My father was a good man but not an outwardly spiritual man. I was raised in the country, and we were members of a tiny church in a farm community. Every Sunday morning, Mom would take my two older brothers and me to worship at the little stone building.
There was no choir, no worship team. The preacher would lead us in songs out of the hymnbook. An elderly parishioner would play the piano — often badly — and we would do our best to “make a joyful noise” for the Lord.
Dad seldom went to church with us. He didn’t say why, and we didn’t have the nerve to ask him. Every once in a while, however, Mom would catch him in just the right mood, and he would agree to come along.
He had one condition: Instead of going to our little country church, Dad insisted we go into the city to the big church. When asked why, Dad would say he wanted to listen to the choir. The city church had a large, talented choir that sang in lilting harmonies with dramatic key changes and passionate solos.
Dad would smile and rock back and forth to the melodies, occasionally closing his eyes to savor a particularly beautiful interlude. Music is what brought him to church. It’s what connected him to God.
Were it not for the wonderful choir, he might never have set foot in God’s house and been exposed to biblical preaching. Dad died in 1990, and I feel confident his soul was in the right place, thanks in large part to those faithful singers and musicians.
Impact of music
If you sing in a church choir or play an instrument during worship, it might bless you to know there are likely many people in attendance who are just like my dad. They are there only because of you. The music and the singing are the only things that pull their attention away from their problems and focus them on God. They may well be the only things that got them in the building. Your ministry through song is invaluable and irreplaceable.
Not everyone can appreciate the effort and exertion it takes to perform, especially when you’re tired or just not in the mood. But you smile and put your heart into each song. It makes a difference to your listeners — a life-changing difference. The preacher may bring the meal, but you set the table. I thank you and appreciate you.
And somewhere in heaven, my dad does too.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Ken Lass is a familiar face to Central Alabamians, having been a television news and sports anchor in Birmingham for more than 30 years. Currently, he is an award-winning columnist for several local and national publications and websites. Ken and his wife, Sharon, live in Trussville, where he serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church Trussville. He is also a member of the board of directors of Pathways Professional Counseling, a sister ministry of Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries that offers Christ-centered counseling throughout Alabama.