The Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Kwaku Asante, Outgoing Presiding Bishop of Methodist Church, Ghana, has said Church Choirs and gospel musicians should win souls for Christ with their songs instead of providing mere entertainment.
“ There is the need for you to realize that your primary duty in singing is not for entertainment so let what you sing expose your listeners to the wide range of biblical image and story, backed by the power that spirit imparts for the holistic redemption of our faith communities, ”he said.
He was speaking at the official opening of the 15th Biennial National Delegates Conference of the Association of Methodist Church Choirs, Ghana (GHAMECC) at Cape Coast, Most Rev. Asante also challenged hymn and song composers to write songs that built faith and trust in God.
Most Rev. Asante said singing, like preaching, was a powerful tool, which imparted the word of God to Christians and non-believers for effective Christian formation and growth.
The five-day conference, which also marks the 40th Anniversary of the Association, is on the theme, “Witnessing to Christ; singing for effective Christian formation”. It is being attended by more than 2,000 delegates from Methodist Churches nationwide.
The formation of Methodist Church choirs began many years before 1974, but it was in April of the year that the Association was established by a group of dedicated choristers.
The objective was to bring all Methodist Choirs on a common platform for the discussion and prosecution of issues of common interest. It was also to bring uniformity, correctness in singing, among others.
Most Rev. Asante said the early Methodists, led by John and Charles Wesley , were identified as people of God through singing, consequently, the lyrical heritage of Methodism was partly grounded on the recognition of congregational singing as a potent means of teaching faith.
He said Methodist choristers were at the forefront of the Church’s discipleship process, teaching and nurturing of faith through the medium of music and, therefore, urged them to intentionally prepare themselves as a fitting instrument.
The Central Regional Minster, Mr. Aquinas Tawiah, said the failure of choristers to propagate the gospel had dire consequences and urged them to work hard to eschew negative tendencies.
Mr Quansah commended the Methodist Church for its contribution towards the development of education, health, and other areas.
Prof. Yaw Sekyi-Baidoo, National Chairman of GHAMECC, paid glowing tributes to the founding members and all those who had contributed to the welfare of the association since its establishment.
He said challenges facing the association included the unavailability of musicians, especially organists, to help choirs in rural areas, lack of budgetary support for implementation of commendable suggestions and the depletion of members due to old age.
He, therefore, and appealed for support to solve the problems.
Prof. Sekyi-Baidoo announced that the association planned to publish a new hymnbook of Ghanaian composers to meet the Ghanaian local taste and also step up dialogues on the placement, formation, training and management of junior choirs to replenish the senior choir. GNA