Posts Tagged ‘reconciliation’

Here’s our set from this weekend:

“All Because of Jesus” (A) [Steve Fee]
Call to Worship
“Happy Day” (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Welcome/Announcements/Greeting Time
“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves]
“You Alone Can Rescue” (Bb) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman]
“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [John Thomas Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong]
Message – “I Believe God Acted – Redemption” [David Hinkle]
Response – “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (Eb) [Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees]

I feel like this week was another step forward for our team and our congregation. We took more steps to make it easier to participate – we brought some songs down to a lower key, and we were more intentional about teaching new material. It seemed like there was more participation overall in each of the four services, which is exciting and encouraging. The team felt locked-in (most of the time), and I felt like we were engaged in worship as we were leading the congregation, as well.

We brought “All Because of Jesus” down to the key of A from the usual key of B, and we brought “Happy Day” down to Bb from B. Both were good moves, as the people sang out more on both. When I took a close look at the lead sheets this week, I noticed that both of these songs had parts of the melody that went well beyond the range of the “normal” voice, from C to C. We brought them both down to get them close. They still weren’t entirely in the desired range, but if we lowered them much more, the verses would bottom out! That’s one of the biggest problems with some modern worship songs – the low verses and high choruses make it difficult to get them into a normal person’s vocal range. We’ll keep working on it, though!

“Jesus Messiah” is one of the 21 songs we have done more than five times over the past year, and therefore is one that I would be safe in saying we know as a congregation. It showed as people sang it out and connected with God through it. I love the lyric of this song, as it really declares the gospel clearly, and finishes it all off with the simple, powerful bridge: “All our hope is in You/ All our hope is in You/ All the glory to You, God/ The Light of the world.” Jesus is our only hope of salvation. Enough said.

Also, this week we introduced “You Alone Can Rescue” by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman. When I initially heard this song done live by Matt Redman, I was very excited about it, but when I heard the recorded version, I was a little underwhelmed, so I put it off for a while. However, when Matt led at Student Life in Daytona this past summer, I was reminded again how powerful this song is. It is a simple lyric, but proclaims a powerful truth – that Jesus is the only one who can save us. Here’s the lyric:

Verse 1
Who, O Lord, could save themselves
Their own soul could heal
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your grace is deeper still

Chorus
And You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

Verse 2
You, O Lord, have made a way
The great divide You healed
For when our hearts were far away
Your love went further still
Yes, Your love goes further still

Bridge
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the giver of life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the giver of life

Even typing the lyric of this song is bringing me to tears. What a beautiful expression of confidence in Christ alone for our rescue and salvation. We have no hope apart from Him! His humble, loving sacrifice is the only way for us to be rescued; the fact that He chose to redeem us at such a great cost to Himself is overwhelming. This song brings this into clear focus, and is a beautiful expression of thanksgiving and recognition of the work of Jesus Christ to save us. He, and He alone, is the one who can rescue, who can save us, who can lift us from the grave. This is because He is the one who came down to find us a lead us out of death. Scripture says that Jesus’ efforts to rescue us are the reason God has given Him the name above every name (Philippians 2). I know this is the reason I worship Him. He is so good, while I am still so undeserving of it. My life is completely dependent on His grace and finished work of the cross.

We bracketed the message about our redemption with Alex Nifong’s arrangement of “Jesus Paid It All” and Tomlin’s “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone).” These two songs never get old to me, because there is beauty in the simplicity of their declarations. I never tire of singing, “O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead.” On “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” Kelsey Thomsen and I traded off on the verse. She did a great job leading, and I think it facilitated a very powerful moment of worship, especially after David’s weighty message about our redemption. I loved his words about what God has done to rescue us! We owe it all to Jesus Christ, who made a way where there was no way.

I love my church, and I am very excited about what is going on around here. We are learning and growing together, and we are pursuing Jesus Christ and His gospel. Jesus, and His work to redeem us, was truly lifted high this weekend. I am so grateful for how He has rescued us. He is truly my only hope!

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

Jesus alone is worthy!

Bill

Sunday Set Lists

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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 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

Currently listening to The Almost, Southern Weather

Here’s our set from yesterday:

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

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

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

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

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

God is working!

Bill

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

Currently Listening: Classic Case, “Losing at Life”

Here’s our set from yesterday:

“Salvation’s Chorus” [Todd Fields]
“Happy Day” [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
“Beautiful the Blood” [Steve Fee]
Offertory: “Hands of the Healer” [Eddie Kirkland]
Message: “The Blood of Jesus” [Pastor Jay Dennis]
INV: “Nothing But the Blood” [Matt Redman]
Lord’s Supper:
Bread – “Lamb of God” [original]
Cup – “By His Wounds” [Mac Powell, David Nasser]
“Jesus Paid It All” (2nd Chorus only) [Alex Nifong]

We had a great day of worship yesterday. We celebrated the Lord’s Supper, and that is always a truly special time with the Body of Christ. Pastor Jay also preached about the blood of Jesus, which was a great reminder of the power of Jesus’ blood.

The highlights of this week were the new song, Eddie Kirkland’s “Hands of the Healer,” and the special trio we did for the Lord’s Supper, “By His Wounds.” “Hands of the Healer” is an amazing song, and has such a powerful lyric and energy in its melody. It is in the same range of Steve Fee’s “Glorious One,” with the verses in the lower register of the key of C, and the choruses pushing the envelope of most people’s range. However, despite being our first time singing the song, people began to join in early on, which is a good sign. We’ll continue to teach it this next week.

“By His Wounds” is from the Glory Revealed project, and was originally sung by Mac Powell, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mark Hall, and Brian Littrell. It is a simple song based on Isaiah 53:5, and is a beautiful reminder of what Jesus accomplished for us. As part of the Lord’s Supper, it was a very special moment. This song was Pastor Jay’s suggestion, and he played and sang with Danny and I on it, which made it even more memorable. We did that particular song for each of the three services. I’m thankful for Pastor Jay taking on the extra stress on a Sunday morning to participate in that, because I really enjoyed it, and I think our people need to see that side of him. He is a very talented musician! Our utility player-extraordinaire, Larry Butts, played mandolin, and that was a great touch, also.

All-in-all, it was a fantastic morning. I love meditating on Jesus’ sacrificial death in our place, and this Sunday was ALL about that.

I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were worshiping. God is alive!

Until next time,

Bill

Be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists to see what other worshipers experienced this week.

Currently listening to Love, by The Julianna Theory

Here’s our set for this past Sunday:
“Hosanna (Praise is Rising)” [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
“Your Grace is Enough” [Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin]
“Because of Your Love” [Phil Wickham]
“Glory to God” [Steve Fee]
“Mighty to Save” [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]
“The Stand” [Joel Houston]
INV: “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” [John Newton, Edwin O’Excell, Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, et al]
“Let Me Sing” [Todd Fields]

This week was a solid weak of worship together. We tried to make things flow together well on our end, and tried to create a little space for people to breathe and reflect, which is something we don’t do very often. I’m not sure I said enough to set it up, but I think it was healthy nonetheless. Pastor Jay’s message was a really poignant one, basically about forgiving the people who have made life miserable in some way. Many people responded at the end of the message, laying situations and relationships at the front to give them over to God and let go. It was a beautiful morning. God is truly at work in our midst, and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of it.

I hope you had a great week of worship, wherever you are!

Bill

Be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists over at http://www.theworshipcommunity.com to read about other leaders’ experiences this week in worship.

Currently Listening to Explosions in the Sky

Here’s our set from this morning:

“You Are” [Todd Fields]
“Salvation’s Chorus” [Todd Fields]
“Blessed Be Your Name” [Matt and Beth Redman]
“It is Well” [Todd Fields arrangement]
“Beautiful” [Phil Wickham]
INV: “Never Be the Same” [original]
“Because of Your Love” [Phil Wickham]

Today was a great time of worship for me. While I felt like we were fighting uphill trying to get everyone in the congregation on board, I was really excited about what was happening with the band and our offering to God. I felt like I was able to focus well, and that we were all giving it everything we had.

We tried a few new things this morning, and it was exciting to take some creative liberty with the arrangements and the planning. I realized after our acoustic set last week that I have not been taking many risks lately, and things (for me) had become a little stagnant. I thrive on being creative, and without that, things become routine for me, and lose their luster.

On the song “Beautiful,” which is an amazing hymn-like song with only four verse that sings about creation, redemption, and consummation, we wanted to emphasize the last verse. It sings, “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.” On Phil Wickham’s recording, he pulls in a choir of voices behind him, which really ties in well with the message of that verse. We don’t have a choir in our service, so we changed what we were doing to emphasize it. I went up and sang the harmony that my female vocalist normally sings, and she sang the melody an octave higher than I would. It was really a strong declaration of hope and eternity. Then, we immediately repeated it, with all the band members playing a drum. The drummer kept playing, and the bassist, guitarist, and pianist all played a floor tom to accent it. Amanda (the other vocalist) and I kept singing, and it was so powerful. I really wanted that part of the song to hit home, as Pastor Jay was preaching about dreams, and I felt that this song really expresses our greatest dream as believers.

We also introduced another new song by Phil Wickham, “Because of Your Love.” This song is a beautiful description of the gospel, and the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us. The chorus sings, “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 is a great, great new song. I highly recommend it.

It was a great day. God was glorified and exalted. I pray that more and more people come along for the journey, giving God the honor and worship He so rightly deserves!

I hope you had a great day, wherever you were worshiping.

Bill

Be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists at www.theworshipcommunity.com, where other leaders and team members share about their worship experiences this week.