Posts Tagged ‘Kingdom’

This weekend we continued our series, “Obedience,” and Joe shared about how we are called to follow Jesus in all situations. Whether we are experiencing crisis or success, we are to follow His leadership and submit to Him, rather than seeking out our own means for trying to save ourselves. Only Jesus can deliver us. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “Kingdom” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Obedience: Calling” [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion Song – “Carried To The Table” (A) [Leeland Mooring, Marc Byrd, Steve Hindalong]
“One Thing Remains” (Bb) [Christa Black, Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle]
“You Never Let Go” (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend together. Our team did a fantastic job. Trent Raines co-led with me this weekend, and he led powerfully during our communion time with “Carried to the Table,” which is a perfect communion song. Also, one my guitar students, Brynn Baker, played lead guitar for the first time as part of our weekend service team, and she knocked it out of the park. She continues to step up and do a great job wherever she is serving (at 13 years of age!!! I had just picked up guitar at 13 years old, and she would play circles around an 18-year-old version of me…). Her playing was definitely a bright spot for me this weekend, especially when she nailed the lead part on “Kingdom,” which is one of my favorites. “Before The Throne” continues to be a song that really resonates with our congregation. I prefaced our singing of it by reminding us that even our worship is acceptable to God only because of Jesus’ finished work for us, and not because of anything we have done or can do. Jesus is everything for us! We finished our time together with two songs that called us to trust in Jesus and His faithfulness: “One Thing Remains,” and “You Never Let G0.” These two songs are simple declarations and powerful reminders for the Church to sing together, and it was a fitting way to respond to Joe’s message this week.

At some point in the near future, I hope to take some time to write about my recent trip to the Philippines with the Trash Mountain Project. It was both challenging and inspiring, and I’m still processing much of what I saw and experienced. The Lord is doing great things there, and He is raising up some amazing leaders to advance the gospel in some of the darkest parts of the world. Please pray for them as they fight the good fight!

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

– Bill

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This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared the the fifth and final message in our series, “Positive Identity,” where he taught how we are significant in Christ. He shared how God has given us gifts and abilities for the purpose of advancing His kingdom, so we all have a part in God’s mission here on earth. We grow in significance when we serve the King and His kingdom. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“Kingdom” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
“Everlasting God” (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Positive Identity: Significant” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
“How He Loves” (Bb) [John Mark McMillan]
“Made Alive” (C) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]

Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was a great finish to a fantastic series for our church. We all need to be reminded how Jesus has changed our status. We are loved, forgiven, accepted, secure, and significant because of Jesus!

For our singing this weekend, we sang about being  a part of the mission of the Church and the love of God which gives us value and purpose in life. We opened our services with “Kingdom,” which declares in the chorus “We are the kingdom of God/ We are an army of love/ We carry truth to the world/ We are the kingdom of God.” It was very fitting for Joe’s message this weekend, and I thought it set the tone for what we were after in each of the services. We continued with “Everlasting God,” which is one of our church’s favorite big-picture songs, worshiping the everlasting God for His unchanging goodness and care for us. After the message, we responded first with “Your Great Name,” which sings of how God reaches all of us in different places, and gives us a new identity in Him. For all He is and all He has done for us, He is worthy of all our worship! We then went immediately into “How He Loves,” where we took the opportunity to acknowledge our struggles and weaknesses and to actively receive God’s unfailing love for us. After we prayed, we finished our services with “Made Alive,” which was an uplifting send-off for each of our services.

It was a fantastic weekend in all. Our team did a great job and worked hard to serve the congregation well. Also, Joe’s message was a great call to service and significance because Christ. I am excited to see how our church responds in serving over time in response what Joe shared. It would be a life-changing experience for the individuals and for our church.

– Bill

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


(an image of our Ephesians set design, courtesy of our Tech Director, Wyatt Johnston)

This week our adult ministries pastor, David Hinkle, continued our discipleship series, “Ephesians – United in Christ.” In his message, David shared from Ephesians 2:11-22 about living in unity in the Church for the purpose of glorifying Jesus Christ. One of the most impacting thoughts was that God has chosen to hang His name and reputation in the world primarily through the Church. He also gave us some really useful practical wisdom about how to respond to the needs of those who are hurting. It was a strong challenge for all of us to pursue love, peace, and unity with one another, not for its own sake, but for the glory of our great God and Savior! You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on the saving work of Christ on our behalf.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service Countdown – “Beautiful Things” (D) [Lisa Gungor, Michael Gungor]
“Kingdom” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]

Welcome/Greeting Time

“Hallelujah To My King” (C) [Paul Baloche]
“Lead Me To The Cross” (D) [Brooke Fraser]

“In Christ Alone” (E) [Keith Getty, Stuart Townend]
Message – “Ephesians 2:11-22” [David Hinkle]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michaele Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

“Beautiful Things” – This was the second time we have sung this song in the pre-service time. It was a great fit for the focus of the weekend, because it points to the amazing truth that Jesus has taken our broken lives and not only made them new, but He knits us together as something as beautiful as the Church — His body — here on the earth. We can accomplish more together than we can apart, and we need one another. There is nothing more powerful than seeing the Church truly living as the Church — doing life together, caring for one another, supporting and encouraging one another, bearing one another’s burdens, serving together, and loving like Jesus loved us.

“Kingdom” – This was our opening song of our services this weekend. It was a late addition to the list after debating between it and “The Solid Rock.” I love how this song connected with the message, as we sang about how God has made us “the kingdom of God” and “an army of love,” whose purpose is to carry love and truth to our broken world. He has put us together not just to form a “holy huddle,” but for a glorious mission and purpose: to expand His kingdom and to take His gospel to the ends of the earth.

“Hallelujah To My King” – After our welcome time, we continued with this song, which recalls and celebrates the gospel, and how “We were strangers/ now we’re called His own.” This thought is tied very closely with the focus passage this weekend, which says that we “have been brought near by the blood of Christ” and that Jesus “Himself is our peace.” We have great cause to praise Him–He has rescued us and made peace for us, that we could be with Him forever. Sarah Oldberg led us on this song, and she did a great job as always.

“Lead Me To The Cross” – Sarah led us this song as well, and it continued to help us focus our eyes on the cross. Everything in our lives as Christians ought to begin with the cross, because everything changes for us there. When we fix our eyes on the cross (which is empty, by the way…) we see things in the proper perspective. We see the incredible and ridiculous love of God. We see grace beyond measure. We find our motivation to love others and to be truly selfless, because Jesus was selfless for us.

“In Christ Alone” – I love this modern hymn by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. This was one that I thought was more familiar to our church than it was. I had anticipated a little more participation, but it seemed to me that people were focusing more on the words of the song (and that’s not a bad thing!) because they were somewhat new to them. I love how this song communicates the gospel. I think I will need to make a point of singing it more often with our congregation, because this is definitely a song worth singing. Again, we sang this because I wanted us to focus on the gospel, because all of our worship and response stems from that.

“Your Great Name” – We responded to the message by singing this song together. Amy Thompson started us off and led the first verse of this song, and then I jumped in with the male vocal on the chorus and we continued on together. This song was definitely a highlight of the weekend. We sang it because David emphasized the truth that Jesus has placed His name and reputation on His body, the Church. All of us come from different places of brokenness and need, but when we love as Jesus loves, and care with the kind of care that Jesus has for us, Jesus’ name is lifted up and exalted. We honor Him and worship Him when we imitate Him in our world.

This weekend started a little rough in our first service, as we had a few hiccups in the band, but we smoothed them out for the last three services. It was a great moment of learning and growth for our team, because when things go bad, it is easy to get sidetracked and overly focused on our mistakes. To press on, we have to learn our lessons and move on and keep working to make things better. Our team did just that. It was a great weekend of worship, where the church was challenged to follow Jesus more fully, and where Jesus was truly lifted up!

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

What were your thoughts or experiences on your worship experience from this weekend?

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

This weekend David Hinkle preached from the book of Ruth to talk about God’s mission and how it has involved His people throughout history. The message was title “Legacy,” and he talked about how we can become a part of God’s overarching purpose in this world. One of his main points was that we were born at this time to be involved in this specific part of God’s plan – sending us out to tell the world about His Son, Jesus. It was a challenging reminder of the calling on our lives as rescued believers in Jesus Christ. We have a mission.

For this week’s message, we focused on the gospel, mission, pursuing God, redemption, and the new covenant. Each of these songs carries at least one of these elements in it.

Here’s our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “Kingdom” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
Call To Worship/Prayer
“Happy Day” (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting Time
“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]
“Forever Reign” (Bb) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
Message – “Legacy” [David Hinkle]
Communion Song – “Rock of Ages” (Bb) [Augustus M. Toplady, Thomas Hastings]
Response – “Son of God” [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld] 

This weekend was another good weekend of worship. One highlight for me was seeing one of our young guys, Anthony Dake, jump in on drums and do a fantastic job. He played like a champ, and served our congregation well. I look forward to having him in there again soon. Part of our vision for our worship ministry is to build into our younger guys and gals and teach them early on what it’s all about and how to lead worship through music, with authenticity and excellence. Our NextGen Worship Leader, Erik Oldberg, does a fantastic job with these guys, and even in the six months I have been here, I have seen huge growth in each of them. I am thankful for his leadership and passion for worship.

“Kingdom” – This song was a great fit for the theme of the weekend, but it is a little tricky for most of our congregation to sing with, which is why it was in the pre-service slot. It really communicates that it is our responsibility and calling to carry the truth of the gospel to the world, and to invade the darkness with the light of Jesus Christ. I love the message of this song.

“Happy Day” – This is now a standard for our congregation, and it has been a while since we sang it together. I love what it communicates about Jesus’ victory over sin and death, and how our eternal destiny has been permanently affected by His work on the cross and His resurrection.

“Let Me Sing” – We began teaching this song a few weeks ago, and this was our refresher week, to solidify it in our congregation’s memory. This song supported the theme of the weekend with the idea of us shining as lights in the darkness as an act of worship, in response to the amazing sacrifice that Christ made for us. In my mind, this is the most significant reason we have to worship, to obey, and to give of ourselves – Christ gave first, and did so in a marvelous way.

“Forever Reign” – We bracketed the message with this song, or parts of it anyway. The bridge and chorus really helped to communicate the drive of the message, for us to pursue Jesus Christ and His purposes with everything we have.

“Rock of Ages” – This hymn arrangement is from a band called Ascend The Hill, on their album of reworked hymns, Take The World But Give Me Jesus. The first time I heard it, I was immediately struck by the powerful lyric, and the simple arrangement, which added great power and emotion to the truth of the lyric. The lyric conveys the desperation we should all have for the saving work of Christ. We are completely hopeless without His help and His rescuing us. We sang this song during communion, and it was very appropriate in that slot. Here’s the lyric:

Rock of Ages
Augustus M. Toplady, Thomas Hastings

VERSE 1
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

VERSE 2
Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
These for sin could not atone
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

VERSE 3
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to Thy fountain fly
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

VERSE 4
While I draw this fleeting breath,

When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown
And behold Thee on Thy throne
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

“Son of God” – We finished the service by singing this great song to our Savior. It actually ended up being more fitting than I thought it would be, because of the way that David emphasized the covenant and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us. The ends of each verse spoke to these elements, singing directly about the cross and then in the second verse about how Christ fulfilled prophecy and how He is coming again for His church. I think it was a solid way to end our times together this weekend.

I am so thankful to be a part of this great church, and for the opportunity to grow together in worshiping our King. I hope you had a great weekend of worship as well. Check out The Worship Community to see what other worshipers experienced and why.

Let me know your thoughts! I love reading your opinions and feedback.

In the Son,

Bill

Here’s our set from this weekend:

“You Are” [Todd Fields]
“Kingdom” [Kristian Stanfill]
OFF – “Jesus Messiah” [Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin, Daniel Carson, et al]

Message – Find Your Passion [Dr. Jay Dennis]
INV – “I Want to Love You” [Todd Fields]
Lord’s Supper
“Lamb of God” [original]
“Because of Your Love” [Phil Wickham]
Closing – “Revelation Song” [Jennie Lee Riddle]

This morning was another great morning. We celebrated 16 baptisms, as well as the Lord’s Supper. Everything about this morning pointed to Jesus and what He accomplished for us in His death and resurrection. That is what it is all about. Praise God for such opportunities to remind ourselves, as the body of Christ, aboutt the gospel message. There is salvation in no other name – He is our only hope.

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

As always, check out Sunday Set Lists.

In the Son,
Bill

This Sunday was a great day of worship! God presence was very tangible in our midst, and as the Word was preached, I think people’s lives were changed. One lady was saved, and then baptized at the beginning of the next service. It was  beautiful thing to witness.

Here’s our set from yesterday:

“Kingdom” [Kristian Stanfill]
“Salvation’s Chorus” [Todd Fields]
“Our God” [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin, Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels]
“Jesus Messiah” [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves}
“Because of Your Love” [Phil Wickham]
MESSAGE: The Psalm 119 Method for Reading and Studying the Bible – Pastor Jay
INVITATION: “Nothing But the Blood” [Matt Redman]
OFFERTORY: “Cannons” [Phil Wickham”

While there is a lot of stuff weighing heavily in my life, I felt great about this morning. It seems to me that God is most at work and most present when we are weakest and most dependent on Him. Sounds like the Scripture, doesn’t it? (2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV): “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”) I have witnessed the truth of that statement firsthand over the past few weeks. God is most glorified when He gets all the credit for something, not when we put on a good show and people think it’s all because of our own abilities – that’s my $0.02, at least.

Yesterday was one of those mornings. Everything did not go perfectly – the click battery died, we lost tempo a few times, etc. – but God was in the midst of it, and He was working in all of our lives. I am excited for the future as God continues to show me what it means to depend on Him completely. I am a slow-learner. I don’t struggle much with faith or trusting the Father, but I struggle greatly with depending on Him. I tend to lean toward independence. I am comfortable when the ball is in my court and I can make the decisions and make things happen. To be honest, I enjoy getting recognized  for those things, too. However, God does not receive glory when I go my own way and do things in my own strength. He receives the most glory when He is the source and the lifeline for everything we do as believers. In reality, nothing of any eternal benefit happens in our own strength. After all, it is “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zech. 4:6).

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

May God bless you with the knowledge of His presence, and with complete dependence on Him, that He may receive all the glory.

Bill

p.s. be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists over at http://www.theworshipcommunity.com to see what other worshipers experienced around the globe!

Here’s our set from this morning:

“Kingdom” [Kristian Stanfill]
“God is Alive” [Steve Fee and Eddie Kirkland]
“Beautiful the Blood” [Steve Fee]
“Lord of All” [Kristian Stanfill]
“True Love” [Phil Wickham]
Message: “5 Love Secrets” by Pastor Jay
Response: “I Want to Love You” [Todd Fields]
Offertory: “Love is Not a Fight” [Warren Barfield]

I was ready for today. I have been looking forward to it on many levels. We had the entire youth group in the service this morning, which was awesome. Today was billed as “I Love My Church” Sunday, where every Connect Group made it a point to bring their friends with them, and to get people to identify what is about their church that they love. Today was also Pastor Jay’s 14th anniversary as pastor of Church at the Mall. My first day as the worship lead for this great church was his 10th anniversary celebration, which means that I have been leading for this church for 4 years today. It’s hard to believe. At any rate, there were a lot of reasons to be excited about today, and it really was.

There were quite a few mishaps, be it technical or performance-oriented. Each of us had a mistake in the band, except for our keyboardist, Amanda and our pianist, Melanie. I got thrown off by a miscue, and proceeded to sing the wrong line in the second verse of “Beautiful the Blood.” We could not, for the life of us, find our groove on “God is Alive” with the click. “Lord of All” was right on (this one continues to be a favorite for me and for our people), and so was “True Love.” Our Pastor was pulling in the parking lot with this song blasting on his car stereo. I love it. It was a perfect fit with his message today. I love how the Spirit makes it all fit together so beautifully.

The biggest technical mishap was at the beginning of the offertory, where we did “Love is Not a Fight” by Warren Barfield, which is an  amazing song. When I went to begin the acoustic-only introduction, there was only noise. Nothing was getting through but static. Of course, at this point, everyone in the room is watching me try and figure it out. I unplugged my mute box send to my tuner, which didn’t help. I then jiggled the XLR cables on either side of the mute box, and it came on extremely loud, because my sound man had boosted it to try and get anything. However, because I unplugged my tuner, it was a different, crazier-sounding static. Meanwhile, our executive pastor, Steve, brought a mic out to put in front of the guitar to go old-school. Right as he got it set up, everything was fixed with my guitar, and we got rolling. I had to say something, so I joked, “Sorry about that!” and everyone (thankfully) laughed along. The song went great after that. It is really a beautiful, honest, and powerful song about love. It was borne out of adversity. See the story here.

It was just that kind of a morning. It seemed and felt like the enemy was trying to interfere with what went on today. God was certainly at work. During the prayer time, Jay called on the men of the church to pray and ask God to help them be the men He has called them to be for their families. Dozens of men came down to the altar to pray in the middle of the service. It was a beautiful thing to witness. The people responded powerfully in worship of our King, and that was also very encouraging and a reminder that it doesn’t depend on everything going perfectly. I struggle with that, because of my perfectionism, but in the end God receives the glory because He is the one who makes the spiritual happen. I cannot manufacture it, nor can anyone else on the team. We can only facilitate. While it doesn’t alleviate our responsibility to lead and to plan, that is truly a freeing thing.

I love my church, and I am so thankful that the Lord has brought me here. Happy Valentine’s Day, by the way.

All the Glory belongs to Him,

Bill

p.s. be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists at http://www.theworshipcommunity.com to see what other churches/leaders did this morning.