FBC Service Recap - 04/16 - 04/17/16

 

This weekend was the third week of our Decided series, where Pastor Joe looked at the choice in the life of the believer when it comes to reading the Bible. We have to decide daily toseek God through His Word, and not merely scan the Bible for information about God. For the singing this weekend, we wanted to focus on an attitude of humble submission to God's Lordship and leadership in our lives, on what the Bible says about the character of God, and on trusting God's care for us.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

  • "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
  • "Hail The King" [Citizens & Saints]
  • "Cornerstone" [Hillsong]
  • "Lord of All" [Kristian Stanfill]
  • "Nothing But The Blood (Your Blood)" [Matt Redman]

Harper Compton and Jack Hishmeh led for me while I was off this weekend, and they did a great job serving and leading, as did the entire team. I'm so thankful for such an excellent and trustworthy team!

Have a great week!

In the Son,

Bill

 

FBC Service Recap - 03/05 - 03/06/16

This weekend, we continued in our Acts series, Mission Possible, where Pastor Joe shared some lessons from Paul's final address to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20. I find this passage to be very powerful, as Paul had shared life with these men, and was giving his parting words to them as he understood that he was heading to his own death. That context makes one perk up and pay attention to what he shared with them.

Here's what we sang together:

"A Mighty Fortress" [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
"Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
"Lamb of God" [Jason Ingram, Andi Rozier, Meredith Andrews]
"Your Name" [Paul Baloche, Glenn Packiam]
"O Praise The Name (Anástasis)" [Marty Sampson, Benjamin Hastings, Dean Ussher]

As I mentioned above, I really love this passage. For our songs, this weekend, we wanted to emphasize the transformation that happens in us when Christ is our all, and we put all of our hope in Him alone. This leads to our faith growing and our priorities being realigned. "A Mighty Fortress" comes from Hebrews 12 where the writer speaks of God as a consuming fire whose kingdom will never fail, and who is worthy of our worship and our lives. "Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" is an invitation for the Lord to have His way in us and to remake us in His image. "Lamb of God" was our communion song this weekend, and focuses on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for us. "Your Name" is a recognition of the unique saving power of the name of Jesus, and the fact that He is our only hope and refuge. Finally, "O Praise The Name (Anástasis)" is a song we have taught for three weeks now, and it takes us through the story of the cross, and echoes the message of Philippians 2–because of His sacrificial death on the cross for us, Jesus is exalted above every name, and is worthy of all the praise and the glory!

It was a great weekend together, lifting high the name of Jesus like He deserves. He has done great things for us, and He is our only hope!

Have a great week!

In the Son,

Bill

FBC Service Recap - 01/30 - 01/31/16

As we continued in our Mission Possible series through the book of Acts, Joe shared this weekend about the three people we need in our lives, from looking at the life of Paul: Jesus, the person who leads us to Jesus (Ananias), and the person who comes alongside us to encourage us in our walk with Christ (Barnabas).

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service - "In Exile" [Thrice]
"Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Man of Sorrows (In My Place)" [Philip Paul Bliss, arr. w/ additional chorus by Bill Horn]
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, Chris Tomlin, John P. Rees, Louie Giglio]
"This is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle]

 

Our team did a great job and it was a really enjoyable weekend of worship together. I'm so grateful for our team and our church!

I hope you have a great wee!

in the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 10/17 - 10/18 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we concluded our Unstuck series as we looked at the often uncomfortable subject of "Fun." Joe shared how we can celebrate and have fun because of our joy and delight in the Lord. He pointed out how the entire Jewish calendar revolved around the concept of celebrating the work of the Lord for them. We can have fun in a way that both celebrates the work of the Lord and deepens our relationships with our family and our brothers & sisters in Christ.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
"In Tenderness" [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey]
"Lord, I Need You" [Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson]
"Great Are You Lord" [Jason Ingram, Leslie Jordan, David Leonard]
"It Is Finished" [Dustin Kensrue]

We had a great weekend of worship together. Our team did a great job, and all of our songs celebrated and reflected on God as our strength and our song, as our Father, and as our redemption and life. "It Is Finished" is fixed as one of my favorite anthems. It confidently declares the finished work of God for our salvation, and almost brings me to shouting for joy for what He has done for us. I don't think I will ever grow tired of the truth in that song (although I might grow tired from singing it–I have a hard time holding back when I sing those words!). 

It was great to be back after a weekend off. I absolutely love worshiping with my church family here, and I love experiencing how God is at work in His Church.

This week, I pray that God reminds you of His saving work on your behalf! It is Finished!

In the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 05/07 - 05/08/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we continued in our second week of or series through 1 Corinthians, Grounded. Joe shared a challenging message about the pursuing the wisdom of God from 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16. 

Here are our songs from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Search My Heart" [Matt Crocker, Joel Houston - Hillsong]
"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
"Made Alive" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger - Citizens & Saints]
"Lamb of God" [Andi Rozier, Jason Ingram, Meredith Andrews]
"Son of God" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Gordon Cochran, Ed Cash - Starfield]
"Jesus Messiah" [Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash]

Our team did a great job leading, and we had a great weekend of worship together. We introduced Hillsong's "Search My Heart" in the pre-service slot, which is a song that I have wanted to incorporate since I first heard it. We also continued teaching Vertical Church's "Lamb of God," which is a fantastic song about the cross. I love it, and it has been beautiful to hear the church take hold of it over the past few weeks.

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

If you want to hear more of the songs that we sing with our church, you can find a Spotify playlist of our favorites here.

Also, you can watch our entire service here.

Have a great week!

- Bill

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!

Songs We Sing, 07/12 - 07/13/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we started a special short series about the end times, called "In Light of Eternity." We started on Friday night with Catacombs event, which was an extended Bible study time through the book of Daniel. We continued into the services Saturday with Pastor Joe preaching a message about the significance and importance of studying prophecy and the end times, and how we can begin to align our lives with the reality and hope we have in Jesus.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
"Hail The King" (G) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
"Come Lord Jesus" (G) [Dustin Kensrue]
"Lord of All" (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
"You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]

We had a small band for this weekend, and they all did a fantastic job. We even pulled off a song in 5/4 time ("Come Lord Jesus"), which was a little crazy. It's hard to feel at rest in 5/4, but I feel that it heightens the tension and intensity of a song. At any rate, it was a first our team and for me to do a song in that time signature in a church service. It won't be the last, however (hint, hint). "Hail The King" seems like it has taken root with our church, while "Lord of All" and "You Have Overcome" are both firmly established as part of our worship vocabulary. It was a great weekend, and I'm looking forward to our Bible conference this week as we continue our intensive focus on our future hope in Christ!

Songs We Sing, 01/11 - 01/12/14 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend was the third and final week of our series, "The Story." In his message,  Joe shared about how and why we to share the gospel in a compelling manner, inviting others to trust in Jesus for their salvation. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan:

Pre-Service - "True Love" (C) [Phil Wickham]
Welcome
"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
Greeting Time
Announcements Message - "The Story: Share It Compellingly" [Joe Hishmeh]
"Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Lead Me To The Cross" (Bm) [Brooke Ligertwood]
"I Will Go" (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Allen Salmon]
Dismissal

Thoughts: I believe this weekend was a great weekend for our church. Joe really called us all into sharing the gospel with the people in our lives, because Jesus is worth it. Our singing echoed that same thought, and it was a great call and challenge to each of us as we evaluated our priorities.

We began in the pre-service time the same as we had the previous two weeks, with "True Love" by Phil Wickham. I love this song, because it is a very powerful portrait of the gospel and what Jesus accomplished for us. We then began the service by inviting the Lord to have His way in us as we sang "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)," which is an excellent call to worship. Later, we responded to Joe's message with "Your Great Name," reflecting on the power of the name of Jesus. Jesus changes everything. His name, and His name alone, has the power to save. We continued with "Lead Me To The Cross" to give us words through which to express our submission to the Lord's call to take up our cross and follow Him in proclaiming the good news. We closed our service with another song in that same vein, "I Will Go," which is a little bit of a punch in the gut, if we're honest. It calls us from our comfort and privilege to sacrifice, service, and submission in reaching the lost and needy in our world. Everyone who encounters Jesus has to wrestle with that decision–either they leave following Him more closely, or they walk away further from Him and more committed to being "lord" of their own lives. I called the church to see the surpassing worth of Jesus and what He has done for us, and to respond with living our lives in worship and submission to Him. He alone is worthy!

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

- Bill

Songs We Sing, 07/20 - 07/21/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared the "State of the Church," where he celebrated what God has been doing in our church, dedicated our church to what God is currently doing, and anticipated the future of our ministry in Topeka and around the world. It is incredible to see what God has been doing and to envision what could happen with our church as we continue to pursue Him. 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] "Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, Vicki Cook, arr. by The Modern Post] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "State of the Church" [Joe Hishmeh] "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] "God Of This City" (B) [Richard Bleakley, Aaron Boyd, Boyd Aaron, Peter Comfort, Ian Jordan, Peter Kernaghan, Andrew McCann, also sung by Chris Tomlin] "Lord Of All" (B) [Kristian Stanfill] Tag of "How Great Is Our God" (B) [Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was an exciting weekend in our church. We don't take much time throughout the year to celebrate how God has moved in our church and to dream together about what is possible here. We dreamed and prayed for a major awakening in Topeka, asking the Lord for 18,000 new believers in our county. This wouldn't be possible with just our church, but would need to involve all the gospel-preaching churches here. It will be amazing to see what God will do.

For our singing this weekend, we sang "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" to invite God to have His way in us and to celebrate how He has redeemed us. "Before The Throne" was our main gospel-focused song, singing about how Jesus is our divine Substitute and Advocate. I absolutely love the clarity of the gospel in this song. In the middle of the message, after Joe celebrated some of the amazing things God has been doing in our church, we sang "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)." We did this just with one guitar and the voices, and it was a great moment this weekend. We responded to the vision for our future by singing "God Of This City," and its chorus was a great declaration for us this weekend: "For greater things have yet to come/ Greater things are still to be done in this city." It had been a while since I had sung this song (because it had been played so often at the time), and it felt fresh for me this weekend. We finished the service by singing about God's sovereign lordship and power in "Lord of All," and tagged the chorus of "How Great Is Our God." It felt fitting to end with this, because God is the one who will direct our steps with His perfect wisdom, and who can uphold us as we sacrifice and serve to advance His kingdom.

- 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, 03/23 - 03/24/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

For our tenth week of our 2 Corinthians series - "Purpose In Christ," our family pastor, Brian Tryhus, preached through 2 Corinthians 11-12, and taught about how we as believers need to handle trials and difficulties in our lives. He challenged us to recognize our own weakness, and to find our strength in Christ alone. It was a powerful reminder to all of us. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Beautiful" (C) [Phil Wickham] Welcome/Call to Worship "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Greeting Time Child Dedications Announcements/Trash Mountain Documentary Trailer Message - "Purpose In Christ, pt. 10" [Brian Tryhus] "It Is Well" (B) [Horatio G. Spafford, Todd Fields] "Always" (B) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram] "One Thing Remains" (B) [Christa Black, Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great Palm Weekend celebration. Our team did a great job! We also had two brand new team members: Matthew Gonzales on drums and Dawn Phoenix helping with background vocals. It was great to see them connecting with the team and finding their fit in ministry. I loved how everything connected in our services, and the songs we sang this weekend were some of my favorites. It had been a while for all of the final three songs, so it was refreshing to sing them together with our congregation once again. I am so grateful for what the Lord continues to do in our church. I'm am really pumped about Good Friday and Easter this week! It will be our best one yet!

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 02/02 - 02/03/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend marked the third week of our series through 2 Corinthians-- "Purpose In Christ." Our adult discipleship pastor David Hinkle shared about how our sufficiency and adequacy is from God through the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. It was such a powerful and encouraging reminder! You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-service - "Glorious" (C) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Welcome "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Purpose In Christ - Our Sufficiency in Christ" [David Hinkle] Communion - "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] "Glorious" (C) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] "Happy Day" (C) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a beautiful weekend. We changed our service times to 5 AM & 6:30 PM on Saturday, and 9:15 AM & 11 AM on Sunday, and it seemed like it helped level out the attendance between the four. We began our weekend singing "Glorious" by Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown. I loved this song the first time I heard it when Paul Baloche sang it at a worship event I attended. I love the lyric of the song, and the melody has a very unique, almost haunting, feeling to it. It is really just beautiful all around. I have had several people comment about how much they enjoy the song when I told them we would be singing it this weekend. It was a great fit for the weekend's message, as well. In order to teach it quickly this weekend, we sang it as the countdown song and then again later in the service. I think that helped out overall. "Because of Your Love" was a beautiful fit for this week, connecting the dots between David's message and communion. "Happy Day" was a high point and a great way to send one another out this week, as we celebrated together the finished work of Christ on our behalf. Communion weekends are always a highlight moment for me and our congregation. I really believe that the extra emphasis on the gospel through communion helps us to remember the why of worship, and we respond accordingly. I am so grateful for our church and the opportunities we have to worship together. I love it!

Thanks for reading and being a part of this with me!

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 12/15 - 12/16/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we continued in our third week of Advent and our series, "Simple Christmas." Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about how God chooses to use simple places in His plan of redemption on this earth, and how Bethlehem was a great example of this. These kinds of places provide a perfect platform for God to display His power. I think it reminded all of us that we are here in Topeka for a purpose, and we need to join God in what He is doing here. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [Edward Hodges, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven, w/ chorus & bridge by Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram] "O Come Let Us Adore Him" (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Simple Places" [Joe Hishmeh] "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (Em) [Henry Sloane Coffin, Thomas Helmore, and John Mason Neale, arr. by Bill Horn] "What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, arr. by Bill Horn] "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend! We arranged everything with a heavy acoustic emphasis. We had two acoustics, electric bass, keys, drums with mostly hot rods, djembe, and muted trumpet played by our discipleship pastor, David Hinkle. Our band did such a good job of finding their respective fit in the mix, and it turned out great. I love our team and how God has gifted them. It is a blessing to serve with each of them.

We repeated "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" from last week, and it is just a great song to start with. I love the combination of old and new with this one. We also sang "O Come Let Us Adore Him" from Hillsong's Christmas album, We Have A Savior. This is another song that we introduced last year during Advent, and we sang it recently in our Overflow night of worship last Sunday. The added chorus ("O come all ye faithful/ Come let us adore Him") just stays with you. The chorus just blasts (reaches a G at one point, and I get a little red in the face as a result...), creating a ton of energy. Combined with the band we used this weekend, it was a great moment.

We responded to the message with "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and "What Child Is This," both with the feel of a lazy acoustic groove, which was really locked in by our drummer Bob Fulmer, percussionist Ryan Hoskinson, and our bassist Ben Engstrom. I loved the way these two songs worked together.

We finished the weekend with "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)," really making the chorus of the song our prayer: "Hosanna (which is a name meaning "come save us"), Hosanna/ You are the God who saves us/ Worthy of all our praises/ Hosanna, Hosanna/ Come have Your way among us/ We welcome You here, Lord Jesus." Because of the message this weekend, we wanted to finish by declaring that God has each of us here in Topeka for a purpose, and we want His will to be done and His kingdom to expand here. This song was a great way to finish our weekend together. It was the first time I had ever seen this song done at the end of a service (it is usually a "call to worship" kind of song), but I liked it a lot as a send off.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend together with the church. We prayed together for the families who were affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT, which was a sobering reminder of the evil in this world, and for us to make our relationships a priority in this lifetime. We need to share the love of Jesus with one another, and with the world around us. We need to be lights in the darkness. Change begins with us.

As a side note, I got to baptize my 5-year-old daughter after the last service this weekend, which was an amazing blessing. I am so thankful that she has trusted in the saving work of Jesus for her, and wants the world to know. It's a beautiful thing!

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

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

Set List, 07/28 - 07/29/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared some biblical wisdom regarding friendship, as we began a new series called "Can You Relate?". He emphasized the importance of having true, deep friendships in following the Lord. We need people we can trust with all our lives. As he said during the message, "Deep friendships are enduring," and "I need to be what I want to see in others." The areas where Joe pointed our focus were availability, acceptance, awareness, affirmation, and appreciation. It was a powerful challenge, especially for someone who leans toward being a "loner" like I do. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. For our singing this week, we focused mostly on songs that emphasized the solid foundation and constant presence of Christ with us. He never changes, He never fails, and He never leaves us. He is a shelter and a refuge, and we can trust in Him.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Beautiful Things" (D) [Michael Gungor, Lisa Gungor] "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Welcome/Greeting Time "Cornerstone" (Bb) [Edward Mote, Jonas Myrin, Reuben Morgan, Eric Liljero, William B. Bradbury] Time of Confession "God Is Able" (Bb) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] "Your Name" (Bb) [Paul Baloche, Glenn Packiam] Message - "Can You Relate? - Friends" [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Response Time "Forever Reign" (Ab) [Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram] Announcements/Dismissal

"Beautiful Things" - We sang this song during the countdown time this weekend. I have wanted to do it for a long time, and it finally worked out and fit well. I love the lyric of this song, as it reminds us that despite the brokenness and sin in our lives and our world, Jesus makes things new and can make beautiful things from the mess. He is the one who can restore and recreate us. This song is written by Gungor, which is an amazingly talented and creative band. They use varying textures and stylings throughout their catalog of music, and it is always an enjoyable listen. If you haven't heard them, check them out ("Dry Bones" is probably my favorite song of theirs - it's AMAZING).

"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" - This is one of our church's favorite songs, and it is a great song to use towards the beginning of a service, as it is a call to worship and to opening our lives to the direction of the Lord. We can trust Him and give Him our lives without fear, because He is faithful and able, and in Him there is hope and promise.

"Cornerstone" - This song is fairly new to our congregation (our NextGen worship director, Erik Oldberg, introduced it last week during our family worship weekend). I had first heard this song before Easter this year, but it had fallen off my radar, and I'm glad Erik brought it back up after the new Hillsong Live release. I really appreciate how this song uses a beautiful and powerful lyric, and gives it a fresh take for a younger generation. In my opinion, "On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand" is one of the greatest hymns (remember that a "hymn" is basically a metered poem of praise to God that was usually set to music at a later time) ever penned. It inspires our confidence in the finished work of Christ alone, and that is the type of thing we need to sing continually, because we tend to drift toward confidence in what we do/have done and toward independence rather than dependence on Christ. I have had this song stuck in my head all week. I look forward to continuing to sing it together with our church.

"God Is Able" - After a time where we confessed sin--things that come between us and the Lord or between us and the people around us--we sang this song and trusted in the Lord's finished work for us, and in His unfailing love and presence with us. He is with us, He is for us, and He is on our side.

"Your Name" - We haven't sung this song in a long time (I'm not sure I have even sung it here with Fellowship), but with the subject matter, Sarah singing with us, and the cello, it was a perfect fit. I have always enjoyed this song. It is simple, but once again, it points our confidence to Jesus Christ as our "strong and mighty tower," "a shelter like no other," and the only one who has the power to save.

"Forever Reign" - We responded to the message with this song, which sings of the perfect attributes of God, compared with our failings and weaknesses. It is one of our congregation's favorite songs, and it has become one of mine as well. The bridge is a great moment of dedication: "My heart will sing/ No other name/ Jesus, Jesus." Before we sang, we committed to opening our lives up to others in one of the areas that Joe spoke about during the message. Then we turned to look to Christ and to commit ourselves to Him, who is the only one who can truly transform us.

This weekend was really simple and enjoyable, because we used a purely acoustic band. Erik and Sarah Oldberg led with me, and we also had a first-time cellist, Laramie Hulse, playing with us. She did a great job for her first time playing with us and getting used to the way we do things, and I'm looking forward to having her play with the team again in the near future. I have to confess that cello is probably my favorite instrument (aside from guitar), because of its powerful warmth and range. If I could find the time to learn another instrument, that would be the one.

We didn't use our in-ear monitoring system this weekend, and instead switched to floor monitors, and it was nice to hear the congregation singing out in the open. The accuracy and clarity of in-ears forces us to sacrifice a little in the way of hearing the congregation as clearly, while using floor monitors forces us to sacrifice a little in clarity and accuracy. For that reason, it's not always the best for our team to use wedges, but this week was a perfect week to do it.

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

What were your thoughts or experiences from this weekend in your church?

 

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

Set List, 03/31 - 04/01/12 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we concluded our Romans series, focusing on Romans 16, and we celebrated Palm Sunday as well. In his message, Joe shared about the call on our lives to participate in the spread of the gospel. As the body of Christ, we are all part of that mission, and we need to take every opportunity to point people to the finished work of Christ, because "it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service Song - "Our God's Alive" (Em) [Andy Cherry, Jason Ingram, Dan Muckala] Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship - Congregational Scripture Reading - Matthew 21:9 "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] "You Have Overcome" (G) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg] "Hosanna" (E) [Brooke Fraser] "Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran] Prayer Message - "Romans 16:17-27" [Joe Hishmeh] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] Offering/Announcements Dismissal

"Our God's Alive" - This is a new song that we are continuing to teach in preparation for our Easter services. This song is by a new artist named Andy Cherry on his newly-released album, Nothing Left To Fear. I love this song. It's a power anthem about Christ's victory over sin and death, and the hope that we have in Him. I'm really looking forward to singing it together for Easter!

"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" - This song is perfect as a call to worship song, and it's perfect for Palm Sunday weekend. This weekend I shared about the meaning of the phrases "Hosanna to the Son of David" with our congregation. "Hosanna" is a cry for help meaning "Save!" but eventually became a statement of praise because the only people you would say this to are the ones who could actually do something about it - someone who is able and mighty to rescue you. "The Son of David" was a name for the awaited Messiah, who would be the last King in the line of David, and who would restore God's Kingdom. So, that expression really means something like: "Save us, Messiah!" This song elaborates on that thought very clearly.

"You Have Overcome" - This was a new song that I wrote with the help of our NextGen worship leader (and my good friend) Erik Oldberg. I'm really excited that we have now written two songs in the past three weeks, one for Easter and one for Good Friday (I'll share that one later this week hopefully). At the outset, I expressed the desire to write an Easter/resurrection song that was vertical, i.e. singing TO Jesus rather than ABOUT Jesus. Most Easter songs are singing about Jesus and the resurrection, rather than singing praise directly to Him. That was the beginning of this song. I'll do a more thorough write-up this week along with the demo.

I finished the song up on Friday (I can't remember the last time I had to wrestle with a song like this one - talk about last minute!), and we introduced it to our congregation this weekend.  For the first time ever hearing the song, the church sang it well. I'm can't wait to sing it for Easter together! Here's the lyric:

"You Have Overcome" Words by Bill Horn, Music by Bill Horn and Erik Oldberg

Verse 1 We were dead in our sin And lost in lies No escape, no way out No end in sight 

Verse 2 You bore our cross, paid our debt And won our peace You tread our sin beneath Your feet And set us free 

Chorus You have overcome the power of the grave No one else can save us, no one else can save Death is overwhelmed and buried in defeat No one else can raise us, no one else can raise us Jesus, You have overcome 

Verse 3 The empty tomb, the death of death The battle done The Lamb who died now alive The Mighty One 

Bridge You have overcome You are the Way, You are the Way You have overcome You are the Truth, You are the Truth You have overcome You are the Life, You are the Life You have overcome You are alive, You are alive 

Like I said, we will try to get a demo recording of some kind up this week for our church to become more familiar with it, and I will post it here on the blog as well. If you would like a simple demo from my voice recorder, I can send it to you. Just let me know.

"Hosanna" - Hannah Cox led us as we sang this song this weekend. It was her first time leading an entire song for our congregation, and she did a good job stepping up. This song is one of our congregation's favorites, and it was a great fit for Palm Sunday weekend.

"Son of God" - This song is one of my favorites, and the congregation has really taken hold of it. I love how it proclaims the person and the work of Jesus, and then sings of His great worth - "You are worthy/ You are worthy/ You are worthy of all my praise/ You are beautiful/ You are beautiful/ I will life up my hands and sing."

"Your Great Name" - We responded to the message by singing of the central figure from the whole letter to the Romans - Jesus Christ. He is the focus of this song. His name is exalted because He has rescued us and given us hope. He is our Redeemer and Savior. He is worthy of our praise.

This weekend was a good weekend. I think our church might have been a little distracted/affected by the Kansas final four basketball game on Saturday night, but I think we were able to spend some quality time worshiping the Savior. I'm sad that the Romans series is done. It has been a beautiful twelve weeks working through it together. I wish we could go through it again. :)

Because today (Sunday) was April Fool's, one of our keyboardists who is also a tech team member, Cory Zipperle, expressed a desire earlier this week to pull a prank on our beloved tech director, Wyatt. We met over lunch on Thursday to scheme together. Long story short, I diverted his attention to the stage while Cory's wife played a crazy noise through the board and Cory set of a small explosion in the sound booth, making Wyatt believe the sound board blew up. It was AMAZING, and his reaction was priceless. It was probably the most elaborate prank I have ever been a part of... all because we love the brother. I am so thankful to be a part of a team that worships and serves Jesus together, loves one another, and laughs together. It really is a beautiful thing, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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, 10/22 - 10/23/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on John 12, looking at Mary's offering of worship as she anointed Jesus' feet with her costly perfume. Joe preached about dying to oneself in order to come alive to Christ, and giving of our selves to gain more of Christ. In order to grow deeper in Christ, we have to become less. We were all challenged to make Jesus our treasure. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Jesus, You" (E) [original] Call to Worship "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche] Welcome/Greeting Time "Glory to God Forever" (A) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching] "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] "Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash] Prayer Message - John 12:1-8, 13-20 [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Video/Announcements Response/Closing Time "Take My Life And Let It Be" (D) [Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan] Dismissal

"Jesus, You" - We opened our preparation time with this song. This is a song that I wrote as I was studying and teaching through the book of Romans a few years ago while serving in Gainesville, FL. This was the first time we have sung it here at Fellowship, and I thought it was fitting for our time of preparation. The song was written in Gb, but we brought it down to E to make it a little more mellow, and also to make it a little easier to sing with (eventually, as people pick it up). The song has an unconventional structure, so I'm not sure how it will function as a corporate worship song. The change may be beneficial in that it shakes us up from what we consider "normal." Regardless, I think it is worth the effort, so we'll try it a few more times to see how the congregation takes a hold of it. I really enjoyed doing this song with just acoustic, vocals, and keys, and I think it worked really well as a preparation song, getting us focused on the gospel. Here's the lyric:

Jesus, You Words and Music by Bill Horn

Verse 1 Who can rescue man from sin? Who can break him from this hopeless prison? Who can bear the wrath ahead? Who can make him live, though he's long been dead?

Verse 2 Who could light the darkest night? Who could speak a word, that death would turn to life? Who could heal this hopeless pain? Who could make it right, and make me live again?

Refrain You, Jesus, You

Verse 3 Death reigned and all men died 'Til You paid the promised price The ransom of Your life Most holy sacrifice

Verse 4 But the grave could not contain The Lamb who bore my stain You died and rose again

Refrain You, Jesus, You

Verse 5 Now, Death, where is your sting? You send me home Where forever I will sing

Refrain You, Jesus, You

"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" - This was our call to worship song this week, and I think it is perfect for that part of the service. Musically, it begins with sort of a stirring feeling, and lyrically it calls us into greater praise of our God and invites Him to have His way in us because He is the one who saves us. Another reason we sang this song was because the focus passage included Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem as King, where the people shouted "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel" (John 12:13). It was the right way to start our services this weekend. This is a favorite among our people, as we always get engaged quickly in singing it together.

"Glory to God Forever" - We only did this song at the 7 PM and 9 AM services, because we had child dedications in its place during the other services. It has almost been two months since we last sang this song. For the focus of this weekend, giving our lives and our resources to grow deeper in Christ, this song was a fitting call for us to offer our lives for His glory as living offerings of worship. Jesus is worthy.

"Because of Your Love" - I love this song because it makes clear the reason for our living a life of obedience. We follow Him, not because we have to earn our way into favor with God (we cannot), but because He loved us with such an amazing love as demonstrated on the cross. Our obedience and our worship is our response to what God has already done for us. I tried to emphasize this thought throughout our time together, both through the songs and in the things I said between the songs. This song is still a little unfamiliar to our congregation, but I think we are starting to sing it better together.

"Son of God" - This is a clear and somewhat comprehensive song of praise to Jesus Christ. It points to Christ's deity, His sacrifice on the cross, His power, His fulfillment of prophecy, and His unique worth. We connected this song with "Because of Your Love," emphasizing again that the giving of our lives to God and for HIs purposes is our response to who Jesus is and what He has done for us. This is a favorite of our congregation, and it's for good reason.

"Take My Life And Let It Be" - We responded to God's Word with this song. I can't think of a greater hymn for the purpose of giving our lives to the Lord as living offerings of worship. It covers all the bases: our lives, our time, our hands, our feet, our voices, our lips, our money, and our minds. Our keyboardist, Cory Zipperle, had some great ideas about changing the arrangement up (especially the vamps between verses), and I think it gave it more of a reflective tone. It was a great fit to respond to the message today.

This was a great weekend of worshiping our Savior. Our team did a great job, and our congregation was engaging in each of the four services. I'm thankful for what the Lord is doing in us.

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, 09/10 - 09/11/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on the first chapter of the gospel of John. Joe shared about Jesus, the Light of the World, and what is the proper response to who He is. We can be one of three things: wise, foolish, or evil in our response to Jesus. We are wise if we receive the truth and adjust our lives to match the truth. We are foolish if we try to adjust the truth to our lives. We are evil if we completely reject and resist the truth, and try to destroy it and others for our own gain. Each of us can shift between these responses when we are in different situations. I was really challenged to be more of a wise man (not wise guy...) and to leave foolishness behind. Because we are reading through the Gospel of John together, and we read through John 1 this week, we focused on songs that emphasized the incarnation, Christ’s deity, Christ as the Light of the World, Here's our set from this weekend:

  • Preparation Time - "Here I Am To Worship" (Verses and Chorus only) (E) [Tim Hughes]
  • Welcome/Greeting Time
  • Call To Worship - Psalm 95:1-3
  • "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
  • "Joyous Light" (G) [Unknown/John H. Gower, chorus by Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Louie Giglio]
  • "Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash]
  • "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves]
  • Message - "The Light Of The World (Reconnected, Redeemed, Received, Respond)" [Joe Hishmeh]
  • Offering/Announcements
  • Response - "Here I Am To Worship" (E) [Tim Hughes]
  • Dismissal

“Here I Am To Worship” – Over the past few weeks, we have introduced a time of preparation into our services.  We used this song for that time. We played through it with a simple instrumental, and then sang through it quietly. I think it functioned very well in that space, and was a solid song to help us focus on the reason we were gathered for worship. I am enjoying having this element as part of our services. We also used it as the response and closing for the services.

“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” – After our call to worship, we prayed together for the family and friends who lost loved ones in the tragedy of 9/11. We also prayed for our servicemen and women who are in harms way because of the events of that day. We followed that by singing the pre-chorus of this song: “When we see You/ We find strength to face the day/ In Your presence/ All our fears are washed away.” I felt this was the right way to respond, with trust and confidence in the ability and power of our Lord rather than fear and doubt.

“Joyous Light” – This was the second time we have sung this song since I came to Fellowship. I love the fact that this song focuses on Jesus as the Light of the World, and on the entire Trinity as well. It ties very well with the first section of John 1, which speaks of Jesus as the true Light shining in the darkness, and who was unrecognized by His own. I think the only question most people have when they sing this song is from the chorus, which sings, “We hymn the Father, we hymn the Son/ We hymn the Spirit, wholly divine/ No one more worthy of songs to be sung/ To the giver of life, all glory is Thine.” The question that will probably arise is: “Can the word ‘hymn’ be used as a verb?” Well, the noun “hymn” is a song of praise, and as a verb, “hymn” means “to praise.” There you have it. “Hymn” can refer to a song of praise or can be used as a verb. It is part of what makes this song unique, and helps us remember it, I think.

“Son of God” – This song has become part of our vocabulary at Fellowship, and I am thankful because it is a strong declaration of praise for who Jesus is and what He has done. It focuses on His deity, His fulfillment of prophecy, His power, His work of redemption and forgiveness, His sacrifice for us, and His unique worth and beauty as the perfect Son of God.

“Jesus Messiah” – We finished the set of music with this song, because I believe it speaks very clearly about who Jesus is. It speaks of Him as Emmanuel (God with us), our Redeemer, our Rescue, our Ransom, our Hope, and Lord of all. I believe it was very appropriate for the focus of this weekend.

It was good to be back with our congregation after our vacation to Florida to see family and friends. I love our church, and I love how we are growing in worship together. Jesus is worthy. May He receive more and more of our praise.

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

Be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders experienced this weekend in their congregations.

Have a great week!

In the Son,

Bill

Set List, 07/02 - 07/03/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we were talking about the Biblical perspective on citizenship, and how our citizenship as believers is with Christ in His kingdom, from Philippians 3:17-21. Joe preaching about imitating Christ and our spiritual leaders rather than pretending as imposters, seeking more of ourselves rather than more of Christ in us. We sought to support this message by focusing on the authority of Jesus as the King of kings, His love for us even though we were His enemies, and the fact that He is coming again to set everything right and to make everything new. For the band, we did something a little different, having only acoustic guitar, bass, and rhodes (on our Motif 8), with a single vocal. It was very simple and raw, and I think it was a refreshing change of pace for both the team and the congregation. I never want what we do on a given weekend to become rote, where we just know exactly what to expect. As the saying goes, "familiarity breeds contempt." Contempt, in this expression, is displayed by complete disregard and ignoring of the value of something due to saturation and familiarity. I never want our music, which ought to always keep our eyes pointed at Christ and engage us in the story of who He is and what He has done, to become something so familiar that we ignore its message and therefore, its power. Sometimes surprises in the songs we sing or the way they are presented are what is necessary to jar us and remind us of our purpose in singing together in our gatherings.

Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "I'll Fly Away" (G) [Albert E. Brumley] Call to Worship - Psalm 47:6-8 "Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Welcome/Prayer/Offering/Announcements "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] "Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash] Message - Philippians 3:17-21 - "An Appraisal of Citizenship" [Joe Hishmeh] Communion Preparation Communion Song - "In Exile" (Em) [Thrice] Response Song - "Hosanna" (G) [Brooke Fraser]

"I'll Fly Away" - This song is always an energetic one in our congregation (and, I would guess, everywhere else, too.). I think this song strikes the proper tone regarding our ultimate destination. We should celebrate the fact that we will be with God forever, and we should long for that day! We should never settle down in this world and feel that we have arrived or achieved all that we desired. We should always have a sort of unsettling feeling, that we are not truly home. We won't be home until we see Jesus' face.

"Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" - This is one of the best "call to worship" songs available. It has the feel of our praise "rising" up to God and calling out to Him. The most significant in the song is in the chorus: "Hosanna, Hosanna/ Come have Your way among us/ We welcome You here, Lord Jesus." That should be our prayer every time we encounter Jesus in worship, whether personal or gathered together - Lord, have Your way in my life and in us as the body of Christ.

"Because of Your Love" - I love the focus of this song, speaking to the thought of 1 John 4:19, "We love because He first loved us" (ESV). Because of the love of God, we have life, and the proper response ought to be love in return, expressed in and by the things we say and do in this life. Our lives should be lived in thanksgiving to God, seeking to make much of Him with everything we do in this life.

"Son of God" - I love the writers' attempt to give a complete picture of Jesus in this song. It speaks of His role as Creator, Eternal Son of God, Almighty and Omnipotent, the Holy One, the Lover of my soul, the fulfillment of prophecy, the promised Messiah, the coming King, and the one who is worthy of all our praise. It is a song that our congregation has grabbed onto, and sings wholeheartedly. I love that we can sing this powerful truth together! It's a beautiful thing.

"In Exile" - This song is one that I have wanted to do since it was released on the Beggars album around two years ago. This song is such a powerful statement about our citizenship and our true home being stored up with God in heaven. If we are in Christ, we are citizens of a better country, a heavenly city (Heb. 11:16). We look forward to that day, when we see Him face to face, and will finally be fulfilled and complete in His presence. We cannot truly rest until that day. In this song, I love the imagery and lyric of the chorus: "My heart is filled with songs of forever/ A city that endures, where all is made new..." Dustin Kensrue is an incredible songwriter and lyricist. Check out his solo stuff (Please Come Home, This Good Night Is Still Everywhere) and his recent work with Thrice (Vheissu, The Alchemy Index, Beggars).

"In Exile" Thrice 

VERSE 1 I am an exile, a sojourner A citizen of some other place All I’ve seen is just a glimmer in a shadowy mirror But I know one day, I’ll see face to face   VERSE 2 I am a nomad, a wanderer I have nowhere to lay my head down There’s no point in putting roots too deep when I’m movin’ on Not settling for this unsettling town   CHORUS My heart is filled with songs of forever A city that endures, where all is made new I know I don’t belong here, I’ll never Call this place my home, I’m just passin’ through   VERSE 3 I am a pilgrim, a voyager I won’t rest until my lips touch the shore Of the land that I’ve been longing for as long as I’ve lived Where there’ll be no pain or tears anymore

"Hosanna" - This song ended up being an even more fitting way to end than I thought it would be. Joe really emphasized how we are to live in "suspense," waiting eagerly for Christ's return. Everything will be changed, because we will see Him face to face. We should live with that expectation and that desire. If we are truly seeking more of Christ, His return is the complete fulfillment of that desire.

It was a refreshing weekend of worship, and I really enjoyed worshiping together with the band in this format. God is faithful, and I am looking forward to the day He comes like He promised.

I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were. Please check out Sunday Set Lists over at The Worship Community, and leave your thoughts and comments below. If you were with us at Fellowship this weekend, how were you affected by your experience? If you weren't with us here, have you experienced anything similar that stirred you or changed your perspective on worship?

In the Son,

Bill

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

Set List, 04/16 - 04/17/11 Fellowship Bible Church

Palm Sunday weekend (we had to tag "weekend" onto it because of our weekend services--we landed there after a little bit of discussion...) is one that brings mixed feelings. On one hand, we celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem as Messiah and King. On the other hand, we see our fickleness as humans, where one day we are praising Him as King, and later that same week we are calling for His death. At the same moment we recognize Jesus' supremacy and power and worth; along with our own weakness, foolishness, and wickedness. Planning for this weekend, we tried to emphasize the real focus of this moment: the Messiah has come to save us! Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and He is our only hope. Each of our songs this week pointed in some way to Christ as Messiah or King. Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "God Is Alive" (A) [Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland] Call to Worship - Matthew 21:6-9 "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting time "Hosanna" (G) [Brooke Fraser, arr. by Starfield] "Our God" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, and Jesse Reeves] "Son Of God" (G) [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld, Ed Cash, and Gordon Cochran] Message - "The Heroic Rescue of Humanity: The Messiah" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "Lord Of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill]

This weekend we sang "God Is Alive" for the second time. It seemed like the song caught on a little better this time, and people were participating more, even though the song was still slated in the pre-service time slot. Much of the congregation was clapping and singing together. I was a little unsure of the song's reception last week when we introduced it, but the response this weekend was encouraging. I'm looking forward to using this song on Easter, because the lyric is perfect for the occasion.

After the call to worship, we moved to Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown's "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)," which is a perfect fit for Palm Sunday weekend. The chorus echoes the statements made by the disciples and fans of Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem, but restates them while being informed by our Christian understanding of the person and the work of Christ: "Hosanna, Hosanna/ You are the God who saves us/ Worthy of all our praises/ Hosanna, Hosanna/ Come have Your way among us/ We welcome You here, Lord Jesus." That word, Hosanna, literally means "come save us now," and it was what the people of Israel were crying out to Jesus as He entered in as King. However, they didn't really know what they were asking. They didn't really know what they needed. They were asking for deliverance and salvation from Roman rule in their lives. They were asking for less than what God intended for the Messiah. What they really needed was deliverance from sin and death, and restoration to God. Joe shared this idea in a powerful way this weekend. We can either trust in Christ as our Messiah, or we can seek deliverance our own way by trusting in worthless idols--"substitute Saviors."

Following the welcome time, we kicked off the second worship set with Brooke Fraser's "Hosanna." This week we did a variation of Starfield's performance of the song, which is suited better for my vocal. I like their treatment of the song, and how they gave it a little more overall energy, which serves a little better toward the top of a worship set.

Next we moved to "Our God," which has become a staple for us. The concept of this song fits very well with Luke's account of the triumphal entry, as he wrote that "the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen" (Luke 19:37). The verses of "Our God" align perfectly with that, as they sing, "Water You turned into wine/ Opened the eyes of the blind/ There's no one like You/ None like You/ Into the darkness You shine/ Out of the ashes we rise/ There's no one like You/ None like You." The rest of the song sings of the Lord's great power and ability to rescue, and when He is for us, there is nothing that can stand against us. It was a great fit for Palm Sunday weekend.

We finished the second worship set with "Son of God," which is new to our congregation. I sang this song once when I came the church to lead as a guest, but it was completely new here. This week was the first week in which we'll be teaching this song, and we will pick up teaching it after Easter weekend. I love this song because it presents Jesus in many respects, such as Creator, Savior, Lord, and promised Messiah. It proclaims His surpassing worth and greatness, along with His love and forgiveness for us. While very simple, it covers a lot of ground, and shows how Jesus, from beginning to end, is King. It declares His worth and how He deserves our worship in everything. Here's the lyric:

"Son of God"

Verse 1 Son of God, Shaper of the stars You alone the dweller of my heart Mighty King, how beautiful You are How beautiful

Son of God, the Father's gift to us You alone were broken on the altar of love Precious Lamb, our freedom's in Your blood It's in Your blood

Chorus Jesus, O Holy One I sing to You, forgiven Savior, I'm overcome With Your great love for me

Verse 2 Song of God, strength beyond compare You alone, the darkness cannot bear Lord of love, Your kindness draws me near It draws me near

Son of God, prophecy of old You alone, Redeemer of my soul Come again and lead Your people home Come lead us home

Bridge You are worthy You are worthy You are worthy of all my praise You are beautiful You are beautiful I will lift up my hands and sing

We finished the service with one of my favorite songs, "Lord of All." I have discussed this song at length in the past, but suffice it to say that I believe this song is one that the Church needs to sing. It declares the power, glory, and victory of Jesus, the King of kings. It proclaims the truth of Philippians 2:10-11: "at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." It does this with strength and truth, and I have never regretted singing this song in corporate worship. I don't think we, as the body of Christ, can sing this truth enough.

On a technical note, we continued using the click track and the Aviom system, and it continues to be a great asset to our team. We are consistently tighter as a band, and it cuts lots of time from our rehearsals as an added benefit. Stephen, our drummer, had never played with a click before, and he did a fantastic job operating it and sticking with it. I have given more responsibility to our drummers, as they not only have to play their instrument, but now they also have to make the tempo adjustments to our click track (which every band member hears), and start and stop it at the appropriate times. I continue to be impressed with our team as we challenge ourselves to get better at what we do, so that we might serve our congregation better. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve with this awesome team.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were. Be sure to check out The Worship Community to see what other leaders and team members planned and experienced this week in their worship services.

Hosanna! Glory to God in the highest.

In the Son,

Bill