Posts Tagged ‘Mia Fieldes’

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued our discipleship series, “Ephesians – United in Christ.” In the message for the weekend, Joe shared from Ephesians 5:9-21 about how we are called out of darkness and into the light of Christ; to shine the light of Christ by living wisely and loving deeply in a dark world. It was a great challenge for us to pursue a rich life of following Christ. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

In our singing, we focused on the gospel, and the life that we have been given through Christ. Our response ought to be one of worship and obedience, because He has done great things for us!

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome
“All Because of Jesus” (B) [Steve Fee]
“Happy Day” (B) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Ephesians 5:9-21” [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion
“Christ Is Risen” (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes]
“Stronger” (Bb) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]

“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong]
“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]

Dismissal

“All Because Of Jesus” / “Happy Day” – We opened our services this weekend with the combination of these two songs. We went from “All Because of Jesus” right into “Happy Day,” all with the focus of how we have been rescued and made alive by the finished work of Jesus Christ. We have great reason to celebrate and worship!

“Christ Is Risen” – This was our communion and response song to Joe’s message this week. His selected passage from Ephesians included 5:14: “Awake, O sleeper/ And arise from the dead / And Christ will shine on you”, which is the foundation for this song. This verse, according to the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, was probably an early hymn that the Church would sing to celebrate baptisms. This makes sense with Paul’s comments later on singing “songs and hymns, and spiritual songs” in verse 19. This song is a powerful song about the resurrection to life that we have because of Christ. He has brought us out of darkness into His light.

“Stronger” – After the Lord’s Supper, we continued by singing this song together, which speaks of Christ’s victory over sin and death for us. I love singing this chorus together with the church: “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.”

“Jesus Paid It All” – From “Stronger,” we went directly into this song, which is one of our church’s (and I’m sure this is true for many other churches) favorites. During our Saturday night services, we only sang the second chorus (or bridge, if you prefer): “O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead,” but we decided to sing the whole song on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful moment of worship together.

“Let Me Sing” – We finished our services with this song, which really put the exclamation point on the entire service, tying in all the themes that were emphasized: Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our redemption, walking in the light vs. the darkness, and living a life that shines the light of Christ in a dark world. We finished the song with mostly just the voices, and it was beautiful to hear the church singing these words of dedication and response to Christ: “Let me sing louder than creation to You/ For the pain You bore in Your body/ To bring my soul to You/ Let me shine brighter than the stars in the sky/ An offering of praise all my life/ To You, my holy King!” 

Thoughts: This weekend was a fantastic weekend. We completely rearranged our services, and it was refreshing and energizing. People were confused at first when the band left the platform after only two songs and Joe came up to preach, but we heard many comments about how people were engaged in worship because of the change. I always love singing in response to the proclaimed Word of God, since all of worship is a response to who God is, how God acts toward us, and what God calls us to. It just felt right. The team did a good job with all of the changes this weekend, and I am really grateful for our weekend of worship together. I am so encouraged by how our church engaged throughout the weekend, and all that is happening at Fellowship. I LOVE MY CHURCH!

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

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

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 Easter, our church relocated temporarily to the Topeka Performing Arts Center to accommodate as many guests as possible (we ended up hosting around 3800 people this weekend!). Last year, we had to do six services, but the attendance was not evenly distributed – more than half of our people wanted to attend at two of the six service times, and we were cramped for space (our building holds around 690). At Christmas Eve last year, we ended up turning people away, which is something we never want to do again if we can help it. We always want an open door and an open seat for people to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ!

It was amazing to see the team come together to make this happen for the weekend. It was a ton of work, and my tech director, Wyatt Johnston, did a fantastic job of navigating the difficulties of relocation. Each of the people who regularly lead for our services led together for both services. That was something that was a priority to me, and I am thankful that it worked out that everyone could participate. There’s nothing like leading worship together with friends! I am so grateful for our church and for our team. Jesus was exalted this weekend! You can listen to the entire message here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Video – “An Easter Story”
Pre-Service Song – “Our God’s Alive” (Em) [Andy Cherry, Jason Ingram, Dan Muckala]
“Sing to the King” (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Sylvester Horne]
Welcome/Greeting Time – David Hinkle
Call To Worship – from Philippians 2
“Happy Day” (B) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Video – “The White Board Gospel”
“You Have Overcome” (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
“You Alone Can Rescue” (B) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
“Jesus Paid It All” (B) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong]
Video – “Alive”
Message – “Everyone” [Joe Hishmeh]

“Christ Is Risen” (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes]
Offering/Announcements
Dismissal


“Our God’s Alive”
 – This song served as our countdown song this week. It was an awesome song to open our Easter services with. It is an anthem that really set the tone for how we wanted to celebrate the resurrection.

“Sing to the King” – Led by Becky Tindell and Sarah Oldberg, this was our opening song. It is one of our church’s favorites, and it really communicates the hope we have in Jesus. Also, this is a song that the children are singing in The Mountain (our children’s ministry, led by Erik Oldberg). Our children from ages 3 and up were in our services this weekend, so it was important to us to do some songs that they would know as well. This is a great song that served the purpose of reaching everyone in the room.

“Happy Day” – Erik Oldberg led us on this song. This is another staple for our congregation and for our children, so it was another song that reached our whole congregation. As we sang this song, there was a tremendous amount of energy in the room. It was exciting to be a part of it!

“You Have Overcome” – This is the new original song that we introduced to our congregation last weekend in preparation for this weekend. Our congregation is connecting with it, and singing it well together. The link in the title takes you to the post where I discussed the song in further detail and where you can also download the charts for the song. It is a straightforward song about how Jesus has overcome sin and death, and has therefore redeemed us, giving us life and hope.

“You Alone Can Rescue” – Sarah Oldberg and I led on this song. This remains one of my favorite worship songs. I love how it declares our prior condition and where we stand now because of Christ’s death and resurrection for us. He “came down to find us, and led us out of death!”

“Jesus Paid It All” – Each of us led a portion of this song, which is another one of our congregation’s favorites. The ending was powerful and beautiful as we sang out the bridge, “O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead” a cappella. This moment in each of our services was one of the highlights of the weekend for me.

“Christ Is Risen” – We responded to Joe’s message with this song. This is one of my favorites for Easter. I love the chorus especially: “Christ is risen from the dead/ Trampling over death by death/ Come awake, come awake/ Come and rise up from the grave.” It’s a powerful thing for the church to sing this together. Jesus has conquered sin and death. And we will participate in that victory. All praise and honor and glory to Jesus!

The bottom line? This weekend was amazing. I am so overwhelmed what we experienced together. It was the Easter service that I had always dreamt of. I couldn’t have asked for a more special weekend. Easter is definitely my favorite time of the year in terms of leading the church in worship. We have no greater reason to sing than the fact that Jesus has overcome sin and death for us!

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

In the Son,
Bill

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

This weekend, we focused on John 19:28 – 20:31, examining the resurrection of Jesus. After reading through the passage, Pastor Joe dealt with some of the arguments for and against the resurrection, and then ended with call to a response of faith and belief in the resurrection. Because of Christ’s resurrection, we can have hope and eternal life. The resurrection is “the summit of the gospel,” whereas the cross is the center of the gospel. You can listen to the entire message here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“Jesus You” (E) [original]
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call to Worship – Psalm 40:1-3

“Sing To The King” (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Sylvester Horne]
“Salvation Is Here” (Bb) [Joel Houston]

“Stronger” (Bb) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]
“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [Alex Nifong, Elvina M. Hall, John Thomas Grape]
Prayer
Message – John 19:38 – 20:31 – “The Resurrection” [Joe Hishmeh]
Response Time

Offering/Video/Announcements
“Christ Is Risen” (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes]
Dismissal

“Jesus You” – We opened our preparation time with this song. We have done this a few times for the preparation time, and it was particularly fitting for this weekend. We incorporated more of the band this time, but still kept it a little more laid back than my original arrangement. This song helped to point us in the right direction for our services.

“Sing To The King” – Sarah Oldberg led us on this song. I love the powerful declaration of this song. Sarah and the band did an awesome job on this one, and the church engaged in celebrating and looking forward to Christ’s victorious return. Our risen Lord is coming again. We can rejoice because of this fact, and this song helps us to do just that. Although we haven’t sung this song very often, our congregation still seems to connect well with it. I look forward to singing it again.

“Salvation Is Here” – Our church had not sung this song much in the past, and when I was preparing for this weekend, I thought it would be a great fit because of the bridge, which sings, “Salvation is here/ Salvation is here and He lives in me/ Salvation is here/ ‘Cause You are alive and You live in me.” I could tell it was unfamiliar to much of our congregation, but they sang it, and I think they will sing it more when they have more time with it. I love the chorus of this song, as it builds my confidence in what Christ has done and in His Word: “I know my God saved the day/ And I know His Word never fails/ And I know my God made a way for me/ Salvation is here.”

“Stronger” – This song is still fresh for me, and I really value how it expresses the gospel message. I like the unique expression of the chorus, when it 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.” It captures so many truths of scripture in a few simple phrases. Beautiful. This song helped us to turn the corner to singing more specifically about the resurrection and what Christ accomplished by it.

“Jesus Paid It All” – This hymn remains another one of my favorites. The additional chorus by Alex Nifong is a simple and beautiful expression of praise to Christ because of the gospel. I invited our congregation to lift their hands to exalt our God  and Savior. It was a powerful part of the service this weekend, and one of my personal highlights, as the church participated well on it.

“Christ Is Risen” – After a message about Christ’s resurrection, I think it was a perfect song to respond with. I love how this song declares the victory of Christ over sin and death. It moves me and encourages me as we sing it together. Although our church has only sung it together one weekend before, we are singing it well together.

This was a great weekend of worshiping the risen Christ. Jesus was lifted high and exalted for who He is and what He has done. We tried some different things with the leading of the songs, with Sarah and I trading off verses on a few of the songs (“Stronger” and “Jesus Paid It All”), and I liked how that pulled both the ladies and the men into singing the melody together. I am so thankful to be a part of this team and this church. God is faithful. May we all live a life that reflects the reality that Jesus is no longer in the grave. He is alive!

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 John 11, looking specifically at Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead. Joe preached on the death of death, and how we can only find life, hope, and promise in Jesus Christ. he also talked about how we can look to Jesus’ response to Lazarus’ death to see how He feels about the consequences of sin in our lives. The hurt that we experience because of sin also hurts Jesus. He cares deeply for us, and hates what sin has done to us. You can listen to the entire message here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“Hungry” (C) [Kathryn Scott]
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call to Worship (Psalm 117)
“All Because of Jesus” (A) [Steve Fee]
“I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)” (D) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
“Never Once” (A) [Matt Redman, Jason Ingram, Tim Wanstall]
“Always” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]

Prayer
Message – John 11:17-44 [Joe Hishmeh]
Response Time
“Christ Is Risen” (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes]
Offering/Announcements
Reprise of “Christ Is Risen”
Dismissal

“Hungry” – We opened our preparation time with this song. Becky Tindell led us as we sang of our hunger for the Lord and our dedication to Him. Jesus is the only one who can meet our needs and take care of us. He is the only one who has the words of eternal life, as Peter said in John 6:68. I felt that this was a great song for our preparation time, and helped to focus our hearts along the lines of Matthew 6:33, seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.

“All Because of Jesus” – We sang this song because it celebrates the life that we have been given in Christ. It is only because of Him–His life, death, and resurrection–that we have life. Scripture says in Romans and Ephesians that we were “dead in our transgressions” and that we needed Christ to give us life. We were helpless to save ourselves, and were desperate for His salvation. Praise God for His provision, making a way for us where there was no way.

“I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)” – Becky led us on this song as well. We sang this song because it praises God for His great love for us, demonstrated through the cross, and experienced in us through the life that we have been given because of His great work on our behalf. This new life is both now and forever. In the Bible, the word that is often translated as “eternal” or “everlasting” means more than just length of time; it conveys a sense of quality as well. The life that we have in Christ continues to grow deeper and fuller from here to eternity as we know and experience our Savior and His love.

“Never Once” – We began teaching this song last week, and we continued with it this week. I love this song, and I can’t stop singing it. The chorus states an ageless truth in a fresh way when we sing, “Never once did we ever walk alone/ Never once did You leave us on our own/ You are faithful/ God, You are faithful.” Our congregation has really taken a hold of this song and is singing it well. For me, probably because of my experience in my journey with Christ thus far, songs that sing of God’s faithfulness really resonate with me. That is definitely the case with this song. I cannot get it out of my head, and I don’t mind at all! The only difficulty with this song (as with many of Matt Redman’s songs) is that the verses are pretty low and the chorus is pretty high. You have to “pick your poison,” so to speak, for your congregation to be able to sing together on the chorus.

“Always” – This remains one of my favorite new worship songs. We flowed directly into this song from “Never Once,” and the two together were a powerful declaration of God’s faithfulness and constancy in all situations. My pastor Joe’s comment about it was that it redeems the expression “Oh my God” as it sings it in the chorus as a declaration of confidence. I agree. This song is similar to “Never Once” in that the verses are low and the chorus is pretty high. We did it in Bb, and if we did it in A, the lowest note in the verse reaches down to F#! There’s no way most people are singing that… Despite that, our congregation really connects with this song. I have probably heard more comments about being affected by this song than any other since I have been here.

“Christ Is Risen” – We responded to the Word with this song. We have never sung this song before at Fellowship, so I was unsure about how well our congregation would catch on and participate in it. This song was not in the original service plan, but as we met together and Joe shared more about his message, the Lord brought this song to the forefront of my thinking, so we made some changes and inserted it. The risk of our congregation not knowing it was worth the impact it could have in combination with Joe’s message. We also tried something different in our service plan, incorporating this song into the end of Joe’s message, and tying it with his call for people to believe the gospel message and to “come awake” as the song says. We kept it dynamically quiet before Joe came back up to call people to the gospel, and then we came back to the CH, BR, CH, CH and ramped it up until we were full volume and singing it with all our might. I was moved every time we sang it together, and I think our people connected with it as we declared the powerful truth of the chorus: “Christ is risen from the dead/ Trampling over death by death/ Come awake, come awake/ Come and rise up from the grave/ Christ is risen from the dead/ We are one with Him again/ Come awake, come awake/ Come and rise up from the grave.” Amen.

This was a great weekend of worshiping our Savior. Our teams did a fantastic job. I was completely exhausted after this weekend was done, because I also led our children’s worship services in the middle of our main services, sang for a wedding Friday night, and for a banquet Sunday night, totaling 11 events for which I sang. I could barely speak this morning. 🙂 God is faithful, and He helped preserve my voice for when I needed it, for which I am very grateful. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve our church in so many different ways this weekend. It seemed like the Lord was calling me to a greater level of servanthood all the way through, and I felt that He was reminding me of His call for me to pour myself out for our people. I was challenged and blessed at the same time. It was a fantastic weekend.

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 2:12-18 and discussed criticism, grumbling, and arguing. Joe really challenged the church to counteract the tendency to complain and criticize by getting involved. You cannot be truly engaged and active in the ministry of the gospel and of the church and still have a critical spirit. We can all take this message to heart, and search out those areas where we choose to sit on the sidelines and “throw stones” rather than get engaged in ministry. This topic was a little tricky to develop a worship set around, so where we couldn’t make a great connection, we focused on the goodness and faithfulness of God, and His unique worth. A few songs were great fits, and I think we ended with a strong connection in our response song.

Pre-Service – “Walk The World (Let My Life Shine)” (B) [Charlie Hall, Kendall Combes]
Call to Worship – Colossians 1:13-14
“Marvelous Light” (B) [Charlie Hall]
Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting
“Blessed Be Your Name” (B) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
“Always” (B) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]
Message – “The Appraisal of All Things: A New Appraisal of Criticism”
Communion Setup
Communion Song – “You Saw Me” (C) [Mia Fieldes, Ben Fielding, and Reuben Morgan]

Taking the Elements
Response Song – “Mighty To Save” (A) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]

“Walk The World (Let My Life Shine)” – I have enjoyed this song since I heard Charlie Hall do it first at Passion 2007 in Atlanta. I remember immediately thinking how interesting and fresh the chorus was: “Let my life shine/ Come and let my heart shine/ We’re gonna walk the world/ And lift the bread and wine/ Like the stars shine/ Come and let our hearts shine/ In a dark world/ We lift the bread and wine.” The connection between the Lord’s Supper and the spread of the gospel is really unique. Charlie Hall explained that he was simply making use of the symbolism of communion to communicate that believers lift up the body and blood of Jesus Christ as we go out into the world, and He is the hope that we hold out for them. The focus passage this week talks about how believers “shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15 ESV) and that was the major connection for this song. Being that this weekend was also a communion weekend, the image of the elements was also a neat connection. The groove on this song is killer, and the band did a great job putting the pieces together for it. Our intention for this song in the pre-service slot was not necessarily for participation, but to set the tone for the service and to get us pointed to the focus of the weekend.

“Marvelous Light” – This is a s0lid song about the change that the cross has made for us. While, this is not a new song for our congregation, I don’t feel that it connects very well here. It may be due in part to the tricky melody of the verses, where it can really go anywhere, and people are not confident that they are singing the right thing (I have always thought that it was tricky for people to sing with). Even so, I love the pre-chorus and the chorus of the song, as they communicate the powerful truth of the gospel. The pre-chorus says it all, “Sin has lost its power/ Death has lost its sting/ From the grave You’ve risen/ Victoriously.” Word.

“Blessed Be Your Name” – This song is (and should be) a constant challenge to me as we sing it together. To give Jesus all glory and praise, even in the midst of trials and suffering, is contrary to our human nature. If anything, we want to do the exact opposite, and curse God and our circumstances for the way they make us feel. It is only by His Spirit and His grace that we can worship Him in the midst of our suffering. This is why we must call one another to this kind of worship, that knows no boundaries or situations where we cannot worship God. He is always worthy, and we need to see Him that way. No matter the situation, no matter the trial, He deserves our worship and our glory. He deserves our love and trust. When we set our eyes on Him in this way, our troubles seem smaller and we see Him as Lord over all. In fact, worshiping Him in the dark times is really a matter of trust. We worship Him in those times when we truly trust Him. May our hearts continue to be changed to worship Him with this kind of deep love and trust.

“Always” – This was our first time singing this song together at Fellowship. It has been on my radar since I lived in Lakeland, and I have been waiting for the right opportunity to introduce it here. I have had it playing on the house background music for about a month to get people somewhat familiar with the sound and feel of it, so it wouldn’t feel so foreign when we taught it. I love this song, and I am almost brought to tears every time I sing it, as it communicates trust in God in a unique way. The bridge of the song comes from Psalm 121, where the Psalmist looks to the hills, the high places surround the city of Jerusalem, and sees the idols and monuments there. He recognizes how powerless those idols are, being only wood and stone. Instead, he says, “my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (ESV). He turned from the empty things of this world to the only one who has the power to save or change anything – the Lord. The Lord is the only one who can make any difference in our lives. He is the only one who can rescue us and save us. Let us look nowhere else for our help.

“You Saw Me” – We used this song for our communion time, and I think this song is perfect for that setting. It paints a very profound picture of Christ seeing us while suffering on the cross in our place. The chorus sings, “And You saw me when You took the crown of thorns/ Your blood washed over me/ And You loved me through the nails that You bore/ Your blood washes over me.” I love this lyric, and I think it resonates with the church as we sing it. For my wife, it took a few hearings to really connect, and I suspect it may be the same for many people. I think it requires us to come at the song from a certain angle, and focusing on the wrong part of the lyric can throw you off. Focusing on the chorus of the song puts everything else in its proper place.

“Mighty to Save” – We responded to the call of this weekend’s message with this song, mainly because of the bridge, which connected well with Philippians 2:15 (see above) when it sings, “Shine your light and let the whole world see/ We’re singing for the glory of the risen King, Jesus.” This song is very familiar to our congregation, and I think it was a great fit for the weekend. We are called to carry the message of the gospel to the world, and we cannot do that when we are busying ourselves with complaining and arguing. It’s just not possible. Jesus and His gospel are infinitely more worthy of our time and dedication than our own preferences or desires!

(“Unleashed” by Warren Barfield) – we only did this song after the Sunday services, as we began jamming with it as band members were showing up for our warm-up time this morning before the first service. This was the song, from the album Reach that introduced me to Warren Barfield.

It didn’t seem like the congregation was participating as much this weekend as the past few weeks. I was a little concerned that the keys of some the songs might be a little out of reach, so that may be partly to blame. It may have been the two new songs combined with one with difficult verses. At any rate, the weekend had a very strong and powerful feel to it, and I didn’t quite expect it to the extent that it was. “Blessed Be Your Name” and “Always” felt much more powerful than I anticipated. I was really blessed by our worship times this weekend and by our team. I was also very challenged by what Joe shared from the Word. God is so good and faithful. May my life be more committed to expanding the kingdom of God, no matter the personal cost!

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 worshipers experienced this weekend in their respective contexts.

Join in the discussion below. Talk about the songs from this weekend, the message, the flow, the environment of the services (if you were here), and how the different elements affected you. I love to hear your perspective on things.

In the Son,

Bill