I started singing solo "special music" in church when I was six years old. I come from a very musical family, and we all sing and play multiple instruments. That said, I've been wondering where our modern idea of "special music" comes from. (I visited to one church where there were five "specials" in each service, with only three congregational songs of one or two verses each. I felt left out of worship!) I'm thinking of two specific areas: --Choir. My husband and I are in choir at church and spend two hours every Lord's Day in choir practice, which makes for a pretty exhausting Sunday. Why do we have choirs? --Singing solos. Most churches in my circle have someone sing special music right before the message. I did it all the time growing up. But it started bothering me that the song leader would say, "So-and-so (a woman) will now come and minister to us in song (or bring us a message in song)." Is a woman supposed to minister to and exhort the congregation in that way? And why do we have special music anyway? Are these enough questions? Oh, and I don't really want this to be about what kinds of songs are being sung (EP vs. non), but about why we use these forms of worship in some churches.