Fellowship Service Recap - 09/10 - 09/11/16

This week was the first of our new series, Awakening, where we are looking at the gospel for all of life as we receive it, live it, and give it away. In this first message, Joe shared about the declarations of the gospel–what it says about God, and what it says about us. It was a beautiful reminder of how the gospel changes our relationship with God, and brings us into fellowship with Him and with each other.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "Grace Alone" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"It is Finished" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints]
"Jesus Messiah" [Chris Tomlin]
"O Praise The Name (Anástasis)" [Hillsong]

It was a great start to the series. The team did a great job, and it was a very celebratory weekend with the words we were singing, as we celebrated the gospel and how Jesus came to our rescue through His death, burial, and resurrection.

I hope you have a great week!

in the Son,

Bill

Service Recap - 12/05 - 12/06/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we celebrated the start of our Advent series with a message about Christ the Missionary, looking at how Christ came to proclaim the good news of redemption to us. With that, we also held a Global Outreach Weekend, celebrating what God is doing through our church around the world. We had special guests Brett Durbin and Russell West from Trash Mountain Project here, as well. It was a great weekend.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"I Will Go" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Allen Salmon]
"Joy to the World" [George Frederic Handel, Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn]
"Jesus Messiah" [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves]
"Son of God" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Gordon Cochran, Ed Cash]

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, 06/28 - 06/29/2014 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend was the fifth weekend of our "Hope" series, and Brian Tryhus preached about our hope of redemption through Jesus, the Suffering Servant, coming from Isaiah 53 (one of my favorite passages of Scripture). It was a beautiful reminder of the amazing grace that Jesus has shown us through the cross, and the incredible hope we have through Him alone!

For our services, we had a great pair of brass players (Ronnie and Haley Murphy) on our team, and they were a fantastic addition. It made for an incredibly challenging and fun weekend for the whole team.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"Felix Culpa" (Am) [Kings Kaleidoscope] - Our team has been trying to get me to incorporate this song for a few months now (it started before Easter!). It's not really a great congregational song, but it was a great fit thematically and it is just an incredible song overall. It's not an easy one, though.

"In Tenderness" (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton, arr. by Citizens/Kings Kaleidoscope] - This weekend, we took a stab at the Kings Kaleidoscope arrangement of the Citizens arrangement of this song (got all of that?), which incorporates a great brass part that complements it all very well.

"Made Alive" (C) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger] - This song is one of our staples now. I am trying not to wear it out around here, though, but it's tricky. It is a great celebration and thanksgiving song from Ephesians 2.

"Suffering Servant" (G-A) [Dustin Kensrue] - This song was a perfect fit for the message from Isaiah 53. This song captures the essence of that passage better than any other song I have heard. It is incredibly powerful and beautiful. While it is quite wordy, I think it is one of those songs that breaks the rules and the congregation wants to sing anyway.

"Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash] - We hadn't sung this in a while, but it is still one of our church's favorites, and it helps us look to the cross of Jesus for our hope and redemption.

"In Christ Alone" (G) [Stuart Townend, Keith Getty, arr. by Kings Kaleidoscope] - Again, we used the Kings Kaleidoscope arrangement on this one (they are one of the only modern worship bands I know of that have brass players). This was a fantastic way to end our services, because the statement, "In Christ alone my hope is found" sums it all up very well. That is what we needed to walk away with (maybe what need to walk away with every week...). Jesus is everything we need, and our hope is in Him and Him alone.

This weekend was simply incredible–definitely one of the best yet! I love our beautiful church and our amazing team of leaders!

Songs We Sing, 04/05 - 04/06/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, concluded our series on worship with a message about contentment. He focused primarily on wisdom from the book of Ecclesiates, and the two ways of living portrayed within: living under the sun or living under the Son. One life is spent chasing the perishing things of this world, while the other is spent seeking the Lord and resting in what He has accomplished for us. It was a powerful challenge to align our priorities to God's priorities in this life. You can listen to or watch the message and service here.

Here's the order from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Remedy" (G) [David Crowder]
Call to Worship
"Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message - "Worship: Contentment" [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion - "Jesus, You" (F#) [original]
"Jesus Messiah" (G) [
Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash]
"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman]

This was a great weekend. Our team did a solid job, the congregation was engaged, and all around it was a great weekend. I think the highlight for me was singing the final two songs, "Jesus Messiah" and "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)." The church knows and loves those songs, so they were most engaged at that point in response to the message and communion. There were several beautiful moments where I could step away from the microphone and let them sing it. That's what I'm hoping we experience more and more as we grow in worship together, and also our expression of that through singing.

For the songs this weekend, we chose songs that focused on Christ's finished work for our redemption through the cross, and on trusting and worshiping Him in response to all He has done.

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

Advent Songs We Sing - Fellowship Bible Church - 2013

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

December 7 & 8, 2013

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

December 14 & 15, 2013

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

December 21 & 22, 2013

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

Christmas Eve, December 24, 2013

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

Songs We Sing, 09/07 - 09/08/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued in our second week of our series, "Deep and Wide," and shared how the deep and wide follower of Jesus has received the greatest gift the world has known, the love of God, and then shares that gift with his world. He said the greatest thing we can ask God for is more love for Him, for His Word, and for others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Video - Brett Durbin, Trash Mountain Project "In Tenderness" (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton] "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash, Chris Tomlin] Greeting Time Video - Adult Discipleship Ministries Announcements Video - Trash Mountain Project - Spoken Promo Video - You & Two - Bruce Poage Message - "Deep & Wide: A Follower of Jesus... Loves" [Joe Hishmeh] Elder-led Prayer - Rick Tague "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a busy weekend in terms of service flow. We had four videos in each of our services, which we had to interweave with the regular, weekly elements. I think we fit the pieces in the best way possible, but I wouldn't want to make a habit of having four videos in our services. Joe's message was a great challenge to love like Jesus loves, Trent Raines did a great job co-leading, and our team did a solid job serving and leading.

For our singing this weekend, we sang songs that celebrated the incredible love that Christ has for us ("In Tenderness," "Because of Your Love," "Jesus Messiah," "10,000 Reasons"), and then some that also had elements of surrender and giving ourselves to God for His purposes and His mission in this world ("Because of Your Love," "10,000 Reasons"). I love the songs that we sang this weekend. I'm looking forward to continuing this series together, and seeing what God does in our congregation.

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 08/17 - 08/18/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared the the fourth message in our series, "Positive Identity," where he taught how we are secure in Christ. He reminded us that we have nothing to fear any longer in Christ, because in place of condemnation, desperation, and separation, Jesus gives us faith, hope, and love. It was a moving reminder of Christ's love for us and of where we now stand because of Him! You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"The Solid Rock" (E) [Edward Mote, William B. Bradbury, Charlie Hall, Trent Austin, Kendall Combs] "I Stand Amazed" (E) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Positive Identity: Secure" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Messiah" (A) [Daniel Carson, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin] "Forever Reign" (A) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan] "This Is Amazing Grace" (A) [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, recorded by Phil Wickham and Bethel Live] Dismissal

Thoughts: It was great to be back with our church this weekend after being gone last weekend.

For our singing this weekend, we tried to focus on the finished work and all-sufficiency of Christ for us. "The Solid Rock" celebrates our firm foundation in Jesus. "I Stand Amazed," "Jesus Messiah," and "This Is Amazing Grace" all remember and praise Jesus' incredible, unfailing, and live-giving love for us, demonstrated at the cross. And "Forever Reign" worship Jesus for His perfect love and goodness in spite our own shortcomings. All of these songs bring us to one conclusion - Jesus is our only hope!

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 04/13 - 04/14/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This was our first week of our new series - "Seven," which is about the seven marks of an intentional life. Our discipleship pastor, David Hinkle, started us off by preaching through the spiritual area of our lives, coming primarily from Galatians 2:20. It was a powerful challenge with four practices for help us seek and serve Jesus with our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome/Call to Worship "All Because of Jesus" (B) [Steve Fee] "Happy Day" (B) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "The Seven: Spiritual - Galatians 2:20" [David Hinkle] "Because of Your Love" (E) [Phil Wickham] "Forever Reign" (A) [Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram] "Jesus Messiah" (A) [Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash] Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was a fantastic weekend. David's message was a great reminder for our church, and our worship team did an awesome job leading together. I am so thankful to lead beside such amazing people. They love God, they love the Church, and they give their best to point our people towards Christ through our time of singing together. The church sang out beautifully this weekend, especially during the final three songs of the services. It was so much so that I was getting a little choked up at several points (It's a little hard to keep singing at those moments...). It was amazing. I felt the songs we sang really connected with the central message of Galatians 2:20, and I think it was really powerful all together.

I love my team. I love our church. Praise God for what He is doing in us.

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 12/08 - 12/09/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we continued in our second week of Advent and our series, "Simple Christmas." Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about how God uses simple people to accomplish His purposes here on earth--people who are simple in faith, obedience, and worship. It was a great message, and a perspective on Mary that I had not seen before. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Salvation's Chorus" (G) [Todd Fields] "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [traditional, w/ chorus & bridge by Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Simple People" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Messiah" (A) [Daniel Carson, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin] "Let Me Sing" (A) [Todd Fields] "Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Joe's message was a refreshing perspective on the life and faith of Mary, specifically when she received the news that she would give birth to the Son of God, the Savior of humanity! It was a challenging reminder to simply believe God, obey what He calls us to do, and to worship Him for who He is and what He has done.

The band did a great job this weekend. We continued teaching Todd Fields' (of North Point) "Salvation's Chorus" this weekend, which is a song that I have wanted to teach for a while. We also brought back "Joyful (The One Who Saves)," which we introduced last year at Advent. I love the added chorus and bridge by Brenton Brown and Jason Ingram, which are simple declarations of Jesus' power to save. We responded to the message with "Jesus Messiah" because I believe the gospel is the single-most powerful motivator for our worship of the Lord. It is truly the greatest thing that He has done for us, or could have done for us! We continued with "Let Me Sing" to tie together the gospel with our response of obedience and worship. The chorus sings "Let me sing/ Louder than creation to You/ For the pain You bore in Your body/ To bring my soul." I love this song. We finished the weekend with "Before The Throne," which is a powerful new rendition of the traditional hymn. This is probably my favorite song right now, and it helps us declare our confidence in the saving work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. It is finished, and it is all because of Him! It was a great weekend. I love celebrating Advent, especially when I'm part of a church that points it continually to the gospel, because that is what the first advent of Jesus was really all about!

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, 11/10 - 11/11/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, taught about biblical submission in marriage as he continued our series, "Ephesians - United in Christ." It was the most clear and challenging explanation of Ephesians 5:21-33 that I have ever heard. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. In our singing, we focused primarily on how Jesus came and sacrificed Himself for the Church, that we could be redeemed and have eternal life. We also focused some on God aligning our hearts to His, that we might love others as He has loved us.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "In Tenderness" (G) [Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton, arr. by Citizens] "Hosanna" (G) [Brooke Fraser] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Ephesians 5:21-33" [Joe Hishmeh] "Love Is Not A Fight" (A) [Warren Barfield] "Jesus Messiah" (A) [Daniel Carson, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin] "You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg] "Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post] Dismissal

 

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Our team did an excellent job. We had a new team member, Thomas Banley, on bass, and he did a great job. "Love Is Not A Fight" was a good connection with the message, and a challenge to fight for our marriages. "In Tenderness," "Jesus Messiah," "You Have Overcome," and "Before The Throne" were great for us to focus on the gospel and recognize the love that Jesus demonstrated for us at the cross. As Joe said, the gospel and Christ's love for us is the foundation for how we love one another. "Before The Throne" was a new rendition by one of Mars Hill Church's bands, The Modern Post, led by Dustin Kensrue. It takes it from the usual 3/4 time to 4/4, and it has a great and unique feel to it. Typically, the slower 3/4 arrangement has a more reflective feel to it, while this 4/4 version feels like a strong declaration of the truths contained in the lyric. I really look forward to singing this song in particular with the church again soon, especially the end of the second verse: "Because the sinless Savior died/ My sinful soul is counted free/ For God the Just was satisfied/ To look on Him and pardon me." What a great way to end our services this weekend!

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, 09/15 - 09/16/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

(an image of our Ephesians set design, courtesy of our Tech Director, Wyatt Johnston)

This week our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued our discipleship series, "Ephesians - United in Christ." In his message, Joe shared from Ephesians 2:1-10 that before Christ, we were dead in our sins, but we have been saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! He has made us alive for the purposes of His kingdom--sharing the good news and doing good for those around us. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on the saving work of Christ on our behalf.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"In Tenderness" (G) [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey, arr. by Citizens] Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship "All Because of Jesus" (A) [Steve Fee] "You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg] "God Is Able" (A) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] / "The Stand" (A) [Joel Houston] Message - "Ephesians 2:1-10" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"In Tenderness" - This is a song that we have been teaching our congregation recently. This song is a keeper for us, and it is a great fit for our study of the book of Ephesians as a whole, especially chapter two.

"All Because of Jesus" - We continued after our greeting time with this simple chorus that recognizes the true and sole source of our life - Jesus Christ. This is a song that is very familiar for our church, so we always sing it well together.

"You Have Overcome" - This is one of our originals here, and it seems to be a song that our congregation has latched onto. This song was inspired in part by Ephesians 2:1-10, so it was a beautiful fit with the message this week. Jesus has overcome the power of the grave, and no one else can save us; no one else can raise us.

"God Is Able" / "The Stand" - Though it was impossible for us to save ourselves, Jesus did it for us. He came to rescue us and to be with us forever. He is faithful and true, and His love is steadfast and unfailing. He has done everything we needed for our eternal salvation. What is our response to this amazing gift of grace? One of thanksgiving, of love, of worship with all that we are.

"Jesus Messiah" - This was our response song for the weekend. After hearing the gospel clearly laid out in the message, I wanted to come back to a song that declared and celebrated the beautiful sacrifice that Jesus made for us, to give us redemption, salvation, life, and hope! This song did just that. My favorite part of this song continues to be the bridge: "All our hope is in You/ All our hope is in You/ All the glory to You, God/ The Light of the world." Amen! Our hope is in no one else.

This weekend was another solid weekend of worship. Our team did a good job leading, and our people were engaged. It's hard not to get excited about the gospel! When we really reflect on what Christ has accomplished for us through His death and resurrection, I think we would have to fight off the urge to worship Him. This was a weekend where that was the case. I hope this is more often the case than not, because I can think of no greater reason to worship than the gospel.

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

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

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

Set List, 06/30 - 07/01/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This was our fifth weekend walking through 1 John together in our "Love In Christ" series. Brian Tryhus preached about forgiveness from 1 John, focusing on the futility of wallowing in shame and guilt when we sin. Our forgiveness has been promised and secured by the sacrifice of Christ. It was a powerful reminder and challenge to walk in forgiveness with confidence, faith, and hope. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. For our singing this week, we focused primarily on songs that emphasized what Christ has accomplished for us, and the standing we have with God because of it. We been declared righteous (justified) in Jesus Christ. When the Father sees us, He sees us through Christ.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

(pre-service) "In The Light" (E) [Charlie Peacock, as performed by DC Talk] "All Because of Jesus" (Bb) [Steve Fee] Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship - thoughts from Isaiah 53 "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash] "He Has Done It All" (G) [Andy Cherry, Jason Ingram] "Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran] Message - "Love In Christ: Forgiveness" [Brian Tryhus] Video - "Forget What You Know (Caedmon's Call)" "Nothing But The Blood" (G) [Robert Lowry] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"In the Light" - (Yes, it is the one performed by DC Talk in the 90's). We sang this one for our pre-service countdown because it is a great fit with the book of 1 John, as it focuses on walking in the light as He is in the light. It is a ton of fun to play, and I could see people in our congregation who remembered it singing along. I think it was a great way for our congregation to enter into the worship center this weekend.

"All Because of Jesus" - We opened our services with this song, which is a staple for our congregation. It set the tone for the entire service, as declaring with joy and confidence that we are alive in Jesus.

"Jesus Messiah" - After reciting a few verses from Isaiah 53, we sang this song together. I love the lyric of this song, and I think one of the most powerful moments of it is the bridge, where we sing, "All our hope is in You/ All our hope is in You/ All the glory to You, God/ The Light of the World." We need to put all of our hope in Christ alone. He is the only way for us to be saved. He is the only way for us to be redeemed. He is our life. This is one of the most significant reasons that He is worthy of all glory and honor and praise.

"He Has Done It All" - We began teaching this song a few weeks ago, and this was the second time we have sung it together. I absolutely love this song. I think it reminds us of the truth of the gospel, and inspires our confidence in what Christ has declared: "It is finished."

"Son of God" - This is one of our church's favorite songs, and it was a great way to finish our main set of songs. It is a simple and beautiful expression of worship to our risen King, Jesus. The chorus and bridge sing: "Jesus, O Holy One/ I sing to You, forgiven/ Savior, I'm overcome/ With Your great love for me/ 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."  I love this song, and our congregation sings it so well!

"Nothing But The Blood" - We responded to the message with this great hymn, which is one of my all-time favorites. I cannot think of a song that more clearly declares the truth of the gospel, and the fact that salvation comes through no other but Jesus. He is the only way of salvation, and He has accomplished it through His blood, which He shed for us at the cross when He died in our place. His sacrifice equals our rescue. My favorite verses are the third and fourth: "Nothing can for sin atone/ Nothing but the blood of Jesus/ Naught of good that I have done/ Nothing but the blood of Jesus" and "This is all my hope and peace/ Nothing but the blood of Jesus/ This is all my righteousness/ Nothing but the blood of Jesus." Amen!

This weekend was an intense weekend of worship. There is nothing I love more than focusing on the cross of Jesus Christ and remembering what He accomplished for us. It always moves me and overwhelms me to think of His grace and love for me. Our team did a great job, and I think we all will walk away from this weekend reminded of the forgiveness and redemption we have in Jesus Christ. When the Father looks at us, He sees us through Christ-- as forgiven, justified, and righteous. Praise the Lord for what He has done for 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, 01/28 - 01/29/12 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we returned to continue our series on the book of Romans.  Joe preached from what is possibly my favorite passage of Scripture - Romans 3:21-31. The gospel of grace, and the doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from the law, are both very clearly laid out here, and I am reminded of the amazing gift that we have been given in Christ. We all need to be constantly reminded of what the work of Christ has accomplished for us, because it changes everything. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "I Need You" (G) [Kristian Stanfill] Call To Worship Welcome/Greeting Time "Marvelous Light" (Bb) [Charlie Hall] "You Alone Can Rescue" (Bb) [Matt Redman] "Nothing But The Blood" (Bb) [Matt Redman] "Lamb Of God" (Ab) [original] Message - "Romans 3:21-31 - Justification" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] Offering/Announcements Dismissal

"I Need You" - We sang this song in our preparation time this weekend. I love the clarity of this song, and how it lays out our desperation for Christ's work for us. We are lost without Him. We are hopeless and helpless without Him. It is such a powerful song. We bring it down from the key of Bb to G, and it is much more singable for our congregation. I want to incorporate this song more into our regular worship sets, as I think our congregation is getting a better grasp of it.

"Marvelous Light" - This was our opener this week. We haven't sung this song in a while, but I think it was very fitting for us to sing this week as we focused on the cross. While we were a people without any hope and without spiritual life, Jesus stepped in and died for us, conquering sin and death. He has adopted us as sons and daughters, and has made us alive together with Him. Praise God that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life for us.

"You Alone Can Rescue" - This song continues to be one of my favorites. The chorus really draws the line in the sand regarding the gospel: "You alone can rescue/ You alone can save/ You alone can lift us from the grave/ You came down to find us/ And led us out of death/ To You alone belongs the highest praise." Because Jesus is the one who rescued us, He is the only one who deserves the credit, the praise, and the glory. He is the only one!

"Nothing But The Blood" - We haven't done this song much at Fellowship, but it was a perfect fit to our talk on justification this weekend. Nothing but the blood of Jesus reconciles us to God and makes it possible for us to be declared righteous before a holy God. His blood is the payment for our sin, satisfying the wrath of God against sin, and making peace with God for us. I was moved to tears several times this weekend as we sang this song. Jesus is our peace.

"Lamb of God" - This is a song that I wrote a few years ago as I was studying Isaiah 53. I wanted to write a song that really described the nature of the payment that Jesus paid for us as our substitute. I wanted to challenge us as a congregation to not sing these kinds of songs lightly, but to try and envision the suffering that Jesus bore in our place. I think that is how we sing of Christ's sacrifice on the cross with meaning. It is, and should be, overwhelming to think of how much Christ suffered for us, and how much He has given us that we did not deserve. He is far too good to us.

"Jesus Messiah" - We sang this song as our response this week. This about summed it all up from this weekend. As 2 Corinthians says, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." Jesus took our place, and He gives us His.

This weekend was really powerful, and I really experienced the presence of Christ as we worshiped in our services. When we focus so clearly and heavily on what Jesus accomplished for us, it is hard to avoid being overwhelmed with thanksgiving. I had to hold it together a few times when it was really hitting home. Our team did a great job. We also played Warren Barfield's "Saved" a few times this weekend between services, just to have fun and celebrate our salvation in Christ. God is good!

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

In the Son, Bill

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

Set List, 12/03 - 12/04/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we began our Advent series with a message entitled "God Before Us." Joe focused on four ways that Jesus was "before" us: in creation, in the Passover, in the Prophets, and in experience. Jesus is the source of life, the sacrifice for our redemption, the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, and our example. It was a powerful perspective for our first week of focusing on Advent. You can listen to the entire message here. For the first week of this series, we decided to try a drastically different format for our services, following each point of the message with a time of response through singing. I think it gave the services a more reflective emphasis, and I really enjoyed it as a change up to keep us engaged in responding to the Word of God. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Joyous Light" (G) [Unknown/John H. Gower, w/ add. chorus by Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Louie Giglio] Welcome/Greeting Time "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (D) [Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven] Message - "God Before Us In Creation" [Joe Hishmeh] "Glory To God Forever" (Bb) [Vicky Beeching, Steve Fee] Message - "God Before Us In The Passover" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] Communion Message - "God Before Us In The Prophets" [Joe Hishmeh] "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (G) [John M. Neale] Message - "God Before Us In Experience" - [Joe Hishmeh] "God Is Able" (A) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] Offering/Announcements Dismissal

"Joyous Light" - We sang this song in our preparation time. We have done a few times in the past, and I love using the translation of this ancient hymn with the modern chorus. It was a great fit for Advent as well, focusing on Jesus as the Light of the world.

"Joyful (The One Who Saves)" - We taught this song to our congregation this weekend, and it is a song that I have wanted to sing with our congregation for over a year. I love the new chorus added to the hymn, "Joyful, Joyful": "You are the One who saves/ You are the One who saves/ You are the One whose hands lift us from the grave/ You are the Light of life/ The everlasting Day/ You are the One who takes all our sins away."

"Glory To God Forever" - After Joe spoke about Jesus being before us in creation, this song was a fitting response. He is before all things, and He is the almighty God, who is worthy of all the glory, forever!

"Jesus Messiah" - We sang this song during communion after Joe spoke about Jesus being before us in the Passover. He used a doorframe to illustrate the brushing of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and the lintel in the Passover, and explained how the blood of the Lamb not only protects us and spares us from the wrath of God, but it sets us free to life in the promise of God. Our hope is in Jesus alone, and this song echoes this and celebrates what our Messiah has done for us.

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel" - After talking about the Prophets and how God's people were crying out for the Messiah to come, we sang this Christmas standard. A few years ago, I rearranged this song for an acoustic Christmas CD that I recorded with my wife for our friends and family, and that's the arrangement that we used. This is one of my favorite Advent songs, and I think it made a great connection with the Prophets and the people of God in the Old Testament period, and God's people today who await His triumphant return.

"God Is Able" - We closed with this song, looking to Jesus as our victorious Savior who can do all things and who will rescue and redeem us from sin and death. He is with us and He is for us as His people. He will never fail. He will never leave us. Amen!

This was a unique and refreshing weekend of worshiping our Savior together. Our team did a great job as always. I love celebrating Advent with the Church. It's a beautiful thing.

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, 11/12 - 11/13/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on John 19:6-37, examining the cross. Joe shared about its meaning from several perspectives, and closed with a time to respond to what Jesus accomplished for us. We moved our on-stage cross to down stage center to help emphasize our focus for the weekend, and nearly every aspect of our services pointed to it. I am happy with how well everything tied together this weekend. Together, it served as a great reminder of what Jesus did on our behalf. He is so good to us! Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Lamb of God" (Ab) [original] Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship -  "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] "You Alone Can Rescue" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] Scripture Reading - 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] "Nothing But The Blood" (G) [Robert Lowry] Prayer Message - John 19:6-37 - "The Cross" [Joe Hishmeh] Response Time "'The Wonderful Cross" (E) [Isaac Watts, w/ add. chorus by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves] Offering/Video/Announcements Dismissal

"Lamb Of God" - We opened our preparation time with this song, since we were focusing on the cross this weekend. When I wrote this song, I was trying to encapsulate some of Isaiah 53, along with the crucifixion accounts of the Gospels. I think it was a fitting way to begin our services this weekend, because it set the tone for everything that would follow.

"Let Me Sing" - This song is a staple for us, and this song really fit with the theme of this weekend. It communicates the reason for our worship and obedience: the fact that God loved us first and sent His Son to die on the cross on our behalf. I love how this song relays this thought, when we sing, "Let me sing/ Louder than creation to You/ For the pain You bore in Your body/ To bring my soul to You." It really brings the two ideas together well.

"You Alone Can Rescue" - We haven't sung this song together in a while, and I think this week was a good week to bring it back. This song emphasizes our inability to rescue and redeem ourselves. We are dead in our sins (Eph. 2:1), and we were enemies of God (Rom. 5:10), but still God loved us and made a way for us where there was no way, reconciling us to Himself through the cross of Christ. Praise God for His grace!

"Jesus Messiah" - We prefaced this song by reading from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. The last verse of that passage is where the first line of this song comes from: "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." That passage in 2 Corinthians is one of my favorites, as it helps clarify what Christ accomplished for us at the cross. He is our reconciliation.

"Nothing But The Blood" - This hymn is one of my favorites, because it makes no bones about declaring that the sole source of our redemption is the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. He is the only way of salvation. He is the only one who could rescue us and give us life and hope. We need to rest in His finished work on the cross. He died in our place. He has dealt with our sin and the righteous wrath of God against sin. It is finished, all because Jesus shed His precious blood for us.

"The Wonderful Cross" - This song was our response song this week. As Joe finished proclaiming the significance of the cross and the encouraging our people to respond to this truth, we wanted to sing a song that examined the cross and reflected on its great meaning for our lives. The hymn ("When I Survey The Wondrous Cross") by Isaac Watts, along with the additional chorus by Tomlin and Reeves, was a great fit for the moment, and helped us in thanking Jesus for the cross and in offering our lives in response to His great sacrifice for us. I have loved this song since I first heard it in college, and I was thankful for a good opportunity to sing it again.

All around, this was a great weekend of worshiping our Savior. Our team did a great job, and I'm so thankful for what the Lord is doing in us, and especially grateful for the cross. I would have no hope without it.

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, 05/28 - 05/29/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This week, we focused on Philippians 2:1-11, and dealt with putting others ahead of ourselves. It was a challenging message for those of us who are prone to selfishness (me!), and called us to the selflessness of Christ, who emptied Himself and became obedient even to death on a cross, so that we could be redeemed. As a result, Scripture says, God has exalted Him and given Him the name which is above all names, that at His name, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. In a similar way, the Bible says that the one who wants to find his own life must first lose it. May we all lay our lives down for the kingdom of God and His purposes, and in doing so, may we find our true life in Him. Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Happy Day" (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] Call to Worship - Revelation 4:8, 11 "Our God" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves] Welcome/ Video/ Offering/ Announcements/ Prayer/ Greeting "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman] "Desert Song" (D) [Brooke Fraser] Scripture reading - Philippians 2:3 "Lead Me to the Cross" (D) [Brooke Fraser] Message - "An Appraisal of Attitude" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash]

We began in the pre-service time with "Happy Day," and I chose this song because it got us thinking about the cross, and what it accomplished for us. We benefited immensely because of Jesus' finished work on the cross, yet He paid for our redemption with great suffering and anguish. He gave up His right to grasp His equality with God, and laid it down in obedience and willing sacrifice. He was generous with His own life, and had the attitude fo a servant rather than one of entitlement.

In the call to worship, practiced the command to "ascribe" praise and to the Lord. This means to attribute to God the truth about who He is and what He has done. I searched and struggled to find a passage that encapsulated this idea concisely, and I felt very comfortable with Revelation 4:8, 11 (ESV) -

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty Who was and is and is to come! Worthy are You, our Lord and God, To receive glory and honor and power, For You created all things, And by Your will they existed and were created.

We read this together as a congregation with this phrasing, and I think it set our hearts on Jesus' surpassing worth and glory. I am feeling more and more compelled to point our people to Scripture and for us to read it together and respond together in different ways. I would guess that worship doesn't get much more "Biblical" than that... I hope we begin to make the connection between these explicit worship directives and the ones that call us to worship by living our lives for our King and His kingdom, loving Him and loving our neighbor.

We immediately moved into "Our God," because we just finished talking about the creative power of our God, and this song emphasizes some of that aspect in reference to miracles and His omnipotence. I love how this song resonates with God's people, as we declare His greatness and power together, and then recognize that this same great and powerful God is for us. He is for His people, and He loves us, cares for us, and protects us. At the end of this song, I felt led to have all the instruments drop out as our people sang out the chorus, and it was a sweet moment that I didn't want to end. It felt a little funny jumping from that into the announcements, but who cares?!?! We're here to worship together, and it's never too early to do so.

After the announcements, we led out with "You Never Let Go." This was our third week singing this song together, and the chorus has taken on new meaning for our congregation (especially the Saturday night group) after last weekend, where we had to take shelter from funnel clouds in the area. I think we are getting this as a congregation, and God is reminding us of His faithfulness through it. Our congregation sings this song so well together. I am so thrilled with how we are responding to God together.

Then, Kelsey Thomsen led us in singing "Desert Song" and "Lead Me to the Cross." This was Kelsey's last weekend leading with us (for a while, at least), because she is heading off to physician assistant school this summer. It was a little bittersweet as a result, but I have enjoyed getting to see Kelsey's heart for God's people in worship over these past few months. I know God has great things in store for her and her ministry through worship. These songs spoke to the point of trusting in God no matter what, and obeying Him regardless of how afraid we may be. He is worthy of our lives' obedience, no matter how we feel about it. He is worthy of our lives being give for the purpose of expanding His kingdom and His fame in the earth.

We responded to Joe's challenging message with "Jesus Messiah," which speaks clearly of Jesus' laying down of His life for us. He is our model and example of sacrifice and of being a servant. When we look to Him, we see the pattern of our calling. We see what we are to be in Him. This song continues to grow on me, as I reminded of 2 Corinthians 5:21 and other verses which speak of the ridiculous gift Jesus has given us through His grace and through the cross. He is so good to us. May we be so generous with our own lives.

We had a few difficulties on Saturday night. One team member thought he was on for next weekend, and as a result, wasn't able to get to rehearsal until an hour after we started. We ended up finishing our preparation very close to the start of the first service, and I forgot to communicate with the team that Kelsey was going to share before "Desert Song." When I turned to look at Kelsey, the rhythm section jumped into the song, and the rest of us had to catch up. It was a minor train wreck, but we got back on track, and I believe God was glorified in spite of the problems. It has made me evaluate our lines of communication, both prior to and during the weekend. We can always improve. Sunday went very smoothly, and I was proud of how our team pressed on and kept trying to improve throughout the weekend, despite a slightly frustrating start. I am so thankful for the team of people we have here at Fellowship.

Overall, it was a powerful weekend of worship. I love it (sometimes begrudgingly), when God moves and works in our midst, when it seems like we have made it difficult. It just goes to show that we cannot manufacture worship. We cannot force it to happen. We cannot make people experience God. We are powerless to change lives at the heart level. Only God can do that. And He does. What we can do is be available and be humbled before our King, and trust that He will work in our midst. We can give Him our best and do what we can to facilitate (literally, "make it easy") for our people to engage God in our worship gatherings. Let us serve our God and our people by trusting in our God and giving our best for Him and for them. He will take care of everything else.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were (and hopefully didn't have the problems we did!). Be sure to check out The Worship Community to see what other leaders and team members experienced in their worship gatherings this weekend. To God be all the glory!

In the Son,

Bill

Set List, 04/02 - 04/03/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend was beautiful. We implemented a few new things, and their benefit was felt immediately. We also had some late-notice band cancellations, but we had people step up and help out. We expected some difficulties, and there were very few to speak of. Beyond that, Joe's message was on our blessed hope of eternity with God through Jesus Christ. It was a beautiful thing. Here's our set from this weekend:

"I'll Fly Away" (G) [Albert E. Brumley] Call to Worship - Psalm 98:1-2 "Glory to God Forever" (A) [Steve Fee and Vicky Beeching] Welcome/Announcements/Offering/Greeting "Forever Reign" (Ab) [Jason Ingram and Reuben Morgan] "Jesus Messiah" (Ab) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves] Message - "I Believe: God Restores" [Joe Hishmeh] Communion Song - "Beautiful" (D) [Phil Wickham] Closing Song - "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" (Eb) [John Newton, Chris Tomlin, and Louie Giglio]

The main new implementation this weekend was the Aviom in-ear monitoring (IEM) system. It was something I was very familiar with in other situations, but was completely new to most of our team here at Fellowship. Setup was relatively painless, and we were done with rehearsal much earlier than we thought we would be. Everybody got the hang of it pretty quickly, and were hearing the things they wanted to hear (with a small exception - the keys which put out a very low-gain signal). My in-ears were much clearer because of the Avioms, and it was easier for me to hear some instruments that I hadn't been able to hear clearly without dominating the rest of the in-ear mix, such as the bass guitar. It made this weekend particularly enjoyable.

Another new implementation was the click-track. I hadn't planned on using it in the services--only for rehearsal to start getting used to the idea--but our drummer, Aaron, went for it, and we were so much tighter because of it. Click-track is one quick way to tighten your band up, because everyone is working from the same point of reference, and it removes tempo battles or the feeling that anyone has of carrying the rhythm and pace of the song. The problem many have with it is that it can dominate your thinking and you feel like a slave to the click. That is why I planned on using it for rehearsal, but not for the services. I didn't want it to affect the services negatively. Over time, the click becomes less of a driving force, and more of a reference in your ears. It is interesting how it fades into the background over time, and you listen past it, in a way. We got to that point quicker than I expected, and I loved it. We have an awesome team here at Fellowship, and they step up to challenges in a major way.

This was the first time we tried Brumley's "I'll Fly Away," which was fitting for the message this week. It was a fun way to begin the service. Our bassist this week, Ben, learned a great deal early in his playing from a mariachi musician, so he was right at home with the walking bass lines (a little-known bit of trivia there). Our electric guitarist was playing a Line 6 Variax, and switched it to a banjo setting, and it was pretty convincing. In all, I think it was a win, and we had fun doing it. I don't imagine it was what anyone expected as they walked in this week...

After the call to worship, we went to "Glory to God Forever," which is a really solid declaration of worship, and has a great statement of commitment to the Lord: "Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours." Instead of returning to the chorus at the end of the song, we return to this bridge, because this is the thought I want us to take away from this song. May we all lay our lives down for God's glory and for His kingdom, no matter the cost. The only thing I would have changed would have been the tempo of the song, for which we set the click a little slower, and felt like it could have been faster. We changed it for the last service, and it made a big difference.

After the greeting time, we moved to "Forever Reign" and "Jesus Messiah." "Forever Reign" is a song that Fellowship has done for a while, but it is new to me, as I mentioned last week. Jason Ingram and Reuben Morgan, two fantastic songwriters, co-wrote, and it does a great job of pairing our present hope in Christ for this life with our future hope of His eternal reign. I love how it ties it all together in a simple, singable way. I especially love the bridge: "My heart will sing/ No other name/ Jesus, Jesus." This is another song we ended up increasing tempo on in the last service, which I wish we would have done earlier.

We wrapped the message with a time of communion, where we sang Phil Wickham's "Beautiful." I do not know of many songs that tie creation, Christ's sacrificial death on the cross, and eternity in heaven together like this song does. The last verse sings, "When we arrive at eternity's shore/ Where death is just a memory and tears are no more/ We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring/ Your bride will come together and we'll sing/ You're beautiful." This verse helps us set our minds on heaven and gives us hope. I never get tired of singing this song. Our treatment of the song was a little more reflective than what is normal for me because of the communion time. I liked how it linked the time of communion with the message on eternity, just as Paul pointed out when he taught about the Lord's Supper: "For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (1 Cor. 11:26).

We then closed with "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)," which was a fitting finish to the service, as we celebrated our redemption in Christ, and the promise that we have in Him of life together forever. The last verse sings, "The earth shall soon dissolve like snow/ The sun forbear to shine/ But God, who called me here below,/ Will be forever mine." This is one of Newton's original verses, which were later changed to those that are more well-known. I think the original does a better job of relating our redemption to our hope in Jesus Christ, and it worked really well to set our eyes heavenward while remembering our redemption in Jesus, as we set out into our world.

It was a really enjoyable weekend, and I was on a high throughout. The combination of the message of eternal hope and the musical worship successes were really encouraging, and I am more excited than ever about where we are heading as a church, generally, and as a worship team, specifically. God is so good.

I hope you had a great time of worship wherever you were. Check out The Worship Community's Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders and churches experienced this week in worship.

In the Son,

Bill