I have always believed that the role of the worship choir is to lead worship, from the minute they walk on stage. That has evolved from being on stage for the whole service, including the sermon, to being on stage for everything but the sermon. The role of the worship choir has always been to prepare through rehearsals music for the weekend services. That has evolved as there has been a shift in the type of music we prepare. We have gone from preparing only 'special choir ministry songs' to a combination of 'ministry songs' and 'songs that we will teach the congregation.' That line often blurs when a 'special song' is used for the second or the third time and the congregation catches on and begins to sing. That's what happened this past Sunday.
The choir 'ministry song' was Because of Your Love. The theme is: we have already won victory over sin and trials because of Jesus' power over the cross. The chorus has a great hook and the melody falls in a congregation friendly key...so they sang with us.
This was a great reminder to me to not limit the congregation to what I think they can sing...let them sing when they want to. It is also a great reminder that a worship choir is a great ministry and their participation in the whole worship service encourages many to engage in the conversation of worship.
Here is our worship set.
Opening Prayer (everyone was encouraged to connect to God, through their own words, without anyone praying from the stage)
Great I Am (this is a new song for us and was the first time we have used it. We started it as the conclusion to the prayer)
You Are God Alone (this one is a few years old with a powerful message, just because it is older doesn't mean we shouldn't use it.)
Because of Your Love (As mentioned this was a choir feature that the congregation joined in on. The arrangement we used was from Community Bible Church San Antonio Texas. It closes with one stanza of the hymn Nothing But The Blood)
Stronger (this is relatively new to us, but is becoming a favorite. We were able to put it in the same key as the previous song, which allowed us to move straight to it without an intro.)