How to Have a ‘Church as a Choir’ Mentality

Rob Rash explains that your congregation is the choir.

In a recent post I brought up the idea, that regardless of whether or not your church has an official choir, your church does have a choir. The people that make up your congregation, are in fact a choir.

The biggest reason I find that this matters, is because it can change the overall mentality of the church. We teach and implore our churches to sing and to participate in our worship time and time again yet as we look out, we’ll find that not everyone is engaging.

I think it’s important to understand that, although not everyone is a singer, we are still commanded to make a ‘joyful noise.’ 50 years ago, when the primary means of musical worship was to sing in four part harmony, almost everyone joined in regardless of whether or not they could sing or read musical notation. I remember growing up in a church that did this.

Hymns, Four Part Harmony, and Modern Choruses

But as modern worship has worked it’s way into the way we do church these days, many choirs have been put on the shelf. And to complicate matters, some folks have completely stopped singing. I believe this is directly related to praise charts, repeatable choruses, and projection screens.

We no longer require or expect our people to follow musical notation in worship.

Now I don’t consider this a bad thing necessarily, but it does directly relate to how we lead and teach our churches to worship.

So with that in mind, I’d like to share a few ways to have a ‘Church as a Choir’ mentality and how that will help your overall leadership and pastoring in worship.

 1) Participation is the Goal

If we are not getting our church to participate and join in with us as we worship, then we’re merely another form of entertainment. Are we here to entertain our church or to create and craft opportunities for them to join us. Participation is the goal.

2) A Singing Church is an Encouraging Church

The scriptures are littered with verses about singing new songs and hymns and spiritual songs and it’s evident that this is an important part of the church, however, it’s not for the mere sake of singing. Hebrews 10:24-25 reminds us that our time together is for encouraging one another in faith. And Colossians 3:16 couldn’t be anymore clear,

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

When we sing spiritual songs we are reminding ourselves and those around us about the gospel truth.

3) Teaching is a Must

One thing we must never presume, is that our people will know how to respond in worship. I find that teaching them often, in fact weekly, about how and why we worship the way we do is vitally important. One great question to consider is, if you imagine that you’re leading worship for new guests, how would that affect how you lead and teach?

Don’t take for granted your church or their understanding of how they should be participating. If we can take on the ‘Church as our Choir’ mentality, we may just see a freedom in our services that we have previously been missing. If we can shift our thinking from one of performance and move to one of service, both we and our churches will be better off.


Essential reading for worship leaders since 2002.


Get the latest worship news, ideas and a list

of the top CCLI songs delivered every Tuesday... for FREE!