by Andy Hammond, Pastor of Worship & Media

One of my absolute favorite things about serving at Hernando Baptist is leading our choir.  This incredible group of volunteers is diverse— an engineer, a former missionary, salesmen, teachers, nurses, stay-at-home moms— with ages that span over 50 years.

But if you spend time speaking with individual choir members, you’ll find a common thread of passion and purpose in each one: to make much of Christ and help the church sing her Song.

Ever wonder what a choir member is thinking up there on the platform on Sunday mornings?  Here are a few things he or she wants you to know:

1.) Seeing you sing encourages me just as much as hearing you sing.

When I see you singing the same song I'm singing, I am reminded that you and I are connected by a common faith.  I'm reminded that the unifying power of the Gospel transcends age, occupation, race, and even music style preference.  I’m reminded that even though I might be going through a tough time in my life, I am surrounded by a church family that is walking beside me, worshipping Christ with me.

Simply seeing your face engaged in worship gives me joy.

So even if you aren't sure how a song goes (yet), go ahead and speak the words with us.  This simple act means more than you may realize!

2.) I sing because I want you to sing.

I’m not performing for you; I want to serve you by leading you to see Jesus as King and respond in faith-filled singing with the rest of the church.  Even during a choir “special” (when just the choir sings), I want to point your gaze to Christ and lead you in “making melody in your heart” (Ephesians 5:19) so you can “sing” with me.

3.) Don’t be afraid of silence.

You know that occasional moment of silence between two songs during a service?  Our non-stop elevator music culture has trained us to think of silence as “awkward”—that if there isn’t something happening, something must be wrong.

But in our worship, we sometimes plan these moments of stillness to push against our increasing discomfort with silence and remind us that God calls us to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Experiencing the weight of God’s presence means putting down our iPhones, setting aside our to-do lists, taking a break from Netflix, and yes, even stopping the music sometimes.

So the next time there’s a break between songs, instead of thinking, “Hm, something is off...” what if you simply prayed—prayed about the words you just sang, prayed silently for the person next to you, or prayed that Christ would be magnified in the worship service?

4.) I hope you walk away thinking about God, not me.

I hope you leave our worship time with a greater hunger for God's Word and love for the Savior.  I pray you walk away saying not “What great music!” but “What a great God!”

We worship a God who is so much bigger than the most stirring arrangement of “It Is Well with My Soul” or guitar-driven Chris Tomlin ballad.

For all the beautiful music God has gifted us to sing and play, don’t miss out on why we sing: to adore our great God together, and in so doing become more like Jesus and proclaim to everyone around us that He is Lord.

All that said, I love serving you as a choir member.  Let’s make much of Jesus together.