I know this seems absolutely silly to those of you who are, say, age 30 and under, but there was a time when absolutely nobody thought of the idea that a church should have a worship team of instrumentalists and vocalists leading a service. Most churches just had a song leader; or in large sanctuaries with a pipe organ (likely made in Hagerstown at the Moller factory), the organ was so loud and so in charge that it was “the leader of the songs – the hymns.” Some larger churches might also have had an orchestra.
But ALL churches of any size whatsoever had a choir. My first job in a church in 1977 was with a Christian and Missionary Alliance congregation in Cherry Hill, NJ. I was the choir director there for a year – my final year of college and first year Diana and I were married. The total attendance of that church was about 100 people. In terms of talent, it was one of the best choirs I ever had.
Anyhow, in the old order of doing church, choirs were often the veritable den of iniquity in a church! It was too frequently a place of gossip and discontent and opinions and egos run amuck! Honestly, I never had many problems as such in the three churches where I weekly did this sort of thing for a period of about 15 years … though one time in Dallas when there was a small controversy about something, I did put a sign on my office door that said “Office of the Department of War.”
I think it was the famed radio preacher of a previous generation – J. Vernon McGee – who said, “When Satan fell, he fell into the choir loft and has been there ever since!”
If that was true of the 1900s, I’d submit that the saying for this century is that “when Satan fell, he fell into the church sound system and has been there ever since!”
Yesterday, I was in the Café service where Todd Seville was sharing some thoughts related to our new series called “Unseen: Exposing the Paranormal” … and he was commenting about the ways in which Satan and his minions may affect the proclamation of the Word in church. One of the things he said was how technical problems seem to happen at the worst times – the power will go off, or something of that nature. When I spoke, I made some further remarks about the topic. All I can say is what I see that happens; and I can tell you without any doubts whatsoever that things like computers and printers break down on Sundays at a rate far beyond what they do on any other day of the week (even though they are more used on those other days).
Well, when it was time for me to speak at the 11:00 iGrow session, I looked around for the wireless microphone that is always up front – having just been used by the 9:30 service speaker that morning. It was not there, and I was then told that it malfunctioned during Chris’ sermon. I heard later that it was unexplainable – that there was a new battery right out of the box just put into it … that the problem was not the switch or anything like that. It just stopped working.
We’ll research it some more. But you have to wonder if the paranormal was not being exposed! Hmm? Who could it be? Hmm? Could it be SATAN?!? (You also have to be older than 30 to remember “the Church lady” on Saturday Night Live.)