Once upon a time a Megachurch hired a Rock Star Worship Leader (because that’s what Megachurches do.) Of course, the RSWL promptly canned the 200 voice choir.
Naturally, a lot of the choir members were upset and quite a few left the church.
Let’s say 75 people left. But that’s not just 75 people. Multiply those 75 by 4:
- Each person who left was probably married, so around 75 spouses.
- Each person who left had, on average, 2 kids.
So about 300 people, give or take, left the Megachurch. And let’s say that Megachurch ran roughly 3,000 a week.
Opps. How would you like to come to the sudden realization that 10% of your congregation has vanished overnight? (Yes, they fired the RSWL after about a year.)
For just a minute, let’s look beyond the obvious spiritual/musical/community benefits of a choir and focus on the bare bones fact that a choir guarantees warm bodies will occupy your worship space.
Back when I was the music director of a young contemporary church plant I could amass about 18 people for a small praise choir at Christmas and Easter. Most of those people were in the 30-40 year old range, were married and had between 2-4 kids each. Those who sang typically hauled their spouse and kids to church with them.
So multiply the people you have involved in your worship ministry by 4 and you can see how quickly the numbers add up.
If you’re a church of 100 people and have a praise team of drums, bass, guitar, keys, male worship leader and female background vocal, multiply those 6 people by 4 and you have roughly 24 people involved. You now have a guarantee that about 24% of your congregation will show up that Sunday.
If that 100-sized church can build a small choir of only 10 people, plus the 6 praise team people, you now have a guarantee that about 64 people will show up on a Sunday. That’s 64% of your congregation. More bodies fill your room, and bigger crowds seem to bring about bigger crowds.
Church planters, you might consider hiring a worship leader who is musically competent enough to not only rock with a praise band but also maintain a choir (Liberty University is a great place to start looking.) Will a small choir help grow a small church? This is all theory dreamed up in my pin head, but the numbers do add up, don’t they?