Music is a universal language.
For Brian Smith, bringing together vocalists from a variety of denominations was a way to be the Body of Christ and to minister to the community.
The last two springs, the Callaway County Christian Choir prepared a diverse concert, which it performed at many churches within the county lines.
With a heart to reach further, Smith expanded to form the Mid-Missouri Christian Choir. The choir, which began rehearsals this week, will perform a Christmas repertoire this winter.
The choir will rehearse at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at Union Hill Baptist Church. New voices, especially men, are invited to join by the Sept. 24.
This year, the choir also will be joined by a dance team, and Smith would like to collect a children's choir, too.
Nearly a dozen singers from Jefferson City have welcomed the opportunity to combine their faith and music.
Weekly church choirs have experienced a decline, Smith said. For several of the new members, they have been waiting for a new outlet to sing, Smith said.
The choir will perform at least three concerts in December - one each at Columbia, Fulton and Jefferson City. And they have plans to organize a few flash mobs throughout the season, too.
Smith has found purpose in organizing other community events. But through this choir, he has been able to share his enthusiasm about faith and music and then watch others become infected with it, he said.
A minister for eight years at Lighthouse Church in Fulton, Smith said bringing together people from different churches in one mission clears away the minor differences and focuses on sharing the Gospel.
"Music is a very passionate thing for people," Smith said.
The 90-minute program will include contemporary, southern gospel, blues and rock and traditional cathedral music. In between songs, local people will share personal testimonies and application of the musical message to daily life.
"It's not just another story of Jesus in a manger," Smith said. "It's about a real world with real problems and hurts and an amazing savior who wants to love them."