WHEN CHOIR MEMBERS ARE HURTING (How Music Can Promote Spiritual Wellness)

Each one of us experiences hurt, pain and disappointment from time to time. No one is exempt from the bumps and bruises of this life. When we think about shepherding our choristers, it is important to develop strategies for ministering to them when they are hurting. Consider these ideas as you work to shepherd your choir members:

1. Focus on anthem LYRICS FROM SCRIPTURE. When the anthem lyrics point to, paraphrase or directly quote scripture, they connect us directly to the heart of God. What better way to feed our singers and bring healing to their pain than to apply the Word of God directly to their wounds? Take time in rehearsal to underscore key passages in anthems currently in choir folders.

2. LYRICS FROM LIFE experiences can provide great encouragement to singers who are hurting. Consider the healing of hearts through the years as we’ve all been reminded of the story of Horatio G. Spafford and the lyrics to “It is Well.” Singers need to know they are not alone in their faith journey and sharing stories from real people are so relatable and encouraging to those in pain.

3. Help choristers make SOUL-CONNECTIONS to the music. The music is more than just notes in time on a page; it speaks directly to the soul. When choir members are hurting, the right melody can soothe the spirit much the way David ministered to King Saul with his harp. “So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.” – I Samuel 16:23

Finally, your effectiveness as a minster to your singers will never go beyond your own relationship with the Lord. Spend much time in prayer and Bible reading. Seek the face of the Lord daily as you pray for your choir members by name. May God bless you as you minister to your singers.





A native of Louisiana, John Parker holds the BM in Vocal Performance from Louisiana College and the MM in Choral Conducting from Northwestern State University. Composing primarily for church and school choirs, John’s 600+ choral works are published by numerous state-side companies. Active as a choral clinician and lecturer, Mr. Parker is author of How to Start a Fine Arts Academy in Your Church and numerous drama collections.
John and his family make their home in Austin, TX where John has served as Associate Pastor of Worship & Music at Austin Baptist Church since 2014.

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