During the Christmas holidays, I watched a movie, "A Christmas without Snow" on cable. These days I watch movies mostly on Netflix and Amazon. This way, I can more effectively search and find movies according to my interests. So, finding and watching this movie on television felt a bit old-fashioned.

The setting of this movie was a church and its choir. One of the most memorable scenes happened right after the audition to select soloists for the Handel's Messiah concert.  One soprano, who thought she was a far more qualified singer than anyone else in the group, failed to get the solo parts and left the choir room after saying "A group of amateurs who can't even sing on key!" 

To the people who were left in a room filled with shameful emotion, the choir director said "Yes, she was right. You are amateurs.  But she doesn’t know the real meaning of amateur.  The meaning of amateur is he or she who does a thing for the love of it. It's more about motivation than qualification. There's no higher reason for singing than the love of doing it.  In this respect, you do indeed qualify as amateurs, and I salute you for it."  What a statement that every church choir director and singer should keep in mind!  

Even though our choir has been supported by several music majors as section leaders, and they are part of the reason we have enjoyed a strong and unique history of music ministries at First Presbyterian Church,  the basic spirit of our music activities still have been based on this meaning of amateurism. 

Many times people use this word to imply a lack of perfection or techniques for high quality of production. But when it comes to making music before God, will there be that much difference between people and people?  Isn't it the enthusiasm and pure heart of ours God really wants when we make music to praise God?

This is one of the reasons church music directors should not take it granted when choir members show steadfast commitment in their regular attendance between their busy schedules and different priorities. 

So, here I am, giving my salute to our church ringers and singers in our church musical groups and praying to God that I will do my best to serve them and support their efforts in sincere and healthy amateurism for our church music program. Let us keep sharing our time and talents and try to grow musically and spiritually through our musical offerings towards God.