Good afternoon. In my job, I deal with churches all the time going through worship conflict (or wars). I find it hard to believe people still are fighting over organs, pulpits, choir robes, etc. to the point their mission is hindered. Many of you have dealt with or been dealing with that in your church. I am sure it causes much heartache and regrets of all that we miss out on when we argue over nonessentials in the work of God. I know of churches with great potential that are stuck arguing over unimportant issues and are rendered fairly useless. Young families generally will not go to churches still fighting over things they find petty.
I have heard from a handful of people that would like for us to return to wearing formal wear at our concerts. You have all made valid points that I appreciate. But before our group gets into a debate about whether or not to return to formal wear, let me just say that we are not going there–we will not be wearing tuxes and evening dresses. I will address this at the retreat further as needed.
We are looking into finding ways to have a professional, great look without the expense of formal wear or the barriers that such clothing can set up these days. I have polled the leaders of other state choirs across the US and find almost no one still wears formal dress and there is a strong desire in those few to get away from it.
Yes, it looks classy and nice. Yes, it looks very professional, but I do not believe that attire helps our ministry, and in fact, in many cases, I would say it can be a hindrance.
I hope and pray that everyone can lay aside their personal preferences and move forward with the plans we will lay before you shortly. We need to get past these things and focus on excellence in our music-making through prayer, great preparation, faithful attendance, etc. We need to dedicate this all to the One to whom we owe everything and ask that He will fill our worship concerts with powerful times of praise and worship that draw the congregations into a transformational encounter with God.
Just like changes in local churches, not everyone’s preferences will be fulfilled, but we must come together in unity of purpose and be a great Army of Praise.
I am extremely excited about the future of this group–more than I have been in the last 12 years. We saw a great move of God in our worship concerts last season, beginning at the annual meeting in Greensboro. I believe God will work through us mightily as we yield to Him and seek unity of purpose and lay ourselves at His feet to use us as He sees fit.
I love you all very much and look so forward to this next season. Hold on for a great ride!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!
8 Jul 2022
Kenny, I appreciate your heart in this. For me personally I’m just fine with looking professional but not to the extent of the formal look. It could be possible to let the host church be the deciding factor. Although fewer in numbers some churches enjoy the more formal look. I’m good with whatever you decide. Again I like the more informal approach.
Alto • Trombone
8 Jul 2022
Thanks for your explanation. It makes sense now.
8 Jul 2022
Thanks, Kenny. Sorry I opened this can of worms!
9 Jul 2022
Kenny , I guess I could sell my formal attire to some other choir, and recoup my investment, but since no other choir is wearing such attire, I guess i’ll hold on to them for “ol times sake.” Anyway,it they will make a nice addition to the back of my closet! Accoring to your expressed sentiments, I assume the formal attire had a lot to do with the increase of, or the lack thereof, of the Holy Spirit’s presence among us.
Alto 2 • String Bass
9 Jul 2022
Thank you Kenny for your explanation. The job that you are doing with the convention gives you the advantage to see how things work or don’t work. Our culture today has certainly changed and the church is being viewed differently by the world. Our group has the awesome privilege to bring God’s word and love to our communities through the power of music.
The formal attire sets us apart in appearance, but the message we bring comes from the heart of our music and is what we need to focus on. If Kenny has seen that the formal attire is a turn off, then we need to trust his experience and move to something that allows us to look polished but not unapproachable. Yes, we are set apart for this ministry because of the gifts we have been given, but the people who hear us are no less important to God. If we look neat and our message is from our hearts, what we wear becomes less important.
I’m trusting Kenny and our committee to come up with something that will be comfortable and tasteful but something that will not detract from our purpose. I LOVE this group and give God the Glory for giving us all this opportunity to share His Word.
9 Jul 2022
Thank you Kenny for this heartfelt message. I know it is hard to please all the people. We appreciate your desire to serve the One who matters most.
11 Jul 2022
Thank you, Kenny. Appreciate all you do.