Posts Tagged ‘I Will Go’

This weekend was the third and final week of our series, “The Story.” In his message,  Joe shared about how and why we to share the gospel in a compelling manner, inviting others to trust in Jesus for their salvation. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “True Love” (C) [Phil Wickham]
Welcome
“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “The Story: Share It Compellingly” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
“Lead Me To The Cross” (Bm) [Brooke Ligertwood]
“I Will Go” (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Allen Salmon]
Dismissal

Thoughts: I believe this weekend was a great weekend for our church. Joe really called us all into sharing the gospel with the people in our lives, because Jesus is worth it. Our singing echoed that same thought, and it was a great call and challenge to each of us as we evaluated our priorities.

We began in the pre-service time the same as we had the previous two weeks, with “True Love” by Phil Wickham. I love this song, because it is a very powerful portrait of the gospel and what Jesus accomplished for us. We then began the service by inviting the Lord to have His way in us as we sang “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising),” which is an excellent call to worship. Later, we responded to Joe’s message with “Your Great Name,” reflecting on the power of the name of Jesus. Jesus changes everything. His name, and His name alone, has the power to save. We continued with “Lead Me To The Cross” to give us words through which to express our submission to the Lord’s call to take up our cross and follow Him in proclaiming the good news. We closed our service with another song in that same vein, “I Will Go,” which is a little bit of a punch in the gut, if we’re honest. It calls us from our comfort and privilege to sacrifice, service, and submission in reaching the lost and needy in our world. Everyone who encounters Jesus has to wrestle with that decision–either they leave following Him more closely, or they walk away further from Him and more committed to being “lord” of their own lives. I called the church to see the surpassing worth of Jesus and what He has done for us, and to respond with living our lives in worship and submission to Him. He alone is worthy!

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

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This week we continued our series: “The Gospel: In/Through/Beyond.” Pastor Joe shared about how the God wants the gospel to move beyond our lives to our world. Every Christian is called to be a part of the mission of God in this world through praying, giving, AND going. It’s not one or two of the three–it is ALL of the above. We need to pray that the gospel would advance. We need to give to support the work of the gospel in this world. And we all need to go and meet people who do not know Jesus yet. We cannot settle for hiding out in the “holy huddle.” It was a great challenge and call to live to expand the kingdom of God with our lives and our resources. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome
“I Will Go” (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld]
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arranged by The Modern Post]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “The Gospel Beyond Me” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]

“Lord Of All” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill]
“Glory To God Forever” (Bb) [Vicky Beeching, Steve Fee]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a beautiful weekend. Our team did a great job, and it was a lot of fun glorifying God with the songs that we led together. I was a little concerned when I woke Saturday morning, because it felt like I was going hoarse. I am thankful that I had enough voice to lead through the weekend. It was powerful to hear the church singing and responding to the Word of God together, especially after a challenging message and call to go to the nations! I love my church.

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

This was our fourth weekend walking through 1 John together in our “Love In Christ” series. David Hinkle preached about obedience from 1 John, focusing on “chasing Christ rather than checking the box,” and pursuing “godliness, not merely goodness.” I think we were all challenged and called to Christ this weekend. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on songs that emphasized God’s calling on us and His worthiness for our obedience. He loved first and gave first, and our obedience is a response to God for who He is and what He has done.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“I Will Go” (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld]
Welcome/Greeting Time

“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]
“Hosanna” (D) [Brooke Fraser]
“Lead Me To The Cross” (D) [Brooke Fraser]
“All To Jesus I Surrender” (aka “I Surrender All”) (D) [Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter, Winfield Scott Weeden]

Message – “Love In Christ: Obedience” [David Hinkle]
Offering

“Because of Your Love” (G) [Phil Wickham]
Announcements/Dismissal

“I Will Go” – This was our opener this week, and it is a strong song of dedication that we have sung a few times over the past year. I love the message of the lyric, and I think it something worthy of being sung often: “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.” May this be the Church’s sincere prayer to the Lord.

“Let Me Sing” – This song really emphasizes the correct heart and motivation for obedience: because of what Jesus has done in giving His life for our redemption, we respond with all that we are as living offerings of worship for Him and His glory.

“Hosanna” – We sang this song because the second verse and bridge really tied in well with our focus, asking God to break and shape our hearts to align with His.

“Lead Me To The Cross” – This is another great song of dedication, as we look to the cross of Christ, where He also calls us to take up our own cross in following Him. Our own life of sacrifice ought to be modeled after His.

“All To Jesus I Surrender” – We tagged this song onto the end of “Lead Me To The Cross,” as a way to help tie everything together. Jesus is worthy of ALL we are and ALL we have. Let us hold nothing back from Him as He calls us to follow Him.

“Because Of Your Love” – I think this song was a very fitting response song to David’s message (praise God for His direction here). Again, this song emphasized how the Lord gave first, and our response and obedience to Him is because of what He has already done for us: “Because of Your cross, my debt is paid/ Because of Your blood, my sins are washed away/ Now all of my life, I freely give/ Because of Your love, because of Your love I live.”

This weekend was a good weekend overall. I felt that our team led with sincerity and intensity, despite a few loose moments in our playing. I will take that any day. I want our team to lead like they mean it. Sometimes that will result in some less than perfect moments for now, but as we all become more familiar with our vocabulary, that will continue to improve. The bottom line is that we cannot expect our congregation to more excited about engaging with God than we are. That is our challenge–to lead by example, in every area of our lives. I’m really proud of how our team is growing and trying to lead more and more each week.

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

In the Son,
Bill

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

This weekend, we focused on Philippians 2:19-30, where Paul commends Timothy and Epaphroditus, pointing out their sacrificial service for the gospel and for the Philippian believers. The call for us this week is to live a life of ministry, leveraging everything we are and have for the purposes of God and His kingdom. Because of His worth, we should put everything, even our lives, on the line for His sake.

Here’s our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “I Will Go” (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld]
Call to Worship – Isaiah 40:28-29, 31
“Everlasting God” (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting
“Glory to God Forever” (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
“Always” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]
“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [John Thomas Grape, Elvina M. Hall, and Alex Nifong]
Message – The Appraisal of All Things: A New Appraisal of Ministry [Joe Hishmeh]
Response – “Take My Life And Let It Be” (D) [Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan] 

“I Will Go” – This song is a strong call for us to lay down privilege and blessing for the sake of Christ, reaching out to the hurting and the helpless in our world. We used this song because Joe’s message was focusing in on the life that is laid down for Christ and His purposes, and the conscious decision to sacrifice, which goes against our nature.  I think this song may still be a little surprising to our congregation, just because the sound is a little “edgy.” I think I may play with the arrangement and/or presentation of the song in the future. This song is definitely worth singing, because it is a challenging call on each of our lives. May the cry of our hearts be with that of Isaiah, as the song sings, “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.”

“Everlasting God” – Coming out of our call to worship from Isaiah 40, I wanted to make the challenge to our people that God calls us to imitate Him and His character, and what Scripture says of Him it also, in a way, challenges us to be the same. In the Isaiah passage it describes God as not fainting or growing weary. At the end of the chapter, it says that the ones who wait on the Lord and find their strength in Him will not faint or grow weary, either. In the midst of this, it describes God as helping the faint and the one without strength (us). We should of the same mind, helping those in need and those who are powerless. This song points out these characteristics of God, and as we sing them, I am challenged that the things He cares about are the things I should care about, too. His priorities are the only right priorities, because He is God. This is a song that our congregation engages easily with but I wanted to approach it from a different angle, to keep us thinking about what we’re singing, so that it doesn’t lose its impact.

“Glory to God Forever” – I have commented many times before, but the bridge of this song is a beautifully simple prayer for God to use our lives for what matters: Him and His glory! “Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours.” I strive to make this my prayer each time I sing it.

“Always” – This was the second week of teaching this song. I decided to bring it down a half-step to Bb to see how the congregation sings with it there. This song is tricky in that regard, because the verse is pretty low while the chorus reaches fairly high. In Bb, the verse goes all the way down to a G. In the key of Bb, it still seemed that the chorus was hard to reach. Some of the quiet response to the song may be due to the newness of the song, so we’ll leave it where it is for another week to see if it changes. The lyric continues to resonate with me, and reminds me that my strength and my hope are only in Jesus, and not in my abilities, talent, knowledge, strength, or anything else on this earth. It is only in Him. He is the only one who is able to rescue me and change me. The battles of this life belong to Him.

“Jesus Paid It All” – This song points to the cross and the price Jesus paid, in our place for our sins. The only proper response will be something like, “All to Him I owe.” Our response to His grace, love, and sacrifice does not earn salvation for us, but it is a response of thanksgiving for the amazing free gift He gave us. He is so good to us, and loved us even when we were His enemies! This is what I shared with our congregation before we sang it together, because it is so easy for us to drift into the mentality that what we do can make God like us more. We cannot be any more acceptable to God than through the finished work of Jesus Christ in His atoning death and His resurrection. He has made the way for us to be right with God, and now we are free to love and to serve without another thought for ourselves. I have been reading Martin Luther’s On Christian Liberty (aka The Freedom of the Christian) this past week, and it sparked a thought: because of Christ’s selfless and sacrificial life and death for us, we can now be truly selfless. In the paradigms where we think our own works make us righteous before God, even the smallest good deed has a selfish twist to it, because we are trying to make ourselves acceptable to God. In Christ, we don’t have to think that way anymore. We can truly love and serve without thinking of ourselves, because Christ has thought of us and gave Himself for us. His selflessness made it possible for us to be truly selfless. It’s the only way that we could be truly selfless. We owe our lives to Jesus, expressed in our love for Him and for others.

“Take My Life And Let It Be” – I got the idea for this arrangement from Andrew Osenga’s former band, The Normals. On the 21st track (the bonus track), they had a really nice acoustic arrangement of this song, with a beautiful introduction. I tweaked the idea a bit for congregational use, and brought it down to the key of D to make it a little easier to sing. I love the focus of this song, and I felt it was a great fit for Joe’s message this week. This song is a simple prayer for God to use everything about us (our life, our hands, our feet, our lips) for Him and His purposes, sanctifying them in using them for His glory.

It was a good week of worship. We are still struggling to get everyone awake and aware at our 9 AM service on Sundays, but  by the end of the song set, I think we were focused on the gospel, and ready to obey the Word of God. Overall, the congregation’s response seemed a little quieter and weaker. I’m trying to figure out to what it can be attributed. Maybe the first song got us started on the wrong foot, even though the message was on point. Maybe the rainy/cloudy weather had everyone a little down compared to normal. It still surprises me how we can do things in very similar ways, yet have very different responses and engagement from a congregation. It just goes to show that it is not about us. We are just facilitators, trying to make it as easy as possible for people to see Jesus Christ and all His glory, and to see what the proper response is to who He is and what He has done.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were, and that you were a part of lifting up the name of Jesus!

Join the discussion below! I would love to hear your thoughts. What are some things that have helped your congregation “wake up” in early morning services? What are some things you have tried that help your congregation engage in your context?

In the Son,

Bill

p.s. be sure to check out The Worship Community’s Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders and worshipers experienced this weekend with their communities.

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

Here’s our set from my first weekend on staff with Fellowship Bible Church in Topeka, KS:

Pre-Service – “Kingdom” [Kristian Stanfill]
Call to Worship
“Our God” [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin]
Welcome/Offering/Announcements
“Glory to God Forever” [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
“How Great is Our God” [Chris Tomlin]
“How Great Thou Art” (chorus only)
“Lord of All” [Kristian Stanfill]
Message – Pastor Joe Hishmeh
“All to Us” [Chris Tomlin]

This weekend went really well for us. It has been a very crazy week for  my family and for me, as we made the 1300 mile move from Lakeland, FL to Topeka, KS from Monday night through Wednesday, and got here right in the middle of a bunch of snow! Talk about change! God is faithful, and He has seen us through it all. He moved during all four of the weekend services, and He spoke to each of us powerfully through the word that Joe shared about being a missional community and loving the people of this world with the love of Christ. I know I was challenged and called to be godly versus just being normal. I think the chorus of “Kingdom” says it well: “We are the kingdom of God/ We are an army of love/ We carry truth to the world/ We are the kingdom of God.”

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

Bill

Sunday Set Lists

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.