What I just communicated to all vocalists in the #worship arts family

I dislike long emails.  However, there are rare times that I launch one.  This one went to over 100 singers at our church.  I could have had a meeting — what you should really do if you are typing more than one small paragraph.  But this is important stuff I wanted people to remember.  So I plan to follow up at the first Vocal Team rehearsal (all singers) what I wrote.  I’m putting it here, too, because maybe something will help you with what you do.
Here’s how it went…
Dear (name of vocalist),
PLEASE CONFIRM/DECLINE
Please take a moment to confirm/decline for the Fall schedule.  (There was an accept/decline button at the end of the email created by Planning Center Online — a very helpful web app we use.)
NOT PLANNING ON DOING ANYTHING WITH THIS EMAIL?  HOLD ON.
There are 100+ singers on this invite list.  If you know you aren’t going to sing, simply reply to this email and say, “Please unsubscribe me from future invites.”  No questions asked.  No hard feelings.  Just gotta know stuff like how many rehearsal CDs to make and how many people to keep on the planning database (we have a limit we are approaching before we pay more $ for this service).  If I don’t get either a decline or accept — I will be removing the users from the planning database to keep costs down.  Again, no hard feelings.  just trying to be a good steward.
REHEARSAL TIME CHANGE
Rehearsals will be on the Thursday prior to leading worship from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Why the change (used to be 6:30PM)?  Two reasons.  1) Build unity with everyone starting together, 2) Slicker start with everyone there at one time, 3) Vocals are needing more time to rehearse
NAT DILIBERTO TO ASSIST!
I’m thrilled that Nat has accepted to help out on the vocal front this fall with the worship arts family.  He’s talented and really knows his vocal stuff.  He has one of the most blend-able voices I know.  Nat Diliberto will be stepping into a role to assist us with the Vocal Team (all TBC singers).  He will give direction and lead the sectional rehearsals.
DO YOU REALLY NEED ME IN VOCAL TEAM?
You are wanted because…#1 – Relationships trumps music.  Story:  I had someone tell me recently they were batting the idea of taking a break from Vocal Team.  They shared with me they didn’t want to take the break because of a friend who was coming with them.  Frankly, this person is coming for the relationship…not the music.  Folks, relationships trump music — every time.  You come to rehearsals because the people you stand next to matter.  Who cares if we are the best group of vocalists in town beyond the relationship factor.
You are wanted because…#2 – We need vocalists to lead every Sunday, not just on Vocal Team weeks.  If you sing in the Vocal Team, you will be in the “pool of vocalists” who are considered to be selected to lead worship at other times.  Yes, we are still adhering to the guideline that the pool of singers are always selected out of the Vocal Team.  Selection is dependent on high participation in the Vocal Team.  This means Sundays AND rehearsals.  My general rule of thumb is I’ll schedule someone twice for every time they make a rehearsal/Sunday in the Vocal Team.  That’s after an audition, of corse.  And please remember, this is the most difficult part of what I do.  I don’t enjoy trying to figure out who has the availability, attitude, accountability, and ability.  You wouldn’t either.  But there’s a reason Jesus selected only 12, and then had an inner circle of 3.  Was Jesus playing favorites?  I’m not Jesus.  But please understand that I’m doing my best as God’s talent broker at TBC.  Pray for me on this front.  I want to make decisions Jesus would make.
You are needed because #3 – We need to have FUN.  If this isn’t fun for you, then it’s not worth it.  If you are accepting the invitation because you feel like you “have to” — please don’t.  I’m praying for a Vocal Team that enjoys singing together, enjoys being together, and enjoys worshiping the One who created them.  If you don’t enjoy doing that — allow us to inspire you from the pew.
You are needed because #4 – We need GREAT singers…and lots of them.  Great singers not only sing…they are great because of everything else they bring to the table (relationships, kindheartedness, a smile, a prayer, a helping hand, etc.).  And there aren’t many times you can say that there is strength in numbers — but this is one of them.  I’ll never forget the time that I heard a 200 voice choir in Texas for a Saturday concert (I was in the brass group accompanying them).  Then Sunday morning rolled around, and the choir had 80 people show up.  You can tell a difference with numbers in large vocal groups.  If you are a great singer, YOU MATTER.  The people you are standing next to matter too.
YOUR NEXT STEP
What do you say?  Please accept/decline with your availability…or reply to this email if you want off the list.  Thanks.
Bryan Nelson
(Vocal Team schedule placed here)
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