Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Carollers and Carolling...

We had our first night out last night. So it got me thinking...

Nowadays, chances are, you get to see a group of probably 7 odd people moving around in two sedans, carrying a guitar, singing carols at your neighbours' apartments.

That got me to look back to 10 years ago. Back then, the Church only sent out those who were properly trained to sing carols. But nowadays, we've been called to bring forth the Good News of God's salvation to man in our respective small groups. We've been going out in groups of 7 odd each year. It's a big enough task to try to get a full attendance, what more get 'good enough' singers.

Back then, we had to go through proper choir practises in order to be eligible to sing. And we were allocated into teams of around 15 people each. All of us could sing properly and we were all accustomed to the standard operating procedures of carolling. Thus, we, carollers were treated like 'professionals'. Every other house we visited would prepare a stunning meal or some marvelous finger food and drinks for the carollers. Because the host of homes that we visit could see the time and effort that we put into the event, they duly prepared good food for all the carollers.

But nowadays, since the Church decided to do things through cell group, the tradition has somewhat died down. Some cell groups consist of a miserly 5 people, and sometimes, half of them cannot sing properly. So that leaves the group with what, 2 singers? I have to sorrily say that the quality of music has dropped. Maybe it's because of the tenacity of the Church's growth that we weren't able to train enough people in time. So most of us have been training separately. And this has caused a very sharp decline in the quality of the music.

And the audience see that. Sometimes I feel that it is starting to look as if we're not putting our effort into presenting the Good News properly. It's not that we are not putting effort into it. But the system has allowed this to happen. It is a fact that not everyone can sing well. And if so happened that your cell has really no talent in the singing department, then you are simply not representing the Good News in any good light. Not that I am saying God cannot work through these groups, but yet, to the uninformed, it does look as if it's a half-hearted effort; a team put together just to meet an objective, disregarding quality. (On a lighter note: Maybe that's why the quality of the food we get from the houses we visit also deteriorated.)

That's why, this year, when the 'Queen' was away, I instigated that we go out in a massive group. So that with more in numbers, we would be able to cover each other's flaws. Then, in a group that is rightly manageable, we could have so much fun. People encourage people. That's the concept of church; That when brethren dwell together in unity, it can only be good.

People go for sensationalism. It's in our blood because we've been brought up in front of the tv set. And tv's only promote such things. So... maybe it's time to go back to the traditions of years past and rekindle a spirit of excellence instead of simply going for 'more coverage' and sacrifice quality.

Of course to those blessed groups who can sing well with only 4 people, then I rest my case. However, how many of us can do that?


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