This weekend, we focused on a Memorial Day-related theme, "On the Other Side of Sacrifice: Freedom in Christ." Joe shared from Galatians 5 about true freedom from sin, and freedom to love and serve Christ and others. It was a great reminder of the peace that we have because of God's grace through the gospel. You can listen to the entire message here. For the music this week, we continued to sing songs that remind us of God's power and love for us, demonstrated by His sacrifice for us. We are free because He has set us free! Here's our service plan from this weekend:
"Faithful One" (G) [Original] Welcome/Greeting Time "Blessed Be Your Name" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] "Lord of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] "How Great Is Our God" (Chorus Only) (Bb) [Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash] Message - "Freedom In Christ" [Joe Hishmeh] Video - "God's Pie" Offering/Announcements "'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" (F#) [William James Kirkpatrick, Louisa M. R. Stead] Dismissal
"Faithful One" - This is an original song that we introduced to our congregation this weekend. My wife has been telling me to teach it here for months, and I finally put it in a service. It is a simple song that speaks of the Lord as "The Faithful One." It is pretty uptempo at 175 bpm... Our congregation sang it well and participated in it together, so we'll probably continue to use this song in worship.
"Blessed Be Your Name" - We sang this song after reading Psalm 72:18-19 together. This song is a powerful declaration of trust and worship, no matter what circumstances we may face in this life. Jesus is with us, He is faithful, and He is worthy of our worship.
"Let Me Sing" - We sang this song to connect the ideas of Christ's sacrifice with the proper response to that sacrifice, which is offering our lives as living sacrifices to Him. He is worthy of all we have to give, because of who He is and what He has done for us. My constant prayer for our congregation is that we would all catch this truth, and lay our lives down for Him and His kingdom.
"Lord of All"/"How Great Is Our God" - This is one of my favorites, and one of our congregation's favorites, as well. We tagged "How Great Is Our God" at the end, since they have nearly identical chord progressions in their choruses, and they have very connected themes. We sang these songs to remember the power, the uniqueness, and the worth of our great God, and to worship Him for those things. I always say that when we see God as He is - high and lifted up - we cannot remain the same.
"'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" - In response to the message, we sang this great hymn of dependence and trust in Jesus. This was my personal arrangement of it for guitar, and it has more of a country/gospel feel to it. We ended it all by singing the chorus together a cappella with four-part harmony. It was a great moment.
This weekend was an incredible weekend. I am so blessed and encouraged from our time spent worshiping together. We did some new things this weekend, and I think they had a big impact. First, we installed acoustic "clouds" in our ceiling area. These are basically reflective acoustic panels (ours are made of high-grade plywood) suspended at different heights to help give the room more of a live sound, which ultimately helps make the congregation's voices louder in the room. In the past it was frustrating to not be able to hear one another when we are singing because the room was so dampened. There was a big difference this weekend, and it was very moving to hear the congregation so well! It is a beautiful thing!
Also, we gave mics to two of our band members to add a few voices during some of the stronger parts of songs during the set. I also think this added a lot to certain parts of our service. I love being a part of this growing church as we pursue our Savior together!
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!