I once had a friend that wanted to help out any way that she could at her church. Let’s just say that it didn’t take anyone in the church long to realize that they had hit pay dirt as they did not have a Childs Choir Director. They called her in and asked her if she would be in charge of one of the most important positions in the church – Director of Childs Choir Music. How could she refuse? After all this was one of the most important positions, and how hard could it be to get children to sing songs.
Her duties, she found, including setting up their first choir fundraiser and helping with all aspects of choir including song selection and recruiting. As in many cases the job of the volunteer can cover many different areas that are not anticipated. When it comes to choir, though, there are so many fun things to do to make it enjoyable for the kids.
After all, they naturally sing songs. (By the way, did I mention that my friend was not married and does not have kids)? After my friend researched the idea of childs choir music, she began to realize that she may have bitten off more than she could chew. First of all, the easy part was recruiting children and scheduling practices. That didn’t seem too hard, just make an announcement in church and place an ad in the bulletin announcing the times and dates of practice.
Once she had some willing participants, she started to look at some songs that were appropriate for the kids. This started to get a bit more difficult, because she didn’t have any musical training! She couldn’t read a sheet of music. This is where I came in and offered to help her find something suitable. Not the simple, Jesus Loves Me, or This Little Light of Mine, but something that can show off the kids musical talents. We settled on Gladsome Light. Did I mention that I did not have any kids either? Anyway, after a few practices, of going through the music with the kids, we became a bit frustrated. First of all, the kids couldn’t read. I forgot, four years olds are not able to read anything! After we had them memorize the words, they couldn’t remember the melody. With a scheduled performance looming on the horizon, we bribed them with anything that made sense, stickers, toys, candy etc. Still to know avail- it sounded like a train wreck in the middle of the night. We thought about having them lip sync, but we thought that might be a bit unethical for church. So what did we do, we had them sing Jesus Loves me and This Little Light of Mine.
So the moral of this story is that when you volunteer for something, make sure that you have a friend that is smart enough to talk you out of it. Or understand that there might be more to the job than you first expected so keep your eyes wide open when raising your hand.
Howard Gottlieb, President of Easy Fundraising Ideas. We offer great church fundraising ideas.