How and Why You Should Recruit a Christmas Choir
It may not feel or look anything remotely close to Christmas outside, but there is something in the air that brings back that ol’ “It’s after Labor Day, better get ready for Christmas” feeling. A season enjoyed by some, dreaded by others, but necessary for any who are involved with music in the life of a Church. At All About Worship we are here to help you navigate your way through the challenges and on to a successful season of Christmas cheer and high fives from your Pastor.
First up is how and why you should recruit a choir. So let’s begin with why.
- It looks, sounds, and feels like Christmas: Blame it on Hollywood Producers if you want, but we all have an iconic image of choirs at Christmas lodged into our brain that actually began at the birth of Jesus with choirs of angels. It’s Biblical and it satisfies the itch.
- It gets people involved…at a temporary level: Pastors are supernaturally driven to see the gifts of their people developed. Most worship leaders are concerned about letting people on the team who are may not be the best at singing or those whose abilities are an unknown. The solution is a Christmas Choir. A chance to let people be a part of something in a group setting where voices are blended and there is no promise of further involvement. A win-win situation.
- Talent scouting: Through the process of rehearsals you will have an opportunity to audition people without having an audition. While you may find some who don’t sing very well, you will also find some diamonds in the rough. People who you didn’t know could sing. Once identified, if you want, ask them to be a part of the regular team.
- It Boosts Attendance: More people involved means more people will show up for the special service. (Also a great reason to include a Children’s choir in your plans as well)
- It’s Fun: Gatherings are a big part of Christmas and it can be a lot of fun. Have people bring snacks and let there be an element of social time.
Ok so now you’re motivated to do it. But now ‘the how’ comes to the forefront so here are some tips:
- Decide if you’re a recruit/plan or a plan/recruit: If you have a specific piece of music you want to do, it might determine the kind of voices that you are looking for. Thus changing how you will recruit. For example a men’s number will obviously not include the ladies. It might also be that the piece is complicated or that you only have sheet music so a certain level of knowledge or skill is required to participate. However you can also recruit and see whom you get. Then adjust your plan accordingly.
- Determine the Qualifications and Commitment: Make a list of the requirements for participation. Make sure to think about Age, Gender, Ability, Part they Sing, and whether they need to attend your church. You will also want to be able to communicate when rehearsals and events are.
- Ask the Traditional Ways: When it comes to asking for participation most people immediately turn to the bulletin or ask for time during the announcements. A sign up table in foyer or/and a web based sign up form can add some names.
- Ask the Non-Traditional Ways: Have your pastor or announcement person ask the congregation for a show of hands of who has ever been in choir. Take a moment and look around as these are prime targets for recruitment. If you feel comfortable in doing so, put a little social pressure on these people from the stage to participate.
While the above mentioned methods are good, hands down the best way to recruit is to ask personally. But who to ask? And more specifically what to ask? The best way is to ask anyone, “Do you know anyone who sings?” or “Do you know anyone who was ever in choir?” That’s when people will tell on their friends and neighbors. Giving you the opportunity to approach that person and say, “I heard you used to be in choir?” and then ask them to be a part of the group.
- Have the next step determined: Make it easy to do and clear to understand what to do next. Do they need to fill out a form or just show up at this place on this date?
I would recommend getting people to put their name to something as it can have a higher level of cementing their decision. People are more likely to come if they have signed up rather than if they can decide later if they are coming or not.
Hopefully you have inspiration and motivation surging through your veins at this very moment for an amazing Christmas season. In the coming weeks through articles and podcasts we will be discussing what to sing, how to teach people their parts even if they can’t read music, and where to find those resources. But for now, get started because it’s almost the middle of September and time is running out.
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