It is said that a healthy church is a growing church. Likewise, a healthy choir is a growing choir. The larger the group, the more potential impact the choir has. Set a goal to have a BIG choir. How big is BIG? Simple—larger than your choir is right now!
1. Recruit, Recruit, Recruit!
You must constantly recruit new choir members. Not only should you personally invite prospective members to "come and sit in on a couple of practices," but you should also train your choir members to help you recruit new members. Some people are a little threatened by the “expert” choir director asking them to join the choir; however, if their friend asks them to come, they may be more willing to try it. At some rehearsal sessions I write the names of choir prospects on the board and refer to it as "The Hit List." I want all the choir members to help me recruit these prospects into the choir.
Watch your congregation for folks who participate enthusiastically in the congregational singing and meet the leadership requirements you have established for choir members. These are your best prospects for gaining new choir members.
2. Retain Those You Have
If you add three new choir members this month but four drop out, then you have a net loss of one. You must have methods for keeping folks in the choir. The people most likely to drop out of the choir are the folks with average musical ability who come to the mistaken conclusion that their presence makes no difference in the choir.
This is a lie from Satan that you must overcome regularly. Communicate to your choir members how important each voice is. Use cards, emails, and phone calls to send words of encouragement and thanks for their efforts in choir. Everyone needs to feel appreciated.
Remind your choir members regularly that it does not take great voices to build a great choir. It takes average voices dedicated and faithful to a great God!
3. Record Individual Attendance
Just because you have someone’s name on a list and they show up occasionally certainly does not mean you have a choir member. Set some minimum attendance standards for choir membership.
Record attendance in a way that is visible to the choir members. You can call roll or check off sign in sheets so that the members know if they are absent they will be missed.
4. Respond to Personal Needs
The choir is a small group within the larger church family. Therefore, it can be a “need-meeter” like a Sunday school class or Bible study group. Show personal interest in your choir members by taking prayer requests and praying for them. You can also show personal interest by having an occasional special practice combined with a potluck supper. We have these regularly and call them “Choir Chow-downs.” We have a great time at these events and get an extra rehearsal at no extra charge.
5. Build a BIG Choir!
Always look for new choir members. It takes time to build a strong choir that will last. Share your vision of a larger and more effective choir with the choir you have now. Ask the choir members to pray that additional people will be added to the music ministry.
Special thanks is given to Byron Foxx for his input in this article.