As a director, I’m very protective of the ninety-minute rehearsal period I have with my choir each Wednesday evening. There is always so much to accomplish, and so little time to prepare it all. Consequently, in an effort to save rehearsal time, I often omit something vitally important: the devotional.
Does this describe you as well? Do you include a time of devotion in your rehearsals? Why or why not? Is there a way to weave this all-important moment seamlessly into the flow of your rehearsal? Well, consider these thoughts:
1) In the past, I’ve often conducted my devotions at the end of the rehearsal. However, people are tired at that point, and ready to go home. I never want my folks leaving the choir room thinking that the rehearsal was never going to end! So, consider including it at the beginning of the rehearsal, perhaps even after the warm-up.
Another option would be to tie in your devotion with one of the anthems you are rehearsing, or perhaps with a hymn or chorus that you will be singing during an upcoming service. This sharing time could be placed anywhere in the rehearsal period. For your choir members, this can add additional meaning to the music they are singing, and it maintains the flow of the rehearsal.
2) Don’t feel that you have to provide every single devotional. Allow your choir members to share in this responsibility. Perhaps even devise a “devotion sign-up list” for each month of the choir year.
Along these same lines, why not, every now and then, invite non-choir members to drop in and share a few thoughts with your singers? Perhaps they could share how the choir or music ministry encourages them and adds to their worship experience each week. Nothing will uplift your singers more than knowing that they truly make a difference in the life of their church!
3) I probably don’t need to say this, but I will anyway: keep it short! Regardless of who is providing the devotion, it really should be no longer than ten minutes. As important as these times can be, you, as the director, are still responsible for providing an efficient, well-structured rehearsal. Your choir members will not want to sit through a thirty-minute “sermon” from someone when there is a difficult anthem that must be rehearsed for the upcoming Sunday!
Soon, the fall season will officially start at our church. And, I am committing to do a better job incorporating devotional times into my rehearsal. After all, at my church, my job title is music minister, not just director. Will you make this commitment with me? Until next time, be blessed!