In the a cappella world, pitch matters.
I’m not saying it has to be perfect, but if the song is pitched a fourth too high, people either shy away from singing altogether, or they laugh themselves through the song–risking irreverence, if the song is addressed adoringly to God.
On the other hand, if the song is pitched 2 steps low,
- the basses may not be heard, and they won’t have the guts to take it up an octave,
- the tenors may get confused and drop out or sing an oddly morphed sort-of alto line,
- the altos may sing too high, doubling the tenor at the octave, or may make up some part that further confuses the hopelessly befuddled men-types captioned above, and
- worse yet, the whole song may lack appropriate energy and brilliance.
If as a leader you can’t naturally pitch a song pretty close to its written pitch (provided the notation has been somewhat knowledgeably offered), you should learn how to use a pitch standard, such as a tuning fork or pitch pipe. It’s for the good of the assembly.