THE BROOKLYN TABERNACLE CHOIR.
Davis Fijian Praise and worship Singing at one of there church service on sunday.
The Choir from the Evergreen Church in Laqere,Fiji island performing during the Assemblies of God Of Fiji Annual Conferrence that was held at CCC Nausori.
This is some of our best collection from our beautiful island of Fiji.To be able to hear them you have to choose from the playlist on the right of the Player.Thank You and Enjoy.
The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir—Changing Lives Through Music
The music of a Spirit-led choir can be a powerful tool in God’s hand to lead people to Christ.
The story of The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is a powerful example of how God can use a choir to reach its community with the gospel. From its humble beginnings, the choir’s purpose has always been about ministry to the real world. Here is their story.
New York City is never at a loss for people. Day and night, crowds fill the streets. You wonder if anyone ever sleeps. When God called my husband Jim and me to begin a church in Brooklyn, we asked, “Lord, how do we reach all these people with the gospel?”
In the early days, when our choir consisted of a handful of people, we worked with a local Teen Challenge to hold monthly outreaches. We rented an auditorium that seated more people than our small church. There was nothing impressive about what we did in these early meetings. Some of the Teen Challenge guys couldn’t even sing on key. But their hearts were sincere in wanting to reach the lost. People were saved, not because of how well we sang, but because God came in power.
As the years progressed, Jim and I kept asking the Lord, “How else can we reach this city with the gospel?” We knew that music had a wonderful power to draw people. We had often held concerts in our own church. It wasn’t difficult to fill the 1,200 seats, but we longed to do more. Meanwhile, God continued to bless the ministry of the choir as it gained recognition.
Open doors of ministry
Since we knew that many people would never come to our concerts because doing so meant coming to church, we thought about renting a hall. Shortly thereafter, someone suggested a ridiculous idea. Perhaps we should rent Carnegie Hall. But could an inner-city choir draw a large crowd to a venue known for its world-class performances? We soon found out. The night of the concert we were shocked to see that the police had been called to manage the crowd. People had gathered outside the hall hoping for a seat. There were more people than seats, and unfortunately people had to be turned away.
Q: What can I do to encourage my choir, worship team, soloists, accompanists—who are all worship leaders—to truly worship and not just perform?
A: Don Moen, composer and arranger for Integrity’s Hosanna Music offers this advice to worship leaders: “Don’t lead—worship.” He is focusing on a truth we need to communicate to our worship team. To lead worship, we must first be worshipers. Here are ways you can encourage your worship leaders to be worshipers:
1. Challenge them to be worshipers first, both privately and publicly.
2. Remind them that leading in worship is not a performance but an expression of the heart. The congregation is not their audience; God is.
3. Don’t be super spiritual. Be transparent enough to admit that you don’t always feel like worshiping, but you’ve learned that God’s grace compensates.
4. Refer to your worship leaders in print, prayer, and rehearsals as ministers and worship leaders.
5. Set aside the music and look at the lyrics. Remind them they are conveying a message.
6. Encourage worship leaders to express worship in a way that directs other worshipers’ attention to the Lord, not to themselves.
7. Pray together often for God’s anointing on the pastor and worship team and for the Holy Spirit’s direction during the services.
8. Minister to one another outside the worship services through prayer, fellowship, and in times of illness or crisis.
At the close of a long rehearsal, arranger and music minister O.D. Hall often encourages his choir to sing an anthem they’ve been practicing once more, with just the Lord as their audience. When the last note fades and there is that palpable sense that God has been listening, Hall says, “Even if this is the only time we ever sing that song, it’s worth it.”
(Walters’ response was compiled with excerpts from her book Advice to the Minister of Music: Get a Giant Hat Rack, 1994, Chrism [Gospel Publishing House], Springfield, Mo.)
—Adapted from Network News. Used with permission.
That evening, aware that we had an incredible opportunity to share God’s love, the choir sang with all its heart. No one was focused on entertaining. We simply wanted to minister to those who had come. It wasn’t about the choir but about the people who needed to know Jesus Christ. After we sang, Jim gave an invitation and the response was overwhelming.
Radio City Music Hall
The experience at Carnegie Hall gave us faith to believe God for more. Soon we arranged for two consecutive concerts to be held at Radio City Music Hall. Though we were intimidated by the thought of singing at another famous venue, we didn’t let fear get in the way of reaching more people. Members of our congregation, along with other believers, began inviting people from their families, workplaces, and neighborhoods to a concert at Radio City Music Hall. Both nights were completely sold out. A member of our church invited a man named Bob Adamo. This is how Bob remembers the events of that night.
“I developed a friendship with someone at work who talked to me about God. She invited me to visit Brooklyn Tabernacle more than once, but I always had an excuse. Finally she invited me to a concert at Radio City Music Hall, not a church. The one thing she failed to mention was that this wasn’t your ordinary concert but one where somebody would stand up and preach. I wasn’t prepared for that.
“I don’t remember what Pastor Cymbala said that night, but after hearing his words, I knew I had a choice to make. So I stood up the minute he asked people who wanted to accept Christ to stand for prayer.
“I don’t know exactly what happened except that Christ delivered me. And it’s amazing to me that I’m now so close to people who are Puerto Rican, Jamaican, African-American, or whatever. After all, I’m an Italian who grew up in a neighborhood that had the usual kinds of prejudice toward minorities. But I don’t have any of that poison in my heart since Christ changed me. Now I’m part of God’s family, and I love it.”
God truly helped us during those nights at Radio City. We didn’t go there to perform. We didn’t go there so we could say we had sung on its impressive stage. God sent us there to lift up the name of Jesus Christ and offer people the hope of His salvation. Bob Adamo is but one example of what the Lord is able to do. Today Bob is singing in our choir along with his new bride. We are overjoyed as we watch God continue to bless his life.
Madison Square Garden
Since those concerts at Radio City, we have had countless opportunities to minister to people in New York, throughout the country, and around the world. One of our greatest experiences happened when we debuted an album at Madison Square Garden, a venue that seats around 17,000 people. Christians from all over began inviting unbelievers to come. This time, however, the Lord placed a particular burden on our hearts for a special group of people.
It is impossible to live in New York without being aware of thousands of homeless people who populate its shelters. Many live in roach- and rat-infested buildings. These buildings are sometimes so dangerous that many people prefer living on the streets. Since we believed God was calling us to reach New York’s homeless, our staff began contacting shelters throughout the city, inviting residents to a free concert at Madison Square Garden. When we were done, 3,000 homeless people had accepted our invitation. We rented dozens of buses to pick them up and drop them off. We gave each person a gift bag with personal hygiene products. Most of the homeless in New York had never stepped foot in Madison Square Garden, and most did not understand why they were being treated so special. After the concert, my husband spoke and asked those who wanted to receive salvation to stand. We watched as thousands of people rose to their feet.
One of the homeless who stood that day was Maria Negron—a mother with 14 children, ranging in age from 1 to 14. Maria, along with her children, gave their hearts to the Lord. After that, Delores Bonner, one of our church members, began to pick up the children and bring them to Sunday School. God began to move on the hearts of people in our church to reach out to Maria and her children even more. Oscar, the oldest, especially touched our hearts. As Maria’s firstborn, he felt responsible for his 13 brothers and sisters. But how can a 14-year-old boy shoulder such responsibility? So the church took Oscar under its wing.
Q: Many of our churches have done away with the ministry of the sanctuary choir and replaced it with small-group ensembles such as worship teams. Why is the ministry of the sanctuary choir still important to the local church?
A: The choir ministry makes a significant contribution to the local church. The church will begin to see a greater demand for choir ministry in years to come. Here are a five reasons that validate the sanctuary choir in the local church:
1. Choirs assist in leading congregational singing. They create an atmosphere of encouragement that helps parishioners worship through song. Choirs are also helpful in teaching new music and reestablishing hymns.
2. Choirs can provide an unusual musical experience that helps worshipers apprehend the transcendent aspects of faith. Choral music holds a higher standard of singing than that of the congregation, which reveals a more transcendent sound proclaiming the presence of God.
3. Choir ministry provides an opportunity for its members to offer a unique expression of praise, an expression refined through prayer and practice.
4. Choirs can promote the church if their goal is soul-winning. A song can sometimes touch the heart of a sinner in a way nothing else can.
5. Choirs develop discipline that leads to other areas of a choir member’s life.
—Adapted from Network News. Used with permission.
Because Oscar had grown up on the streets, he was still having bouts with gang violence and run-ins with the police. Still the people in the church stuck by him and today, at the age of 21, he loves God with all his heart. The church knows that God’s hand is on his life. Recently, when Oscar was asked what Jesus meant to him, he simply said, “Jesus is my Provider. He saved me from death and provided shelter for me and my family.” Like others who have accepted the gospel, Oscar has gone from a shelter to the sheltering arms of a loving God. The Lord gave us opportunity that night at Madison Square Garden to reveal His love to people who had only known pain and rejection.
Perhaps you are wondering how you can make choir evangelism part of your church’s ministry. Unfortunately, there is no standard methodology for evangelistic choir ministry that works the same for every church. The Brooklyn Tabernacle is an inner-city church, with an inner-city choir, reaching inner-city people. The venues available to us may not be available to you. Yet, if God has burdened you to go outside the walls of your church, keep the following spiritual principles in mind. They have worked for us, and I’m confident they will work for you as well.
Reaching your community
Pray, pray, and pray again.
Prayer is the most important part of the ministry of the choir. Every week we gather as a choir to seek the Lord and bring our hearts before Him. We ask God to use us so people might be saved through His power. As we do this, He continues to open doors of opportunity.
Romans 8:26 reminds us that we do not know how to pray as we ought, but God has given us His Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. The privilege of inquiring of God, praying and seeking His face in every situation, should never be taken for granted. Prayer can lead you and your choir into the perfect will of God. We pray, not because God doesn’t know about our needs, but because He does know and can lead us accordingly. First John 5:14,15 states, “This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”* When you pray, God promises to lead you. Therefore, prayer is vital.
Listen for God’s leading.
One benefit of being a child of God is being led by the Lord. The Bible says that “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Jesus clearly revealed himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10:3,4). When you pray, you are seeking God’s help, and God promises to help you (Isaiah 30:19,21). Listening to God makes you depend on Him to do what He has called you to do. Without Him you can do nothing.
Go by faith.
The Christian’s faith overcomes the world. We believe by faith, work by faith, proclaim the gospel through faith, fight the good fight of faith, and lift high the shield of faith. We obtain every promise that God has given us by faith, and wherever God may send us, we go by faith. This faith is not a mental assent or reasoning of the mind. Our faith is rooted in a person, Jesus Christ, and in His sovereign power to do things beyond anything we can ever imagine. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith.
Despite the incredible doors that have been opened for The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, the Lord has never let me forget what I learned at the beginning of our ministry. Those early Teen Challenge rallies remind me of what God can do when our hearts are sincere and we are only concerned with bringing Him glory. The young men from Teen Challenge were anything but polished singers. If God’s power had depended on the quality of their voices, I am quite sure nothing would have happened in those meetings. But great things did happen. As a result, I know that unless our hearts are pure, unless we depend entirely on God, our labors will be in vain, even if we are invited to sing on the stages of the world’s most famous concert halls.
The greatest pitfall any choir faces is giving in to the temptation to perform, to provide a good show rather than to minister. When entertainment becomes your choir’s focal point, spiritual opportunities are lost. If you want to see God touch the lost through your singing and preaching, you must continually seek Him. Otherwise, you will simply be putting on another community event. People might be entertained, but their lives won’t be changed.
Choirs can minister in a variety of venues outside the church—on street corners, in prisons, schools, or concert halls. The real question is not where to minister, butwho will go? Those who say yes to God’s invitation will find satisfaction in doing the Lord’s will. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:34,35).
Whether you are a choir director, a choir member, a pastor, or a layperson, your ministry will unfold as you allow yourself to be emptied of self-interest and filled with the love of Jesus Christ. My prayer is that God will continually help all of us see through His eyes rather than our own, because right now, the fields are truly ripe. May we never limit how He can use us to bring in that harvest.