November Series: Save the Date – Gospel Concerts

In November, Church Music Today will look at a particular event the contributors have planned over the years and share it with you.  We hope these practical ideas of enhanced worship services and groups brought in to lead in worship will be ideas you can use to springboard into your own church.

Let’s face it, if we’re leading a church as a volunteer or part-time person, the time is limited AND our budgets are limited.  So, we need practical ideas that we can use to make worship excellent and allow us to break from the norm.  Our “Save the Date” series this month will give you some tools necessary to begin the brainstorming process for 2013.

This is probably the most classic idea (call me “CAPTAIN OBVIOUS”) of the Save the Date series.  However, there is still value in having the occasional vocal group come to your church.  I did say occasional.  Spending large amounts of money on a one time service is something that should be thought through with care.  If your church is anything like mine, people love good singing.  Hosting a concert can be a great way to serve different generations.  Obviously, given the economy and your churches financial priorities, having a gospel group in may not prove to be as cost efficient as it once was.  I try to have two concerts a year.  We budget for them so there is not the enormous pressure to come up with a fair love offering.  My philosophy is to have varied groups.  Usually one southern gospel and one more contemporary in nature.  I want my folks to see the spectrum on Christian music / worship, not just their personal favorites all the time.

My suggestions for bringing in groups is to make sure that they are singing solid biblical lyrics and have the ability to lead the congregation in worship.  There is enough media (Youtube, itunes, group websites) out there today to have a good idea of what someone would be like in concert.  If they are all jokes and show, you will be able to tell.

My favorite group that I have booked to sing at church is No Other name.  They are solid in the pulpit and out.  Their concerts are worship services that encourage missions and their presence is still felt long after they leave.  They also appeal to all generations.  I have had several quartets in and they have done a great job appealing to the older generation.  Other ideas, could include having a local university group in.  There are plenty of chorales, praise teams, and vocal groups that would be solid to bring in and would bless your congregation.

You could also do an old-fashioned 5th Sunday sing by using the folks from your choir and church.  These are easy on the budget!  Now I will say, I’ve been to some really bad 5th Sunday singing’s but I’ve also been to some really good ones.  The key to these is organization.  If you let anybody and everybody sing and do not give any leadership then you will have a mess on your hands.  If you give clear direction on what you want to see and spend time putting it together it could a great time for your church family.

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