Set List, 04/09 - 04/10/11 Fellowship Bible Church

Here's our set from this weekend: "God Is Alive" (A) [Steve Fee and Eddie Kirkland] Call to Worship - Psalm 96:1-4, 10a "Say, Say" (A) [Kristian Stanfill, Chris Tomlin, and Christy Nockels] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown and Ken Riley] "It Is Well" (Bb) [Todd Fields, Philip Paul Bliss, and Horatio G. Spafford] "Stronger" (Bb) [Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan] Message - "I Believe: Questions & Answers" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "All To Us" [Matt Maher, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, and Chris Tomlin]

This week we introduced Steve Fee and Eddie Kirkland's "God Is Alive" to our congregation. We began teaching it today in preparation for Easter. I cannot think of a more fitting lyric for celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death through His death and resurrection. I think it is one of the best modern songs that have been written for Easter. The solid lyric and high energy of the song  are a perfect fit for celebrating Jesus' resurrection:

"God Is Alive"

Verse 1 Let the darkness flee It's got no power over me I have been set free God is alive

Verse 2 Death where is your sting? Sin had got no hold on me I am free indeed God is alive

Pre-Chorus We've been redeemed So rise and sing

Chorus Everyone, glorify the risen Son The Holy One has overcome Jesus is alive The enemy is broken underneath His feet Death is crushed in victory Jesus is alive, Jesus is alive

Verse 3 Let us wake and rise Lift your voices, lift your eyes We're gonna shout, we're gonna shake the skies God is alive

Bridge The empty grave is singing now It's shouting out He is alive, He is alive And we are free

We also brought back "Say Say" for the closing message of our "I Believe" series. It is a fitting declaration for this series, as it sings in the chorus: "Say, say, say you believe it/ Sing for the whole world to hear it/ We know and we declare it/ Jesus is King/ Say, say, say you believe it/ Sing loud, sing like you mean it/ We know and we declare it/ Jesus is King." After doing this series for ten weeks, this is where we must land. After all we have seen and heard about the greatness of God, the proper response is to go out a proclaim the truth and greatness of the name of Jesus and His gospel to the world. We need to know what we believe to be able to communicate that message clearly to others.

This week, we also introduced our new pastor of ministries, J.D. Holt. He just finished making the 2100-mile trip from Bellingham, WA to Topeka to begin working with us. I am excited about having him on our team, and about the leadership and experience he will bring to managing our staff team. He's a great guy, and I really look forward to getting to know him and his wife, Christy. I was nervous as we were searching for the man to fill this role, as my experience has shown it to be crucial to the personality of the staff team. I believe our prayers have been answered in J.D., and we are very grateful!

After the welcome time, we started the second set of music with "Everlasting God." From Isaiah 40, this song paints a powerful picture of God and His attributes. As we sing the chorus, "You are the everlasting God/ The everlasting God/ You do not faint, You won't grow weary/ You're the defender of the weak/ You comfort those in need/ You lift us up on wings like eagles," I cannot help but see not only a description of God's greatness, but a call to God's people to be like their heavenly Father. As I sing, I feel challenged to defend the weak and comfort those in need as I am strengthened by the Lord. This song is a favorite of our congregation, and I don't mind at all - this is a solid song from the Scriptures that speaks of the unchanging, everlasting greatness of our God.

We followed this song with Todd Field's hymn rewrite, "It Is Well." I have said it before, but I'll say it again: this is one of my favorite hymn rewrites. It preserves the original verses intact, with a very cool acoustic arrangement underneath, has a very fitting new chorus, and it even includes the original hymn's refrain at the end. I love how it ties the old and the new in a fresh way. It always brings us to worship as we celebrate God's faithfulness.

We finished this set with "Stronger," by Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding. We're dusting this one off for Easter, because it is a clear anthem about God's great power to save and conquer sin and death. This was the first time I have led this song with a band. It was one that I began teaching in one venue where I was previously, but I never had the opportunity to bring it into our main services because I ran out of time. I love the chorus: "You are stronger/ You are stronger/ Sin is broken/ You have saved me/ It is written/ Christ is risen/ Jesus, You are Lord of all." The use of the word "stronger" is refreshing, because it takes the common "mighty" or "powerful" ideas and uses our current language to express it. This song reminds me to write in such a way that captures the truth of the Scripture in vibrant, current language that our congregations can take hold of and sing from their hearts. It is easier for the "average Joe" to connect with words we normally use than it is to connect with erudite language. This song does that well.

We finished the services with "All To Us," which also effectively connects with the sum of this "I Believe" message series. I struggled with using this song in the beginning, because when the phrase "all to us" is taken at face value, it could be easily misunderstood to mean something like, "God exists for our sakes." However, its meaning is more along the lines of, "God is everything to us." He is our sufficiency and our strength, our foundation and our confidence. May this truly be our declaration, that God is our everything. He is the only one that we need. He is the only one on whom our hope should be built.

It was a great weekend of worship. Zach Pruett stepped up and played bass for the first time in our weekend services, and he did a great job, after only playing bass for five months! Bob Fulmer did a great job adjusting to the click track for the first time ever. His attitude was admirable in saying, "It will make me a better player." I hope for each of us that difficulties and challenges are seen as opportunities to better ourselves and to better serve our church and the kingdom of God with our abilities. The rest of the team did a great job, as usual, and it was a great joy to lead with them again. Our tech team is so faithful to do a great job each week, and they make it easy for each of us to do our part. I feel that each week we are strengthening and improving, and there are great things on the horizon for this worship and arts ministry. Also, the Aviom system continues to be an asset to give us more time to rehearse and prepare for the weekend, and that has been very apparent in the way we play.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were. Please visit The Worship Community to check out their Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders and team members did this weekend in their contexts. Leave your comments below and join the conversation about our worship ministry and the songs we sing together.

In the Son,

Bill

Set List, 03/26 - 03/27/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend was exciting! David preached about Christ's return and judgment, and the service took shape nicely to connect our worship through music with the word that he shared. As I was planning this a month ago, it became apparent that many of the options to which I was being drawn were songs with female lead parts, so we decided to go for broke this weekend, and put two of our ladies (Sarah Oldberg and Kelsey Thomsen) up front on acoustic guitars, and I picked up my electric for rhythm work for the weekend. It felt like a very shared service, in terms of leadership, and it was a very enjoyable change to break from the routine and do something unique. I loved each song that made up this service, as we celebrated the return, reign, and rule of Jesus Christ. Here's our set list from this weekend:

"Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown and Ken Riley] Call to Worship - Psalm 98:4-9 "Forever Reign" (Ab) [Jason Ingram and Reuben Morgan] Welcome/Offering/Announcements "Hosanna" (E) [Brooke Fraser] "Lord of Lords" (E) [Brooke Fraser] "Lord of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] Message - "I Believe: God Returns" [David Hinkle] "Sing to the King" (E) [Billy Foote and Charles Silvester Horne] Dismissal

We opened the pre-service time with "Everlasting God," which is a favorite of our congregation and set up the service well. Because the message was about Christ's return and judgment, I wanted to focus on God's immutability, His timelessness, His power, His justice, His love, His return, and His reign. Each of the songs in our set this week focuses on one or more of the attributes from this list. The call to worship was also focused this way, from Psalm 98, where it calls all of creation to worship the Lord, "for He is coming." I excited about how we were able to even tie this in with the focus this week.

After the call to worship, we moved into "Forever Reign." This song is fairly new to me, but the congregation had done it many times before I moved here. I love the message and the build of this song. Originally we had this song at the end of the second set, but it was part of a massive reordering of the service to move a specific song at the end of the service. It was a little more mid-tempo than I would usually prefer toward the top of the service, but it got us started out right, and set the tone for the service. Because of the subject matter of the weekend, which included the eternal punishment of hell, I felt that we needed to be somewhat gentle with our worship set, not relishing in the suffering of the lost through overly exuberant songs, while still properly exalting Jesus as righteous Lord and King.

After the welcome time, we moved to Brooke Fraser's "Hosanna," which points to Christ's second coming and the preparation of His people for that return. fromt here we segued straight into the chorus of "Lord of Lords," which is a beautiful song out of the book of Revelation, portraying the throne room of Jesus, and how we, as the people of God, long for that day when we will see Him in His full glory, and will worship Him completely. We finished this set with Kristian Stanfill's "Lord of All," which is fairly new to our congregation, but is a song that I insist that churches everywhere ought to sing. It is in the vein of Tomlin's "How Great is Our God," but I think it is even more powerful, and is something the church needs to say to God.

After David's challenging message, we responded with Billy Foote's rewrite of Charles Silvester Horne's hymn "Sing to the King." This has always been a favorite of mine, and it was new to our congregation, despite being several years old (2003). As I mentioned above, we originally had this in the pre-service section, where the majority of our people are still entering the worship center, and may have missed the message of this song. After talking with David about the value of this song, and how it fit so well with his message, we decided to move it to the end, and move other things around to make that work. It was absolutely the right decision. Whereas many times the high point of the worship in music is somewhere just before the message, this weekend it was during the response time. When we sang the second verse ("For His returning we watch and we pray/ We will be ready the dawn of that day/ We'll join in singing with all the redeemed/ 'Cause Satan is vanquished and Jesus is King!"), we had vivid images in our minds from the message, and it it was a rich moment, and I think we will definitely be incorporating this song in the future, because it is powerful and solid, and points to Christ's return, all the while avoiding the cheesy factor that usually accompanies that kind of song...

This week felt very different for a few reasons: the message was on a very difficult subject, I felt a little foggy from a sinus thing, and we had several people co-leading. My prayer this morning regarding the message was that we would love the truth. I think this is something that we need to pray for our churches and our leaders. The truth is not always easy or convenient, but it is something to be upheld and loved, because it is from God. Jesus is the personal embodiment of the truth. This was one of those weeks where hard truth was being shared, and we needed to pray for our hearts to love even the hard truths.

I hope you had a great week of worship wherever you were. Be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists, where others share about their experiences this weekend.

May the church love the truth.

Bill

Set List, 03/19 - 3/20/11 Fellowship Bible Church

Here's our set from this weekend: Pre-Service Song- "Your Grace is Enough" (G) [Matt Maher] Call to Worship "Holy is the Lord" (G) [Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio] Welcome/Intro Special Guest Video - Trash Mountain Project, "DR Thank You" Guest - Brett Durbin, President of Trash Mountain Project Announcements/Greeting Time "Glory to God Forever" (A) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching] "Our God" (A) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin] "Lead Me to the Cross" (D) [Brooke Fraser] Message - "I Believe: God Empowers (Sanctification)" [Brian Tryhus] Response - "Take My Life and Let It Be" (D) [Frances Ridley Havergal and Henri Abraham Cesar Malan]

This weekend we focused on how God empowers believers in the process of sanctification. Brian did a great job unpacking the truth of this doctrine, making it clear and laying all the cards on the table so everyone could understand it. I can honestly say that his message was one of the clearest explanations of sanctification I have heard. It's a beautiful thing. I thought the songs that were planned communicated the same message well, and that the whole was unified and clear that our God is holy, and He is the one who makes us holy.

We also had my close friend, Brett Durbin, in to share about something happening with his missions organization (Trash Mountain Project). They have begun a child sponsorship program in which every dollar goes to feed and educate a child in the Dominican Republic called "Kids With a Hope." Our church's goal this weekend was to sponsor every child they have left to sponsor at the facility, which was somewhere around 140 kids. His organization has taken a risk and has not incorporated any administrative fees into the sponsorship fee, so every dollar goes to the kids. The sponsorship is $34 per month - $28 for food (2 meals and a snack per day) and $6 for education costs. In my family, we have been considering doing a sponsorship for a while, for our daughter to get connected to what God is doing in the rest of the world, so this was a no brainer. We are excited to finally find the right child to support, and we are excited that it is connected with Trash Mountain. Because of my daughter's enthusiasm, I had to fight to hold it together during the last service this weekend. When she found out we were going to be sponsoring a child this morning, she ran upstairs and grabbed her piggy bank and said, "I want to give them all my money!" While it was only a few dollars, her generosity was truly beautiful. I am so proud of her. I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving for what God is doing in her life.

As far as the music part of worship goes, it was a great weekend. A highlight for me was when Sarah Oldberg and the band did a fantastic job on "Lead Me to the Cross," which was a great connection with Brian's message. He emphasized Romans 12:1-2, where Paul calls the church to offer their lives as living sacrifices. I took that and connected it with Jesus' call to take up our cross daily and follow Him before we sung this song. I really love this song and its message, and how it connected with the weekend's focus.

We spent most of the morning on songs that celebrate God's grace, holiness, and greatness. We opened the pre-service time with Matt Maher's "Your Grace Is Enough." This was the first week that I didn't sing the additional choruses from Chris Tomlin's version, because I felt that they were more complicated and would make it more difficult for our people to participate. I think it was a good decision, and I will continue to sing it with just Maher's chorus. After the call to worship, we moved to "Holy is the Lord," which is a great and simple celebration of God's holiness and the fact that His name will go out over all the earth. One day, everyone will understand His holiness.

The rest of the set consisted of "Glory to God Forever" and "Our God," which each have elements of recognizing God's greatness and of challenging us to go in boldness for His kingdom. The bridge of "Glory to God Forever" has become my favorite part of the song, and I consistently call our people to make this our prayer: "Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours." The only thing I would have changed would be the key. We tried these again in the key of A, when we have been doing them in the key of G most recently. There are parts of these songs that extend out of most people's reach, so I think we'll return to G in the future with these songs.

We also introduced an arrangement of "Take My Life and Let It Be," which I have taken (and modified slightly) from Andrew Osenga from his days with The Normals. I have always loved this treatment of this great hymn, and it was a perfect opportunity to bring it in, because it really tied in with Brian's message, and where he landed it. It is a great prayer for us to pray, as it focuses on different areas of our lives and how we can give them over to God and His purposes. The writers mention our lives, our hands, our feet, our mouths, our intellect, and our resources as means for worshiping God and building the kingdom of God -

Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee Take my moments and my days Let them flow in ceaseless praise Let them flow in ceaseless praise

Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of Thy love Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee Swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing Always, only, for my King Take my lips and let them be Filled with messages from Thee Filled with messages from Thee

Take my silver and my gold Not a mite would I withhold Take my intellect and use Ev’ry power as You choose Ev’ry power as You choose

May this be the prayer of our lives, that every aspect of us would be poured out as an offering of worship to our great God!

In the Son,

Bill p.s. Be sure to check out what other leaders did this weekend at Sunday Set Lists!