Posts Tagged ‘David Crowder’

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, concluded our “Deep and Wide” series, and shared the results of how we came together as a church to advance the gospel in our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“In Tenderness” (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram J. Gordon, W. Spencer Walton, played by Citizens]
“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]
Greeting Time
Message – “Deep & Wide Recap” [Joe Hishmeh]
“All Creatures of Our God and King” (D) [St. Francis of Assisi, David Crowder, William Henry Draper, Brent Milligan]
“Wonderful Maker” (G) [Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman]
“Son of God” (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]

Thoughts: This weekend was a solid weekend with our congregation. Kip Kraisinger co-led, and he and our team all did a great job. We also introduced the glockenspiel to our services for the first time, and Stacy Krueger did a great job with it on “All Creatures of Our God and King,” especially for her first time ever playing the instrument. It was a nice textural addition to our instrumentation, and I look forward to being able to utilize it more in the future. The back half of the service was a nice reflective time where we focused our worship toward God primarily as our Maker. “Wonderful Maker” holds a special place in my life as a worshiper, because it was the first song that had the obvious absence of self in the lyric–it was all about who God is and what He has done. It served as a turning point in my leading, where the emphasis shifted from songs about me and what I was going to do for God to who He is and what He has already done for us. There is a place in worship for offering our lives and essentially making vows to the Lord, but the emphasis must be on Him first. “Wonderful Maker” helped turn my focus in that direction, and I am very grateful for how the Lord used it in my life as a young worship leader. “Son of God” was a great way to close our services, because, in a way, it encapsulates the work of Christ for us from beginning to end, and in doing so it gives us words to worship Him and to magnify His surpassing worth. It always resonates with our congregation, and is a powerful moment of worship together.

Throughout the weekend, I felt a little “off.” No matter how much sleep I had over the past week, I continued to feel very tired. It could possibly be due to a cold or allergies, but I’m not sure. Whatever the cause, I felt a little “foggy” as a result. It can be challenging to lead well when feeling like that, but those are also some of the most beautiful and powerful moments in leading, because we have the opportunity to see God’s power made perfect in our weakness in a very tangible way. It is in those moments that we find ourselves even more dependent on the Spirit of God to work in our lives and in the lives of those we lead, and that is not a bad place to be. I’m thankful for how He continues to move and grow us as a congregation, and that He allows me to be a part of what He is doing here in Fellowship.

Next weekend, our NextGen worship director, Erik Oldberg, will be leading our weekend services with a team of students, and it’s going to be a great weekend! Don’t miss it.

– Bill

What were your thoughts or experiences from your worship gathering this weekend?


This weekend, we began our Advent series with a message entitled “God Before Us.” Joe focused on four ways that Jesus was “before” us: in creation, in the Passover, in the Prophets, and in experience. Jesus is the source of life, the sacrifice for our redemption, the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, and our example. It was a powerful perspective for our first week of focusing on Advent. You can listen to the entire message here. For the first week of this series, we decided to try a drastically different format for our services, following each point of the message with a time of response through singing. I think it gave the services a more reflective emphasis, and I really enjoyed it as a change up to keep us engaged in responding to the Word of God.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“Joyous Light” (G) [Unknown/John H. Gower, w/ add. chorus by Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Louie Giglio]
Welcome/Greeting Time
“Joyful (The One Who Saves)” (D) [Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven]
Message – “God Before Us In Creation” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Glory To God Forever” (Bb) [Vicky Beeching, Steve Fee]
Message – “God Before Us In The Passover” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves]
Message – “God Before Us In The Prophets” [Joe Hishmeh]
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” (G) [John M. Neale]
Message – “God Before Us In Experience” – [Joe Hishmeh]
“God Is Able” (A) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding]


“Joyous Light” – We sang this song in our preparation time. We have done a few times in the past, and I love using the translation of this ancient hymn with the modern chorus. It was a great fit for Advent as well, focusing on Jesus as the Light of the world.

“Joyful (The One Who Saves)” – We taught this song to our congregation this weekend, and it is a song that I have wanted to sing with our congregation for over a year. I love the new chorus added to the hymn, “Joyful, Joyful”: “You are the One who saves/ You are the One who saves/ You are the One whose hands lift us from the grave/ You are the Light of life/ The everlasting Day/ You are the One who takes all our sins away.”

“Glory To God Forever” – After Joe spoke about Jesus being before us in creation, this song was a fitting response. He is before all things, and He is the almighty God, who is worthy of all the glory, forever!

“Jesus Messiah” – We sang this song during communion after Joe spoke about Jesus being before us in the Passover. He used a doorframe to illustrate the brushing of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and the lintel in the Passover, and explained how the blood of the Lamb not only protects us and spares us from the wrath of God, but it sets us free to life in the promise of God. Our hope is in Jesus alone, and this song echoes this and celebrates what our Messiah has done for us.

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” – After talking about the Prophets and how God’s people were crying out for the Messiah to come, we sang this Christmas standard. A few years ago, I rearranged this song for an acoustic Christmas CD that I recorded with my wife for our friends and family, and that’s the arrangement that we used. This is one of my favorite Advent songs, and I think it made a great connection with the Prophets and the people of God in the Old Testament period, and God’s people today who await His triumphant return.

“God Is Able” – We closed with this song, looking to Jesus as our victorious Savior who can do all things and who will rescue and redeem us from sin and death. He is with us and He is for us as His people. He will never fail. He will never leave us. Amen!

This was a unique and refreshing weekend of worshiping our Savior together. Our team did a great job as always. I love celebrating Advent with the Church. It’s a beautiful thing.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were.

In the Son,


p.s. don’t forget to check out The Worship Community!

This weekend, we focused on the first chapter of the gospel of John. Joe shared about Jesus, the Light of the World, and what is the proper response to who He is. We can be one of three things: wise, foolish, or evil in our response to Jesus. We are wise if we receive the truth and adjust our lives to match the truth. We are foolish if we try to adjust the truth to our lives. We are evil if we completely reject and resist the truth, and try to destroy it and others for our own gain. Each of us can shift between these responses when we are in different situations. I was really challenged to be more of a wise man (not wise guy…) and to leave foolishness behind. Because we are reading through the Gospel of John together, and we read through John 1 this week, we focused on songs that emphasized the incarnation, Christ’s deity, Christ as the Light of the World,

Here’s our set from this weekend:

  • Preparation Time – “Here I Am To Worship” (Verses and Chorus only) (E) [Tim Hughes]
  • Welcome/Greeting Time
  • Call To Worship – Psalm 95:1-3
  • “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
  • “Joyous Light” (G) [Unknown/John H. Gower, chorus by Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Louie Giglio]
  • “Son of God” (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash]
  • “Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves]
  • Message – “The Light Of The World (Reconnected, Redeemed, Received, Respond)” [Joe Hishmeh]
  • Offering/Announcements
  • Response – “Here I Am To Worship” (E) [Tim Hughes]
  • Dismissal

“Here I Am To Worship” – Over the past few weeks, we have introduced a time of preparation into our services.  We used this song for that time. We played through it with a simple instrumental, and then sang through it quietly. I think it functioned very well in that space, and was a solid song to help us focus on the reason we were gathered for worship. I am enjoying having this element as part of our services. We also used it as the response and closing for the services.

“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” – After our call to worship, we prayed together for the family and friends who lost loved ones in the tragedy of 9/11. We also prayed for our servicemen and women who are in harms way because of the events of that day. We followed that by singing the pre-chorus of this song: “When we see You/ We find strength to face the day/ In Your presence/ All our fears are washed away.” I felt this was the right way to respond, with trust and confidence in the ability and power of our Lord rather than fear and doubt.

“Joyous Light” – This was the second time we have sung this song since I came to Fellowship. I love the fact that this song focuses on Jesus as the Light of the World, and on the entire Trinity as well. It ties very well with the first section of John 1, which speaks of Jesus as the true Light shining in the darkness, and who was unrecognized by His own. I think the only question most people have when they sing this song is from the chorus, which sings, “We hymn the Father, we hymn the Son/ We hymn the Spirit, wholly divine/ No one more worthy of songs to be sung/ To the giver of life, all glory is Thine.” The question that will probably arise is: “Can the word ‘hymn’ be used as a verb?” Well, the noun “hymn” is a song of praise, and as a verb, “hymn” means “to praise.” There you have it. “Hymn” can refer to a song of praise or can be used as a verb. It is part of what makes this song unique, and helps us remember it, I think.

“Son of God” – This song has become part of our vocabulary at Fellowship, and I am thankful because it is a strong declaration of praise for who Jesus is and what He has done. It focuses on His deity, His fulfillment of prophecy, His power, His work of redemption and forgiveness, His sacrifice for us, and His unique worth and beauty as the perfect Son of God.

“Jesus Messiah” – We finished the set of music with this song, because I believe it speaks very clearly about who Jesus is. It speaks of Him as Emmanuel (God with us), our Redeemer, our Rescue, our Ransom, our Hope, and Lord of all. I believe it was very appropriate for the focus of this weekend.

It was good to be back with our congregation after our vacation to Florida to see family and friends. I love our church, and I love how we are growing in worship together. Jesus is worthy. May He receive more and more of our praise.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship together wherever you were.

Be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders experienced this weekend in their congregations.

Have a great week!

In the Son,


This weekend, we focused on the idea of eternal reward, coming from Philippians 3:12-16. It builds off of last weekend’s message, where Joe talked about finding no confidence or comparison in the flesh, but only finding confidence and the standard for comparison in Jesus Christ. Everything in this world will fade and pass away, except for God, His Word, and people, and those areas are where we need to prioritize our efforts and our energy. We need to “press on” toward knowing Christ more completely, and loving Him wholeheartedly.

Here’s our song list from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “Unleashed” (F#m) [Warren Barfield]
Call To Worship – Jeremiah 9:23-24
“Your Grace Is Enough” (G) [Matt Maher]
Welcome/ Offering/ Announcements/ Greeting time
“Forever Reign” (Bb) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
“Lord of All” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill]
“How Great Is Our God” [Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash]
Message – “An Appraisal of Rewards” [David Hinkle]
Response – “I Will Boast” (D) [Paul Baloche]
Post-Service – “You’re The Only One” (Em) [Bill Horn]

This was a fun week in terms of the music. Over the past few months, I have gathered that much of our congregation responds to and enjoys songs that have a groove to them, like “Those Who Trust,” so I decided to experiment a little bit, take a chance this weekend, and see what happened.

“Unleashed” – A few weeks back we did this as a post-service song on a Sunday, and it went over pretty well, so we decided to try it in the pre-service this week. I love the feel of this song. It has some really fun parts for our musicians, and it communicates a simple truth that God’s love is overwhelming and completely fills us. I love the image of God “unleashing” His love on us, like He was holding back a massive wave, and eventually let it loose on us. I’m not sure the congregation quite knew what to do with this one in the first two services. I was more specific before the Sunday services that this song was for us to prepare our hearts and ready our minds for worship. It was fun to play, but I’m not sure if we’ll do it again. I will be looking to the rest of our pastoral and leadership team for feedback on that one.

“Your Grace Is Enough” – I don’t think much needs to be said about this song. It is simple and clear, and celebrates the grace of God in a great way. Our congregation connects with it and knows it well, and it is a great way to start the service. We prefaced this song with the passage from Jeremiah 9:23-24 where God speaks of boasting and the only proper object of boasting: let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth” (ESV). I think the word translated as “steadfast love” is referring to God’s grace and faithful love toward us, and it was a great way to focus our hearts in preparation for this first song.

“Forever Reign” – This was the first time we did this song in Bb together since I arrived here (last time I tried to sing it in Ab, and it was incredibly low in the verses!). This song is a staple for our church, and I have become a big fan of it over the last few months. The verses and chorus were a great connection (more than I realized initially) between the way we began, with “Unleashed” and “Your Grace Is Enough,” to where we were going, focusing on the unique worth and glory of Jesus as the Lord of lords and King of kings. He is all we need, and He is the only one we should be exalting with our lives, first because of who He is, and furthermore because of what He has done in redeeming us through His cross and resurrection. I particularly love the bridge as it sings, “My heart will sing/ No other name/ Jesus, Jesus.” Because of the gospel of Jesus, this should be the truth of our hearts. May that be the case!

“Lord of All” – It’s been a few weeks since we’ve sung this song, but it remains a favorite of mine. Our congregation connects with it well. I have maintained that this is a song that the Church needs to sing, because it not only emphasizes the glory, power, and worth of Jesus, but it also draws attention to His judgment and wrath, which is not a frequent occurrence in worship music throughout the Church’s history. I believe that this is a major emphasis in Scripture, and therefore part of God’s glory that ought to be praised. I understand the fact that God’s judgment is infrequently mentioned because it’s not always a pleasant thought, to think that God will judge. However, this attribute of God also points to His greatness and His perfect power. As Scripture frequently points out, who will question God? Who will tell Him what to do? Who made the heavens? Who created man? Will the created one try and tell the Creator what to do? No. God is almighty, and none can match His power and His glory.

“How Great is Our God” – We haven’t done this song in a while, but it’s a song that we can all get our hearts around and that we can sing well. We tried something a little different at the end of the song, and the ladies on the team sang the chorus of “Lord of All” while I sang the chorus of “How Great is Our God” (they have the same progression). It was pretty cool to hear them both together, because they communicate very similar ideas about God’s greatness, power, and unique worth.

“I Will Boast” – Because David was focusing partly on Jeremiah 9:23-24, he asked if we could do this song as a response. I think it was very fitting, because we are tempted to think that many things in our lives are worth boasting about, but Jesus is the only thing worth boasting about. My youth pastor, James, used to say something to the effect of, “Let’s brag on Jesus.” Word.

“You’re The Only One” – This is the most recent song that I have written, and it is the first time we’ve done it together here at Fellowship. We did it in the post-service time, partly to introduce it into our church. It had particular meaning to sing on Sunday, because one of our people here, a man named David Decker, was killed in a motorcycle accident last night due to another driver’s error at an intersection. David is the father of two boys. The lyric of this song comes primarily from Psalm 139, which talks about the Lord’s presence everywhere. We cannot escape His sight or His presence. No matter what we are experiencing, He is there, and He is with us.

You’re The Only One
Bill Horn

In the shadows, in the empty, in the darkness,
You are near, You are here
In the trial, in the fire, in the pain,
You are with me, You are with me

I won’t be afraid
I won’t be afraid

You’re the only one who hears me when I call
You’re the only one to catch me when I fall

In the quiet, in the silence, in the whispers
You are listening, Lord, You hear me
In the hopeless, in the helpless, in the hurting,
You are life, You are the light

Your love never fails
Your love never fails

The dark is like the light to You
And night as bright as day
Wherever I go, You remain

May we all be keenly aware of His presence with us in all circumstances. May God’s presence be known in suffering, in the suffering of two boys who lost their father, and in the suffering of two parents who lost their son last night. Jesus is a High Priest who understands and sympathizes with us, and can minister better than anyone to our needs. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV).

I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were, and that Jesus was lifted high like He deserves to be! I’m a part of The Worship Community, and you should check it out.

In the Son,


(Photos taken by Shelly Zipperle)

Here’s our set from this week:

Pre-Service: “Say Say” [Christy Nockels, Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill] – C
Call to Worship: Isaiah 40:25-31
“Everlasting God” [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] – Bb
Greeting Time
“God of Wonders” [Marc Byrd, Steve Hindalong] – Ab
“Indescribable” [Laura Story] – Ab
Communion: “Lamb of God” [original] – Ab
Message: “I Believe God Reveals” [Pastor Joe Hishmeh]
“All Creatures of Our God and King” [St. Francis of Assisi, William Henry Draper, David Crowder, and Brent Milligan] – D

My third week here in Topeka was a great weekend of worship, with an interesting twist: I was more hoarse than I have ever been in my life, aside from losing my voice completely. Strangely, I was able to control my pitch and volume without any trouble, but it sounded really rough on “Say Say.” For the rest of the set, it sounded a little gritty, but I think it was fine. It was a lot of work to control it, to be sure.

I typically have a higher tenor voice, but I have been trying to key things lower for the people in the congregation–specifically the men in our congregation. This week made me think seriously about that. I had already keyed the songs lower (aside from “Say Say”) on purpose, but if I hadn’t, I don’t think I would have been able to sing them at all. I came to a conclusion: if I cannot sing a song when I’m sick, it’s too high for most men to sing. I think that’s probably a fair assessment. Most guys have as much range as my hoarse voice, which basically has the range of an untrained voice. It will be extremely helpful to have that as a guide for my decisions on song keys and ranges going forward.

“God of Wonders” and “Indescribable” were keyed lower than I have ever had them before, and I thought it was very effective. It seemed like the people were singing more easily with the change (especially on “Indescribable,” which is usually through the roof in Bb or B). I think they could have come down even to G without negative effect. I was even more grateful that I had done that when my cold began looming over the weekend.

Also, this was the first week I have shared an original song with Fellowship, in “Lamb of God.” We used it during communion, as the deacons and elders were passing out the elements. For me, it was an especially sweet time of thinking on the cross and what our Messiah did for us to redeem us and rescue us. Pastors David Hinkle and Brian Tryhus did a great job setting up the time of communion, too, which made it that much more meaningful.

Pastor Joe shared about God’s revelation of Himself through creation, through the Word of God, and through Christ. Because of this, we responded to the message with “All Creatures of Our God and King” as arranged by David Crowder on his Illuminate album. I love this arrangement of this hymn, and it was really fitting for the message today. The guitar part at the intro was a little tricky (Crowder capos up to the 7th fret and place it with G shapes and tons of embellishment), but by the fourth service, I think I got it mostly right. I love some of the stuff that Crowder does on acoustic. It spices things up without going over the top.

All in all, it was a great weekend of worship together. We unveiled a pretty dramatic stage design for the I Believe series, which turned out great. Kip Kraisinger and Wyatt Johnston were the brains behind that one. The images in this blog are from the new set. We set out to link our series on essential doctrines of the Christian faith to the concept of “Legacy,” which is where the Tron theme comes in. All it took was some PVC pipe and some lighting, along with aircraft cable and fishing line to rig the pipe boxes. I’m pretty excited about how it turned out. In fact, I’m pretty excited about everything going on here at Fellowship right now. God is so good!

I hope you had a great week of worship wherever you were!

In the Son,


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