This weekend, we focused on the subject of transformational worship. Joe's point was that we become like whatever we worship. We are transformed by the object of our worship. When we are worshiping the things of this world, we become more like them, and take on their characteristics. He called us to preparation for worship, presentation of our lives as living sacrifices, and participation in God's calling on us.
Here's our set from this weekend:
Pre-Service - "Only a Word" (E) [original] Time of Preparation (a time of confession and focus in prayer) Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship - Rom. 12:1-2 "Glory to God Forever" (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching] "The Lost Are Found" (Bb) [Ben Fielding, Sam Knock] "Lord of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] "Jesus Paid It All" (Bb) [Elvina M. Hall, John Thomas Grape, Alex Nifong] Message - "Upgrade - Worship" [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Announcements Response - "Let Me Sing" [Todd Fields] Dismissal
"Only a Word" - I've wanted to sing this song here for a while. We used it because it sets a good tone for worship by recognizing God's power to change us and to change the world, and helps us develop an expectation for Him to move in our midst, because "nothing impossible with God" (Luke 1:37). The thought of this song that it only takes one word from God to change everything. Scripture shares the phrase that God said in creation, "Let there be..." That was all it took. I don't think He needed to say anything, but it simply communicates how easy it is for God to transform our reality. He is able and powerful. I have been reading through Tozer's The Knowledge Of The Holy, and he repeatedly states the fact that nothing is difficult for God. He never needs to rest after working. He has everything He needs to do anything He wants whenever He wants to do it. Through that book, I have been reminded that God is truly able.
Here's the lyric from the song:
"Only a Word" Words and Music by Bill Horn
VERSE 1 With a word You throw the spheres and space is formed With Your voice You fill the void with light and worlds With Your arm You carve the ocean from the shore With a breath You move the dust and life is born
CHORUS With only a word, stars come blazing forth Only one verb, and darkness is no more Only Your voice, can pierce us through, O Lord This world can be transformed, with only a word
VERSE 2 With a thought You ease the waves and still the sea With Your hand You touch the blind and let him see With a song You make the prison doors break free Everything can change when You say, “Let it be”
BRIDGE The sun aligns with You For You are the truth You are reality Before everything
"Glory to God Forever" - We prefaced this song with Romans 12:1-2 as our call to worship. I felt it was a good way to start a week that focused on worship, because we need to fight hard to correct the misperception that worship through music is all there is to worship. The proper posture of the worshiping heart is summed up in the bridge: "Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours."
"The Lost Are Found" - This was a new song for our congregation this week. Joe asked if we could teach it, because it really ties into the subjects of worship (the song of the redeemed/Lordship of Christ/making all things new) and outreach (which we'll be focusing on next week. This is a good song with a simple a strong lyric. I really like what is technically the bridge of the song, which sings, "The lost are found, the blind will see/ The lame will walk, the dead will live/ And You our God, forever You will reign." In teaching the song, I called our people to remember and look forward to the day of Christ's return, when He makes all things new and rights all the wrongs in this world. We look forward to this day with hope, and it should change our perspective on daily life.
"Lord of All" - We sang this song because it helps is get a proper perspective on who the Lord is - the Lord of all and King of kings. I love singing this song together. We had one hiccup in the 3rd service on this one, where our drummer Jordan's kick pedal broke toward the end of "The Lost Are Found" and was broken throughout this song. Our tech director, Wyatt, was able to grab a replacement from one of our other venues and get it installed for the end of the song. It was a good reminder of what is truly important in our worship services, and it was fitting in the week about worship. The band and technology are nice, but they are extras that can possibly make it easier for us to worship God by connecting our head and our hearts. However, they are by no means essential, and we all ought to be able to worship the Lord just as well without an instrument as with the full band.
"Jesus Paid It All" - We sang this song because there is no greater reason for us to worship than the gospel of Christ. We were dead, and now we are alive in Him. We were enemies, and now we are heirs together with Christ. Could there be a greater reason to be thankful and worship our great God?
"Let Me Sing" - I think this was a fitting response to our pastor's message this weekend, because it expresses a desire to live a life that worships God greater than anything else in creation. The chorus sings, "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." I think this sums up my thinking about the entire service. Our greatest reason for worship is the gospel, and the kind of worship God deserves is that which comes from an entire life lived for Him.
We had a good weekend of corporate worship, focusing on the subject of lifestyle worship. I enjoyed how the different elements connected and interplayed. It seems like God made it all fit together to communicate a single message: worship is life.
I hope you had a great weekend of worship!
In the Son,
p.s. Don't forget to check out The Worship Community to see what other leaders did this weekend!