Posts Tagged ‘Holy is the Lord’

Well, life has been happening and I have fallen behind on my posts, so a little catch-up is in order. The past two weekends have been some of my favorites here at Fellowship. We have been in the midst of a series titled “Faith” and it has been both encouraging and challenging for our church. On 11/02 -11/03, our lead pastor, Joe, shared how we have been redeemed by the finished work of Christ. This past weekend, 11/09 – 11/10, our Adult Discipleship Pastor, David Hinkle, shared about how God has set us apart for His glory and His working here on the earth. Both of these messages were powerful declarations of the gospel, and it really showed as the church sang in response. You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here.

Here’s our service plan from 11/02 – 11/03:

Pre-Service – “Song of the Redeemed” (Em) [Charlie Hall, Kendall Combes, Quint Anderson, Brian Bergman, Dustin Ragland] 
Welcome
“Sing to the King” (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Faith: Redeemed” [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion Intro
“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (D) [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees, Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio]
Taking of the Elements
“You Have Overcome” (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
“This Is Amazing Grace” (A) [Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle, Josh Farro]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was one of my favorite services of which I have ever been a part. Our team did a fantastic job leading across the board. Kelsey Thomsen rejoined the team to co-lead this weekend after a long break for school in Wichita, and she did a great job in her return. I am so excited to see how everyone stepped up and called our congregation to worship Jesus. The highlights for me were “Song of the Redeemed,” “Sing to the King,” and “You Have Overcome.” It was an amazing weekend!


Here’s our service plan from this past weekend, 11/09 – 11/10:

Welcome
“Holy Is The Lord” (E) [Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio] 
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, The Modern Post]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Faith: Set Apart” [David Hinkle]
“A Mighty Fortress” (Bb) [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, w/ additional chorus by Alex Nifong]
“Rejoice” (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was another great weekend of worship. Again, our team did a great job leading us in worship. Becky Tindell did a great job co-leading, especially in leading us on “A Mighty Fortress,” which is an awesome song coming largely from the book of Hebrews. It was a great fit with the message this weekend, along with “Jesus Paid It All.” Together, these two songs encapsulated the emphasis of David’s powerful message: we are set apart to holiness for God’s glory, yet our righteousness before God is only in the finished work of Jesus on our behalf. The highlights for me were “Before the Throne,” “Jesus Paid It All,” and “Rejoice,” which is one of my favorite new songs. If you haven’t heard it yet, give it a listen. The lyric is powerful and moving. In all, it was a beautiful weekend.

So, I leave you with this: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

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This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared some biblical wisdom regarding dating relationships, as we continued our series called “Can You Relate?”. In his message, Joe emphasized the importance of seeking wisdom in our relationships and thinking of the big picture of the future rather than only thinking of the presence. It was great, practical wisdom, which is of benefit to all of us, whether we are already married or in dating relationships, because it gives us wise counsel that we can pass on to others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on the holiness and trustworthiness of God. We can trust Him with the people in our lives, as well as their (and our) relationships.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“Holy Is The Lord” (Ab) [Chris Tomlin]
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call To Worship/Confession/Ps. 51:1-2 Reading
“You Alone Can Rescue” (Bb) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
“Cornerstone” (Bb) [Edward Mote, Jonas Myrin, Reuben Morgan, Eric Liljero, William B. Bradbury]

Communion
“Christ Is Risen” (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes]
Taking of the Elements
Reprise of “Christ Is Risen” (Gb)
Message – “Can You Relate? – Dating” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Always” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]
Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

“Holy Is The Lord” – We sang this song as a foundation for our services, in recognizing the holiness and glory of God. When we see God as He is–high and lifted up and greatly exalted–we see ourselves more clearly as those who are desperate for forgiveness and salvation. God’s holiness and perfection is the foundation for understanding our own sinfulness and our need for salvation. This is a song that we haven’t sung much since I have been here, but it is one that holds a special place in my faith journey, and it was great to hear the church singing together on it.

“You Alone Can Rescue” – After our time of confessing the idols in our lives (the things that we have put stock in for our hope, our peace, our trust, etc.), we read Psalm 51:1-2. Then, we sang this song, expressing our confidence in Christ alone for our life and salvation. He is the only one who can heal us, help us, restore us, rescue us, and give us life. His is the only name in which we can trust without fear.

“Cornerstone”  We have been teaching this song to our congregation over the past few weeks, and I think it is taking root here. As I have written before, I love the lyric of “On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand,” and how it expresses confidence and hope in the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. I love singing this together with the Church.

“Christ Is Risen” – This was our communion song this week, and I thought it tied everything from this weekend together. It called us away from sin and toward Christ. It called us to trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross. It called us to hope in His resurrection from the dead. It reminded us of His victory over sin, death, and hell. It called us to life. We haven’t sung this since Easter, and it was good to sing it together again. I love this one.

“Always” – This is another that we haven’t sung in a while (April). I love how this song calls us to courage and confidence in Christ, recognizing that He alone is our hope and salvation. We can trust Him with our lives, with our broken relationships, with our conflicts, with our hurts, knowing that He can heal us and rescue us. This song says it so well. “I lift my eyes up/ My help comes from the Lord.”

This weekend was a solid weekend. We made a few changes mid-stream, which caused some interesting moments, but overall it was a great time of worshiping together. The team did a great job adapting and leading our congregation well. It seems like it has been a while since we’ve had a “regular” weekend of worship, and it was refreshing to get back to leading with the full team again. I loved how well all the songs connected this week. Glory to God for His direction.

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

What were your thoughts or experiences from this weekend in your church?

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

This weekend, Joe preached about increasing our ministry in and to our families. At the end of the day, this is our primary responsibility as believers in Jesus Christ. We need to be building our families around the gospel of Christ, and that truth ought to permeate all of our family relationships. The message was out of Deuteronomy 6, where Moses is telling the people of God to dwell on the truth of how God redeemed them, and to recount it to their children and their children’s children at every opportunity, from morning until night. I was really challenged to be a better husband and father, and a more faithful spiritual leader in my home. It was a little tricky to find solid songs that have a specifically “family” angle to them, but we focused on the holiness of God and how He redeemed us, and therefore our proper response is obedience and trust, spending our lives to further His kingdom and to give Him the glory He deserves.

Here’s our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “Everlasting God” (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call To Worship – Rev. 15:3-4
“Holy Is The Lord” (G) [Chris Tomlin]
“Cannons” (G) [Phil Wickham]
“Our God” (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves]
“Because of Your Love” (G) [Phil Wickham]
Message – “Upgrade: Family” [Joe Hishmeh]
Response – “All To Us” (Bb) [Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Matt Redman, Matt Maher]

“Everlasting God” – We opened in our pre-service time with this song. Not much needs to be said about the song itself. It is one our staples here, and our people connect well with it. We used this song because it emphasizes God’s eternality, and sheds light on the fact that He is very different from us, and worthy of our worship. Also, He uses His great power to hold us up and strengthen us to accomplish His purposes on this earth.

“Holy Is The Lord” – This is a simple, straightforward song about the holiness and glory of God. We sang this song because the passage Joe preached from in Deuteronomy 6 speaks of God’s holiness as a motivator for our obedience and dedication to Him and His purposes. He is worth following.

“Cannons” – This is a song that I haven’t sang in over 8 months. I love this song and its message. Even transposed down a full step to the key of G, it is still on the high side, hitting an E in the melody on the bridge. Tuning it down more would really change the way we play it (especially on guitar), but I may consider doing that, because this song is worth singing. I prefaced this song by mentioning a quote from A.W. Tozer, who says in The Knowledge Of The Holy, “God is as far above an archangel as He is above a caterpillar.” The archangel and the caterpillar actually have more in common in that they are both created things and both distinctly “not-God.” It is from the chapter on God’s Transcendence, and it really opened my eyes more to how “other” God really is. He is much different from us, and there is really no comparison. This idea was really fitting for all that we sang this week, but this song in particular tied in: “You are holy/ Great and mighty/ The moon and the stars/ Declare who You are/ I’m so unworthy/ But still You love me/ Forever my heart/ Will sing of how great You are.” This chorus points out that we are unworthy to stand in His presence, much less be heirs together with Christ. However, God has loved us and made a way for us where there was no way.

“Our God” – We sang this song because it speaks of God’s “other-ness,” when it sings, “There’s no one like You/ None like You.” It speaks of God’s greatness and power, and again points us to His surpassing worth. Because of who He is, the only appropriate response is to follow Him completely, loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

“Because of Your Love” – This song brings the rest of the songs into greater focus, as we sing about how this same God who is above any other is the one who laid down His life to redeem us. It makes the reality of the gospel even more astonishing, in my mind, to think that the one who gave Himself up for us is the one who shaped the universe and the galaxies. This song is a song of dedication, and points us to obedience as we sing together, “Lord, You gave Your life for me/ So I will live my life for You/ All because of Your love.” His giving prompts us to give our lives to Him in obedience. We used this song to tie the message and the rest of the songs together, in that the reason we obey and sacrifice and make disciples is that God gave first.

“All To Us” – This song speaks of Jesus as our “precious cornerstone” and “sure foundation,” and we felt that this was a fitting way to respond to Joe’s message this weekend. We need to build our homes and our lives on the only sure foundation, Jesus Christ.

It was a good weekend of worship. I am so thankful for our community and what God is calling us to do here. The team did a fantastic job in each of the services, and I felt that God’s people were engaging Him in worship the entire weekend. I was happy (and surprised) that I was able to finish all the services without any major vocal issues, despite being sick as a dog the whole weekend. I’m beat now, though, and I’m going to go take a nap or something!

I hope you had a good weekend of worship. Check out The Worship Community’s Sunday Setlists to see what other leaders and worshipers experienced this week in their communities. Have a great week!

In the Son,

Bill

Here’s our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service Song- “Your Grace is Enough” (G) [Matt Maher]
Call to Worship
“Holy is the Lord” (G) [Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio]
Welcome/Intro Special Guest
Video – Trash Mountain Project, “DR Thank You”
Guest – Brett Durbin, President of Trash Mountain Project
Announcements/Greeting Time
“Glory to God Forever” (A) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
“Our God” (A) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin]
“Lead Me to the Cross” (D) [Brooke Fraser]
Message – “I Believe: God Empowers (Sanctification)” [Brian Tryhus]
Response – “Take My Life and Let It Be” (D) [Frances Ridley Havergal and Henri Abraham Cesar Malan]

This weekend we focused on how God empowers believers in the process of sanctification. Brian did a great job unpacking the truth of this doctrine, making it clear and laying all the cards on the table so everyone could understand it. I can honestly say that his message was one of the clearest explanations of sanctification I have heard. It’s a beautiful thing. I thought the songs that were planned communicated the same message well, and that the whole was unified and clear that our God is holy, and He is the one who makes us holy.

We also had my close friend, Brett Durbin, in to share about something happening with his missions organization (Trash Mountain Project). They have begun a child sponsorship program in which every dollar goes to feed and educate a child in the Dominican Republic called “Kids With a Hope.” Our church’s goal this weekend was to sponsor every child they have left to sponsor at the facility, which was somewhere around 140 kids. His organization has taken a risk and has not incorporated any administrative fees into the sponsorship fee, so every dollar goes to the kids. The sponsorship is $34 per month – $28 for food (2 meals and a snack per day) and $6 for education costs. In my family, we have been considering doing a sponsorship for a while, for our daughter to get connected to what God is doing in the rest of the world, so this was a no brainer. We are excited to finally find the right child to support, and we are excited that it is connected with Trash Mountain. Because of my daughter’s enthusiasm, I had to fight to hold it together during the last service this weekend. When she found out we were going to be sponsoring a child this morning, she ran upstairs and grabbed her piggy bank and said, “I want to give them all my money!” While it was only a few dollars, her generosity was truly beautiful. I am so proud of her. I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving for what God is doing in her life.

As far as the music part of worship goes, it was a great weekend. A highlight for me was when Sarah Oldberg and the band did a fantastic job on “Lead Me to the Cross,” which was a great connection with Brian’s message. He emphasized Romans 12:1-2, where Paul calls the church to offer their lives as living sacrifices. I took that and connected it with Jesus’ call to take up our cross daily and follow Him before we sung this song. I really love this song and its message, and how it connected with the weekend’s focus.

We spent most of the morning on songs that celebrate God’s grace, holiness, and greatness. We opened the pre-service time with Matt Maher’s “Your Grace Is Enough.” This was the first week that I didn’t sing the additional choruses from Chris Tomlin’s version, because I felt that they were more complicated and would make it more difficult for our people to participate. I think it was a good decision, and I will continue to sing it with just Maher’s chorus. After the call to worship, we moved to “Holy is the Lord,” which is a great and simple celebration of God’s holiness and the fact that His name will go out over all the earth. One day, everyone will understand His holiness.

The rest of the set consisted of “Glory to God Forever” and “Our God,” which each have elements of recognizing God’s greatness and of challenging us to go in boldness for His kingdom. The bridge of “Glory to God Forever” has become my favorite part of the song, and I consistently call our people to make this our prayer: “Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours.” The only thing I would have changed would be the key. We tried these again in the key of A, when we have been doing them in the key of G most recently. There are parts of these songs that extend out of most people’s reach, so I think we’ll return to G in the future with these songs.

We also introduced an arrangement of “Take My Life and Let It Be,” which I have taken (and modified slightly) from Andrew Osenga from his days with The Normals. I have always loved this treatment of this great hymn, and it was a perfect opportunity to bring it in, because it really tied in with Brian’s message, and where he landed it. It is a great prayer for us to pray, as it focuses on different areas of our lives and how we can give them over to God and His purposes. The writers mention our lives, our hands, our feet, our mouths, our intellect, and our resources as means for worshiping God and building the kingdom of God –

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise
Let them flow in ceaseless praise

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee
Swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only, for my King
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee
Filled with messages from Thee

Take my silver and my gold
Not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use
Ev’ry power as You choose
Ev’ry power as You choose

May this be the prayer of our lives, that every aspect of us would be poured out as an offering of worship to our great God!

In the Son,

Bill
p.s. Be sure to check out what other leaders did this weekend at Sunday Set Lists!

Here’s our set from this weekend:

“I Will Go” (F#m) [Starfield – Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld]
Call To Worship – 2 Cor. 5:20-21
“Say Say” (A) [Kristian Stanfill, Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels]
Living Water International Honduras Report
Welcome/Announcements/Greeting
“Holy is the Lord” (G) [Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, et al]
“I Stand Amazed” (G) [Charles Hutchinson Gabriel, arr. by Chris Tomlin]
“Wonderful Maker” (G) [Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman]
Message – “I Believe: We Are”  [Joe Hishmeh]
Response: “Mighty to Save” [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]

This weekend of worship was yet another good one. The team gelled well, played solidly, and was sensitive to where the Lord was leading during each of the four services. I feel like the entire worship team is getting some traction for moving forward. I felt like the worship team was all prepared for the week’s music, and it was somewhat easy to put everything together as a result. We were able to make some changes on the fly as people were responding to God, and it was a beautiful thing. There were moments this weekend when the congregation was singing louder than I’ve ever heard them. I am very excited about what the Lord is doing in our midst.

This week has been one where I learned a great deal about the landscape of our worship ministry and where things have been until today. My worship associate, Jason, did some investigating, and dug up what our church has sung in worship since the switch to four services back in August. I was a little surprised by the results: 90 songs in 28 weeks. That comes out to a little more than 3.2 unique songs per week! What does that mean? It means people do not really have a chance to learn any of the songs or make them part of their worship vocabulary. It means our people are stuck staring at the projector screen trying to see the words and learn the songs.

My takeaway? We need to start repeating songs more often, so we can teach our people and get them “off the page” just like we want the band to be “off the page.” When we don’t have to stay glued to a screen or our music to know the song, then it is part of our vocabulary, and we are able to use it easily to express ourselves to God. Then, it comes from within us. Then we can truly put ourselves into what we are doing, rather than worrying more about what we are doing. We can focus on doing it. My normal method for doing this is to repeat a new song for three weeks, and surround it with songs that are already part of the worship vocabulary of our people.

My first opportunity for implementing this was “Say Say.” This was our third week singing this song, and I believe we have now added that song to our worship vocabulary as a congregation. I think the song communicates a simple but strong message to us, challenging us to stand up and “declare” that “Jesus is King.” Our praise of our great God ought not to be something that only happens within the walls of a church’s building, but ought to be happening for the whole world to see. Our exalting of God ought to be a very public thing, both individually and corporately. This idea can be extended to all areas of our lives, as living our lives as living sacrifices is how we worship our God on a daily basis. Thus, loving and serving others is a way that we declare the glory of our God to our world. It is easy to hunker down, get comfortable, and feel safe in our space each week, but what we do weekly as the church gathered together should be a culmination of a week lived in daily worship of our God. That is my prayer for us.

In the same vein, we introduced Starfield’s “I Will Go,” which is one of my favorite newer songs. It is a very driving, high-energy song, but the message warrants it, I think. Here’s the lyric of that song:

VERSE 1
To the desperate eyes and reaching hands
To the suffering and the need
To the ones the world has cast aside
Where you want me I will be

CHORUS
I will go, I will go, I will go, Lord send me
To the world, to the lost, to the poor and hungry
Take everything I am
I’m clay within your hands
I will go, I will go send me

VERSE 2
Let me not be blind with privilege
Give me eyes to see the pain
Let the blessing You’ve poured out on me
Not be spent on me in vain
Let this life be used for change

BRIDGE
I wanna live for You,
Go where You lead me
I wanna follow You

I still get the feeling that I’m pushing the envelope a little for some of our people, but I think we are being challenged as a people by the lyrics of these songs and by the messages that are comprising this “I Believe” series. I think it is worth the risk of pushing a little bit. “I Will Go” is a song that can work in a variety of treatments, and I have tried it successfully as a response song with more of an acoustic feel to it. It will be one we use frequently, because there are not many songs that say it quite so boldly.

For the second set of songs, we put together a few modern worship standards: “Holy is the Lord,” “I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous),” and “Wonderful Maker.” “Wonderful Maker” was very fitting for Joe’s message today about the image of God and the fall of humanity. It deals directly with God’s goodness in creation and God’s declaration that what He made was “good.” It also deals with God’s goodness in redemption. This song holds a special place in my life, because it signaled a turning point in my worship leadership. This song is solely focused on God and who He is, and barely even mentions us in the process (“we” is used once in the third verse). Many of the worship songs I sang in youth group and elsewhere were about the singers and what God could do for us. This song was markedly different in that regard. This song helped me to see what true worship was – about God, to God, and for God. It was not for us. From that point late in 2002 (after Chris Tomlin’s Not to Us was released), my view of, and priorities in, worship music were changed. Every time I sing or hear this song, I remember that change, and I am called back to the true priority in worship, which is our great God and Savior.

We closed the service out with “Mighty to Save,” which was the highlight of the weekend for me. Joe’s message was a heavy one dealing with our depravity. He didn’t pull any punches, and helped all of us see ourselves and our sin clearly in light of God’s holiness and goodness. When we see God as He is, we see ourselves rightly. And when we see the depth and gravity of our own sin, we see just how great and truly amazing the grace of God really is. When we came to “Mighty to Save,” this was our context. When we sang, “Savior, He can move the mountains/ Our God is mighty to save/ He is mighty to save,” we meant it, for we had just finished hearing and reading the Word of God as it spoke to our spiritual condition without Christ. The congregation was singing out at this point in each of the services, and it was a powerful moment of worship. To God be the glory. May we never forget that we were dead in our sins when Christ came in to rescue us and make us alive.

I feel privileged for the opportunity to build and develop our worship & arts ministry at Fellowship Bible Church, and I am thrilled about what the future holds for our congregation!

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

In the Son,

Bill

Sunday Set Lists

Currently watching: Toy Story

This morning was a great day of worship with Church at the Mall. Here’s our set for today:

“Faithful One” [original]
“Holy is the Lord” [Chris Tomlin]
“Beautiful” [Phil Wickham]
“Revelation Song” [Jennie Lee Riddle]
“Lord of All” [Kristian Stanfill]
Message: “Catching a Glimpse of the Glory of God” [Dr. Jay Dennis]
Invitation: “Never Be the Same” [original]
“Glorious” [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]

This morning everything came together in a beautiful way. I was thrilled that Pastor Jay was going to be spending this week focusing on the glory of God, because there is so much you can do to emphasize that through the worship music. It isn’t difficult to find worship songs that deal with the glory of God.

Pastor Jay had requested that we learn Paul Baloche’s “Glorious,” because it would fit well with this message. This was a song I have wanted to introduce for almost a year now, since Paul played it for the state convention’s Worship Expo which was held at our facilities last year. It’s a captivating song, with a solid lyric and some unique melody ideas. There are points where the melody is almost haunting. I love it.

We also brought back our arrangement of Phil Wickham’s “Beautiful,” which powerfully incorporates the theme of God’s glory through creation, the cross, and eternity. I’ve said this before, but the lyric of the fourth verse always moves me when the church sings it together: “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.”

It all came together well, and I believe God was truly exalted by the church this morning. As we lifted up His praise, we encountered Him in a beautiful and powerful way. God is so worthy.

I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were this weekend!

Bill

As always, check out http://www.theworshipcommunity.com and Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders did this week in their faith communities.