Posts Tagged ‘God is Alive’

Jesus is risen! He has conquered sin and death, and He reigns forevermore. This weekend holds so much meaning for the church, and it was truly a joy to celebrate Christ’s resurrection together. This weekend, we had two services on Good Friday, and then six Easter services through Saturday and Sunday (two on Saturday and four on Sunday). It was a marathon, but it was completely worth it. I am so proud of our team for stepping up and serving with excellence in all of the services, giving their best for our Savior and His church.

Here’s our set from Good Friday:

“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Chris Tomlin, Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, and Ed Cash]
“Because of Your Love” (G) [Phil Wickham]
Lamb of God” (G) [Bill Horn]
Message – “The Heroic Rescue of Humanity: Jesus the Savior” [Joe Hishmeh]
Response – “The Wonderful Cross” [Isaac Watts, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Lowell Mason, J.D. Watts]
Communion Intro
“Nothing But The Blood” [Matt Redman]
“You Saw Me” [Mia Fieldes, Ben Fielding, and Reuben Morgan]
Taking of the elements
Dismissal 

And here’s how we celebrated the resurrection in our Easter services:

Pre-service – “God is Alive” (A) [Steve Fee and Eddie Kirkland]
Call to worship – Mark 16:4-6
“Happy Day” (Bb) [Tim Hughes and Ben Cantelon]
Welcome/ Offering/ Announcements/ Greeting time
“You Alone Can Rescue” (Bb) [Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin]
“Stronger” (Bb) [Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan]
Message – “The Heroic Rescue of Humanity: Jesus the Restorer” [Joe Hishmeh]
Response – “Jesus Paid It All” [John Thomas Grape, Elvina M. Hall, and Alex Nifong]
Dismissal – Joe Hishmeh

I am thrilled with how this weekend’s services went. Our Good Friday services were sweet times of reflection on the cross and on Jesus sacrifice for us. We used a distinct instrumentation for the service, with predominantly acoustic instruments. We had two standard acoustics, a high-strung acoustic (Nashville tuning), viola, fretless bass, and a percussion set up for our drummer with djembe and cajon and a few toys. It was very organic in the way that we put the songs together and in the way we presented it. I thought it came across the way we wanted, and people were pointed to the cross. We had the large, wooden cross lit in all red, and the band was all in black in the background on the stage, and that helped to communicate the desired focus for the evening. In all, it was a strong and sincere evening. Good Friday is one of my favorite occasions for worship, as we praise our Savior for His great sacrifice on our behalf–in our place, for our sins.

One Easter, we pulled out the stops, and pushed things forward a bit with some new elements. We opened the pre-service time with “God is Alive,” and we used a brand-new element in our context: our drummer, Jordan, is a master beat producer, and he brought out his Akai MPC 4000 to create a loop to play underneath the whole song, which would be brought into focus during the intro and the breaks. I was giddy when he put it all together and we started to play together as a band. It was such a fresh addition to what we have been doing, and it is and element that I have wanted to incorporate (in any worship setting) for years. The click track was step one to getting to this point, and we got here a lot quicker than I anticipated. It was pretty special to finally experience it in that way. I thought it added even more energy to an already exciting song. It was a perfect moment for me, as we sang out “Everyone/ Glorify the risen Son/ The Holy One has overcome/ Jesus is alive/ The enemy/ Is broken underneath His feet/ Death is crushed in victory/ Jesus is alive/ Jesus is alive.” It’s a beautiful thing!

We followed the call to worship with “Happy Day,” which felt like a great fit for the weekend. This song was a little more familiar to our congregation, so they sang out and participated more than on “God is Alive” (which is part of why we did “God is Alive” in the pre-service slot). I love the truth in this song, and I think it is one of Tim Hughes’ best songs. He captures the gospel message clearly and simply. The verses say it well: “The greatest day in history/ Death is beaten, You have rescued me/ Sing out, Jesus is alive/ The empty cross, the empty grave/ Life eternal, You have won the day/ Shout it out, Jesus is alive/ He’s alive!”

After the welcome time, we moved to “You Alone Can Rescue” and “Stronger,” which are two songs that focus on God’s unique ability to save us and rescue us from sin and death, and to give us eternal life. I love the choruses of each of the songs. “You Alone Can Rescue” sings, “You alone can rescue/ You alone can save/ You alone can lift us from the grave/ You came down to find us/ Led us out of death/ To You alone belong the highest praise.” In particular, my favorite line is the one that describes the divine condescension, His coming down to find us and leading us out of death. I am moved as I sing those words. This song really took hold with me as Matt Redman led at a week-long event in Daytona Beach last summer, and the weight of these words really landed. It remains a powerful expression of worship for me. The chorus of “Stronger” sings, “You are stronger/ You are stronger/ Sin is broken/ You have saved me/ It is written/ Christ is risen/ Jesus, You are Lord of all.” This echoes Scripture in a few places, one of which is Philippians 2, where Paul writes that “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:8-11 NASB).  Because of Jesus’ humble and obedient sacrifice to conquer sin and death, He now has the name which is above every name. He is Lord of all, and worthy of being worshiped as such.

We finished the service by responding with “Jesus Paid It All,” but we did it a little differently than we had previously. We treated the original hymn in a very standard way. We played it in a way that would be very familiar for guests and regular attenders alike, in a gentle and slowly building manner. Then, we finished with an instrumental chorus, with the piano playing the melody. When we landed on the tonic chord (Bb), we let it ring out, and then quietly sang Alex Nifong’s added chorus: “O praise the One/ Who paid my debt/ And raised this life/ Up from the dead.” We went from gentle to full-bore in a matter of moments, and it was a powerful moment as we declared praise and truth about our risen King, who has also given us life when we were dead in our sins and transgressions (Eph. 2). It was a great fit with Joe’s message this weekend, which talked about two ways to live – either submitted to Jesus as the true King by faith and trust in His finished work on the cross to make things right; or attempting to reign over our own lives and to make things right on our own, unsuccessfully.

Our Easter weekend has been a true highlight of my time with Fellowship thus far. I can’t wait for us to continue to develop things and build from here. We have an amazing Worship and Arts team here, and I love their servant hearts. God is doing great things among us. He is alive and moving in His church!

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were. Be sure to check out The Worship Community to see what other leaders and team members experienced in their worship gatherings this weekend.

In the name of the risen Son!

Bill

Palm Sunday weekend (we had to tag “weekend” onto it because of our weekend services–we landed there after a little bit of discussion…) is one that brings mixed feelings. On one hand, we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as Messiah and King. On the other hand, we see our fickleness as humans, where one day we are praising Him as King, and later that same week we are calling for His death. At the same moment we recognize Jesus’ supremacy and power and worth; along with our own weakness, foolishness, and wickedness. Planning for this weekend, we tried to emphasize the real focus of this moment: the Messiah has come to save us! Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and He is our only hope. Each of our songs this week pointed in some way to Christ as Messiah or King.

Here’s our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “God Is Alive” (A) [Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland]
Call to Worship – Matthew 21:6-9
“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting time
“Hosanna” (G) [Brooke Fraser, arr. by Starfield]
“Our God” (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, and Jesse Reeves]
“Son Of God” (G) [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld, Ed Cash, and Gordon Cochran]
Message – “The Heroic Rescue of Humanity: The Messiah” [Joe Hishmeh]
Response – “Lord Of All” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill]

This weekend we sang “God Is Alive” for the second time. It seemed like the song caught on a little better this time, and people were participating more, even though the song was still slated in the pre-service time slot. Much of the congregation was clapping and singing together. I was a little unsure of the song’s reception last week when we introduced it, but the response this weekend was encouraging. I’m looking forward to using this song on Easter, because the lyric is perfect for the occasion.

After the call to worship, we moved to Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown’s “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising),” which is a perfect fit for Palm Sunday weekend. The chorus echoes the statements made by the disciples and fans of Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem, but restates them while being informed by our Christian understanding of the person and the work of Christ: “Hosanna, Hosanna/ You are the God who saves us/ Worthy of all our praises/ Hosanna, Hosanna/ Come have Your way among us/ We welcome You here, Lord Jesus.” That word, Hosanna, literally means “come save us now,” and it was what the people of Israel were crying out to Jesus as He entered in as King. However, they didn’t really know what they were asking. They didn’t really know what they needed. They were asking for deliverance and salvation from Roman rule in their lives. They were asking for less than what God intended for the Messiah. What they really needed was deliverance from sin and death, and restoration to God. Joe shared this idea in a powerful way this weekend. We can either trust in Christ as our Messiah, or we can seek deliverance our own way by trusting in worthless idols–“substitute Saviors.”

Following the welcome time, we kicked off the second worship set with Brooke Fraser’s “Hosanna.” This week we did a variation of Starfield’s performance of the song, which is suited better for my vocal. I like their treatment of the song, and how they gave it a little more overall energy, which serves a little better toward the top of a worship set.

Next we moved to “Our God,” which has become a staple for us. The concept of this song fits very well with Luke’s account of the triumphal entry, as he wrote that “the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen” (Luke 19:37). The verses of “Our God” align perfectly with that, as they sing, “Water You turned into wine/ Opened the eyes of the blind/ There’s no one like You/ None like You/ Into the darkness You shine/ Out of the ashes we rise/ There’s no one like You/ None like You.” The rest of the song sings of the Lord’s great power and ability to rescue, and when He is for us, there is nothing that can stand against us. It was a great fit for Palm Sunday weekend.

We finished the second worship set with “Son of God,” which is new to our congregation. I sang this song once when I came the church to lead as a guest, but it was completely new here. This week was the first week in which we’ll be teaching this song, and we will pick up teaching it after Easter weekend. I love this song because it presents Jesus in many respects, such as Creator, Savior, Lord, and promised Messiah. It proclaims His surpassing worth and greatness, along with His love and forgiveness for us. While very simple, it covers a lot of ground, and shows how Jesus, from beginning to end, is King. It declares His worth and how He deserves our worship in everything. Here’s the lyric:

“Son of God”

Verse 1
Son of God, Shaper of the stars
You alone the dweller of my heart
Mighty King, how beautiful You are
How beautiful

Son of God, the Father’s gift to us
You alone were broken on the altar of love
Precious Lamb, our freedom’s in Your blood
It’s in Your blood

Chorus
Jesus, O Holy One
I sing to You, forgiven
Savior, I’m overcome
With Your great love for me

Verse 2
Song of God, strength beyond compare
You alone, the darkness cannot bear
Lord of love, Your kindness draws me near
It draws me near

Son of God, prophecy of old
You alone, Redeemer of my soul
Come again and lead Your people home
Come lead us home

Bridge
You are worthy
You are worthy
You are worthy of all my praise
You are beautiful
You are beautiful
I will lift up my hands and sing

We finished the service with one of my favorite songs, “Lord of All.” I have discussed this song at length in the past, but suffice it to say that I believe this song is one that the Church needs to sing. It declares the power, glory, and victory of Jesus, the King of kings. It proclaims the truth of Philippians 2:10-11: “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” It does this with strength and truth, and I have never regretted singing this song in corporate worship. I don’t think we, as the body of Christ, can sing this truth enough.

On a technical note, we continued using the click track and the Aviom system, and it continues to be a great asset to our team. We are consistently tighter as a band, and it cuts lots of time from our rehearsals as an added benefit. Stephen, our drummer, had never played with a click before, and he did a fantastic job operating it and sticking with it. I have given more responsibility to our drummers, as they not only have to play their instrument, but now they also have to make the tempo adjustments to our click track (which every band member hears), and start and stop it at the appropriate times. I continue to be impressed with our team as we challenge ourselves to get better at what we do, so that we might serve our congregation better. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve with this awesome team.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were. Be sure to check out The Worship Community to see what other leaders and team members planned and experienced this week in their worship services.

Hosanna! Glory to God in the highest.

In the Son,

Bill

Here’s our set from this weekend:

“God Is Alive” (A) [Steve Fee and Eddie Kirkland]
Call to Worship – Psalm 96:1-4, 10a
“Say, Say” (A) [Kristian Stanfill, Chris Tomlin, and Christy Nockels]
Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting
“Everlasting God” (Bb) [Brenton Brown and Ken Riley]
“It Is Well” (Bb) [Todd Fields, Philip Paul Bliss, and Horatio G. Spafford]
“Stronger” (Bb) [Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan]
Message – “I Believe: Questions & Answers” [Joe Hishmeh]
Response – “All To Us” [Matt Maher, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, and Chris Tomlin]

This week we introduced Steve Fee and Eddie Kirkland’s “God Is Alive” to our congregation. We began teaching it today in preparation for Easter. I cannot think of a more fitting lyric for celebrating Christ’s victory over sin and death through His death and resurrection. I think it is one of the best modern songs that have been written for Easter. The solid lyric and high energy of the song  are a perfect fit for celebrating Jesus’ resurrection:

“God Is Alive”

Verse 1
Let the darkness flee
It’s got no power over me
I have been set free
God is alive

Verse 2
Death where is your sting?
Sin had got no hold on me
I am free indeed
God is alive

Pre-Chorus
We’ve been redeemed
So rise and sing

Chorus
Everyone, glorify the risen Son
The Holy One has overcome
Jesus is alive
The enemy is broken underneath His feet
Death is crushed in victory
Jesus is alive, Jesus is alive

Verse 3
Let us wake and rise
Lift your voices, lift your eyes
We’re gonna shout, we’re gonna shake the skies
God is alive

Bridge
The empty grave is singing now
It’s shouting out
He is alive, He is alive
And we are free

We also brought back “Say Say” for the closing message of our “I Believe” series. It is a fitting declaration for this series, as it sings in the chorus: “Say, say, say you believe it/ Sing for the whole world to hear it/ We know and we declare it/ Jesus is King/ Say, say, say you believe it/ Sing loud, sing like you mean it/ We know and we declare it/ Jesus is King.” After doing this series for ten weeks, this is where we must land. After all we have seen and heard about the greatness of God, the proper response is to go out a proclaim the truth and greatness of the name of Jesus and His gospel to the world. We need to know what we believe to be able to communicate that message clearly to others.

This week, we also introduced our new pastor of ministries, J.D. Holt. He just finished making the 2100-mile trip from Bellingham, WA to Topeka to begin working with us. I am excited about having him on our team, and about the leadership and experience he will bring to managing our staff team. He’s a great guy, and I really look forward to getting to know him and his wife, Christy. I was nervous as we were searching for the man to fill this role, as my experience has shown it to be crucial to the personality of the staff team. I believe our prayers have been answered in J.D., and we are very grateful!

After the welcome time, we started the second set of music with “Everlasting God.” From Isaiah 40, this song paints a powerful picture of God and His attributes. As we sing the chorus, “You are the everlasting God/ The everlasting God/ You do not faint, You won’t grow weary/ You’re the defender of the weak/ You comfort those in need/ You lift us up on wings like eagles,” I cannot help but see not only a description of God’s greatness, but a call to God’s people to be like their heavenly Father. As I sing, I feel challenged to defend the weak and comfort those in need as I am strengthened by the Lord. This song is a favorite of our congregation, and I don’t mind at all – this is a solid song from the Scriptures that speaks of the unchanging, everlasting greatness of our God.

We followed this song with Todd Field’s hymn rewrite, “It Is Well.” I have said it before, but I’ll say it again: this is one of my favorite hymn rewrites. It preserves the original verses intact, with a very cool acoustic arrangement underneath, has a very fitting new chorus, and it even includes the original hymn’s refrain at the end. I love how it ties the old and the new in a fresh way. It always brings us to worship as we celebrate God’s faithfulness.

We finished this set with “Stronger,” by Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding. We’re dusting this one off for Easter, because it is a clear anthem about God’s great power to save and conquer sin and death. This was the first time I have led this song with a band. It was one that I began teaching in one venue where I was previously, but I never had the opportunity to bring it into our main services because I ran out of time. I love the chorus: “You are stronger/ You are stronger/ Sin is broken/ You have saved me/ It is written/ Christ is risen/ Jesus, You are Lord of all.” The use of the word “stronger” is refreshing, because it takes the common “mighty” or “powerful” ideas and uses our current language to express it. This song reminds me to write in such a way that captures the truth of the Scripture in vibrant, current language that our congregations can take hold of and sing from their hearts. It is easier for the “average Joe” to connect with words we normally use than it is to connect with erudite language. This song does that well.

We finished the services with “All To Us,” which also effectively connects with the sum of this “I Believe” message series. I struggled with using this song in the beginning, because when the phrase “all to us” is taken at face value, it could be easily misunderstood to mean something like, “God exists for our sakes.” However, its meaning is more along the lines of, “God is everything to us.” He is our sufficiency and our strength, our foundation and our confidence. May this truly be our declaration, that God is our everything. He is the only one that we need. He is the only one on whom our hope should be built.

It was a great weekend of worship. Zach Pruett stepped up and played bass for the first time in our weekend services, and he did a great job, after only playing bass for five months! Bob Fulmer did a great job adjusting to the click track for the first time ever. His attitude was admirable in saying, “It will make me a better player.” I hope for each of us that difficulties and challenges are seen as opportunities to better ourselves and to better serve our church and the kingdom of God with our abilities. The rest of the team did a great job, as usual, and it was a great joy to lead with them again. Our tech team is so faithful to do a great job each week, and they make it easy for each of us to do our part. I feel that each week we are strengthening and improving, and there are great things on the horizon for this worship and arts ministry. Also, the Aviom system continues to be an asset to give us more time to rehearse and prepare for the weekend, and that has been very apparent in the way we play.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were. Please visit The Worship Community to check out their Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders and team members did this weekend in their contexts. Leave your comments below and join the conversation about our worship ministry and the songs we sing together.

In the Son,

Bill

Here’s our set from this past week:

“God is Alive” [Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland]
“Our God” [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin]
“You Never Let Go” [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
“Lord of All” [Kristian Stanfill]
“Beautiful” [Phil Wickham]
Message [Pastor Jay]
INV: “Never Be the Same” [original]

The band and team did a phenomenal job this past week in worship. My friend, Larry, filled in on guitar for my last week, and he did admirably. The rest of the band was right on as usual. It felt like a bit of a “best of” morning, where we pulled out some of our definitive songs over the past few years. “Our God” has become something of an anthem for our congregation. “You Never Let Go” describes my journey with Christ as well as any other song, especially at this point. “Lord of All” has become a summary statement for us as a congregation: There is none so high and holy/ King of kings, the one and only/ You are adored, You are the Lord of all.” We finished the worship set with “Beautiful, which I thought was particularly relevant given that it was my last day. The last verse looks to the day of consummation, when all believers will be gathered together as the glorious bride in the presence of Christ: When we arrive at eternity’s shore/ Where death is just a memory and tears are no more/ We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring/ Your bride will come together and we’ll sing, ‘You’re beautiful.'” I thought it was fitting to end emphasizing that this is not really the end, but rather a parting of ways as we continue to expand the kingdom of God and to go where we are needed for God’s purposes. We will all be together again soon, and we will be together forever in the presence of our only hope, Jesus Christ, and we will sing the song of the redeemed!

There aren’t really words to describe all the feelings that went with this past weekend. It was my last Sunday leading for the 9:30 service for the church, and although it was a great day of worshiping together, it was also a very sad day in some ways. I feel that I have poured my life into that service, and it has come a long way in the 4 1/2 years that it has been in my charge. It is awesome to see what it is compared to what it was when I arrived here. I am so thankful for how the Spirit of God has transformed that service and has grown us together over these years. I am so thankful for the relationships that have made my experience here what it has been. To think that it was probably the last time I would be leading beside Pastor Jay and the other leaders of the church is difficult to imagine. It is hard to even envision worshiping with a different family of believers. It will be strange to be anywhere else.

I pray for God’s richest blessings on the people of First Baptist Church at the Mall, and I leave with this note from Acts 20:32 (the context captures my heart as well): “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

I love you, dear church.

In the Son,

Bill

Sunday Set Lists | www.theworshipcommunity.com

Here’s our set for this morning:

“I Will Go” [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld]
“God is Alive” [Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland]
“Jesus Messiah” [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves]
“Because of Your Love” [Phil Wickham]
“Lamb of God” [original]

Message – “It’s Your Serve – Grab a Towel” [Dr. Jay Dennis]
INV “I Want to Love You” [Todd Fields]

This morning was a good day of worship. Because Pastor Jay was dealing with the call on each one of us to serve, we focused on the cross of Christ as described in Philippians 2:5-11. Here, Paul tells of how we are to have the same attitude as Jesus,

“who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus ‘Ever knee will bow,’ of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

“Jesus Messiah” was a perfect fit for this passage of scripture, singing, “He became sin who knew no sin/ That we might become His righteousness/ He humbled Himself and carried the cross/ Love so amazing/ Love so amazing.” There is no better example of service than Jesus Christ. He had everything to lose by serving (by the world’s perspective), yet He put it all aside to save us and to glorify the Father. We have much less to give up in order to serve those around us, yet we can still glorify the Father in doing so. May we all take a long look at our lives, and see how we can lay our lives down for one another. I know I am.

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

In the Son,

Bill

As always, check out Sunday Set Lists over at http://www.theworshipcommunity.com. It’s awesome to see how brothers and sisters around the country and the world are worshiping the Lord in their own communities of faith.

We had yet another great day of worship together, as Pastor Jay shared a message about the conviction and drawing of the Holy Spirit. It was a powerful, gospel-centered moment.

Here’s our set from this weekend:

“God is Alive” [Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland]
“Unchanging” [Chris Tomlin]
“Jesus Messiah” [Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin, et al]
“Because of Your Love” [Phil Wickham]
“Jesus Paid It All” [Traditional w/ add. chorus by Alex Nifong]
Invitation: “Rescue” [Jared Anderson]
Offertory: “Desert Song” [Brooke Fraser]

Sunday was a sweet day of focusing on the cross of Christ and how He redeemed us by His atoning sacrifice. I never get enough of putting my focus there and reminding ourselves of all that Jesus has done to make a way for us where there was no way. “Jesus Messiah,” based on one of my favorite verses, 2 Cor. 5:21 (“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”) is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I put it off for quite some time (maybe because I was bitter that someone else beat me to using that verse in a song…). Anyway, the declaration of the bridge, “All our hope is in You/ All our hope is in You/ All the glory to You, God/ The Light of the World” is such a powerful statement, one that needs to become something of a motto for the people of God. We have no hope apart from Him and His finished saving work on the cross. We are hopeless without Him!

We also introduced a new song, “Desert Song,” which is a song of confidence and constant praise in our God, regardless of the circumstances. It takes the worshiper through the different seasons of life, from hunger to blessing, and reiterates the expression, “I will bring praise, I will bring praise/ No weapon formed against me shall remain/ I will rejoice, I will declare/ God is my victory and He is here.” No matter where we are at in our journey, or what the circumstances may be, God is with His children, and He has not forsaken us. We can rest assured of that fact.

It was a great day of worship. There were many who came forward to be baptized or to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. I am excited about what the Lord is doing in our midst.

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

In the Son,

Bill

Check out other worshipers set lists here.

Currently listening to The Almost, Southern Weather

Here’s our set from yesterday:

“God is Alive” [Steve Fee]
“Say Say” [Kristian Stanfill, Chris Tomlin, and Christy Nockels]
“Our God” [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin, Chris Tomlin, and Jesse Reeves]
“Jesus Messiah” [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves]
INV: “Center” [Charlie Hall]
OFF: “Chosen Generation” [Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, Daniel Carson, and Jesse Reeves]

Yesterday was our day to celebrate what happened with our high school students at Student Life camp in Daytona Beach two weeks ago. Because of that, we introduced several of the “great” songs from the week’s worship. “Say Say,” “Our God,” “Jesus Messiah,” and “Chosen Generation” were all songs that the students learned while at camp, and God really used them to speak to the students and change their lives. “Our God” and “Jesus Messiah” were songs I had planned on introducing already, but this Sunday gave me the opportunity to do it all at once. I was surprised at how well the people engaged with the songs in singing out to the Lord. I suppose those two have been on the radio enough that people have heard them and know them already. It was really exciting to remember my shared experience with the students at camp as we were singing these new songs. God moved in a major way in all of our lives, and these songs serve as reminders of that event in each of our lives. It’s a beautiful thing. “Our God” is a powerful declaration of the greatness of God, and “Jesus Messiah” comes from my favorite verse in Scripture, 2 Cor. 5:21. Both of them make solid and powerful doctrinal statements about the Lord and what He has done. The bridge of “Our God” (“And if our God is for us/ Then who could ever stop us?/ And if our God is with us/ Then what could stand against?”) is so strong when the church sings it together. It feels like the walls might fall down from the power of that statement. I love it.

“Say Say” was a song that I had heard on the new Passion CD, but I was not previously impressed with it. However, after experiencing it live, I was sold on it. I think I just struggled with the way “Say, Say” was repeated throughout the song. What changed my mind was the rest of the lyric, which I hadn’t really taken the time to read: “Say, say, say You believe it/ Sing for the whole world to hear it/ We know and we declare it/ Jesus is King/ Say, say, say You believe it/ Sing loud, sing like You mean it/ We know and we declare it/ Jesus is King.” Solid and strong. This is another song that takes on new life when the church sings it together. We’ll continue to teach this one over the next few weeks.

“Chosen Generation” is another great new song from the Awakening album. The chorus sings, “We are a chosen generation/ Rise up holy nation/ God we live for You/ You have called us out of darkness/ Into light so glorious/ God we live for You.” One of the highlight moments of camp was when Louie Giglio called all the student leaders on the stage and had them watch their students sing this song. I stayed with our group and turned to watch them sing up close. It was an awesome sight. God is raising up our young people to change this world. Let us continue to hold them up in prayer and help to train them up as mighty disciples for our Lord.

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

God is working!

Bill

p.s. check out http://www.theworshipcommunity.com’s Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders are doing around the world!