Fellowship Service Recap - 06/11 - 06/12/16

This was week two of our series through the life of David, Rise or Fall, and Joe shared about how to walk with God when we're waiting. It was a timely message for those who are walking through suffering, sorrow, and trials, and a powerful reminder of how God is at work even when we cannot see it and when we have to wait to see the outcome. He is faithful and good, and working it all together according to His sovereign purposes.

Here's what we sang together:

"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue]
"Everlasting God" [Brenton Brown]
"It is Well" [Todd Fields]
"Always" [Kristian Stanfill]

It was an encouraging and comforting weekend of worship together. There have been several unexpected deaths and illness in our church recently, and it was clear that God was at work in the timing and the planning of the entire service. We needed to hear the words of this message, and we needed to sing the words of these songs together. I'm thankful that the Lord is at work among us and reminding us who He is and what He has done and will do. He will never leave us or forsake us, and He will make all things new and right all wrongs.

May we all be reminded of God's faithfulness and trustworthiness as you walk through trials, through suffering, and through sorrow. He is with us.

in the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 09/19 - 09/20/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This was our second week of our Unstuck series, where we looked at what it means to be "unstuck" in our faith. Joe shared the ways we typically get stuck in faith, and the things God often uses to get us growing again in our faith.

"Made Alive" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
"Desert Song" [Brooke Ligertwood]
"You Never Let Go" [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Everlasting God" [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]

In talking about faith, we began by focusing on Jesus as the source of the gift of faith, in making us alive together with Him in "Made Alive." We then sang "Desert Song" as a reminder that even if we are faithless, Jesus remains faithful to us, so we don't have to fear. We responded to the message with "You Never Let Go," which continues that idea of God's faithfulness in the midst of trials, and our need to trust Him no matter what we face, because He is with us and cares for us. We then closed out the service with "Your Great Name" and "Everlasting God," both of which proclaim how the Lord is the one who restores us and gives us strength, especially when we are weak.

This weekend served as a gracious reminder that Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us; He is always faithful, even when we have much growing to do in our faith.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship!

in the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 05/30 - 05/31/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

It was great to be back with my church this weekend after a good vacation with my family and friends! We continued in our series through 1 Corinthians, as Joe shared about "staying power" from 1 Corinthians 7:17-24. It was a powerful challenge to be faithful to where God has called us.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "I Know" [Brian Eichelberger, Chad Gardner - Kings Kaleidoscope]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
"Everlasting God" [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
"Jesus Take All of Me (Just As I Am)" [Charlotte Elliot, Brenton Brown]
"Lamb of God" [Jason Ingram, Andi Rozier, Meredith Andrews]
"Made Alive" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]

We had a fantastic weekend of worship together. We had several of our brass players with us, and they always add something special to the music. We also opened with one of my favorite songs of 2015, "I Know" by Kings Kaleidoscope. It's a phenomenal song that declares our confidence that because of Christ alone, we have the sure hope of an eternity together with Him! I was moved to tears the first time I heard the song, and it continues to minister to me and encourage me today. It was great to play it together and share it with our church family. I'm not sure it will ever be a congregational song that we all sing together (it would have to come down a few steps for that to happen), but I think it is still something we need to hear.

For the rest of our songs, we sang familiar songs that focused on Jesus as our example and our strength to follow. He has saved us and made us alive together with Him so that we might in turn be a blessing to those around us and lead people to Jesus. He is the one who gives us the resources to carry out His calling on each one of us, and we simply need to be available and obedient to that call. 

In all, it was a beautiful weekend of worshiping together with the church! It's good to be home.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship, too!

- Bill

Songs We Sing - 04/25 - 04/26/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we concluded our series, Never, with a message about endurance entitled, "Never Give Up." David Hinkle shared about walking with the Lord through trials, both internal and external from 1 Peter 4.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
"This is Amazing Grace" [Josh Farro, Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle]
"It Is Well" [Philip Paul Bliss, Horatio G. Spafford, w/ additional chorus & arr. by Todd Fields]
"Desert Song" [Brooke Ligertwood]
"Everlasting God" [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]

We had a powerful worship gathering this weekend. Everyone experiences trials in this life, so messages such as this one always resonate with us and remind us that we are not home yet. We have a path to walk here that will not always be easy, but Jesus will always be with us, and that brings us great comfort. That was the direction of our singing this weekend. Jesus is with us, He never fails, He never abandons us, He gives us strength to carry on, and He will see us through until we see Him face to face. I cannot wait until that day.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship with your church family, whether it's with Fellowship or somewhere else. May you be reminded today that Jesus is with you!

"The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
He knows those who take refuge in Him."
- Nahum 1:7 (ESV)

Songs We Sing - 03/28 - 03/29/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

For Palm Weekend (that's what we have to call it around here because of our Saturday night services!), we continued in Mark and looked at the choice that Jesus made between the cross and the crowd, and what that looks like for us as His followers.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"Hosanna (Praise is Rising") [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
"Hail The King" [Citizens & Saints - Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
"You Alone Can Rescue" [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
"Lord of All" [Kristian Stanfill]
"Everlasting God" [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]

It was a great weekend of worship together as we looked toward the cross of our redemption!

Worship Gatherings, 10/11 - 10/12/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

I know this is a week late, but here here are the songs we sang two weekends ago:

"Unchanging" (G) [Chris Tomlin]
"Hallelujah To My King" (C) {Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
"Forever Reign" (A) [Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram]
"Lord of All" (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
"Everlasting God" (A) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]

It was a good weekend together as we wrapped up our series on 1 ThessaloniansW!

Songs We Sing, 03/08 - 03/09/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, Pastor Joe continued our series on worship with a message about Refuge. He called us all to turn to the Lord for refuge instead the things most of us often turn to. Only the Lord can deliver and restore us. You can listen to or watch the message and service here.

Here's the order from this weekend:

Call to Worship - Corporate Reading - Psalm 27:1 ESV
"Name Above All Names" (A) [Bill Horn]
"Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft]

Greeting Time/Announcements/ Send-off for The Catlin Family
Message - "Worship: Refuge" [Joe Hishmeh]
"Your Name" (Bb) [Glenn Packiam, Paul Baloche]
"Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]

Thoughts: this weekend was great, yet bittersweet. The Catlin family has answered God's call to serve the Lord as missionaries to East Asia, and we took opportunity this weekend to pray for them and send them off well. They are family friends, so my family is both excited and sad to see them go. As they sat in the service in front of me, I had a hard time holding my emotions in check as we sang about the greatness of Jesus and His gospel and how all the world will praise His name one day, because I had a beautiful example of someone laying down their lives in obedience to God's call on their lives to help make that very thing happen. They will be fantastic ambassadors for Christ where they are headed.

For the service this weekend, we focused on the Lord's sovereignty, sacrifice, atonement, faithfulness, and how He is our perfect refuge and shelter as a result. We began each service after the call to worship by introducing "Name Above All Names," which is an older song of mine (written in 2009). I am usually pretty reluctant to teach my own songs, but several team members who helped record some vocals on the song asked when we would be singing it in our services, so I went ahead and got it on the schedule. I've thought about it for a while, but it was finally time. The point of the song is that Jesus is above all, and everything in all creation will bow down to Him because He is worthy. Some themes in this song are the Lord's sovereignty, power, authority, and eternal reign. I will post specifically about this song later this week, so look for that. After "Name Above All Names," we moved on to "Before The Throne." This song remains one of my favorites and one of our church's, as well (I think I say that every time we sing it...). I love this song because it gives such a clear portrait of Jesus as both our atoning sacrifice and as our Advocate. It is definitely something we need to be reminding one another of as the body of Christ.

After the message, we responded with several songs to help us declare the truth that the Lord is trustworthy and faithful; our strong fortress, shelter, and refuge; and the One who restores and redeems us: "Your Name," "Your Great Name," and "Everlasting God."

Our team did a great job throughout the weekend, and it was one of those weekends where everything came together well in a unique and beautiful way. It was also "lose an hour of sleep" weekend, aka the beginning Daylight Saving Time (yes, I just learned that it is officially "saving" without the "s"), which always creates some interesting dynamics with our church's energy level on Sunday morning... Regardless, it was another great weekend with my church family!

Hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were!

 

Songs We Sing, 01/18 - 01/19/14 Fellowship Bible Church (Three years and counting)

This weekend was the first of our new series, "Obedience." In this message,  Joe shared about how being on mission with God requires us to be in submission to the Word of God. He called us to "scrap everything" for the daily practice of filling our minds with the Word of God and following God in love. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here's our service plan:

Welcome "Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
"Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]

Greeting Time
Announcements
Message - "Obedience: Mission" [Joe Hishmeh]
"You Are God Alone (Not a god)" (A) [Billy Foote, Cindy Foote]
"Glory to God Forever" (A) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
"Hosanna" (E) [Brooke Ligertwood]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a fantastic weekend with our church. Joe's message was a great challenge to follow Jesus more closely, and our church engaged well with both the preaching and the singing. Our team did a great job. We opened with "Rejoice," celebrating the faithful love, compassion, and mercy of God. We continued with "Everlasting God," where we acknowledged that our strength to follow comes from the Lord, whose strength and love for us never fails. We responded to the message with Kelsey leading "You Are God Alone (Not a god)," which we sang to focus on the sovereignty and trustworthiness of God. I pointed to this sovereignty and constancy as the reason we can trust the Lord in obedience, knowing that His way is best for us. We continued on with "Glory to God Forever," where we moved from seeing God's sovereignty to responding with the offering of our lives for His glory because of His surpassing worth. Finally, we closed with Brooke Ligertwood's "Hosanna," which calls us as God's people to follow Him closely in light of His return and in light of eternity. It was a great weekend, where everything tied together well the team led well.

On another note, this weekend marked my third year here at Fellowship, and it has served as a time of reflecting on all the Lord has done during my time here. I am overwhelmed at the goodness of God and His blessings in my life. He has done great things! 

Next weekend, I will be in the Philippines with the Trash Mountain Project to help equip some local pastors and to minister in several trash dump communities. I may post some notes about the trip when I get back, so be on the lookout. Please pray for us as we seek to build up the Body of Christ there!

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from this past weekend?

- Bill

Advent Songs We Sing - Fellowship Bible Church - 2013

Here are the song sets from all of our Advent services this year. It is always one of my favorite seasons of the year, as we celebrate how God is with us, and also anticipate how He is coming again for us! You can watch the messages and services here.

December 7 & 8, 2013

"Joy to the World" (G) [George Friedrich Handel, Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn] 
"Lead Me To The Cross" (Bm) [Brooke Ligertwood]
"What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, arr. by Bill Horn]
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade]

December 14 & 15, 2013

"Hark The Herald Angels Sing" (E) [Felix Mendelssohn, Charles Wesley, arr. by Bill Horn]
"Hosanna" (E) [Brooke Ligertwood]
"Your Great Name" (Bb) [Micheal Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash, Chris Tomlin]
"O Holy Night" (C) [Adolphe Charles Adam, Placide Cappeau, John S. Dwight]

December 21 & 22, 2013

"Angels From The Realms Of Glory" (Bb) [James Montgomery, Henry Thomas Smart, arr. by Bill Horn]
"Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" (Em) [Henry Sloane Coffin, Thomas Helmore, John Mason Neale]
"You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
"Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]

Christmas Eve, December 24, 2013

"Joy To The World" (C) [George Friedrich Handel, Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn]
"Go Tell It On The Mountain" (D) [John W. Work]
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade]
"What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, arr. by Bill Horn]
"Silent Night" (G) [Franz Xaver Gruber, Joseph Mohr, John Freeman Young]

Songs We Sing, 08/24 - 08/25/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared the the fifth and final message in our series, "Positive Identity," where he taught how we are significant in Christ. He shared how God has given us gifts and abilities for the purpose of advancing His kingdom, so we all have a part in God's mission here on earth. We grow in significance when we serve the King and His kingdom. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"Kingdom" (A) [Kristian Stanfill] "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Positive Identity: Significant" [Joe Hishmeh] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] "How He Loves" (Bb) [John Mark McMillan] "Made Alive" (C) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger] Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was a great finish to a fantastic series for our church. We all need to be reminded how Jesus has changed our status. We are loved, forgiven, accepted, secure, and significant because of Jesus!

For our singing this weekend, we sang about being  a part of the mission of the Church and the love of God which gives us value and purpose in life. We opened our services with "Kingdom," which declares in the chorus "We are the kingdom of God/ We are an army of love/ We carry truth to the world/ We are the kingdom of God." It was very fitting for Joe's message this weekend, and I thought it set the tone for what we were after in each of the services. We continued with "Everlasting God," which is one of our church's favorite big-picture songs, worshiping the everlasting God for His unchanging goodness and care for us. After the message, we responded first with "Your Great Name," which sings of how God reaches all of us in different places, and gives us a new identity in Him. For all He is and all He has done for us, He is worthy of all our worship! We then went immediately into "How He Loves," where we took the opportunity to acknowledge our struggles and weaknesses and to actively receive God's unfailing love for us. After we prayed, we finished our services with "Made Alive," which was an uplifting send-off for each of our services.

It was a fantastic weekend in all. Our team did a great job and worked hard to serve the congregation well. Also, Joe's message was a great call to service and significance because Christ. I am excited to see how our church responds in serving over time in response what Joe shared. It would be a life-changing experience for the individuals and for our church.

- Bill

What were your thoughts or experiences from your worship gathering this weekend?

Songs We Sing, 05/11 - 05/12/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This past weekend, we continued in our fifth message of our series - "Seven." Our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared from Philippians 2:3-4 about the importance of having healthy friendships in following Christ. The best way to have great friendships is to be a great friend--one who loves like Jesus has loved us. Joe called us to being available, building up, accepting, enduring, sharpening, and understanding in our friendships. It was a great call for us, and it was something I needed to hear this weekend. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] "Unchanging" (G) [Chris Tomlin] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Seven: Friends - Philippians 2:3-4" [Joe Hishmeh] "One Thing Remains" (Bb) [Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Christa Black] "How He Loves" (Bb) [John Mark McMillan] "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was a great Mothers' Day Weekend. Joe's message was very challenging, and our times of singing were really moving. It was highlight to sing "One Thing Remains" and "How He Loves" together again. I really enjoy both of those those songs because they portray the love of God for us so uniquely and powerfully.

Since Joe was talking about friendship and how our relationships ought to reflect the gospel and how Christ gave Himself up for us, you can see that we sang primarily of Christ's unfailing love and grace for us. I believe when we sing of true character of God, we are also in a sense calling ourselves to reflect that character in our own lives. What we praise, in some way we also desire to be. If we want to love like Christ, let's worship Him for His amazing love for us, which He demonstrated at the cross.

- Bill

What were your thoughts or experiences from your worship gathering this weekend?

Songs We Sing, 01/05 - 01/06/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we continued our series: "The Gospel: In/Through/Beyond." Pastor Joe shared about how the God wants the gospel to move through our lives to others in our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] "Happy Day" (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "The Gospel Through Me" [Joe Hishmeh] Communion "Nothing But The Blood" (G) [Robert Lowry, my arrangement] "You Alone Can Rescue" (A) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman] "You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was another great weekend! Our team did a great job, and it was a great start to the new year for our church. Our people were very engaged, and the focus of the weekend was a powerful challenge to the power of the gospel in and through our lives. The gospel transforms, and we need to share it with our community and our world!

I walked away from this weekend very encouraged about what the Lord is doing here at Fellowship. Praise God for His gospel, and His working in and through us.

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

Set List, 07/14 - 07/15/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared about authentic, biblical community in a message entitled "Authentic Community." It was a strong challenge to us all to value and prioritize the things that are most important and that will last: God, His Word, and people. One of the best way we can do this is through small groups, where we can share those things--life--together. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. For our singing this week, we focused on songs that emphasized the Lordship of Christ and the freedom and love we now have because of His grace, which enables us to experience true community.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"Your Grace Is Enough" (G) [Matt Maher] Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship - Ps. 9:1-2 "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] "Lord of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] "How Great Is Our God" (Bb) [Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] Message - "Authentic Community" [Joe Hishmeh] "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" (Eb) [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, John P. Rees] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"Your Grace Is Enough" - We opened our services with this song, which is one of our staples. We haven't sung it in a while, but it was fitting this weekend as it emphasizes the grace of God, which is what has brought us together as the body of Christ, and is the only way for us to remain together. We need His grace to shape our hearts and minds and to edify one another in the Church.

"Everlasting God" - This is a song that our church always engages with, and I love it because it pulls directly from Scripture (Isaiah 40). This is definitely a great, yet simple song that is worth singing together. One of our worship leaders, Becky Tindell, led us into this one, and we traded off throughout the song.

"Lord of All" - This song is one of my all-time favorite worship songs. It helps us declare the glory, majesty, and power of our Lord in very simple and beautiful language, and the music adds to those ideas. The chorus is as strong as they get: "There is none so high and holy/ King of kings the one and only/ You are adored, You are the Lord of all!"

"How Great Is Our God" - We tagged the bridge and the chorus of this song to the end of "Lord of All," because they share a nearly identical chord progression. The two songs were well together thematically as well, so it was a great combination that helped us exalt the Lord well.

"Your Great Name" - We finished our main singing time with this song, which is one of my favorites. I love singing the name of Jesus together with the Church. We started it out very quietly, with Becky leading us into it. It was a beautiful and powerful moment. This song is interesting because the original melody by Michael Neale (the guys' parts on the chorus and bridge) is now largely considered the harmony because Natalie Grant recorded the harmony (the girls' parts) as though it were the melody of the song. Because of this, both the men and the women have a clear and strong part to sing, and it makes for a great congregational song. Becky and I each did a verse, and then we sang the respective parts for the rest of the song. This song was the highlight of the weekend for me.

"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" - We hadn't sung this song for a while, but it always connects with our congregation. We sang this song because it celebrates the freedom and love we have in Christ, and those things are what make authentic biblical community a possibility. Jesus set us free and put us together as the body of Christ, and it's a beautiful thing.

This weekend was really enjoyable for me. There were many moments where I was moved almost to the point of not being able to sing (those are tricky times to be leading...). Our team did an awesome job, and it was truly a blessing to worship together and to point our congregation towards the Lord.

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! (and sorry this is so late!)

Set List, 04/21 - 04/22/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we began a series called "Everything!" Joe is talking through the concepts of a generous life and stewardship with all that we have. It was a really fresh and challenging perspective on generosity, beginning this weekend with a focus on the true owner of the things in this world - God owns everything, and we are stewards of what He owns. You can listen to the entire message here. For our singing, I wanted our songs to remind us that we have nothing to fear when we are in Christ. Many times, the thing that keeps us from obedience and generosity is that fear. He is always with us, and we can trust Him with everything we have and everything we are. He is so good and faithful!

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"All We Need" (G) [Charlie Hall] Welcome/Greeting Time "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] "Always" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram] Message - "Everything: Where Your Treasure Is, Your Heart Will Be Also " [Joe Hishmeh] "I Surrender All" (D) [Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter, Winfield Scott Weeden] Offering/Announcements Dismissal

"All We Need" - We reintroduced this song to our congregation this weekend. It has been about three years since they had sung it, and it was a great fit for this message series, as it declares that our sufficiency is in Christ and nothing else.

"Everlasting God" - This song remains a staple for us. We sang this song because I wanted us as a congregation to remember that God is from everlasting to everlasting, and that He is our all-sufficient source of strength and hope. 

"You Never Let Go" - We haven't sung this song for a few months, and I felt that this series was a good time to bring it back. I feel it helps us to remember and declare that God will never leave us or forsake us, because He is faithful and unchanging. Matt Redman has a great gift in writing songs in this vein that really resonate with the Church, and which express great faith and trust in the faithfulness of our great God [e.g. "Blessed Be Your Name," "Never Once," "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)," etc.].

"Always" - This is another song that we haven't sung recently, which was also a good fit for the message this weekend. This song really focuses on how we need not fear because of God's faithfulness and perfect timing. No matter what we face in this life, we will endure and God will see us through. He will be there with us through it all.

"I Surrender All" - We responded to our time in the Word with this song. I felt it was a great statement of faith for us to sing after being challenged to trust God and obey Him completely, even when we feel it is difficult. It is in those times that it truly feels like "surrender," when we have to let go of things that we hold dear or things on which we feel dependent. That is exactly the type of thing that Joe pointed out in the Word this weekend. I tried playing it differently than I had before, in my favorite open tuning, DADGAD. I thought it turned out rather pretty (everything sounds good in DADGAD if one can find good chord voicings...). I will definitely use that again. I was inspired to take a look at some other hymns to try in this tuning, too. I'll keep you posted.

This weekend was another solid and very enjoyable weekend of worship. We also had OVERFLOW on Sunday night, which is our night of worship. I may post the set list from that worship gathering as well, in case people are looking for the info.

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!

Set List, 03/10 - 03/11/12 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we continued our Romans series, focusing on Romans 11. In his message, Joe taught about God's sovereignty and His faithful legacy for us, where He goes above and beyond anything we have experienced anywhere else. He is so good to us. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship "Forever Reign" (Ab) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan] "You Are God Alone (Not A god)" (Ab) [Billy Foote, Cindy Foote] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] Prayer Message - "Romans 11" [Joe Hishmeh] "Lord Of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] Offering/Announcements Dismissal

"Everlasting God" - This one is another staple here at Fellowship. Our people connect well with it, and it speaks great truth from Isaiah chapter 40.

"Forever Reign" - This is one of our church's favorite songs. Sarah Oldberg led us on this one, and our people sang well on it in each of the services.

"You Are God Alone (Not A god)" - This was a new song for our congregation (in worship anyways), and it is one of my favorite songs. Billy and Cindy Foote wrote it, and it was made fairly popular by CCM artists Philips, Craig, and Dean. I still prefer the original, as Cindy Foote has a very powerful voice that connects well with the message of the song. Sarah led us on this one as well, and she did a great job doing so.

"Your Great Name" - This song is still fairly new to our congregation, as we only introduced it last weekend during communion. I love how this song declares the power of the name of Jesus.

"Lord Of All" - This remains one of my favorites, and a favorite for our congregation. It was also a great fit for the message this weekend, as we spoke of the mystery and sovereignty of God. Jesus is the Lord of all!

This weekend was a good weekend of worship, albeit somewhat challenging. Both Sarah and I were sick this weekend, and it was a very good thing that we were sharing leadership this weekend, so we could get through it. I am so thankful for our great team who steps up and makes it happen week-in and week-out.

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!

Set List, 12/31/11 - 01/01/12 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we began a two-part series on heaven called "Heaven Revealed." Joe shared about the biblical picture of heaven. Joe shared details about the perfection, key person, and people of  heaven. It reminded us all of the place that is prepared for us, and the hope that we have because of it. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Beautiful" (D) [Phil Wickham] Welcome/Greeting Time "Happy Day" (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown] "Forever Reign" (Bb) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan] "Lord of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] Message - "Heaven Revealed, Pt. 1" [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Announcements "Beautiful" (D) [Phil Wickham] Dismissal

"Beautiful" - We sang this song both as our preparation song and as our response song this weekend. We did it differently in the respective positions in the service. I love this song. I love how it communicates what the Lord has done and is going to do in the story of redemption. It begins by describing how God's creation displays His glory, then describes what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and finishes by describing the day when we enter into heaven and see the Lord face-to-face. This song moves me as I imagine that day. I've posted about this song before here.

"Happy Day" - We opened our services this weekend with this song. We sang this song because it clearly connected the ideas of redemption and heaven. The second verse points specifically to the day when we see Jesus in heaven. Another reason we sang this song was because of the occasion. Since Sunday was New Year's Day, we anticipated some tired people for our morning services, and this song brought some crucial energy to our gathering and helped us get going.

"Everlasting God" - This song is a staple for us at Fellowship, and it was a great way for us to focus on the fact that our God is eternal. If we have been born again, we will be together with Him for eternity. We find our hope and our life in who He is - the everlasting God.

"Forever Reign" - For eternity, the substance of our song will be the name of Jesus. As those He has redeemed, He is everything to us. He is the one who rescued us. He is the one who made a way for us. He is our source of life and hope. He is the reason we have eternal life. It is all because of Him. Forever, we will sing His praise, because He is the one who is worthy of it all.

"Lord of All" - We connected this song with "Forever Reign" as the ideas are really tied together. Scripture says (in Philippians 2:8-11) that because Jesus humbled Himself to death on a cross, the Father has given Him "the name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow... and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." He is worthy of all worship, because there is no one who compares with Him. He is matchless in glory, honor, and power.

Our team did a great job. We had a lot of fun and tried We had two new team members this weekend, and one who came back from some maternity leave, and it was great to have them all contributing. This weekend was a first for me, in that we had to lead on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Doing services on both Saturdays and Sundays has some unique challenges on weekends like this (just like last weekend's Christmas Eve/Day combination), but it was special to end one year and begin the next together with our church.

I hop you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were! Happy New Year!

In the Son, Bill

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

Set List, 08/20 - 08/21/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, Joe preached about increasing our ministry in and to our families. At the end of the day, this is our primary responsibility as believers in Jesus Christ. We need to be building our families around the gospel of Christ, and that truth ought to permeate all of our family relationships. The message was out of Deuteronomy 6, where Moses is telling the people of God to dwell on the truth of how God redeemed them, and to recount it to their children and their children's children at every opportunity, from morning until night. I was really challenged to be a better husband and father, and a more faithful spiritual leader in my home. It was a little tricky to find solid songs that have a specifically "family" angle to them, but we focused on the holiness of God and how He redeemed us, and therefore our proper response is obedience and trust, spending our lives to further His kingdom and to give Him the glory He deserves. Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship - Rev. 15:3-4 "Holy Is The Lord" (G) [Chris Tomlin] "Cannons" (G) [Phil Wickham] "Our God" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves] "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] Message - "Upgrade: Family" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "All To Us" (Bb) [Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Matt Redman, Matt Maher]

"Everlasting God" - We opened in our pre-service time with this song. Not much needs to be said about the song itself. It is one our staples here, and our people connect well with it. We used this song because it emphasizes God's eternality, and sheds light on the fact that He is very different from us, and worthy of our worship. Also, He uses His great power to hold us up and strengthen us to accomplish His purposes on this earth.

"Holy Is The Lord" - This is a simple, straightforward song about the holiness and glory of God. We sang this song because the passage Joe preached from in Deuteronomy 6 speaks of God's holiness as a motivator for our obedience and dedication to Him and His purposes. He is worth following.

"Cannons" - This is a song that I haven't sang in over 8 months. I love this song and its message. Even transposed down a full step to the key of G, it is still on the high side, hitting an E in the melody on the bridge. Tuning it down more would really change the way we play it (especially on guitar), but I may consider doing that, because this song is worth singing. I prefaced this song by mentioning a quote from A.W. Tozer, who says in The Knowledge Of The Holy, "God is as far above an archangel as He is above a caterpillar." The archangel and the caterpillar actually have more in common in that they are both created things and both distinctly "not-God." It is from the chapter on God's Transcendence, and it really opened my eyes more to how "other" God really is. He is much different from us, and there is really no comparison. This idea was really fitting for all that we sang this week, but this song in particular tied in: "You are holy/ Great and mighty/ The moon and the stars/ Declare who You are/ I'm so unworthy/ But still You love me/ Forever my heart/ Will sing of how great You are." This chorus points out that we are unworthy to stand in His presence, much less be heirs together with Christ. However, God has loved us and made a way for us where there was no way.

"Our God" - We sang this song because it speaks of God's "other-ness," when it sings, "There's no one like You/ None like You." It speaks of God's greatness and power, and again points us to His surpassing worth. Because of who He is, the only appropriate response is to follow Him completely, loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

"Because of Your Love" - This song brings the rest of the songs into greater focus, as we sing about how this same God who is above any other is the one who laid down His life to redeem us. It makes the reality of the gospel even more astonishing, in my mind, to think that the one who gave Himself up for us is the one who shaped the universe and the galaxies. This song is a song of dedication, and points us to obedience as we sing together, "Lord, You gave Your life for me/ So I will live my life for You/ All because of Your love." His giving prompts us to give our lives to Him in obedience. We used this song to tie the message and the rest of the songs together, in that the reason we obey and sacrifice and make disciples is that God gave first.

"All To Us" - This song speaks of Jesus as our "precious cornerstone" and "sure foundation," and we felt that this was a fitting way to respond to Joe's message this weekend. We need to build our homes and our lives on the only sure foundation, Jesus Christ.

It was a good weekend of worship. I am so thankful for our community and what God is calling us to do here. The team did a fantastic job in each of the services, and I felt that God's people were engaging Him in worship the entire weekend. I was happy (and surprised) that I was able to finish all the services without any major vocal issues, despite being sick as a dog the whole weekend. I'm beat now, though, and I'm going to go take a nap or something!

I hope you had a good weekend of worship. Check out The Worship Community's Sunday Setlists to see what other leaders and worshipers experienced this week in their communities. Have a great week!

In the Son,

Bill

Set List, 06/11 - 06/12/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on Philippians 2:19-30, where Paul commends Timothy and Epaphroditus, pointing out their sacrificial service for the gospel and for the Philippian believers. The call for us this week is to live a life of ministry, leveraging everything we are and have for the purposes of God and His kingdom. Because of His worth, we should put everything, even our lives, on the line for His sake. Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "I Will Go" (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld] Call to Worship - Isaiah 40:28-29, 31 "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting "Glory to God Forever" (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching] "Always" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram] "Jesus Paid It All" (Bb) [John Thomas Grape, Elvina M. Hall, and Alex Nifong] Message - The Appraisal of All Things: A New Appraisal of Ministry [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "Take My Life And Let It Be" (D) [Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan] 

"I Will Go" - This song is a strong call for us to lay down privilege and blessing for the sake of Christ, reaching out to the hurting and the helpless in our world. We used this song because Joe's message was focusing in on the life that is laid down for Christ and His purposes, and the conscious decision to sacrifice, which goes against our nature.  I think this song may still be a little surprising to our congregation, just because the sound is a little "edgy." I think I may play with the arrangement and/or presentation of the song in the future. This song is definitely worth singing, because it is a challenging call on each of our lives. May the cry of our hearts be with that of Isaiah, as the song sings, "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."

"Everlasting God" - Coming out of our call to worship from Isaiah 40, I wanted to make the challenge to our people that God calls us to imitate Him and His character, and what Scripture says of Him it also, in a way, challenges us to be the same. In the Isaiah passage it describes God as not fainting or growing weary. At the end of the chapter, it says that the ones who wait on the Lord and find their strength in Him will not faint or grow weary, either. In the midst of this, it describes God as helping the faint and the one without strength (us). We should of the same mind, helping those in need and those who are powerless. This song points out these characteristics of God, and as we sing them, I am challenged that the things He cares about are the things I should care about, too. His priorities are the only right priorities, because He is God. This is a song that our congregation engages easily with but I wanted to approach it from a different angle, to keep us thinking about what we're singing, so that it doesn't lose its impact.

"Glory to God Forever" - I have commented many times before, but the bridge of this song is a beautifully simple prayer for God to use our lives for what matters: Him and His glory! "Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours." I strive to make this my prayer each time I sing it.

"Always" - This was the second week of teaching this song. I decided to bring it down a half-step to Bb to see how the congregation sings with it there. This song is tricky in that regard, because the verse is pretty low while the chorus reaches fairly high. In Bb, the verse goes all the way down to a G. In the key of Bb, it still seemed that the chorus was hard to reach. Some of the quiet response to the song may be due to the newness of the song, so we'll leave it where it is for another week to see if it changes. The lyric continues to resonate with me, and reminds me that my strength and my hope are only in Jesus, and not in my abilities, talent, knowledge, strength, or anything else on this earth. It is only in Him. He is the only one who is able to rescue me and change me. The battles of this life belong to Him.

"Jesus Paid It All" - This song points to the cross and the price Jesus paid, in our place for our sins. The only proper response will be something like, "All to Him I owe." Our response to His grace, love, and sacrifice does not earn salvation for us, but it is a response of thanksgiving for the amazing free gift He gave us. He is so good to us, and loved us even when we were His enemies! This is what I shared with our congregation before we sang it together, because it is so easy for us to drift into the mentality that what we do can make God like us more. We cannot be any more acceptable to God than through the finished work of Jesus Christ in His atoning death and His resurrection. He has made the way for us to be right with God, and now we are free to love and to serve without another thought for ourselves. I have been reading Martin Luther's On Christian Liberty (aka The Freedom of the Christian) this past week, and it sparked a thought: because of Christ's selfless and sacrificial life and death for us, we can now be truly selfless. In the paradigms where we think our own works make us righteous before God, even the smallest good deed has a selfish twist to it, because we are trying to make ourselves acceptable to God. In Christ, we don't have to think that way anymore. We can truly love and serve without thinking of ourselves, because Christ has thought of us and gave Himself for us. His selflessness made it possible for us to be truly selfless. It's the only way that we could be truly selfless. We owe our lives to Jesus, expressed in our love for Him and for others.

"Take My Life And Let It Be" - I got the idea for this arrangement from Andrew Osenga's former band, The Normals. On the 21st track (the bonus track), they had a really nice acoustic arrangement of this song, with a beautiful introduction. I tweaked the idea a bit for congregational use, and brought it down to the key of D to make it a little easier to sing. I love the focus of this song, and I felt it was a great fit for Joe's message this week. This song is a simple prayer for God to use everything about us (our life, our hands, our feet, our lips) for Him and His purposes, sanctifying them in using them for His glory.

It was a good week of worship. We are still struggling to get everyone awake and aware at our 9 AM service on Sundays, but  by the end of the song set, I think we were focused on the gospel, and ready to obey the Word of God. Overall, the congregation's response seemed a little quieter and weaker. I'm trying to figure out to what it can be attributed. Maybe the first song got us started on the wrong foot, even though the message was on point. Maybe the rainy/cloudy weather had everyone a little down compared to normal. It still surprises me how we can do things in very similar ways, yet have very different responses and engagement from a congregation. It just goes to show that it is not about us. We are just facilitators, trying to make it as easy as possible for people to see Jesus Christ and all His glory, and to see what the proper response is to who He is and what He has done.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were, and that you were a part of lifting up the name of Jesus!

Join the discussion below! I would love to hear your thoughts. What are some things that have helped your congregation "wake up" in early morning services? What are some things you have tried that help your congregation engage in your context?

In the Son,

Bill

p.s. be sure to check out The Worship Community's Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders and worshipers experienced this weekend with their communities.

Set List, 05/21 - 05/22/11 Fellowship Bible Church (Through the Storm)

This weekend held a few surprises! During the middle of the message in the 5 PM service, we had a funnel cloud sighting and the tornado siren going off in Topeka, so we had to move everyone to our children's theater in the basement to take shelter. Joe closed out his message and I brought my guitar down so we could worship together. It was a sweet time of worship in that basement, with everyone (kids and all) crowded into a smaller room. We sang a few songs together, and it was such a beautiful sound to hear everyone so clearly (our worship center is pretty deadened sonically, so it is sometimes difficult to hear everyone). It was a blessing. Because the warnings persisted, we decided to hold our 7 PM service  in the basement as well. The whole band came down and it was a really special time for all of us, as we adapted to the situation and still served God and our church. I will never forget last night. You can see more about the details of what happened over my Tech Director, Wyatt Johnston's blog: wyattjohnston.com.

Joe talked about fear and security, and suffering for the cause of Christ. It was a challenging message. He shared about how God calls us to faith, trust, and certainty rather than fear, doubt, and uncertainty, regardless of the circumstances. He shared about the high calling of suffering together with Christ, that Jesus' name may be lifted high through it. May we all be counted worthy to suffer for His name.

Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Those Who Trust" (Em) [Don Chaffer] Call to Worship - Psalm 150:3-6 "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] Welcome/Announcements/Offering/Greeting Time "Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman] "Your Name" (Bb) (Paul Baloche, Glenn Packiam] Message - "A New Appraisal of  Fear and Security" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "Forever Reign" (Ab) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]

We began our pre-service time with "Those Who Trust" from the album Enter the Worship Circle: First Circle. This entire album holds a special place in my life and walk with Jesus, as it was a catalyst for a worship reformation for me. Each of the songs comes directly from Scripture, and the writers came together, studied the Bible, and created songs out of that experience together. The recording is raw and full of life, and done with all acoustic instruments. One of the most amazing worship experiences I have ever had happened as a result of this music. I joined a few friends after an event, and we were sitting on the floor in their living room, and we had a few guitars, and they began to sing some of these songs. As we sang and spent some time in a spontaneous worship moment, just playing a few chords and singing our prayers to God, a bridge came to me, and it ended up becoming the bridge of this song, Everything. The experience taught me a new way to write and to worship, in singing my prayers to God. This particular song has a great groove to it, and I love the declaration of confidence in God from Psalm 125. "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot move, but abides forever." Our God is a sure foundation, and we can place all of our confidence in Him. This song was an even better fit for the message than I had planned.

During our call to worship, we focused on Psalm 150:3-6, and taught our people about the Biblical expressions of worship through the instruments that are written about there (with a few adaptations...). We had our Adult Ministries Pastor, David Hinkle, playing trumpet for the service, so it was the perfect opportunity for this. It was a fun demonstration of Biblical worship. This passage ends with the command: "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord" (ESV), so we repeated together as a church, "Praise the Lord!"

After the call to worship, we went straight into "Everlasting God." This song is a standard for our church, and we always sing it well together. I love the simplicity and solid foundation of this song directly from Isaiah 40. We followed this with Redman's "You Never Let Go," which was very much in keeping with the theme of leaving our fear behind and placing our confidence and trust in the Lord, coming largely from Psalm 23. This was the second week that we have been teaching this song, and the congregation was sing much more in each of the services. We finished the second set with "Your Name," which partly comes from Psalm 65:8: "The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy" (NIV). This song is very singable, and is well-known to our people, so we all sing well on it. David Hinkle played the cello part on his trumpet with the mute, and it was a cool and new feel for that line. I really enjoyed it.

We responded to Joe's message with "Forever Reign." Sarah Oldberg sang lead on this song, and did a great job. This song focused on another element of the message this week--that Jesus is more worthy and more valuable than anything we can have or lose in this life: "Oh, I'm running to Your arms, I'm running to Your arms/ The riches of Your love will always be enough/ Nothing compares to Your embrace/ Light of the world, forever reign." The bridge of this song always engages me, as we sing together, "My heart will sing/ No other name/ Jesus, Jesus." May this be true of all of us. May our hearts truly seek Jesus as the main object of our love and affection.

In each of our services this weekend, I felt that our people were really engaging and participating. I am really encouraged by how we are growing together, and God is being glorified in our transformation. I am also encouraged by how well all of our teams adapted to the craziness of the storms on Saturday night. No one complained (not once!) about the inconvenience of moving all their gear downstairs, or recreating the worship slides, or having to deal with a smaller stage or lesser equipment. Everyone maintained the attitude that it is a joy and honor to serve Jesus and His church, and adapted to the changes with grace and gratefulness. This just goes to show what an amazing group of people I have the privilege of serving with here with Fellowship. I am so thankful for each of them. God is so good!

I hope you had a great weekend in worship, and I hope that you are safe from the weather. Be sure to head over to The Worship Community to see what other churches and leaders experienced this weekend, and join the conversation there. Also, share your thoughts below. I love to hear your take on things!

In the Son,

Bill