Letters to New Choir Members
One of the challenges with new members is engaging them for the long haul… making sure that they continue to come to rehearsal after the first time or two. In addition to connecting those new members with a veteran choir “partner”, consecutive notes from YOU over several weeks would give a steady flow of ideas, encouragement and instruction that would connect them over a couple of months, and after 8 weeks of consistent communication from their worship leader/director, they would be more likely to continue in your ensemble.
There are 8 letters we used at Valley Baptist Church, Bakersfield, CA to connect new members over an 8 week period. We encourage you to take these letters, originally developed by Gary Mathena, and re-write them as your own, using as much of the included information as you would like, while putting your personal touch on each letter. Below is letter number one. All eight can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of the page.
The ______ before the word CHOIR in each letter is for the NAME of the choir… ours was PRAISE choir, but insert your choir/ensemble name there.
Welcome to the _____________________ Choir. I’m so glad you’re here! I consider your enrollment as a real answer to my prayer that God would “send forth Laborers into the harvest” (Matt 9:38). You’ll find that being a choral worship leader is hard work but extremely rewarding. Over the weeks to come you’re going to learn so much about how to sing, how to read music, and about worship leadership. I’m so excited for you! Having been doing this now for over 40 years, I know the great sense of personal fulfillment and accomplishment that will become yours in the days ahead.
As you probably noticed our rehearsals are fairly fast-paced. We try to work far ahead which requires us to cover a lot of tunes in a relatively short rehearsal time. We’ve found that in the long run this helps the average choir member learn music better, but it does take a while for new folks to catch up. If you felt a little overwhelmed by Wednesday’s rehearsal, then that’s a good sign–that simply means you’re normal! On average, it will take you about 8 weeks or so to feel like you’re really up to speed with the music. Don’t be discouraged by this. Every choir member has gone through the same experience. Determine right now that no matter what, you’re going to hang in there for at least 8 weeks.
I want you to know that you won’t be alone. I’m going to be right there with you during this 8 week adjustment time while you get your feet on the ground. Each week, for the next 8 weeks, I’m going to be writing you a short note of encouragement that will also include some helpful hints on different aspects of being an effective choir member.
I want you to know that I consider myself your worship pastor. I take my calling very seriously. I want to be a blessing to you and your family. I want to know when you or a family member goes into the hospital so I can come and read Scripture and pray with you. I want you to call me and let me know of any special prayer needs I can pray with you about. If you have any questions about choir, the music ministry, or our church in general, I want you to feel free to ask. My home number is ________________. My office number is _____________. I’m your pastor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am happiest when I can be a blessing to you. I’m so looking forward to serving the Lord together with you in the days ahead. May God richly bless you and yours.
Minister of Music