Fellowship Bible Church - 05/06 - 05/07/2017

This weekend, we wrapped up our generosity series, The Flow of Everything, and we looked at what could be possible if all the church joined together to bless our community and our world with what we have. We also had our annual event, Sharefest, where we partnered with more than 30 churches in the city to bless area schools, the Boys & Girls Club, and the Topeka Rescue Mission by doing much-needed landscaping work and projects. It is always a beautiful picture of the church in action.

For our singing, we focused on how abundantly and graciously God has provided for our redemption through the cross. We concluded our services by celebrating communion together, remembering the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. He has done great things for us!

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Worthy of Your Name" [Passion Worship Band]
"It Is Finished" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Lord I Need You" [Passion Worship Band]
"Jesus Paid It All" [Traditional, Alex Nifong, Passion Worship Band]

It was a great weekend together! I am excited about what the Lord is doing in the Church in Topeka, and it is awesome to be a part of it through Fellowship.

I hope you had a great weekend!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - 02/04 - 02/05/2017

This weekend for our Way of Life series, Pastor Joe shared Jesus' words from the Sermon on the Mount about adultery and lust. It was a challenging message for all, and reminded us just how much we need the grace of God and the righteousness of Christ.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-Service - "All The Poor And Powerless" [All Sons & Daughters]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints/The Northwest Collective]
"I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"No Longer Slaves" [Bethel Music]
"O Come To The Altar" [Elevation Worship]

For our singing, we focused on themes of our own helplessness apart from Christ's work for us and in us, the salvation that only comes through Christ, the freedom that we have from sin and fear because of Christ, and the forgiveness that is available to us because of Christ.

It was a great weekend together, and the team did a fantastic job preparing and leading. It was great to be back after my trip to the Philippines, albeit a little jet-lagged! I hope to post a little about my trip at some point, but it may be a week or so before I can get to that.

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 11/12 - 11/13/16

This weekend, we continued our Together series as Pastor Joe looked at the value of being in "Fellowship Together." He focused on Daniel 1:1-21 and how Daniel and his group of friends supported and encouraged one another in remaining faithful to the Lord, even in the face of trials and difficulty during the exile in Babylon.

For our singing together, we focused on God's faithfulness and unfailing love, and the fact that He is with us. We can be encouraged to be together in fellowship with one another because God does the same for us.

Our team did a great job, and I really enjoyed including "Grace Alone" in our actual worship set after singing it a few times in the pre-service section. I love the lyric of that song, and how it points to the Trinity in the work of saving us, from beginning to end. I hope to continue singing it together as we go. We also sang a song that we haven't sung together in quite a while: "One Thing Remains." I love that song–especially the bridge. It's a powerful declaration of God's faithfulness and the security of our salvation because of Him.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "A Mighty Fortress" [Christy Nockels]
"Grace Alone" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel, North Point Community Church]
"God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]
"One Thing Remains" [Kristian Stanfill/Bethel]

 

Fellowship Service Recap - 08/20 - 08/21/16

This was our second weekend in our Storms series (I was on vacation last weekend) and the message this weekend was about Jonah, and how storms call us back to the Lord. Joe called those who have been running away to return to the Lord, and for those of us who knew people who had run away to pray for the Lord to bring them back.

Here are the songs we sang together:

Pre-Service - "Grace Alone" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"In Tenderness" [Citizens & Saints]
"Before the Throne" [The Modern Post, Charitie Lees Bancroft]
"I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Lamb of God" [Vertical Church Band]
"Lord, I Need You" [Daniel Carson, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill]

We had a huge band this weekend (11 people!!!), and it was a great time serving together. We had three leaders, two acoustics, three electrics, bass, drums, keys, violin, and banjo, and it was a beautiful thing. The team did a great job serving and leading. For our singing, we focused on how the Lord sought us out to serve us and save us in His incredible grace and kindness toward us, and how we all desperately need His continued working in our lives.

I am so grateful to the Lord for what He is doing in our church and in our team!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 07/09 - 07/10/16

This weekend we wrapped up our series on the life of David, Rise or Fall. The message this weekend from our family pastor, Brian Tryhus, was about the legacy of David as a man after God's own heart. Despite many moments of serious failure with heavy consequences, David always responded to his sin with confession and repentance and turned back to the Lord in faith and obedience. Brian challenged us to respond in the same way to our sin so that we might all be people after God's own heart like David.

A highlight of the message for me was a story Brian shared about G.K. Chesterton. He told us how a London newspaper had asked authors to answer the question, "What is wrong with the world today?" G.K. Chesterton's response was simply,

Dear Sirs,

I am.

Yours, 
G.K. Chesteron

In light of the tragic events in our country and around the world over these past few weeks, that answer is simple but profound. We all need to recognize that we, because of sin, are are each part of the problem with the world. The solution is to pursue a life of humility, confession, repentance, and love–like David.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service: "How Can It Be" [Lauren Daigle]
"In Tenderness" [Citizens & Saints]
"God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Grace Flows Down" [Christy Nockels, Passion Worship Band]
"O Come To The Altar" [Elevation Worship]

It felt like a heavy weekend as we gathered together, but one in which I felt a great deal of hope because of Jesus and His gospel. We had planned for a few weeks to emphasize how Christ had worked redemption and forgiveness for our sin through the cross, and I can see how God was at work in the planning because it felt very fitting to sing these songs together this weekend. Our team led well, and the church sang out together as we celebrated the light and hope of the gospel message, even in the face of great darkness, both within each of us and in our world.

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 06/18 - 06/19/16

This weekend, as we continued our series through the life of David this Father's Day weekend, Pastor Joe looked at lessons and encouragement for Dad from the life of David. Also, we held our second annual guitar choir, which was a ton of fun.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service - "Love Come Down" [North Point Community Church]
"I'll Fly Away" [Albert E. Brumley, Traditional]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel, Traditional]
"Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" [Elisha Albright Hoffman, Anthony J. Showalter, Traditional]
"Lord, I Need You" [Kristian Stanfill, Passion]

I hope you had a great Father's Day!

In the Son,

Bill

FBC Service Recap - 04/09 - 04/10/16

In our second week of our Decided series, we looked at the choice to forgive or avenge, from Lk. 7:41-50 and Mt. 18:21-35. For our singing, we sang songs that focus on how much we have been forgiven by God. As Joe shared in his message, when we see how much we have been forgiven, it prompts us to also forgive much.

Here's what we sang together:

  • "In Tenderness" [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey]
  • "Before The Throne" [Charitie Lees Bancroft, Vicki Cook, arr. by The Modern Post]
  • "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John P. Rees]
  • "I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
  • "Son of God" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]

It was a great weekend, singing some of our favorite, familiar songs together. While we are called to "sing a new song" to the Lord, there is something encouraging and inviting about singing songs that everyone knows from time to time. Also, I hadn't entirely noticed it in planning, but we sang four hymns this weekend, which was refreshing. All around it was a beautiful weekend as we reflected on the forgiveness that we have because of Jesus, and how we can pass that on in our relationships here and now.

The team, as always, did a great job serving the church together. In all, it was a very encouraging weekend. I hope it was for you, as well. 

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 - 06/20 - 06/21/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend we continued through 1 Corinthians, focusing on chapter 11, where Paul teaches about the Lord's Supper, or communion. Pastor Joe explained how this passage calls the Church to unity under the person and the work of Jesus Christ. It was a great reminder of the beauty of the celebration of communion.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"I'll Fly Away" [Albert E. Brumley]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Made Alive" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
"Son of God" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Gordon Cochran, Ed Cash]
"Lamb of God" [Jason Ingram, Andi Rozier, Meredith Andrews]

We had a great weekend! We did something a little different called a "guitar choir," where we invited anyone in our congregation who had at least a basic grasp of the guitar to join us on the stage and help lead our congregation in worship. We held a mid-week rehearsal, and then the players showed up to their normal service and joined us on the stage for the first part of the service. The hope was to involve more people in leading, and for them to get a glimpse of our team and our experience from the inside.

Along with our guest players, we had a consistent core of our team that led throughout the four weekend services, including guitar, Cajon, banjo, and ukulele. They all did a fantastic job. All together, it made for a fun chnage of pace, and celebratory weekend of worship together.

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

in the Son,

Bill

 

 

Songs We Sing, 02/22 - 02/23/2014 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our family pastor Brian Tryhus concluded our series on Obedience with a message about sacrifice and the providence of God. He urged our congregation to obey the call of God despite the fear that naturally arises, because we can trust Him. You can listen to the message or the entire service here.

Here's our order from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Suffering Servant" (A–B) [Dustin Kensrue]
Call to Worship - Congregational Reading - Romans 12:1 ESV
"I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" (E) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
Greeting Time
Special Guest - Pastor Reynixon Rosales

Announcements
Message - "Obedience: Sacrifice" [Brian Tryhus] 
"The Stand" (A) [Joel Houston]
"You Are God Alone (Not a god)" (A) [Billy Foote, Cindy Foote]
"You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a powerful weekend. For one, we had a special guest, pastor Reynixon Rosales (he usually goes by Pastor Nixon) from the Smokey Mountain landfill community in Manila, Philippines. He is one of the amazing leaders I had the privilege of meeting a few weeks ago on my trip to Manila with Trash Mountain Project. In our services this weekend, he shared how he grew up in Smokey Mountain, ended up getting out of the community and finishing his education, and then how God called him and his wife back to that community. Smokey Mountain has the worst living conditions I have ever witnessed, and Nixon and his wife, Cora, answered God's call on their lives to head back in these conditions to feed the children and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. They are heroes of the faith for me, and for everyone else who has met them.

The timing of his visit with our church was perfect, as it aligned perfectly with what our family pastor, Brian Tryhus, preached on: obedience and sacrifice. His example was Esther, and how her initial reaction to the call of God on her life was fear, but ultimately she willingly laid down her own life for those of her people, and she became a critical part of God's story. 

The service as a whole was a powerful time of worship. The team led very well, with everyone doing their part to serve the congregation with excellence. We opened in the pre-service again with "Suffering Servant," and after this we read Romans 12:1 together as a congregation. This verse was key to tie everything in the service together–our offering ourselves as living sacrifices is a response to the "mercies of God" (ESV). Kelsey Thomsen then led us on "I Stand Amazed." We responded to the message with "The Stand," and then Kelsey led us again in "You Are God Alone," which we sang for the fourth time now in our services and is our church is learning it and singing it together. I love this song, as it is entirely a song about who God is–His sovereignty, His immutability, and His power. The character of God is crucial to understanding why we should follow and obey Him as He calls us and directs our lives. He is ultimately worthy of all that we are. We closed our services with "You Have Overcome" to bring full circle the connection between Christ's sacrifice for us and putting our obedience in the proper place of being a response to what Christ has already accomplished for us. This truth is critical for us to understand as believers; our obedience, our worship, or any "good work" are all responses to how Christ has accomplished our salvation for us. These deeds do not move us toward salvation. They are a means of following the example of our Savior. They are a means of demonstrating our thanks and love for Him. They are a means of being selfless for others, just as Christ was selfless for us.

It was a beautiful weekend of both celebrating the sacrifice that Christ made for us and contemplating His call on our lives to make disciples. Between Brian's message, Pastor Nixon's testimony, and our time of singing together, it was an incredibly moving and challenging weekend of worship.

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

- Bill

Set List, 02/19 - 02/20/11 Fellowship Bible Church

Here's our set from this weekend: "I Will Go" (F#m) [Starfield - Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld] Call To Worship - 2 Cor. 5:20-21 "Say Say" (A) [Kristian Stanfill, Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels] Living Water International Honduras Report Welcome/Announcements/Greeting "Holy is the Lord" (G) [Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, et al] "I Stand Amazed" (G) [Charles Hutchinson Gabriel, arr. by Chris Tomlin] "Wonderful Maker" (G) [Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman] Message - "I Believe: We Are"  [Joe Hishmeh] Response: "Mighty to Save" [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]

This weekend of worship was yet another good one. The team gelled well, played solidly, and was sensitive to where the Lord was leading during each of the four services. I feel like the entire worship team is getting some traction for moving forward. I felt like the worship team was all prepared for the week's music, and it was somewhat easy to put everything together as a result. We were able to make some changes on the fly as people were responding to God, and it was a beautiful thing. There were moments this weekend when the congregation was singing louder than I've ever heard them. I am very excited about what the Lord is doing in our midst.

This week has been one where I learned a great deal about the landscape of our worship ministry and where things have been until today. My worship associate, Jason, did some investigating, and dug up what our church has sung in worship since the switch to four services back in August. I was a little surprised by the results: 90 songs in 28 weeks. That comes out to a little more than 3.2 unique songs per week! What does that mean? It means people do not really have a chance to learn any of the songs or make them part of their worship vocabulary. It means our people are stuck staring at the projector screen trying to see the words and learn the songs.

My takeaway? We need to start repeating songs more often, so we can teach our people and get them "off the page" just like we want the band to be "off the page." When we don't have to stay glued to a screen or our music to know the song, then it is part of our vocabulary, and we are able to use it easily to express ourselves to God. Then, it comes from within us. Then we can truly put ourselves into what we are doing, rather than worrying more about what we are doing. We can focus on doing it. My normal method for doing this is to repeat a new song for three weeks, and surround it with songs that are already part of the worship vocabulary of our people.

My first opportunity for implementing this was "Say Say." This was our third week singing this song, and I believe we have now added that song to our worship vocabulary as a congregation. I think the song communicates a simple but strong message to us, challenging us to stand up and "declare" that "Jesus is King." Our praise of our great God ought not to be something that only happens within the walls of a church's building, but ought to be happening for the whole world to see. Our exalting of God ought to be a very public thing, both individually and corporately. This idea can be extended to all areas of our lives, as living our lives as living sacrifices is how we worship our God on a daily basis. Thus, loving and serving others is a way that we declare the glory of our God to our world. It is easy to hunker down, get comfortable, and feel safe in our space each week, but what we do weekly as the church gathered together should be a culmination of a week lived in daily worship of our God. That is my prayer for us.

In the same vein, we introduced Starfield's "I Will Go," which is one of my favorite newer songs. It is a very driving, high-energy song, but the message warrants it, I think. Here's the lyric of that song:

VERSE 1 To the desperate eyes and reaching hands To the suffering and the need To the ones the world has cast aside Where you want me I will be

CHORUS 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

VERSE 2 Let me not be blind with privilege Give me eyes to see the pain Let the blessing You’ve poured out on me Not be spent on me in vain Let this life be used for change

BRIDGE I wanna live for You, Go where You lead me I wanna follow You

I still get the feeling that I'm pushing the envelope a little for some of our people, but I think we are being challenged as a people by the lyrics of these songs and by the messages that are comprising this "I Believe" series. I think it is worth the risk of pushing a little bit. "I Will Go" is a song that can work in a variety of treatments, and I have tried it successfully as a response song with more of an acoustic feel to it. It will be one we use frequently, because there are not many songs that say it quite so boldly.

For the second set of songs, we put together a few modern worship standards: "Holy is the Lord," "I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)," and "Wonderful Maker." "Wonderful Maker" was very fitting for Joe's message today about the image of God and the fall of humanity. It deals directly with God's goodness in creation and God's declaration that what He made was "good." It also deals with God's goodness in redemption. This song holds a special place in my life, because it signaled a turning point in my worship leadership. This song is solely focused on God and who He is, and barely even mentions us in the process ("we" is used once in the third verse). Many of the worship songs I sang in youth group and elsewhere were about the singers and what God could do for us. This song was markedly different in that regard. This song helped me to see what true worship was - about God, to God, and for God. It was not for us. From that point late in 2002 (after Chris Tomlin's Not to Us was released), my view of, and priorities in, worship music were changed. Every time I sing or hear this song, I remember that change, and I am called back to the true priority in worship, which is our great God and Savior.

We closed the service out with "Mighty to Save," which was the highlight of the weekend for me. Joe's message was a heavy one dealing with our depravity. He didn't pull any punches, and helped all of us see ourselves and our sin clearly in light of God's holiness and goodness. When we see God as He is, we see ourselves rightly. And when we see the depth and gravity of our own sin, we see just how great and truly amazing the grace of God really is. When we came to "Mighty to Save," this was our context. When we sang, "Savior, He can move the mountains/ Our God is mighty to save/ He is mighty to save," we meant it, for we had just finished hearing and reading the Word of God as it spoke to our spiritual condition without Christ. The congregation was singing out at this point in each of the services, and it was a powerful moment of worship. To God be the glory. May we never forget that we were dead in our sins when Christ came in to rescue us and make us alive.

I feel privileged for the opportunity to build and develop our worship & arts ministry at Fellowship Bible Church, and I am thrilled about what the future holds for our congregation!

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

In the Son,

Bill

Sunday Set Lists