Here's a recent post on one of the Christian forums I participate in:
"Our choir has a very talented group of singers and musicians, and I am thankful to be a part of it. However, our music minister consistently overlooks most of the singers in the choir and when there are solos in songs, it's always the same 3 or 4 people (which includes himself). This has been an ongoing problem for a couple of years, and it breaks my heart when I see those who are overlooked for whatever reason. These people take their time and talent to be a part to minister, and are never given an opportunity to even try out for a part they feel led to do. I know that most of the decisions in a choir have to the leaders, but we never have tryouts, we have no communication (other than what time to show up), and those who I love as fellow christians who do sing those special parts I am starting to resent just for this fact. I don't know what to do. PLEASE HELP"
Here are a few of my responses so far:
"It appears that the issue really isn't the soloist thing. The issue is the lack of communication. There may be a very good reason for only using a limited number of soloists, or there may not...regardless, it's never been explained to the choir.
To be honest, we have about 30 people involved in our vocal ministries (band, worship choir, etc.), but I only consider 4 of those people for "solos" because the rest simply are not shaped for this part of our ministry. Every church is different, but every church should be clear on the how's and why's concerning involvment in ministry. Again, this seems to be the major issue here.
If I were you, I would approach the worship leader and ask him if he has any policies/strategy concerning the soloists...if so, would he consider explaining those policies to the choir as a whole so that everyone is aware, if not, would he consider thinking about those things so that he can begin to communicate. Try to keep your personal emotions out of it for the time being...simply focus on finding out why there is a lack of communication. Again, he may have a good reason, he just needs to work on his communication."
And (after another poster agreed that limiting solos to a select few was "wrong"):
""Talent" is sooooo subjective. The "talent" standard should be set by your leaders, and as long as that standard has a purpose and is communicated well, what can you do? If I allowed everyone who said they had "talent" or was recommended (by people who really believe they know what "talent" sounds like) because it was thought they had "talent", our Sunday mornings would look/sound like an American Idol audition...
Every member of the body has it's place...my feet can do a lot of things that my hands can do, but none of them nearly as well. I can clap with my inches, and I can walk on my hands...but, if I'm going to have a hand clap solo, or if I'm going to walk for more than a few feet, I'm going to choose the part of my body that's going to get it done the best, and I'm going to expect that my feet and hands don't get jealous or hurt because I didn't choose them. They should know better...
I guarantee that every member of your choir who may never get asked to sing a solo has been created by God to fill another role in your church in a better way than anyone else can. Every member of the body can shine and feel the satisfaction and purpose that comes with serving in ministry, but only if they're allowed to find out what part they are and are given the opportunity to shine."
What say ye?