Last week we had an individual ask for several of Mike’s old Singing News Magazine articles. He wrote this article monthly from 1993-2006. Although I realize some of it may not be as current…a lot of the content written here is still very relevant. By the way, my versions are unedited too! I will post these here and please follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mikespeckministries to find out when.
ARTICLE NUMBER 1 (FOR MAY 1993)
By Mike Speck
The first thing the congregation sees every Sunday morning is the countenance of the
choir. Believe it or not, the entire atmosphere of a service is dependent on this simple
thing. The choir will either minister life or minister death. The reason they sit facing the
congregation is so they can be the worship leaders. As they worship, the congregation
It was last spring that I was in an area-wide crusade in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.
The crusade began Sunday evening. That gave me an opportunity to slip in on a
Sunday morning worship service at one of the local participating churches. I ended up
at Binghamtown Baptist Church in Middlesboro, Kentucky. The folks were so friendly to
me as a visitor (not knowing who I was). I sat down on the first pew just in time for the
choir to march in. The pianist and organist had been playing some great alive pre-
service music ( we’ll talk about that later) and I watched the choir file into the loft. They
looked like they were excited and glad to be in church. All of a sudden they broke out
singing “Here I am, here I am, I’m the one the Shepherd left the fold and found. There
were ninety and nine but He left the fold to find, one little lost lamb and here I am”.
Their faces lit up with joy and excitement. I found myself weeping with joy and praising
God. Suddenly one of the ladies in the choir took a microphone and began singing
“There is peace in the midst of your storm tossed life…”. Some in the choir were
weeping, others had their hands raised (and this was a Baptist church). By this time I
was on my knees worshiping with the choir. I wasn’t alone, for immediately folks
began to leave their seats and find their way to an old fashion alter.
Dear brothers and Sisters, I wanted to move my membership to that church. What had
happened to us? At least three things—first, the choir sang from their heart (a song
from your heart can’t help but end up all over your face). Second, the choir was
singing with all their heart. Nothing was held back. Their faces and body language
expressed more than their voices. The shear volume of their singing said, “I mean
every word of this”. Third, they were unashamed and unafraid of emotion. (This is an
entire article within itself.) So many churches are afraid things might get out of control.
I’m always hoping things do get out of our control and in the control of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of God is a perfect gentleman. He will do everything needing to be done in
the lives of people when we allow Him to.
It all starts with the countenance of the worship leaders. We must choose to praise
God above what we think, feel, or see.
If you have the courage, video tape your choir without them knowing it and play it back
to them at choir practice. What a shocker that will be!! The old saying is still true–it’s
monkey see, monkey do. Don’t be afraid to let your face reveal your love for Jesus.