   http://www.worshiplinks.us/2013/09/devotions-praise/

5.  Be a good steward of your time. 
Plan and prepare effectively, praying for guidance as you do so.  You can make the most of your limited rehearsal time and allow team members to be well prepared for congregational worship when you have:
a.  Made sure that the order of worship is clearly understood by all participants in worship ministry, providing each person with a copy containing all of the information needed.
b.  Prepared a weekly newsletter, poster, or white board with the order of your rehearsal so that music will be ready and you can make the most effective use of the choir’s rehearsal time.
c.  Made sure that all music is available to your choir and that they have sharpened pencils to mark anything necessary in their music.
d.  Made sure that your accompanists have all needed music in time to play through and prepare themselves for rehearsal.
e.  Made sure that your tech team has all needed lyrics and any media or videos that you intend to use, as well as orders of worship with any special notes they may need.
f.  Made sure that your ministerial staff has copies of the order of worship (not just the bulletin, but your expanded version for worship ministry that specifies such things as the number of verses or repeats for a given songs, which staff member is doing the welcome, etc.).

6.  Encourage your choir and other worship ministry participants.
Make rehearsals as fun and joyful as possible. Try to keep the mood light and yet focused on preparation for worship as well as on worshipping even as your rehearse. Let your choir and accompanists, praise teams, praise band, and tech team know that they are loved and valued by you and by the Lord. Use the rehearsal time very wisely so that your choir members and other worship ministry personnel do not feel that their time is being wasted (this communicates value as well). Share any positive comments or notes you’ve been given about the choir with the group.

7.  Expand your Choir’s vision of their role in worship ministry.
Help them to see that they are there to do more than just produce an anthem each week. Teach them that they can serve as worship leaders for congregational worship.

8.  Keep a realistic timeline in mind.
W
hen you are preparing for rehearsals, don’t try to cram too much music into one session. Confusion and poor preparation will be the result. Do allow several weeks of rehearsal on any new music that requires some time to “settle in”. Plan an adequate number of music rehearsals and tech rehearsals when preparing for any special program. Our choir often has Sunday afternoon rehearsals in addition to our Wednesday night rehearsals to help us prepare in the weeks leading up to a Christmas, Easter, or worship musical. We usually rehearse about an hour, beginning at 5:00 p.m. That’s the time which seems to work best for our group, but your group may have a different preference depending on factors like other schedule considerations and how far away they live from your church.

9.  Provide and encourage training opportunities for your choir and all worship ministry personnel.
Make sure that your tech team has adequate knowledge, and provide periodic training for them (bring in a specialist to teach and work with them for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon). After all, your choir could share an anthem beautifully, but it’s the tech team who will make sure it can be heard. Take worship ministry team members to conferences and concerts when possible. Encourage your worship ministry team to listen to contemporary Christian radio (at least occasionally). If you want to inspire multi-generational worship and a greater open-ness to new music, do what you can to introduce new music that can unite the generations in worshipping the Lord.

10. Use media to enhance the worship experience.
If your church has screens, make sure that the lyrics of your anthems are on screens as the choir is singing. Use scenic or spiritually meaningful background photos for the text, and make sure that the text is in a color, size, and font that shows clearly all the way to the back of your worship center. After all, you have carefully chosen this music because of the message that it conveys. Whether your anthem has a message of praise or testimony, encouragement, affirmation, or exhortation, the words are important. Let’s be honest. Sometimes the most beautiful choral settings can make the text difficult to understand.Seeing the lyrics visually on screens employs the sense of sight to imprint the message your choir is sharing on the minds of your congregation more vividly. Your congregation is more likely to take away from the service something that has meaning to their walk as a Christian when every means has been utilized to enhance the worship experience, simply but effectively communicating visually as well as aurally. If you have the capability to make videos of lyrics that can employ photos as background for lyrics and perhaps snippets of video (something like a few seconds of video of a running stream when singing a message about living water), do that. However, keep in mind that it can be very difficult to stay with a video tempo-wise without a click track for the director and in-ear monitors for him or her and for key personnel such as accompanists or praise band (rhythm section) members. If your church does not have media capability, make sure that your anthem choice reflects this fact and that lyrics are as clearly understandable as possible. Use low tech but effective visual means to communicate what your choir is singing visually when possible (perhaps a banner proclaiming “Jesus is Lord” could be displayed when you are singing about the Lordship of Christ). Employ some talented people in your congregation to form a banner ministry and create visual representation of the names of God / Jesus that can be used for regular as well as special services to visually re-enforce the messages being sung and shared.

11.  Choose music carefully.

Here are two of the most important considerations when choosing music.
   a.  Keep the capability and number of your singers in mind.
b.  Know your congregation. 
The choir certainly seeks to glorify God in their ministry, but it is also important to encourage God’s people through music that is carefully chosen to reflect the make up of your congregation.  In most churches, it works well to chose anthems which reflect a variety of styles.  For example, you might choose a ballad style or more reflective anthem for one service and a more upbeat and celebratory anthem for the next.  You might occasionally include an anthem that has a more southern gospel type style.  Don’t neglest newer, more contemporary choral arrangements.  You may be stretching your choir’s preferences when you introduce choral arrangements of contemporary worship songs, but this is one of the very things that will allow your choir to be more relevant to the hearts of all generations within your congregation.  Remember that when God inspires new songs for His people and His church, they are often a revelation of truth or a truth stated in a new way.  New songs are God speaking to hearts just as the new songs of 50 years ago did.

  c. Pray for wisdom, and procede with care in every decision about music choice.

  d. Make sure that the music has a clear message and is not too difficult.
In making the difficuly decision, consider more than just the capabilities and confident vocal ranges of your Choir.  Consider the difficulty of the accompaniment and the tech capabilities for making your choir heard.

  e. Avoid “big ending syndrome”.
Some Choral Anthems would not be as effective without a big ending. Just make sure that every single anthem does not end that way. Look for some anthems that fit your choir and have a great message with a more reflective ending. Have you heard the one about the little boy who asked his Mom, “Why does every song the choir sings end like this…?” (He demonstrates, with mouth open wide, tongue hanging out,…”AHHHH”)

  f. Support any special emphases at your church with your music selection when possible.
(For example, a special emphasis on prayer would be a great time to sing an anthem that is a prayer set to music or an anthem that talks about God’s faithfulness in hearing our prayers.)

  g.  Be open to newer music yourself, recognizing it as a sign that God is still at work in the hearts of His people, young and old.  Remember that both your choir and your congregation represent a variety of musical tastes.  Continually stretch your own musical tastes and those of your choir and congregation by including new music in your repertoire that may be more contemporary in nature but has a message that will speak to the hearts of everyone who is there as a true worshipper.  Worship should unite the generations.  If your focus is on giving glory to God, using the best of more traditional music in various genres and the best of what is new as well, your choir will be more likely to grow, to include younger singers, and to minister more broadly to your congregation as they bring glory to God through their worship and praise.  There is a lot of wonderful, God-honoring and exalting music out there in a wide variety of musical styles.  If your choir sings wholeheartedly, no matter how many years (or months) ago God inspired the writing of their music, worship wins!  God is honored when His people place worshipping Him and consideration for others above their own preferences.

Note:  For further reading on the subject of new songs, see our post entitled, Singing a New Song

Here, we’ll offer a few suggestions of more contemporary choral settings that will be enjoyed and be very meaningful and worshipful, even for more traditional choirs and congregations.

1.  “Blessings”  Try Heather Sorenson’s arrangement of Laura Story’s song, “Blessings”, published by Shawnee Press / Hal Leonard.  http://www.jwpepper.com/10292259.item

2.  “Who Can Satisfy?”  Our choir and our congregation both love a fantastic arrangement of Dennis Jernigan’s “Who Can Satisfy” by Gary Rhodes (Lifeway).  The arrangement has a really strong choral setting of the chorus, “There is a fountain / Who is the King / Victorious warrior, and Lord of everything / My Rock, my Shelter / My very own… / Blessed redeemer, who reigns upon the throne”.  The brief a cappella section during one of the repeats of the chorus is incredibly powerful (when sung well, of course).  Our congregation loves it so much that they are now singing along on the chorus when Travis turns around to direct them.  Here’s a link to the anthem:  http://www.lifeway.com/Product/who-can-satisfy-satb-anthem-min-10-P001220705

There is not a listening link with the anthem info, so here is a Youtube video of the song being shared during a worship service, performed by Riverview Baptist Church Worship Choir, Bixby Oklahoma. ~ January 30, 2011.  (Note:  This is not our choir but just a video we were able to find with the same arrangement we use.  There is also an arrangement of this song by Russell Mauldin for Word.)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3brh8Bjcvc

3.  “We Have Met to Worship”  by Travis L. Boyd from Worship Sounds Music
This is a contemporary, guitar and piano driven, setting of the traditional hymn, “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship”, arranged for worship choir, praise band, and congregation with the addition of Travis’ chorus, “For He’s Worthy”.  There’s also a full orchestration.  Our congregation (all ages) loves it and took to it right away.  You’ll find it on our Worship Sounds Music website’s “Solos / Worship Songs” page (info copied from the website is below).

Serving as a bridge between traditional hymns and modern worship songs, this arrangement features the hymn “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship,” combined with a new, contemporary chorus. 

*  Worship Pak,  $15.00
(includes PDFs for the Choral parts, piano accompaniment, rhythm section parts, and a string reduction for keyboard, with permission to make an unlimited number of copies, as needed for your groups)

*  Full orchestration, $25.00
(Bundled PDFs include Conductor’s score and reproducible parts for strings, winds, & percussion). 

*  Accompaniment Trax, $10.00 (MP3 download)

NOTE:  At Worship Sounds Music, all of our music is downloadable, and there are never any additional “per copy” fees.
The cost for the PDF master copy (and your printing costs) are all that you will pay for as many copies as you need to make.  Our goal is to be an affordable resource for worship choirs, soloists, and congregational worship, helping others to bring glory to God through their worship ministry.  

Our demos can’t capture the live worship experience with the full choir, praise team, and musicians.  Just imagine the choir singing these parts along with you (as worship leader) and the entire congregation.

Here’s the link to the “Worship Songs” tab on our website where you’ll find the purchasing link for “We Have Met to Worship”:
http://www.worshipsounds.com/Vocal_Solos.html#ws

SOMETHING ELSE FOR CHOIR DIRECTORS AND MINISTERS OF WORSHIP TO CONSIDER:

Georgia Minister of Music Greg Burrell (FBC, Barnesville) makes a good point about music selection and about extending the reach of choral worship ministry with this comment and the follow-up conversation from Facebook:

“Wow… comprehensive article! People LOVE a good choir, period! But what I’m learning is that we can’t relegate the choir to the “traditional” service, or it will become extinct.
We have to make a choir work in the service where the younger people are, or it will age itself into oblivion.
If Bruce Springsteen performs with choirs, certainly we can make it work, too.”

  Travis L Boyd  Very true, Greg. There are a lot of great choral arrangements of contemporary worship songs.

  Greg Burrell  And everyone loves black gospel. And once a month [in a more contemporary service, whatever frequency works in your situation], a truly powerful traditional anthem can reach people who never thought they liked that sort of thing… IF it is really done well!  Anything a choir cannot do well, they shouldn’t be doing in worship.  I’m speaking of adult choirs here; I don’t think anyone expects youth choirs to always be wonderful.  (Editor’s note:  Hopefully, most congregations will extend a lot of grace to student choirs who are just learning how to contribute as worship leaders and to sing in a choir, giving the youth an opportunity to grow through the experience.)

Note:  To further clarify the point about the necessity of only sharing with the congregation that which can be performed with excellence… whatever the genre may be, Greg offers this example (paraphrased here):
“If the director loves “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place” and wants to show his congregation “what real music is”, then takes that song [choral anthem] into the worship service and it is only mediocre, he has only hurt his cause, not helped it.  However, if he has time in [choir] rehearsal to play with “How Lovely…” and give his choir the great experience of getting to know the song, the investment of time can be valid, even if the song never makes it to the service.”

(Thank you for the feedback and for your permission to add it to the article, Greg.) 

12.  EXTENDING YOUR WORSHIP MINISTRY INTO THE COMMUNITY

FINALLY, take your choral worship ministry (and other worship ministry groups) outside the walls of the church and into the community and beyond as frequently as possible.  Contact the facility and find out who to speak with about your group.  Possible locations for ministry include:  your State Capitol (optain permission through your Representative), nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehab and long term care facilities (some do regular worship services, and some allow groups to come at other times), juvenile detention facilities, local arts festivals, a shelter or non-profit, a mall or shopping center (with permission – make sure that they will turn off their Muzak), a community or county-wide national day of prayer or patriotic observance, resorts or public entertainment venues (permission must be obtained, and some only permit outside concerts).  Make sure that your music is appropriate for the setting.  Performance is less important than ministry (by far!).  Your choir might sing an anthem or two at the nursing home and then join residents in singing some favorite hymn tunes.

1.  Make sure that the group which will be ministering off-site is well-prepared (confident that they know the music). aware of what to wear and what to bring, and aware of any rules for visitors to the location.

2.  Make a pre-trip to the site so that you can see any logistical or space challenges and then prepare accordingly (bring needed equipment, sing without risers in a room with a low ceiling, etc.).  Make sure that your group is physically able to meet the logistical challenges (bring a cart to help transport equipment, scout the equipment loading entrance and a drop off point for your group).  Make sure there are adequate restroom facilities and that the trip to and from the venue is well-planned, allowing necessary stops for a meal or break at sensible times.

3.  Build some time into your ministry schedule for relating to the people who have listened to your group.   Help with a non-musical ministry task when possible.

4.  Get creative and think of ways to minister in your own community and beyond.  Make this a matter of prayer for everyone on your worship team.

And serve them with all your soul in love, as unto our Lord and not as unto men.
~ Ephesians 6:7  (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

An important note about doing choral anthems with select singers on mics:
A comment was posted on a facebook link to this post which went something like this, “Don’t have the choir’s sound covered up by a few elite singers on individual mics!” 
For so many of us who are choral purists, this is a really tough pill to swallow.  However, we do need to keep in mind that a lot of Directors and Worship Ministers are doing what they have to do in order to allow their choirs to survive.  Given the mandate, “contemporize or die”, most of us would choose a praise team on mics in front of the choir rather than the alternative of choral extinction.  Hopefully, there are many situations out there where this mandate has not yet been spoken.  For directors, my advice would be to choose to contemporize (at a pace and to an extent and frequency that suits your situation, tech capabilities, and musicians) and earnestly seek to speak to the hearts of all generations on your own… before the mandate comes down (perhaps avoiding the mandate altogether).  In addition, my Minister of Worship hubby mentioned that sometimes the reason for having a few singers on mics is to addresss balance issues, especially when there is an orchestra in addition to accompanists and rhythm section.

The Trinity Worship Choir from Trinity Church (Assembly of God), Cedar Hill, TX, Minister of Worship Jeff Sparkman

The Trinity Worship Choir from Trinity Church (Assembly of God), Cedar Hill, TX, Minister of Worship Jeff Sparkman

GENERAL NEEDS:

1.  Make sure that there is a time and a place for worship ministry rehearsal and preparation.  Your worship ministry team will be as flexible as possible, but they do need some consideration.

2.  Make sure that there is an adequate budget for worship ministry.  There are ways to manage a worship ministry as frugally as possible, but the basic needs should be met.

3.  Make sure that there is child care for rehearsals.  If you want to encourage participation in worship ministry, this is a key priority.

4.  Listen and act (as soon as possible!) when your Worship Pastor or Choir Director says that some equipment is seriously outdated and in need of replacement.

The Prestonwood Baptist Church Worship Choir, Plano, TX, directed by Worship Pastor Todd Bell

The Prestonwood Baptist Church Worship Choir, Plano, TX, directed by Worship Pastor Todd Bell

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”  ~ Colossians 1:10

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
~ Romans 12:1 – 2

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This post was written by Cynthia Boyd, with a great deal of input from Travis L. Boyd

NOTE:  This post is a work in progress.  Travis has contibuted to the content, but there is more work to be done.  Specifically, I am going to have him refine the section on what Worship Pastors / Choir Directors can do and perhaps provide some additional guidance regarding practical matters such as song and anthem selection.  In addition, we are open to the thoughts and ideas of others on this topic.  Please let us know if there’s anything we failed to address in this article.

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Worship Links has posted a link and recommendation for this blog post, “How to Keep Church Choirs from Becoming Extinct”, with brief commentary.

http://www.worshiplinks.us/2014/02/saving-choir/

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Travis L. Boyd

Worship Pastor and Composer Travis L. Boyd

OUR MUSIC

Here’s a link to our listening page for music by Travis L. Boyd of Worship Sounds Music. 
You’ll hear publisher’s studio demos (from Lorenz, Shawnee Press / Hal Leonard, and Church Street), custom recordings, and our own demos for music that is offered only on WorshipSounds.com

https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/listen-to-my-music/

Click this image to go to the Adult Choir tab on the General Usage Anthems page of our Worship Sounds Music website.

Click this image to go to the General Usage Anthems page of our Worship Sounds Music website.

Here’s a link to our Worship Sounds Music website, where you will find downloadable Choral Anthems, Anthem Orchestrations, Vocal Solos, Worship Paks for our Congregational Worship Music, and Accompaniment Trax for both Anthems and Solos.  All of our music is designed to be practical for worship ministry, Biblically sound, musically memorable, lyrically meaningful, and very affordable.

http://www.worshipsounds.com

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*  ADDENDUM  * 

Help for teaching and learning about Worship
For  Worship Pastors, Pastors, and Ministerial Staff
Worship Team Members, and Church Members

KEY QUESTION:

* What should every Minister or Worship Team member (and every Christian) know and understand about worship? *

Here is an excerpt from our post called “Understanding Worship”:

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“So many people seem to think that worship is a 25 minute time of singing just before the preaching begins in a congregational worship service. Others have actually been told that the purpose of congregational worship is to “prepare the hearts of the people to receive the message from God’s word” (preaching).

However, in reality, worship is worship! It is not preparation for anything… except Heaven!

While it is certainly true that God can use any part of a worship service to speak to hearts and to draw people to Himself, and while it’s also true that He can continue to speak through the remainder of the service, that is the work of God’s spirit. He will use whatever and whomever He chooses to use. If we are lifting up Jesus in worship, the Lord will do the drawing of people unto Himself. Remember that we are to give God glory through the way that we live all of our lives, so times of corporate worship should certainly not be the only times that God can use our witness and our surrender for His glory and for our good. However, we are not worshipping God because of what He will do. We are worshipping Him for who He is. His deeds are an expression of His being, but it is who He is that matters most.

Worship is our response to recognizing God’s ultimate worth.

The goal of worship is to give God glory!

We do not worship God in order to prepare for something else or to obtain His favor. He gives His love and His favor freely because that is who He is. He is a loving and giving God… constantly giving life, mercy, love, grace, and our very breath through His sustaining power.

Yes, when we sing praises to God wholeheartedly, that is worship. We are reverently giving to God our praise, our thanks, our prayers, our lives, and our songs.

The preaching of God’s word is worship, too, when it brings God glory!
We worship through the proclamation of the word.

Unfortunately, many people have very wrong ideas about what worship is and how the concept of worship should fit into the everyday life of every Christian.

The primary focus for every Christian should be to relate to our holy God and worship Him, and yet we are woefully under-educated about how to do the very thing for which we were created and for which the church meets together every week. What day should we worship? Every day… not just on Sunday.

In a corporate worship service and in the way that we live our daily lives, our focus should be on worshipping God and giving Him glory. We choose to live our lives in thankfulness and in the awareness of God’s supremacy over everything, constantly seeking to give our best effort in every moment of our lives so that we may bring glory to Him. He is always giving, and we join Him in giving when we live our lives in an attitude of worship. Even as we give, He continues to give His spirit through us so that we can do all things through Christ. He blesses us with assurance and peace in His presence. He never stops giving.

However, when we view God only through the lens of our own lives, what we want Him to do for us, and the blessings we seek, then our focus becomes all about us.

We become more concerned about what we get out of worship and not concerned at all about what we give!

The Bible tells us repeatedly to give God honor, glory, blessing, praise, worship, exaltation, joyful singing, thanksgiving, reverence, awe, and all that we are. Just as He is constantly giving, we seek to give.

THIS IS THE KEY:

Worship (our response to our holy, almighty, and supreme God) is about giving!

It is not about us, or about our preferences, or about what we get out of the experience (although true worship does give back abundant blessings when we give Him the glory due His name!).

Worship is about seeing God for who He is…
the Creator of everything that is,
the Sustainer of Life,
the Holy and Righteous One,
the God of grace and glory,
the Merciful Father who sacrificed His one and only Son out of love for us!

Our response, then, becomes an effort to GIVE all that we are to Him, seeking to bring Him glory in all of life.

“Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘ Psalm 96:6 – 9

That is worship… worship as a lifestyle or way of life, seeking to bring God glory through giving Him all that we are… even our hurts and scars.

That’s what Jesus did and how He lived. He lived to bring glory to God through giving every moment as a sacrificial offering to His father, choosing obedience and God’s will over His own.

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You, since You have given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
I glorified Thee on earth, having accomplished the work which You gave me to do ;
and now, Father, glorify me in Your own presence with the glory which I had with You before the world was made.”” ~ John 17:1 – 5

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(The teaching on worship above is from “Understanding Worship” on the Worship Sounds Music blog)

If you disagree with the teaching that the act and the heart attitude of worship is one of seeking to glorify God as a result of recognizing who He is, giving Him all that we are, please read some of our other articles such as  “A Lifestyle of Worship”. It’s relatively short and is a static page. You will find the title above the header photo (mountain scene) on our blog. The title is a clickable link to the page.  In addition, read “Worship… It’s all about Giving!” and “The Missing Piece… ”  (see info and links below).

Would you like to read some of our other articles on Choral Worship and on worship in general?

Here are some links for you:

1. “The missing piece…What Every Christian Should Know About Worship”
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/the-missing-piece-what-every-christian-should-know-about-worship/

2. “31 Days of Praise (Scripture Devotions)
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/31-days-of-praise/
This post has been recommended on Worship Links @   http://www.worshiplinks.us/2013/09/devotions-praise/

3. “Walking in Worship”
Note:
This article has also been published in the online magazine, “ChurchMag” with its original title
http://churchm.ag/walking-in-worship/
and on churchleaders.com , using the title, “What Worship REALLY Means”  @
http://www.churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/163955-cynthia-boyd-worship-really-means.html
* found on this blog @ https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/walking-in-worship/

OUR OTHER POSTS ABOUT WORSHIP: (Our pages, like the one on Lifestyle Worship, have titles that are always visible on the blog header.  Our posts are categorized, and all of the posts on worship can be found in our category called “Worship…with Wonder!” (and the sub-categories in that topic).  Here are links to 7 of our most widely read posts about worship.

Music is a gift…Worship the Giver!
This article was also published by TheWorshipCommunity.com @  http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/music-is-a-gift-worship-the-giver/

Worship Planning and Preparation

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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The Choir in Praise

 Sing praise to the Lord  sunrise“Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.”   Psalm 30:4

As Choir members (soloists, vocalists in ensembles or Praise Teams), we are in a position of leadership in Worship Ministry every time that we are in the loft or on the platform. 

Sing praises with understandingWe need to have a clear understanding of praise and worship in order to both personally worship the Lord and to lead others in worship.  First, we must understand the difference between praise and worship.

Consider this fact:  the Bible speaks about praise and worship in distinctive ways, sometimes using both words in the same passage of scripture.

*  “O Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.”   Psalm 51:15

*  “Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; give to Him glorious praise!”   Psalm 66:1

I will sing praise*  “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”   Psalm 69:30

*  “Praise ye the Lord; O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever.  Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?  Who can show forth all His praise?”   Psalm 106:1 & 2

In the verses above, certain facts about praise begin to emerge.

1.  Praise is outward.  It is sung or spoken; it is uttered; it is shown forth.

2.  Praise focuses on the attributes of God and what He has done.

3.  Praise is obviously important, for we are told repeatedly to do it.

Now, lets look at some verses that talk about worship.

*  “Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘   Psalm 96:6 – 9

*  (Jesus speaking)  “The hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to worship Him.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23 & 24

Worship the Lord with gladness*  “I appeal to you therfore, brethren, by the mercies of God , to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

*  “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28

From these scriptures, we see several truths about worship.

1.  Worship is our response to who God is and what He has done, as we lovingly and reverently choose to acknowledge God’s supremacy over all of Creation and his ultimate worth as Creator, Sustainer, Savior, Comforter, and the Author and Finisher of our faith.

2.  Worship must be done in honesty, knowing that God sees our hearts.  We worship Him truthfully as we come to Him in a spirit of humility and acknowledge our own faults and even our struggles with faith and doubt.  Truthful worship honors God because we are trusting our weaknesses to Him, knowing that He is good.

Worship by giving God all of you3.  Worship that is acceptable and holy to God involves a commitment of all our our lives, choosing to live in a way that honors God and give Him glory.  He has sacrificed His all for us; and we, in turn, become living sacrifices to Him as we commit ourselves to living reverently.  Notice that the physical (presenting of our bodies and our lives as an offering to the Lord) becomes spiritual (our spiritual worship) as we respond to God’s mercies by lovingly giving ourselves.

4.  No matter what has happened in our lives, true worship involves choosing gratitude to God as we recognize that what is temporary is only part of reality.   We look forward in faith, with the assurance that the eternal reality we will someday experience in full will replace all sorrow and pain with joy and the complete knowledge of how much we are loved.

With the fundamental understanding that praise is choosing to express our acknowledgement of who God is and what He has done and that worship is our loving and reverent response to God’s goodness and love in every area of our lives, let us continue to focus on the role of God’s singers in praise and worship.  Although we are always concerned with musical excellence, that concern is secondary to the intentional commitment of our voices in praise and our hearts and lives in worship.

“As a worship pastor and a choir leader, I am constantly desiring to walk the line where authenticity and excellence meet, ministering deeply to the hearts of people, and, more importantly to the heart of God.”

–  Travis Cottrell, Christian Artist, worship pastor, songwriter

Let’s look at a Psalm that puts our lives and God’s supremacy into perspective.

Psalm 103

English Standard Version (ESV)

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

A Psalm of David.

Bless the Lord O my soul103 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me,  bless his holy name!  2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits;  3   who forgives all your iniquity,  who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit,  who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame;  He remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;  he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,  and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 22 Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

So, WHY DO WE PRAISE THE LORD?

I sing praise to You1) Because the very greatness of God demands it.

2) Because we have been very blessed.

3) Because it helps us to focus on God and not on ourselves.

4) Because praise helps to prepare our hearts for God to do a work in them.

WHY DO WE SING PRAISES TO GOD AS A CHOIR?

1) Because it is Biblical.

2) Because it is a powerful way to express praise to God

3) Because it adds energy and life to the times of focused, congregational worship

4) Because a choir is able to prepare expressions of praise that a congregation can not.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER WHEN SINGING IN CHOIR?

1)  We are a singing group, not a group of singers.  We are joining our voices together in praise, with the ultimate goal of bringing glory to God.

What a difference!  This choir is aware that part of communicating the message effectively is eye contact and facial expression.  They are visually engaged in worship when they sing.

This choir is aware that part of communicating the message effectively is eye contact and facial expression. They are visually engaged in worship when they sing.

2)  We must do all we can do to help further an atmosphere conducive to leading God’s people in worship each week.

a. We must have invested the time to be prepared (musically and spiritually).

b. We must be ready to serve the Lord through worship ministry, bringing a servant’s attitude.

c. Our countenance (facial expression and radiance) should be a reflection of worship and praise as well.

d. We must be authentic worshippers who seek to live a lifestyle of worship throughout the week.

3)  The reason that we have come together is not to sing.  It is to worship.  Singing is a part of our worship as we seek to bring glory to God and to express our praise to Him, but the heart of worship is our desire to intentionally express God’s ultimate worth through all that we are.

WORSHIP SCRIPTURES

“But I, through the abundance of Your steadfast love, will enter Your house, I will worship toward Your holy temple in reverence, and awe of You.”  Psalm 5:7

“Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool; for He is Holy.”   Psalm 99:5

beauty of holiness“Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘   Psalm 96:6 – 9

“And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.”‘  Luke 4:7

(Jesus speaking)  “The hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to worship Him.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23 & 24

“I appeal to you therfore, brethren, by the mercies of God , to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28

“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and wonderful are Thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!  Just and true are Thy ways, O King of the ages!  Who shall not fear and glorify Thy name, O Lord?  For Thou alone art Holy.  All nations shall come and worship Thee, for Thy judgements have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:3 & 4

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The above post includes teaching about worship and praise shared with our Adult Choir by Travis L. Boyd

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FOR FURTHER STUDY ON WORSHIP AND PRAISE

(Below, you will find information about praise and worship from a leadership course about what it means to praise God and what it means to worship God.  The information has been slightly and condensed and edited.)   The web address for the resource found below is http://leresources.com/praise_and_worship.html

Praise and worship are distinct, yet closely related activities. 

A.  Praise is an outward expression of your love for God.  It is a natural and very important part of worship, which is our loving response to the presence of God in our lives.

1.   Praise is a choice.  You can choose to express your love for God at any time, and in any situation.  You can praise Him for who He is, for what He has done, and for what He has promised to do.

2.   Your praise can be addressed directly to God, but it is often directed to others around us, proclaiming His greatness and encouraging others to praise Him.  Praise can even be directed to the spiritual forces in the heavenlies, proclaiming the greatness of the true God.

3.  Though God certainly knows when we are in an attitude of praise and hears the praises of our hearts, we must remember that, by definition, praise must be expressed.  If you have thought about something nice regarding someone you know but have not expressed those thoughts verbally, you have not praised him or her.  Within gatherings such as the congregation and within relationships, praise is expressed by voicing our love and admiration, often specifically mentioning the attributes or actions of the person being praised.  Praise can be written, spoken or sung; but it must be expressed.

4.  When you praise God, He will respond by manifesting His presence to you.  When you experience God’s presence, you are able to respond directly to Him, and tell Him how much you love Him.  That response is called worship.  In worship, you experience intimacy with God, and express your adoration to Him.

B.   Praise is the gateway through which we must pass to enter into the presence of God and worship Him. 

1.  Praise and worship are the activities of heaven and are also very important for the Body of Christ on Earth.

2.  If you do not learn to praise God as He wants to be praised, you will fail to experience His presence, and your worship will be lacking.

3.  You were created to praise and worship God.  (See Romans 12:1)  When you give yourself to the activity of praise and worship, you are fulfilling the purpose for which you are made.  Because of this, the praise and worship of God brings a fulfillment and satisfaction that nothing else in the universe can bring.             

C.  It pleases God when we praise Him.

1.   The Psalms tell us that God comes and manifests His presence in our midst when we praise Him. He inhabits the praises of His people!

2.   The importance that God places on praise is revealed by the frequency of scriptural exhortations about it.  The most frequent exhortation in all of the Bible is to PRAISE THE LORD!  (It is also interesting to note that the longest book in the Bible is the book of Psalms — a book of praise songs!)

D.  It is important to God how you praise and worship Him. 

1.  The example of the tabernacle of Moses in the Old Testament shows us that God has the right to be praised and worshipped as HE desires.  When the people chose to disregard His instructions and follow their own ideas and traditions, He was displeased!

2.   If we are to praise and worship God, we must look to His Word to understand how He desires to be praised and worshipped.  We must allow God to instruct us about how we are to offer up our praise and commit to doing so!

What is Praise?

A    Remember the definition of praise:  Biblical praise is the free expression of love and appreciation to God.

1.    It is important that you love God.  Jesus said that the greatest commandment is that you love the Lord your God.  It is also important, however, for that love to be expressed outwardly.

2 .   A husband and wife may love each other; but if that love is never expressed, if there are no loving words or actions exchanged, their relationship is not good.  A general principle is:  When love is not expressed, it shrivels up and dies.  When love is expressed, it grows.

3.    It is important for your love of God to be expressed outwardly.  That outward expression of your love for Him is PRAISE.

B.  How can we express our love for God in a way that pleases Him?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” — Mk 12:30

1.  We must open our hearts to God and not attempt to withhold any part of our lives and hearts from Him.  He knows all about us, anyway.

2.  Because we are emotional beings, we must not suppress genuine emotion in expressing our praise.

3.  Praise must come from our innermost being (our soul), which involves choosing to surrender our will.  The decision to praise is a decision of the will.

4.  Even though we are emotional beings, our decision to praise the Lord must not be based upon feelings or circumstances.  In the Psalms, we can see that David spoke to his soul even in the midst of despair and commanded it, “Praise the Lord, O my soul!”   David made a decision, an act of the will, that he would praise the Lord even if he did not feel like it.  Psalm 146 says, “I will praise the Lord all my life, I will sing praise to Him as long as I live!”  That is a choice!  Very often, the times when we do not feel like praising are the very times we need to praise God most.  We need to decide to praise Him because He is worthy of praise, even when we do not feel like it!  When we make that choice, we are expressing love for God from our very souls.

5.   Our minds must be fixed upon God, and our praise must be more than simple repetition.  This involves our intellect.  This is important!  Some people express praise to God that has no meaning.  They just say, over and over, “Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.”  God wants your love to be expressed with your minds.  To praise God deeply, you need to express a real understanding of who God is.

4    Our strength is also to be employed in expressing our love for God through praise.  Praise involves physical activity.  The Bible talks of David “praising God with all of his might.” (2 Sam 6:14).  That is expressing love with your strength.

C.   Why is Praise Important?

Eph 1:6,12,14 and 1 Pet 2:9 state that one of God’s purposes for saving us is to be a people who would show forth His praises in the earth.

1.  Praise aligns our hearts to God. 

2.  Praise opens our hearts to receive from Him.

3.  Praise clears away distractions.  Only when we choose to focus on praising the Lord can we clear our minds of other concerns.

4.  Praise builds faith.  As we choose to focus on praising God rather than upon our problems, faith rises within us.

5.  Praise brings His presence.  When we truly praise God, His presence is manifested in your midst, often in a very tangible way.  We know that God is present everywhere, at all times and that there is nothing that is out of His control (His omipresence).  We also know that, for every person who is a true believer in Jesus Christ, God lives within that individual in a special way.  (When you trusted in Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit of God took up residence in your heart.  He is always with you to comfort, to enlighten, and to teach you as you read His Word.  You may not feel His presence, but by faith you can know that He is there.  This is God’s indwelling presence.)  What the Bible speaks of when scripture says that God inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3) is His manifest presence.

a)   God’s presence is manifest when He chooses to make His presence known.  It is when He makes Himself tangible to you.  You experience Him and enter into a spiritual intimacy with Him.  This is also when His power is revealed.  (Power is an outflow of communion with Him.)

b)   When we experience the manifest presence of God, He is there to heal, to comfort, to energize His gifts, or to manifest His power.  If you want to experience God’s presence, and see God work in power in your life, the solution is to learn to praise Him.

6.   Praise defeats the enemy.  See Psalm 149:   The first six verses give us a beautiful description of praise, but in verse 7 and following, it changes to a description of warfare.   There are times when you know you are under attack.  Everything seems to go wrong.  Many times, it is just after you have made a step forward in your spiritual life.  Sometimes it is when you are just getting ready to begin a new area of ministrWhat do you do when the enemy attacks?  One solution is to praise God.

How is Praise Expressed?

In the Old Testament, there are seven Hebrew words used for praise.  Each one of these describes a specific way of expressing your love to God.

A.   The Physical Expression of Praise.

1.  Yadah and Towdah (to praise with lifted hands).

a)   The first two words for praise are very similar in meaning.  They are Yadah and Towdah.  They both come from the Hebrew word that means “to extend the hand”.  These two describe an expression of praise by extending the hands upward to God in adoration.

b)  Yadah” is the most frequently used word for praise in the Bible.  Most of the exhortations to praise use this word.

c)   The lifting of hands is an outward expression of love, dependency, submission, and appreciation.

d)   When you raise your hands to God, it tells your mind that you are dealing with someone greater than you are.

2.   Barak (To bend the knee in praise, to bow down before).

a)   Barak” describes an expression of praise that uses not just the hands, but the whole body.  It is the expression of praise by kneeling or bowing down to God.

b)   When we bow down before God, we are acknowledging Him as our Lord, the King of the universe.  It is very appropriate to express our praise to Him in this way.

c)   Your bodies were designed by God to be instruments to express His praise.  It is valid to stand, kneel, lift your hands, or fall down on your face before Him.  God wants you to be free to express your praise to him with your bodies.

B.  The Musical Expression of Praise.

Music is spiritually significant for a number of reasons.  Music makes you sensitive to hear God (2 Kings 3:14-16), it communicates spiritual truth (Col 3:16), and (if played under the anointing of God) it can drive away spiritual enemies (1 Sam 16:14-23).

1.   Zamar (to praise God with a musical instrument).

a)   Zamar comes from a root word that means “to pluck strings of a musical instrument.”  This word is used in several passages, including Psalm 135:3 and Psalm 147:7.  (This is the Hebrew word we get the word “Psalms” from.  The Psalms were songs to be sung together with instruments.)

b)   The Bible indicates that the instrumental part of the music is important.  Psalm 150 exhorts us to praise God on string, wind, and percussion instruments.  The Israelites used all the instruments they had as instruments for praising God.

2.  Tehillah (to express praise in song).

a)  The word “tehillah comes from a root word that means “to sing.”

b)   It is used in such passages as Psalm 34:1-2.  “His praise (tehillah) shall continually be in my mouth” and Psalm 100:4, “Enter His courts with praise (tehillah).”

c)  Not all singing is praise, even if you are singing hymns or praise songs.  Singing songs of praise becomes praise when you are singing to the Lord as an expression of love to Him.

d)   In Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16, Paul describes three categories of songs to sing to the Lord.

       Psalms – The Psalms are Biblical songs.  Even though we do not know the original tunes to the Psalms, we can take the words of the Psalms and set them to music and sing these inspired songs to God.

       Hymns – Hymns are songs of praise to God that are not part of the Bible.  The modern expressions of praise we sing today, as well as the hymns written through the history of the church, would all be included in the category of hymns.

       Spiritual Songs – Spiritual songs are songs given by the Spirit, for a particular moment.  They are a spontaneous expression of love for God.  There are two categories of spiritual songs:

C.   The Free Expression of Joy

Sometimes God wants you to be deep and thoughtful in your expression of love, but at other times the love inside of you wants to burst forth in free expression.  There are times when you want to shout it from the rooftops!  There are two words that describe this kind of praise:

1.    Halal (to celebrate)

a)    halal” is a Hebrew word that means to celebrate. 

b)   Halal means to express your love for God by joyously and freely celebrating before Him.

c)   Biblical descriptions of Halal involve clapping hands, dancing, shouting, and rejoicing before the Lord.  This word is used in such passages as Psalm 47:1-6 and Psalm 150.

d)  It is from the word “halal” that we get the word “hallelujah”.  (Hallelujah is an exhortation to have a halal for Yahweh).

In 2nd Samuel 6, when the ark was brought into Jerusalem, David took off his robe and danced before the Lord.  (That was halal.)  His wife, Michal, watched David dance and despised him for it.  When he returned, she criticized him and accused him of making a fool of himself by dancing before the Lord.

David responded to Michal by saying that it was all right to look foolish for God.  He told her that he would continue to be foolish for God, because everything he had was given to him by God.

The passage concludes by mentioning God’s judgment on Michal for criticizing David’s dancing.  Because she despised David’s joyful praise, God made Michal barren for the rest of her life.  The lesson here is to be careful of criticizing other people’s praise.

2.  Shabach (to shout).

a)  Shabach” means to praise in a loud tone, to shout, or to shout in triumph.  It is used in such passages as Ps 117:1 and Ps 147:12.  This form of praise is common in the Bible.

b)  In Nehemiah, the people rejoiced before the Lord; and the noise of their celebration was so loud that it could be heard a long way off.  They were shouting before the Lord.

c)   Rev 19:1, 4-6:  In this description of heavenly praise, the roar of all the heavenly hosts shouting their praises is so loud that it sounds like thunder.

If your praise is weak, your worship will be shallow.  If you enter into the high praises of God and praise Him with all of your might, you will find that your high praise will be followed by a time of deep worship.

Note:  The worship resource above, copied and edited here, can be found in its entirety at http://leresources.com/praise_and_worship.html

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More about praise from http://www.allaboutprayer.org/how-to-praise-and-worship-god-faq.htm

When we worship, we are expressing our reverent love and devotion to God. Worship is the act of doing something like reading the Bible, praying, or singing. However, worship is not limited to only to these things. When we praise, we are expressing our admiration for God; we are lifting Him up in exaltation. Praise is the act of celebrating or boasting about the Lord. Praise can be done through song, poems, or confessing the goodness of God to others. We should be giving God our praise and worship through our daily lives. We can do this at home, in our work place, on the bus – wherever we are! Praise and worship is a way of life, the very heartbeat of our relationship with God.

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Praise To God – The Importance of Praise

Praise to God is what we offer in acknowledgement of God’s excellent being. You might think that praise is the same as saying “thank you,” but there is a difference. Thanksgiving describes our attitude toward what God has done, while praise is offered for who God is. Psalm 18:3 says “I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise…”

All believers are commanded to praise God! In fact, Isaiah 43:21 explains that praise is one reason we were created, “This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.” Hebrews 13:15 confirms this: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

Praise originates in a heart full of love toward God. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Are you a Christian today? If so, you know that you love God because He first loved you! Without God’s love, any praise you can offer is hollow. Love, born from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, is an essential part of your praise.

Praise To God – How to Praise God

How can you bring praise to God? What can you do to make it an integral part of your life? Praise can be expressed in song, in verse, or in prayer and it is to be done continuously! Psalm 34:1 instructs, “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 71:6 says, “From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.”

Praise to God is expressed outwardly through our everyday actions, as well as inwardly in our thoughts. Praise is an act of Christian worship.

“Where do I begin?” you may ask. “How do I start praising God?” If praising God is new to you, try praising God for who He is to you, personally. Proclaim that God’s goodness is without measure; it is abundant and overflowing! Here are some ways to get started:

• Praise God for His holiness, mercy, and justice (2 Chronicles 20:21, Psalm 99:3-4).

• Praise God for His grace (Ephesians 1:6).

• Praise Him for His goodness (Psalm 135:3).

• Praise God for His kindness (Psalm 117).

• Praise God for His salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Praise to God can be offered anywhere! In time, it will become as normal as taking a breath. Sometimes we praise God inwardly as in Psalm 9:2, “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” Other times we have opportunity to give glory and praise to our God publicly. Psalm 22:22 says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.” Search out opportunities to bring praise to God!

Praise To God – Who Praises God?

Praise to God, while offered particularly by His children as the freewill expression of grateful hearts, will one day be offered by everyone! The Bible says that when He comes again, all mankind will praise Him and acknowledge Him as Lord. He is King over all the earth. When we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, our hearts long to praise His name. Philippians 2:9-11 tells us His name represents His being, describing who He is, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The Bible also records:

• All nature praises God (Psalm 148:7-10).

• The sun, moon, and stars praise Him (Psalm 19:1 and 148:3).

• The angels praise Him (Psalm 148:2).

• Even the wrath of men is used by God to praise Himself (Psalm 76:10).

• Children are to be taught to praise God (Psalm 78:4).

Praise To God – Do You Proclaim His Praise?

Your praise to God is evidenced through your salvation. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

NOTE:  The above can be found at http://www.allaboutprayer.org/how-to-praise-and-worship-god-faq.htm

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Read more!

The book “God’s Singers”, by Dave Williamson, is a great resource for Worship Leaders and Choir Directors.  Singers would enjoy the special Singer’s edition of the book.  Here  is a review of the book, from Worship Leader online magazine.

God’s Singers

By | Categories: In Review
Author: Warren Anderson
Every so often a worship music book is published that becomes recognizable as the definitive, go-to reference for its particular genre in its particular generation.  In our time, if you wish to talk about the history of music in the Church, go to Paul Westermeyer’s Te Deum.  If building a case for congregational song is your desire, your first stop should be John Bell’s A Case for Congregational Song.  Want a grad-school-level analysis of how contemporary worship music is used these days?  The Message in the Music (Robert Woods and Brian Walrath) is your best bet.Dave Williamson’s God Singers joins these other must-haves where the specific subject of worship-leading choirs is concerned.  Every possible topic that should be covered in a book of this nature is here.  Biblical support for the use of choirs in worship?  Check.  Lots and lots of practical how-to’s for getting the best sound out of your singers?  Got it.  Sociological discussions of issues inherent in corporate ministry, even ones peculiar to choral singing?  Yep.  Stylistic techniques for transforming your choristers into a black-gospel choir, a rock choir, or a modern-worship choir—i.e., what to do with vibrato, vocal licks, and syncopation?  They’re here.  Helpful appendices from Williamson’s 40 years in the biz?  Nine of them.  Consider purchasing the (condensed) singer’s edition for your choir members and the (expanded) director’s edition, which includes a CD-ROM of ancillaries, for yourself.  Highly recommended. Title: God’s Singers Author: Dave Williamson Publisher: In:cite Media
Here’s a link to the Singer’s Edition of the book on ChristianBook.com:  http://www.christianbook.com/gods-singers-singers-edition-dave-willimason/9780615406312/pd/406312
NOTE:  The quotation by Travis Cottrell found in this blog post came from his online recommendation for this book.
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Why I Love to Sing in the Choir

I have always loved music, and I love to sing; but the reasons that I love to sing in my church choir are are so much deeper than that.  Here are the top ten reasons why I love to sing in the choir at my church:

MY  TOP  TEN  REASONS
FOR  JOYFULLY  SINGING  IN  THE  CHURCH  CHOIR

choir smiling1.  Singing in my church choir gives me an opportunity to express my love for the Lord.

I am so thankful for God’s love and mercy and for the sacrificial life and death of Jesus and the victory of His resurrection.  How else could I express the profound spiritual understanding of the goodness of God that goes beyond words and is only revealed in my heart through the work of God’s Holy Spirit?  Someimes, within the congregation, it is only through musical praise that I feel I have done all that I can do, with God’s help, to share the message of God’s salvation and His incredible love for me and for all of mankind.  

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people.  Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him; talk of all His wondrous works.  Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”   Psalm 105:1 – 3 sing a new song to the Lord

2.  Singing in my church choir is more than a hobby or an activity.  It is a calling.

What an incredible privilege it is to know that God has allowed me to have the ability to participate in something that brings Him glory as those who love the Lord assemble together for worship!  He has made each of us with particular gifts and talents.  I believe that the calling to minister through these gifts is what gives faithful choir members the passion to continue their service and to strive for excellence in expressing their praise to the Lord.

There is a lot of  * JOY  * in fulfilling your calling and in giving praise to the Lord, who has given us everything we’ve ever had and all that we ever will have!

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!  I will sing and make melody!  Awake, my soul!  Awake, O harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn!  I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, I will sing praises to You among the nations.  For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let Your glory be over all the earth.”  Psalm 108:1 – 5

Lift up His name!

Lift up His name!

3.  Singing in my church choir allows for a type of expression of praise to the Lord that could not be accomplished in any other way.

Although I love all kinds of music and all kinds of arrangements, there are some songs, some lyrics, and some messages that just would not have the same intensity of expression if they were shared in any other way than through choral singing.  The Hallelujah Chorus is one such example.  Can you imagine it as a solo?  It just would not have the same impact.  There is something about voices joined together as a choir to share a message for God’s glory that is just a very unique means of expression.  Although Tom Fettke’s “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name” or Heather Sorenson’s “God of Heaven” would still have a beautiful melody when sung as a solo, the impact would not be as great as if a choir were singing these worshipful anthems and joining their hearts and souls to bring glory to God in a soaring or contemplative or victorious or joyous choral arrangement.

“Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to the sons of men!  And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!”   Psalm 107:21 & 22

Serve Him with gladness4.  Singing in my church choir allows me to participate in the overall ministry of leading in worship, which is a joy and a privilege.

As long as I have a voice, I want to use it to praise God.  I don’t want to miss an opportunity to use my voice and even the expression on my face to proclaim God’s goodness through all of the musical praise during congregational worship.  I realize that the choir is not just there to sing an anthem or to perform.  We are there to worship and to lead in worship.  Whether we are singing a new song or an old song, a hymn, a worship song, a choral anthem, or a musical benediction, it is a joy to share these messages of hope and faith with the people of God and to gather in God’s name for the purpose of bringing Him glory.  

“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.”   Psalm 107:31 & 32 Sing to the Lord a new song all the earth

5.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has given me many opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ in many settings, throughout my home country and in other countries as well.

Whether a choir is singing in an outdoor setting, a shopping mall, a small church, a prison, a nursing home or assisted living center, a juvenile detention center, a community center, a state capitol building, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D. C., or in a great concert hall in Australia or a public school in Russia, the opportunity to bring glory to God and to share the message of His love and mercy is a blessing and an incredibly humbling miracle of God’s grace!  If God had not saved a wretch like me, I would have no message to share anywhere!  

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good:  His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”   Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

Psalm 107:8

Psalm 107:8

6.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has implanted incredibly profound messages within my heart and soul through the lyrics of the songs that I have been able to sing.

I have been incredibly blessed to invest time in learning these wonderful words and then have had the blessing of remembering them so often as the Lord uses them to speak to my heart over and over again.  Often, the words of sacred choral anthems are either entirely scripture, based upon scripture, are paraphrases of scripture, or contain some scriptural content.  Singing them helps me to learn and to remember scripture passages and spiritual truths.  As a choir member, I am not just singing these songs once a week on Sunday morning.  Because of the work aspect that goes into preparation for sharing these messages in worship, we really live with these incredible words, and they have a deep impact in our lives.  What a joy it is to sing these messages, live these truths, and share these words of truth and hope, faith and love, blessing and victory, challenge and mercy, and ministry and grace!

“O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord all the earth.  Sing unto the Lord, bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day.  Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people.  For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.”   Psalm 96:1 – 4a Bless the Lord O my soul

7.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has allowed me to get to know so many wonderful people who love the Lord and have a heart of service.

A choir becomes a family as we serve together and care for one another.  We pray for one another.  We love each other and share God’s love with each other.  There is an incredible bond when you have worshiped and cried and smiled and laughed and worked and learned and prayed together.  I can sing a wrong note or sing in the wrong place, and my choir family just considers such things to be part of the process of learning the music and growing in faith and in musical expression together.  I have never heard anyone groan or complain about singing the same portion of a song over and over in order to get it right.  We embrace our humanity as we strive to sing beyond our own abilities in order to bring God glory.

“Blessed are those who dwell in Thy house, ever singing Thy praise!   Selah”    Psalm 84:4

8.  Singing in my church choir allows me to participate in something that is so much bigger than my self.to God all praise and glory

The spiritual and emotional and mental messages that flow out of the marriage of music and lyrics in each song become so much more meaningful as I sing with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I know something of their stories and their lives.  I know when someone is singing about God’s healing for broken hearts with deep emotion that flows from their own fountain of personal pain.  I know when someone is singing of the joy of the Lord even when they have just experienced a personal loss.  I know when the message of Christ’s victory over death has very personal meaning to one of my dear sisters or brothers.  I know when the hearts of all of us are touched with God’s mercy and when the joy is so real that I am amazed that it is not visible in the air around us.  So, not only is the sound and the arrangement something that I could never accomplish on my own.  The collective testimony of this group and the way that God is ministering to our individual hearts as we sing (and to us and through us as a choir) create an impact through the very real and heartfelt sharing of musical testimony that extends far beyond myself or any one individual.

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also.  The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”   Psalm 95:1 – 7a give God the glory

9.  I believe that singing praise to God is the closest thing to Heaven that I can experience on this earth.

What could be better than the times when I have the blessing of joining my own voice and heart with the voices and hearts of a group of people whose desire is to praise God, encourage God’s people, share the story of who God is and what He has done, tell the good news of Jesus, and bring blessing and honor and glory to God?  The Bible speaks of the singers and the musicians and of choirs.  The scriptures talk about the voice of God and how He rejoices over us with singing.  There is something special about the way that God created us to use music as a form of expression that goes far beyond words.  If is much more that the music itself.  It is about how God Himself speaks through the music and then allows us to speak to Him and about Him through the music.  

“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and wonderful are Thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!  Just and true are Thy ways, O King of the ages!  Who shall not fear and glorify Thy name, O Lord?  For Thou alone art Holy.  All nations shall come and worship Thee, for Thy judgements have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:3 & 4 Praise continually

10.  I love to sing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs because of the incredible songs that God has inspired men and women to write, which then become part of my own spiritual journey.

I believe that before a spiritual song can touch the hearts of people, God must first touch the heart of the song-writer (composer) of the song.  I believe (and know!) that every song begins with a revelation of truth from God or a new way of looking at or expressing a truth already known.  It is like experiencing my own spiritual journey as I try, then make mistakes, and then try again in rehearsal, while simultaneously experiencing the revelations that flow from the spiritual journeys of others.  I have learned so much, and my own journey has been blessed beyond words by the profound spiritual truth that I have learned through the songs I’ve been priveleged to sing with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  To me, a choir rehearsal is not just working on music.  It is a time of worship.  I have wept as my heart has been moved by the message of a song.  I have reached out to grab the hand of a friend.  I have felt my heart swell until I thought I might burst.  I have experienced joy so great that I was amazed to find my feet still on the floor.  My soul has been convicted and stirred.  My heart has been broken and mended and strengthened and challenged.  My faith has grown.  I have walked through deep valleys and enjoyed the view from some mountaintops… all while praising the Lord through the songs that he has inspired men and women to write and then to arrange for choir, for the blending and unity of hearts and minds and souls as we learn and grow and rejoice together in this lovely, human expression of the eternal and divine that we call choir.

“The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.  Then Hezekiah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar.  And when the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel.  The whole assembly worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.  When the burnt offering was finished, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshipped.  And Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer.  And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed down and worshipped.”  II Chronicles 29:26 – 30

What a blessing a joy it has been to sing in church choirs and in other choirs made up of my brothers and sisters in Christ!  I will continue to praise the Lord through choral music for as long as I have the opportunity.  I am so thankful to God for my salvation and for His presence in my life.  I cannot help but sing.

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd, with thanksgiving to God for giving me something of eternal meaning and worth to sing about, and with love and appreciation for my favorite Choral Director, Travis L. Boyd, for giving me a love song in this life.

I am also thankful for all of the wonderful choral and band directors and voice and piano teachers who have taught me so much about music and then about singing and playing music for more than the here and now.  They include:  Dr. Jon Duncan, Dr. Bill Green, Dr. Terry Segress, Eugene Beck, Steve Westmoreland, Dr. Charles Jurrens, Mrs. Betty Westomoreland, Dr. Robert Reynolds, Faye Casey, John Robinson, Steve Smith, John Casey, Dr. Charles Chapman, Dr. Merle Taff, Lillian Loe-Stoddard, Eugene Butler, Dr. Irving Bunton, Lloyd Pfautsch, Wynn Anne Hook, Ron Stanton, Eph Ely, and John Gerber, who was directing the invitation hymn when I laid down my music and left the choir loft to say “yes” to Jesus.

Sharing this post:  In order to share this blog post with your choir, congregation, or worship team, a link to this post may appear in a newsletter, bulletin, or e-mail.  In addition, reprint information is provided below (as a result of the volume of inquiries). Link to the post:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/why-i-love-to-sing-in-the-choir/

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We will stand by our words and prefer to have the opportunity to answer any inquiries about the content of the article ourselves. Let us hear from you! We would love to hear about how the Lord has used the message of this article to encourage and inspire your choir, worship team, or congregation.  If you can do a follow-up comment after sharing it, that would be a real blessing to us. Thank you so much for your interest in spreading the word about the very vital and incredible experince of being a part of a worshipping choir and worship ministry in general.  It is an indescribable blessing.

…And we all thank You, Lord, for allowing us to have a part in leading others to worship You!!”

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Here are two of my favorite choral anthems, written by my husband, Worship Minister and Composer Travis L. Boyd.

For more information about this anthem, with purchasing links, click on the title to go to our Sound Cloud page for “Jesus, My Redeemer”.  There is also a set of other Publishers’ demos on our Sound Cloud.

For more information about this anthem, with purchasing links, click on the title to go to our Sound Cloud page for “Praise God”. There is also a set of other Publishers’ demos on our Sound Cloud.

Information about additional Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Vocal Solos, and Congregational worship music by Travis L. Boyd, which can be found on our Worship Sounds Music website, is below.

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Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Find Worshipful  CHORAL  MUSIC  for your Choir at  WORSHIP  SOUNDS  MUSIC! Worship Sounds music offers downloadable Choral Anthems for Adult Choirs, Senior Adult Choirs, and Student Choirs in several voicings (SATB, SAB, SSATB, 2-Part, SSAA, and TTBB).  Many of our anthems also have Full Orchestrations available, and some also have downloadable Mp3 Accompaniment Tracks.  In addition, we offer Vocal Solos, with most available in 3 keys, Solo Accompaniment Tracks, and Congregational worship music. You can find all of this at http://www.worshipsounds.com

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend? Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/ Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Worshipful Ideas for Choir Appreciation Sunday / Music MinIstry Sunday

Click the image above to go directly to the official facebook page for National Choir Appreciation Sunday

Click the image above to go directly to the official facebook page for National Choir Appreciation Sunday

Sunday, January 20th, 2013, has been designated as the second annual National Choir Appreciation Sunday.  Since appreciation, thankfulness, and encouragement are always appropriate at every time of year, such an event is a good reminder for those who lead in Music and Worship Ministry that we need to express thankfulness publicly for the volunteers who give so much of their time and energy to participate in Choir and other Music Ministry organizations, with the purpose of using their talents to glorify and honor the Lord.

Remember that the designated date for Choir Appreciation Sunday is not the only time that you can plan an appreciation event for your choir or for all of your music ministry participants. January may not be the best month for such an event at your church. It can be difficult to come back right after Christmas and plan a large musical event within the month. So, if you want to plan an Appreciation Sunday event for your Choir(s) or for all of your Music Ministry volunteers (musicians, tech team, drama group, etc), good planning is essential. Here are some suggestions and ideas that you may want to consider or implement.

1. After you have formulated some plans in your mind and before you do any publicity, share your plans with your Pastor and at Staff Planning Meeting. Your Pastor and fellow Ministers may have some ideas that will be helpful guidance for you in selecting the best date to have such an emphasis and also some ideas about how to proceed with planning that may give a boost to your own creativity. The primary thing that you need to stress is that you want to say “thank you” to these faithful Music Ministry participants without taking the focus off of our mighty God, who is the Source of music, the Giver of gifts, and the reason we sing. Remember that you do not have to stick to the January date if that does not allow enough time for preparation right after the Christmas holidays or work well for your church, your groups, or your calendar. Flexibility is key.

2. In doing your planning to prepare for meeting with your Pastor and Ministerial Staff, pray for direction. For example, you need to determine whether to make this a Music Ministry Appreciation Sunday or whether to just make the Choir your focus. You may have other groups that you want to include in this time of thanksgiving, such as accompanists, orchestra, handbell choirs, age-group choirs (from pre-school choir to Sr. Adult Choir and everything in between), praise teams, rhythm section, tech teams, etc.

3.  If your focus is to be for all of the Music Ministry groups, you could use a “Celebration Sunday” approach, with several groups sharing messages in song or performing together, keeping the focus on worship. At some point, you could direct the attention of the congregation to the fact that God is the Source and Giver of Music and musical talents, that He sings over us, and that He has blessed your church with some incredible volunteers in Music Ministry. You could ask the congregation to join you in thanking God through prayer for the gifts that He has given and the privelege of singing (and playing) music for His glory. Applause in thanksgiving would also be appropriate, again directed at God. At the conclusion of this focus time, I would recommend a brief statement, encouraging your congregation to verbally express their thanks to the people who are involved as volunteers in Music Ministry in your church whenever possible. stating that we all need to encourage one another, and saying that verbal encouragement to anyone who serves in any capacity within the fellowship lifts the body of Christ and draws our hearts closer to one another. Then, get back to praise and worship of the One who gives us a reason to serve, to sing, to play, to teach, and to love.
Your Pastor may want to tie his message to the focus for the day, perhaps preaching about encouraging one another or about worship in general, but this is not absolutely necessary. However, your planning and communication with him gives him the opportunity to do this if he feels led in this direction.

3. Combine Choirs and include groups of all ages!  You may choose to have the Youth Choir and Senior Adult Choir join the Adult Choir in sharing a message on your special emphasis Sunday. This is the sort of thing that requires advance planning for all of the groups’ schedules as well as a little bit of extra rehearsal time, so repertore decisions and decisions about which groups to include need to take place in the early stages of planning. (Note: See our repertoire suggestions at the end of this blog poat.) At our church, these 3 groups could sing a song that our Senior Adult Choir already knows and has just shared at our statewide Senior Adult Choir Festival. In rehearsal times, invite your Senior Adult Choir and Youth Choir into the Adult Choir rehearsal to help the young people learn the song. Most churches have some very lively and fun-loving youth and Senior Adults, so this should be an energetic and enjoyable time for all. Then, plan a joint rehearsal with all three groups, along with accompanists or orchestra and rhythm section, your tech team that will be coordinating sound, lighting, and media, and any other participants such as scripture readers or banner carriers, prior to the special emphasis Sunday.

Here are some additional ideas (some that would work best for an All-inclusive Music Minstry Celebration Sunday, and several that would work well for a Choir Appreciation focus) to consider during your planning:

a. If you have worship banners that are not up in your Sanctuary or Worship Center all the time, consider using these to add to the celebration (of giving thanks for God’s gift of music and for the musical gifts within your volunteer musical groups) in your service that day. Or, you may want to use several weeks to focus on the attributes of God before the focused Celebration Sunday comes to pass. For example, if you have a banner that says, “Lamb of God,” make this your focus on a particular Sunday. Sing songs and read scripture that relate to the sacrifice of Jesus as the Lamb of God. Then, if you have another banner that says, “King of Kings,” make that your focus on another week. Save your “Jesus” or “Lord of Lords” or “Mighty God” banner for the final week of Celebration emphasis when you will express thanks for your faithful Music Ministry volunteers but primarily focus on the God who has formed them, gifted them, saved them, and called them to serve.

b. You could also have a few Music Ministry volunteers give a brief testimony, one each week, in the weeks leading up to your special emphasis Sunday. They could tell what the opportunity to serve in this way means to them and how God speaks to them through music.

c. Enter singing praises! You could begin the special service by leading a worship chorus with only your accompanists and rhythm section on the platform or in the loft area. Then have your choir come in (from the back of your Worship Center) near the end of that song or during a second, more upbeat, worship song or hymn, singing as they come down the aisles. If you involve multiple choirs, this could be especially effective; and banners that relate to worship and praise could be carried in at the front of each group. Perhaps each Adult or Senior Adult Choir member could walk beside a child from your childrens choirs, making sure that ‘their’ child winds up standing where the Childrens’ Choir is supposed to be (perhaps on risers or just in a group in front of the Youth and Adult Choirs). You could even ask the congregation to stand in worship of our mighty God and join your choirs and/or musicians in lifting praise to Him. Then, you could have an excellent trumpet player play a short but majestic fanfare just prior to the song or hymn that is used for the choir’s entrance. Fanfare guidelines: if someone else (your trumpet player, for example) chooses the fanfare that will be played, make sure he/she knows what key will work well with the hymn or chorus that is to follow, make sure that it is not a familiar fanfare (such as the well known ones used for the Olympics), and listen to it being played to give your final OK. For the choral procession, I would suggest “Worthy of Worship” as a great hymn choice or “Sing to the King” if you prefer to use a chorus.

d. If you want to have a one day focus, using all of your banners or media to focus on the attributes of God, you can use all of your banners on that one Sunday by focusing each song or scripture reading on a different attribute or name of God (having that banner carried in during the appropriate song), ending with a “Lord of Lords” or “Mighty God” banner and focus. You could even have various lay leaders help you to end the time of musical praise by having each person emphatically state the name for God or for Christ on one of your banners; and when all the names have been pronounced, say that this is why we worship Him. He is worthy of our praise.

e. You could choose to have a Choir Reunion or Music Ministry Reunion be a part of your special day. If there are former members that you could contact who live within driving distance and could join you for a special Sunday emphasis, this could be very meaningful. Be sure to give them a few weeks notice in your invitation to come. This could also serve as a reminder of the ultimate Choir reunion that will take place someday in Heaven.

f. Use your media capabilities to the fullest. Have pictures of your groups (in rehearsal, from special productions, serving in various ways on mission trips, etc.) that are shown on the screen as you speak about them or when they join together to sing (and play) a special worship song.

g. Do some research and study about the use of choirs in worship and praise (in the Bible and throughout the history of the church) so that you may be able to share some specific scriptures or brief facts during your service. (Note: See our page entitled “Lift Your Voice (worship scriptures)” for a great worship scripture reference from both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the link: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lift-your-voice/

h. Remember that this is a special day of encouragement and thankfulness for the people of God who use their talents to glorify God, and then ultimately direct all praise toward God Himself, who is always worthy of our thankfulness for every good thing.

i. You could have a special dinner after the morning worship service for your Choir(s) or for all Music Ministry volunteers (at your church or at a restaurant). This dinner could end with a prayer of commitment to continue to use our gifts in His service.

j. Attempt to keep the focus on worship of God and Jesus and off of yourself as Worship Leader, Minister, or Pastor. Worship is the privelege of every Christian, and you could even have a couple of teachable moments for your congregation (about 24/7 worship, seeking to glorify Him in all that we do) woven into the fabric of your focused worship time. To help emphasize the point that worship is so much more than just singing or hearing a song, if you use a bulletin, make sure that it utilizes specific worship headings, such as”
“Worship through contemplation” (prelude)
“Worship through proclamation” (song of proclamation of who God is, His power, what He has done…)
“Worship through giving” (tithes and offering)
“Worship through testimony” (spoken or sung)
“Worship through exhortation” (a message or song of challenge or encouragement)
“Worship through thanksgiving” (sung, spoken, or prayed)
“Worship through prayer”
“Worship through praise”
“Worship through the spoken Word” (scripture reading)
“Worship through the proclamation of the Word” (sermon)

You get the idea. All that we do is worship when done with the motivation of glorifying God.
For help with ideas for communicating a theology of lifestyle worship, see our page entitled “Lifestyle Worship” at http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lifestyle-worship/

k. Use a meaningful reading at some point, such as excerpts from David Nassar’s book, “Glory Revealed.” Begin reading on page 30, chapter 2, (titled ” Glory Revealed Through Conversation) under the bold print heading, “…every song we sing to the Lord is a duet and not a solo.” Read through the end of the chapter (slightly less than 3 pages). You will probably want to make some cuts in the text, such as the section on lullabies, for use in congregational worship; but this is a very meaningful passage that can change the outlook of individuals regarding worship for the remainder of their lives. Decide whether to have one person read this or to divide the lines up between 2 readers, and make sure this is well-prepared in order to be most effective.

SOME  REPERTOIRE  SUGGESTIONS  FOR  CHOIR  OR  MUSIC  MINISTRY  APPRECIATION SUNDAY

Here are a few suggestions for your repertoire on Choir Appreciation Sunday or Music Ministry Appreciation Sunday:

1. “Sometimes I Hear God’s Music”
lyrics by the late J. Paul Williams
music by Joseph M. Martin
(Full orchestration available for the recently updated version of this anthem.  See link below.)
If this piece is already in your library, you may want to consider re-purchasing it in the updated version released as part of the “Legacy” series honoring well-known lyricist J. Paul Williams. The arrangement has been updated by composer Joseph M. Martin, and a new orchestration has been written for this piece by Stan Pethel. This piece is now available for SSA and TTB in addition to the SATB voicing. For more information, here is a link to the publisher’s info page:
http://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.do?itemid=35020874
To listen to the updated version of “Sometimes I Hear God’s Music” in SATB voicing, with the new orchestration, use this link: http://listeninglab.stantons.com/title/sometimes-i-hear-gods-music/141068/

2. “The Music of God”
lyrics by John Parker
music by Mark Hayes
Here is a link to a performance video of “The Music of God”:  http://www.choirplace.com/videos/2781/the-music-of-god-mark-hayes-jakarta-festival-chorus
Can incorporation choirs of all ages, including children’s choir
Also published by the Harold Flammer division of Shawnee Press (now under Hal Leonard)
This piece is arranged for SATB choir (though much of the part writing is in SAB), with children’s choir, congregation, and flute obbligato. It has an excellent text and beautiful melody. It also encorporates the familiar hymn melody known as Ellacombe (“I Sing the Mighty Power of God”) for congregational singing. I could not find a listening sample in my web searches, but you can obtain a free browser copy of this anthem on Mark Hayes’ website at this link:
http://www.markhayes.com/Anthems/THE-MUSIC-OF-GOD.html

3. “Sing a Song to the Lord”
lyrics and music by Travis L. Boyd
published by Shawnee Press (see info on our websites ‘Published Music’ page at http://www.worshipsounds.com )
This is a more upbeat choral praise anthem, in SATB voicing, with a contrast in styles between the legato verses and the rhythmic chorus. Here is the Publisher’s description: “Travis Boyd is fantastic at up-tempo rhythmic pieces and this youthful expression of praise is no exception. Use as a call to worship or as an intergenerational moment incorporating youth and adult choirs. The creative transition section builds to an impressive crescendo that is very exciting to sing and hear. Exhilarating!”
To listen to this anthem, use this link: http://listeninglab.stantons.com/title/sing-a-song-to-the-lord/335710/
“Sing a Song to the Lord” is available from:
* Stanton’s (hear complete demo, price $1.75) @ http://listeninglab.stantons.com/search/?v=Travis+Boyd&t=composer&x=67&y=17
* Pine Lake (complete demo for listening, info about accompaniment track, price $1.75) at this link: http://pinelakemusic.com/Results.aspx?search=Travis% 20Boyd&toc=false
* Sheet Music Plus (with complete demo and sample pages, no mention of trax, price $1.40) at this link: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q=Travis+Boyd
* Music Mart (price 1.75, no demo) @ http://www.musicmart.com/Search.aspx?k=Travis%20Boyd
* Music 44 (price $1.75, no demo) @ http://www.music44.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Session_ID=6064E0ACEA8A57A23CE7B0B96DBF8E2A&Screen=SRCH&Store_Code=X&ArtistSearch=Travis_Boyd&Pg=2&SortBy=1&PerPg=12&PgChange=1
* From original publisher, Shawnee Press (price $1.75, no demo), at this link: http://www.shawneepress.com/search/search.do?subsiteid=204&keywords=Travis+Boyd
* And from Hal Leonard (price $1.75, no demo) at this link: http://www.halleonard.com/search/search.do?subsiteid=5&keywords=Travis+Boyd&searchcategory=00

4. “Let the Trumpet Sound”
lyrics and music by Travis L. Boyd
SATB Choral with piano accompaniment and Trumpet Obbligato (obbligato can also be played on organ or keyboard)
This anthem has a classical type sound. It has been sung, in an SSAA arrangement, by The Singing Churcwomen of Oklahoma, then under the direction of Dr. Bill Green, and was used at the beginning of the group’s worship concerts. This anthem is available on our WorshipSounds website’s “General Usage Anthems” music page.  (Click link, below right, with Worship Sounds church logo,  then scroll down to the anthem.)

Click this image to go to the Adult  Choir tab on the General Usage Anthems page of our Worship Sounds Music website.

HERE’S THE LINK TO OUR WORSHIP SOUNDS MUSIC WEBSITE!  Click this image to go to the Adult
Choir tab on the General Usage Anthems page of our Worship Sounds Music website.

5. “For the Glory of God”
lyrics and music by Travis L. Boyd
SATB Choral anthem with an upbeat message of praise, also available in SSAA and TTBB voicings
This anthem is in the current repertoire of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Jubalheirs, a choir made up of women who are active in Worship ministry throughout the state of Georgia, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan. It is also available in SSAA. “For the Glory of God” can be found on our website’s Adult Choir tab on the “General Usage Anthems” music page.  (Click link at right with Worship Sounds church logo, then scroll down to the anthem.)

6. “Much More Than a Song”
lyrics and music by Travis L. Boyd
SATB Choral, also available as a Vocal Solo (in 3 keys for Low, Medium, and High voice)
This anthem has been sung in a TTBB voicing by The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, then under the direction of Dr. Bill Green, and by the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Jubalheirs, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan. It is a lovely ballad with a thoughtful and inspiring message about choosing to praise God in every circumstance. “Much More Than a Song” is available on our website’s Adult Choir tab on the “General Usage Anthems” music page.  (Click link above with Worship Sounds church logo,  then scroll down to the anthem.)

7.  “Praise God”
lyrics and music by Travis (L.) Boyd
SATB Choral, published by the Glory Sounds division of Shawnee Press (now with Hal Leonard)
A lovely setting of the traditional Doxology lyrics with a flowing piano accompaniment, this choral anthem incorporates a portion of the hymn “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”.
You can hear this anthem in its entirety on our SoundCloud, and then there are links in the information about the anthem that will lead you to distributors who offer it. Here is the link to the publisher’s choral demo on our Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#travis-l-boyd/05-praise-god-copyright?in=travis-l-boyd/sets/publishers-demos-of-my-choral
“Praise God” is available from Sheet Music Plus at this link: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q=Travis+Boyd

8. “All the Praise”
lyrics and music by Travis (L.) Boyd
Published by the Lorenz Corporation
SATB Choral
Available from the Lorenz Corporation, with all related products (Brass & Rhythm Score, Acc. Trax), complete demo and sample pages at this link: http://www.lorenz.com/Results.aspx?page=1&rpp=25&title=Travis%20Boyd&voicing1=&div=&producttype=*&usage=&level=&pop=False&pod=True&bnew=True&bbest=False&sortorder=ASC&composer=&acap=False&series=&SearchOpt=&biblebook=&biblechapter=-1&bibleverse=-1&divwiseproduct=False

9. Magnificent Praise
lyrics and music by Travis (L.) Boyd
Published by the Lorenz Corporation
SATB Choral
Available from the Lorenz Corporation, with all related products (Brass & Rhythm Score, Acc. Trax), complete demo and sample pages at this link: http://www.lorenz.com/Results.aspx?page=1&rpp=25&title=Travis%20Boyd&voicing1=&div=&producttype=*&usage=&level=&pop=False&pod=True&bnew=True&bbest=False&sortorder=ASC&composer=&acap=False&series=&SearchOpt=&biblebook=&biblechapter=-1&bibleverse=-1&divwiseproduct=False

* If this blog post has been helpful to you, please take a moment to comment to that effect on the referring web post or social media site so that others will know that reading it is worth their time. Please share this blog post link with others who might not see it without your referral.
* If you have additional ideas for a Choir Appreciation Sunday or Music Ministry Appreciation Sunday, please add them as comments to this blog so that others can benefit from your creativity and inspiration. Thank You!
* Be sure to bookmark this blog post so that you can refer back to it as you are doing your planning. There may be additional ideas from fellow Ministers of Music and Worship that will work wonderfully for you as well.

Click the image above to go directly to the National Choir Appreciation Sunday facebook page

Click the image above to go directly to the National Choir Appreciation Sunday facebook page

* You can register your church’s participation in National Choir Appreciation Sunday on the official NACS facebook page, sponsored by the music distribution company J. W. Pepper, a strong supporter of Choral Music in Church Worship Ministries.

Blessings to you and to your Church and Music Ministry as you plan a special emphasis to say “thank you” to the fine people who help you share the message of God’s love and mercy through music. For more inspiration, check out our blog page entitled “Creative Worship Ideas” at http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/creative-worship-ideas/
You will also find practical helps, inspiration, and helpful articles in our “Worship with Wonder” catergory of posts at:
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/worship-with-wonder/

Travis and Cindy Boyd
WorshipSounds Music

Downloadable Music for your Choirs (Adult, Sr. Adult, and Youth choir music), Ensembles, Orchestra, Congregation, and Soloists
You will find our music to be very affordable, practical for use in local church ministry, Biblically sound, meaningful, and musically memorable.
* Master PDFs for Choral Anthems range from $10.00 to $15.oo, with permission given to make as many copies as needed for your Church, Christian School, or Choral Organization.
* Bundled PDFs for Anthem Orchestrations include Conductor’s Score, String reduction for keyboard, and Reproducible parts for all string, wind, and percussion (+ rhythm section lead sheet) and are priced at $25.00 or $30.00.  Again, you are authorized to print copies as needed (for your group only).
* Vocal Solo music is available at a cost of $5.00 for the PDF Master copy, with permission to print copies as needed for your soloist, accompanists, and rhythm section.
* Congregational praise music is available in the form of a Worship Pak for $10.00, which includes reproducible bulletin or hymnal sized music sheets, reproducible lead sheets for rhythm section, and the Vocal/Piano score.
* Accompaniment Tracks for both our Choral Anthems and our Vocal Solos come as a downloadable Mp3 for $10.00.

You’ll find all of this on our WorshipSounds website

http://www.worshipsounds.com

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Note:  This blog post has been featured on Worshiplinks.us (a site with the slogan, “A hand-picked collection of the best worship resources on the web”).  You can see the Worshiplinks.us article which links to this blog post at http://worshiplinks.us/2013/01/appreciation/#comment-6

Thanks, Brad!

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make! The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation. Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus. http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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