Last week, Mangochi congregation of the Blantyre Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) added another piece of history to its archive book as the church’s praise team choir launched a compact disk (CD). It was a ceremony that sent patrons into a thrilling heavenly world on earth. Our CORRESPONDENT AYAMBA KANDODO had a chat with the church’s moderator Reverend Lazarus Kadango, who is also the synod zone music coordinator on the launch of the CD and other issues.
What do you understand by singing God’s songs?
Singing God’s songs is another platform where Christians come together to praise the Lord through their voice. It is another form of preaching God’s messages.
This is the fifth group to launch a CD at this church, what does it mean?
You are right, this is the fifth choir to release an album. The fist was the Mvano Choir followed by Kufalitsa, Tamandani and Sunday School. This clearly shows that the church is growing since music is one of the tools that take God’s messages far within a short time. Again, the development entails that people have a zeal and passion to spread the word of God.
So, singing is playing a crucial role in preaching the word of God?
Certainly! It is more than standing on the pulpit and preaching to congregants. What should be borne in your mind is that there is power in music. You will find that in churches choirs are given more time to sing as opposed to the preaching itself, which lasts about 10-20 minutes. It is when Christians weave words from different books and come up with a song that we can convert a lost soul to know God and start worshipping Him. When we read the Bible we find that angels sing and, this we learn, it pleases God. It is also indisputable that whenever one is grieved he or she needs to be consoled. It is at such times that gospel music is needed the most to soothe the wounded soul. Therefore, the most important way of propagating God’s messages is through music. Unlike preaching in the church, when you buy the CD/DVD and take it home, other people, even those who are not part of your congregation, have a chance to listen to the songs, hence, they get preached to and may be converted.
As synod zone music coordinator, how do you mentor choirs so that they keep going?
To begin with, it is my duty to encourage the choir groups to use their God-given talent prudently. I tell them to explore the talent and go beyond the level of their capability. Nevertheless, I encourage them to keep their money in the church account. This is so because experience has shown that choirs that do as they please with the money seldom survive—they collapse. It might be the treasurer embezzling money or otherwise. Besides, choirs that keep their monies in the church accounts have an advantage that they can borrow money from other choirs or the church itself and pay later. In this case, you find that the choirs survive even if the financial environment is hostile.
What is your message to the choirs and churches in your jurisdiction?
I would say that time is ripe for choirs in the churches to use their talents.
Above all, I would like to urge the Christians to support the choirs by buying their CDs and DVDs. We should refrain at all cost from piracy as that impacts negatively on the choirs’ initiatives to raise money for their activities. Actually, pirating the CDs and DVDs is stealing, which is a sin before God. I would also want to ask other churches to borrow a leaf from Mangochi CCAP to encourage and support their choirs in music as it is good to sing in the Lord. n