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!