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 - 02/07 - 02/08/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

Here are the songs we sang together last weekend:

Pre-Service - "There is a Fountain" (Citizens & Saints version)
"Sing to the King" (Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne, performed by Passion Worship Band)
"I Stand Amazed" (Charles Hutchison Gabriel, arr. by Chris Tomlin)
"From the Inside Out" (Joel Houston, arr. by Todd Fields/North Point)
"There is a Fountain" (Citizens & Saints version)

It was a fantastic weekend. We talked about how Jesus is concerned with our hearts more than outward appearance, and how only Jesus can cleanse and change the heart. "There is a Fountain" was a great fit with the message, and a great way to end the services. I'm excited about continuing to sing that one together!

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

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]

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

Songs We Sing, Overflow - 05/05/13

Here's the set of songs from our Overflow worship night on May 5, 2013. It was a powerful and beautiful time of worship! I love co-leading with my friends Erik and Sarah Oldberg, who always do an awesome job. Reading - 1 John 4:7-12 (NIV) "Our God Is Love" (E) [Joel Houston] "In Tenderness" (A) [Adoniram J. Gordon, W. Spencer Walton, Nate Garvey] "Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post] Reading - 1 John 2:1-2 (NIV) "I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" (E) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel] "One Thing Remains" (B) [Brian Johnson, Christa Black Gifford, Jeremy Riddle] "Forever Reign" (A) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan] Communion - 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (ESV) "Sing To Jesus" (F) [Fernando Orgtega, Rich Nibbe] "Grace Flows Down" (D) [David E. Bell, Louie Giglio, Rod Padgett] "Nothing But The Blood" (A) [Robert Lowry,  arr. by All Sons & Daughters] "You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg] Reading - 1 John 3:16-18 (NIV) "To Our God" (A) [Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Joel Taylor] "The Stand" (A) [Joel Houston] "Hosanna (Bridge Only) (A) [Brooke Ligertwood] "Stronger" (Bb) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] "Beneath The Waters (I Will Rise)" (Ab) [Brooke Ligertwood, Scott Ligertwood] "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] "Rise (Bb)" [Joel Houston] Closing Prayer - Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV)

Songs We Sing, 02/16 - 02/17/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This was the fifth week of our 2 Corinthians series - "Purpose In Christ." Our pastor Joe Hishmeh preached through a second video message he recorded--this week time India. As I type this, he is somewhere over the northern U.S. headed to Kansas City International Airport, after visiting our mission partners around the world for the last 19 days. I can't wait to hear more about what the Lord has done in and through him on his journey. This week, he shared about being controlled by the love of God. It was a great reminder that we should not allow any other factor to control our interactions with the people in our lives--only the love of God, demonstrated through the cross of Christ. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Beautiful the Blood" (Bb) [Louie Giglio, Steve Fee] Welcome "Those Who Trust" (Em) [Don Chaffer] "Our God's Alive" (Em) [Andy Cherry, Jason Ingram, Dan Muckala] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Purpose In Christ - Controlled by the Love of God (from Chennai, India)" [Joe Hishmeh] "From The Inside Out" (Bb) [Joel Houston] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] "Beautiful the Blood" (Bb) [Louie Giglio, Steve Fee] Dismissal

Thoughts: It was another great weekend at Fellowship. We introduced (or reintroduced) "Beautiful The Blood," which is a great song about the gospel. During the service, we incorporated a video background that was created for the song with the lyrics of the song in motion. I loved how that incorporated with the song and enhanced our focus on what we were singing together. That was probably the highlight of the weekend for me. Beginning our service with "Those Who Trust" and "Our God's Alive" back to back was a great way to start, setting the tone for the service and developing a great energy in the room. (Plus, they're both a lot of fun to play with the band - I did not account for how little breath I would have as a result of doing the two together, however...)

Our team did a great job throughout the weekend, and the church was singing beautifully all weekend. Praise God for what he's doing in our church!

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

- Bill

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

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, 05/05 - 05/06/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we continued our series called "Everything!" Joe shared this week from Acts 20:32-35 about how "it is better to give than to receive.". You can listen to the entire message here. Also this weekend, our church brought 10% of all of our non-perishable food to donate to the Topeka Rescue Mission. Next weekend, we'll be doing the same thing with our clothing - all to demonstrate and practice the idea of giving from what the Lord has already provided for us. That is what He calls us to. I'm excited about what the Lord is doing in our church, and our potential to have a dramatic impact in both our community and our world! For the music this week, I chose songs that helped establish that every gift and blessing we have comes from God, and greatest gift of all is the one of His Son who went to the cross for us. Jesus was given up, betrayed, beaten, and nailed to the cross for our redemption. His generosity is what prompts our generosity and our giving to the cause of Christ in this world.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"All We Need" (G) [Charlie Hall] Welcome/Greeting Time "Desert Song" (D) [Brooke Fraser] "Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld] "Lamb of God" (G) [Original] "The Stand" (chorus only) (G) [Joel Houston] Message - "Everything: It Is Better To Give Than To Receive" [Joe Hishmeh] Communion Intro Communion Song - "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] Offering/Announcements Dismissal

"All We Need"- We brought this song back for our congregation two weeks ago, and we sang it as a refresher again this week. This song is a simple chorus which puts words to the truth that Jesus is all we need. Everything we needed, Jesus is.

"Desert Song" - We sang this song primarily for the last verse, which says, "This is my prayer in the harvest/ When favor and providence flow/ I know I'm filled to be emptied again/ The seed I've received I will sow." The truth is, there are seasons of abundance and seasons of need for all of us. In every season we face in this life, we need to be generous people with what we have - generous with our praise to God, generous with the gospel to the lost, and generous with the resources and talents we have in this life.

"Son of God"- This song is one of our congregation's favorites. We sang it this week because it states the point directly in the first verse: "Son of God, the Father's gift of us/ You alone were broken on the altar of love/ Precious Lamb, our freedom's in Your blood/ It's in Your blood." God gave first, and our response needs to be one of true worship, which means that every area of our lives is submitted and given to God for His purposes.

"Lamb of God" - We sang this song because it really pulls from Isaiah 53, where the meaning and heart behind Christ's sacrifice at the cross is prophesied (and also echoed in 1 Peter chapters 1-3). Jesus laid down His life for us to justify us and redeem us, even though we had strayed and stored up wrath for ourselves before God. He bore the punishment for our sin. The chorus of this song describes the willing sacrifice of Christ for us: "The Lamb of God gave His life/ For our sins, the ransom price/ We were dead, but we are alive/ Bought with the precious blood of Christ."

"The Stand" (Chorus Only) - We tagged this great chorus at the end of "Lamb of God" because it helped to bracket the message, clearly expressing our response to the grace and love of God for us. He has redeemed us, and the appropriate response is thanksgiving, worship, and sacrifice - not as a means of gaining favor with God (that has already been done for us through Jesus), but as a means of expressing our love to Him for all He is and all He has done. This chorus says it wonderfully: "I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned/ In awe of the One who gave it all/ I stand, my soul Lord to You surrender/ All I am is Yours."

"Because of Your Love"- This song served as our communion song and as our response song to the Word of God. I thought it fit both purposes really well. The verses describe the sacrifice of Christ for us, and the chorus expresses our thanksgiving and response to that sacrifice: "Because of Your cross, my debt is paid/ Because of Your blood, my sins are washed away/ Now all of my life, I freely give/ Because of Your love, because of Your love, I live." This, in my mind, is the bottom line for our lives in Christ. He has given us love, life, and freedom through His cross, and we ought to live in that love, life, and freedom for Him and His glory. He was selfless for us; let us be selfless for Him!

This weekend was a solid one. Aside from the Sunday morning service where the temperature changed as people entered the room and my guitar went way out of tune, everything went well. It was a little bit more of a mellow weekend for me, but that is where the set was directed during planning, and all of the songs really established a good foundation for how we ought to respond to the generosity of God. We also had a little bit of fun with the announcements with a little skit from "The General" (David Hinkle) to make people more aware of our Super Kids Super Kamp this summer. He was hilarious, and it was a welcome change to the normal routine of announcements.

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, 11/19 - 11/20/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on John 19:28 - 20:31, examining the resurrection of Jesus. After reading through the passage, Pastor Joe dealt with some of the arguments for and against the resurrection, and then ended with call to a response of faith and belief in the resurrection. Because of Christ's resurrection, we can have hope and eternal life. The resurrection is "the summit of the gospel," whereas the cross is the center of the gospel. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Jesus You" (E) [original] Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship - Psalm 40:1-3 "Sing To The King" (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Sylvester Horne] "Salvation Is Here" (Bb) [Joel Houston] "Stronger" (Bb) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan] "Jesus Paid It All" (Bb) [Alex Nifong, Elvina M. Hall, John Thomas Grape] Prayer Message - John 19:38 - 20:31 - "The Resurrection" [Joe Hishmeh] Response Time Offering/Video/Announcements "Christ Is Risen" (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes] Dismissal

"Jesus You" - We opened our preparation time with this song. We have done this a few times for the preparation time, and it was particularly fitting for this weekend. We incorporated more of the band this time, but still kept it a little more laid back than my original arrangement. This song helped to point us in the right direction for our services.

"Sing To The King" - Sarah Oldberg led us on this song. I love the powerful declaration of this song. Sarah and the band did an awesome job on this one, and the church engaged in celebrating and looking forward to Christ's victorious return. Our risen Lord is coming again. We can rejoice because of this fact, and this song helps us to do just that. Although we haven't sung this song very often, our congregation still seems to connect well with it. I look forward to singing it again.

"Salvation Is Here" - Our church had not sung this song much in the past, and when I was preparing for this weekend, I thought it would be a great fit because of the bridge, which sings, "Salvation is here/ Salvation is here and He lives in me/ Salvation is here/ 'Cause You are alive and You live in me." I could tell it was unfamiliar to much of our congregation, but they sang it, and I think they will sing it more when they have more time with it. I love the chorus of this song, as it builds my confidence in what Christ has done and in His Word: "I know my God saved the day/ And I know His Word never fails/ And I know my God made a way for me/ Salvation is here."

"Stronger" - This song is still fresh for me, and I really value how it expresses the gospel message. I like the unique expression of the chorus, when it sings, "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." It captures so many truths of scripture in a few simple phrases. Beautiful. This song helped us to turn the corner to singing more specifically about the resurrection and what Christ accomplished by it.

"Jesus Paid It All" - This hymn remains another one of my favorites. The additional chorus by Alex Nifong is a simple and beautiful expression of praise to Christ because of the gospel. I invited our congregation to lift their hands to exalt our God  and Savior. It was a powerful part of the service this weekend, and one of my personal highlights, as the church participated well on it.

"Christ Is Risen" - After a message about Christ's resurrection, I think it was a perfect song to respond with. I love how this song declares the victory of Christ over sin and death. It moves me and encourages me as we sing it together. Although our church has only sung it together one weekend before, we are singing it well together.

This was a great weekend of worshiping the risen Christ. Jesus was lifted high and exalted for who He is and what He has done. We tried some different things with the leading of the songs, with Sarah and I trading off verses on a few of the songs ("Stronger" and "Jesus Paid It All"), and I liked how that pulled both the ladies and the men into singing the melody together. I am so thankful to be a part of this team and this church. God is faithful. May we all live a life that reflects the reality that Jesus is no longer in the grave. He is alive!

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

In the Son,


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

Set List, 07/09 - 07/10/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on the subject of maturity from Philippians 4:2-7. Joe dealt with disagreements, rejoicing, and communicating our needs to God through prayer. His emphasis was that we should seek spiritual maturity and should turn to prayer first, to truly rely on God in everything. I was challenged by the call to pray first rather than worry or turn anywhere else. It is easy for us to turn elsewhere to seek help, but God should be the one we seek first. Our first thought should be toward God, to pour out our hearts to Him. Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Forever" (G) [Chris Tomlin] Call to Worship - "Unchanging" (G) [Chris Tomlin] Welcome/ Offering/ Announcements/ Greeting "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] "It Is Well" (Bb) [Horatio G. Spafford, Todd Fields] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman] Message - "An Appraisal of Maturity" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "From The Inside Out" [Joel Houston]

Because of the focus of this weekend, we went in the direction of prayer and trusting in God, which results in confidence and hope, and enables us to rejoice and to live in peace. "Forever" and "Unchanging" point to the faithfulness and immutability of God. "Let Me Sing" expresses the desire to worship God and thank Him for all that He is and all that He has done, specifically through the cross. "It Is Well" and "You Never Let Go" remind us that no matter what comes in this life, God is with us, and we have nothing to fear. They cling to the promises of Romans 8:28-39 and declare that we will trust in God, no matter what our circumstances are. Finally, "From The Inside Out" reminds us that the only way we will be able to grow towards spiritual maturity is through the power of Christ working within us.

"Forever" - This is a song that our congregation hasn't done in a while, and it was good to bring it to our attention again, because it communicates the essence of so many Psalms, where the psalmist calls the people of God to recall who God is and what He has done, and to respond with the statement, "His steadfast love endures forever" (e.g. Psalm 118 ESV).

"Unchanging" - This song focuses in on the truth of Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (ESV), along with the concept of God's "steadfast love." He never changes, and His love for us never changes. He is faithful and true, and He is constant. His promises are true because He is true. Our status with Him is assured because He is unchanging. I love the declaration of this song, because it reminds us of the truth of this great attribute of God.

"Let Me Sing" - This song hadn't been done with our congregation for a while, but it was one that I loved when I was serving in Florida. It does a good job of reminding us of the reason to worship Jesus - He bore our sins and died in our place to reconcile us to God. The chorus sings, "Let me sing/ Louder than creation to You/ For the pain You bore in Your body/ To bring my soul to You/ Let me shine/ Brighter than the stars in the sky/ An offering of praise all my life/ To You, my Holy King."

"It Is Well" - Earlier this week, my wife and I were watching a documentary about disaster flooding, and much of the episode was spent focused on New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. As we watched and saw images of the city and the flooding, my mind was overwhelmed with memories about that seemingly chaotic time in our lives together. I remember packing up on Saturday morning to head over to Baton Rouge for the "weekend" and ready to get back to school at the seminary on Monday. I remember loading up our cat, two of my guitars, some work clothes (for boarding up our friends' windows), and the few photo albums that we had unpacked (we only moved there four weeks earlier). On Sunday night, as the storm grew, we knew this was not going to be a small matter in our lives. We headed further north to increase our distance from the storm for the peace of mind of our families. As we drove, we had a serious talk about our situation, and the fact that we may lose all of our earthly possessions, aside from what we had in our tiny Honda Civic. We were confident that we would be okay, with or without all that "stuff." Our statement was, "It is just stuff. We are together and had each other. By the time we ended up at my mother-in-law's house in southern Illinois, the flooding began. And the possibility of losing all our material possessions began looking more like reality. This song really communicates our hearts during that time, and the lyric of the chorus says it especially well: "It is well, it is well/ Through the storm I am held/ It is well, it is well with my soul."

One confession about this one: in the third service this weekend (Sunday 9 AM), I mistakenly sang the second verse twice (once in place of the third verse). I'm not upset about singing that one twice, because it is probably the strongest one in the song, singing of our forgiveness through the cross. I didn't even realize I had started singing it again until midway through the verse. Whoops. :) Our Media Shout man, Shane, was all over it, and had it on the right verse before I even noticed I started verse 2 again. I was humbled, which is never a bad thing...

"You Never Let Go" - This is another song that expresses our confidence in our God and the fact that He is truly with us. He never leaves us and never forsakes. Indeed, He never lets go of us as His children, who have been adopted through Christ's sacrifice for us. This song really puts words to my trust, and encourages me to deepen that confidence in Christ.

"From The Inside Out" - We used this song for the angle of transformation, growth, and maturity, to support Joe's message. He said that we should desire spiritual maturity, because "the Lord is at hand." This song effectively communicates that desire to be transformed from within, and I feel that it was a good way to end our time together this weekend.

In all, it was a solid weekend. The team served really well in all of the services. I felt a little tired from a looming cold, but I was rejuvenated by our times together. Jesus was lifted high. He is faithful, and we have nothing to fear in Him. He is good, and His promises are true and unchanging. Let us each place our confidence in Him in every situation.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship! Join the discussion below: have you had a moment in leading when you messed up the words of a song? Check out The Worship Community to see what some other leaders experienced this weekend.

In the Son,



Set List 04/30 - 05/01/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend in worship, we began a new series, The Appraisal of All Things. In it, we are digging into the epistle of Philippians, where Paul communicates with the church at Philippi about what matters most. Our set for the series involves a junked 40's International truck and rusty tin, along with some junkyard images on our sidewalls. The thinking was that we are portraying things that were once very valuable, but now they are worthless pieces of junked rust. Paul said that he counted the things of this world "rubbish" in comparison to the joy of knowing Jesus Christ. Our hope through this series is for our church to put things in proper perspective, and "appraise" their worth in comparison to the matchless worth of Jesus. Here's our set from this weekend:

"All Because Of Jesus" (Bb) [Steve Fee] Call to Worship - Psalm 63:3-5 "Marvelous Light" (B) [Charlie Hall] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting Time "Your Grace Is Enough" (G) [Matt Maher] "Son of God" (G) [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran] "Wonderful Maker" (G) [Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin] Message - "The Appraisal of All Things: He Who Began a Good Work in You" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "From the Inside Out" (C) [Joel Houston] 

(This will be a brief recap, because I am about to leave on a 23-hour road trip to visit friends and family in Florida.)

Because the thrust of Joe's message was going to be on Philippians 1:6, "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (ESV), I went with the theme of God creating us--both in the beginning and through Christ. Along these lines, we opened our services with "All Because of Jesus," which emphasizes how the Lord is the giver and sustainer of physical life, as well as how He is the giver and sustainer of spiritual life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was exactly the angle I was going for in our theme for worship this weekend.

During the call to worship we tried something new (it was new to me, too), and began to teach our congregation about different Biblical expressions of worship, mostly described in the Psalms. This weekend, we taught our congregation about lifting their hands in worship. I read from Psalm 63:3-5, which ends by stating, "So I will bless You as long as I live; In Your name I will lift up my hands" (ESV). I had them raise one hand while we prayed together, just as a way to practice the expression in a non-threatening environment, where everyone was doing it together. I could tell that some people felt a little awkward, but it was a learning moment, and I believe it was healthy for our congregation. The idea of going through the Biblical expressions of worship with a congregation was not original from me--I got the idea from Paul Baloche at a worship conference in Florida. I thought it was a brilliant way to expand a church's horizons and give them more understanding of ways that they can Biblically express themselves to God. I will keep you updated about how it progresses.

After the call to worship, we jumped into “Marvelous Light,” to declare how we have been transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of Jesus—the kingdom of light. The chorus is always powerful: “Into marvelous light I’m running/ Out of darkness, out of shame/ By the cross You are the truth, You are the life, You are the way.” My favorite part of the song, however, is the pre-chorus, which sings, “Sin has lost its power/ Death has lost its sting/ From the grave You’ve risen/ Victoriously!” When we go strong on that part after the instrumental break, I am always pumped up. Does our celebration in Christ get wrapped up much more succinctly? I can’t think of a lyric that says it better.

For the second set, we sang “Your Grace Is Enough,” “Son of God,” and “Wonderful Maker.” “Your Grace Is Enough” is a staple, and very familiar with our people. For years, I sang Chris Tomlin’s version of the song, which adds the variations of the chorus at the end. Only recently, as I have tried to make the songs we sing more accessible for congregations, have I sung Matt Maher’s version, without the additional choruses. I feel it is easier for people to sing with the original choruses, and the additional ones can be somewhat confusing because the rhythm of the lyric changes somewhat. If we are trying to get our people to engage and participate, I believe the original choruses are the way to go.

We also continued teaching Starfield’s “Son of God,” which continues to gain strength in our congregation. The simple melody, and clear and concise lyric connects well. We will continue teaching it for one more week, and then give it a break for a few weeks to bring it back later as a refresher. The focus of the song fits well with Philippians, so it will probably make a few appearances over the next 16 weeks or so as we journey through the book.

We finished this set with “Wonderful Maker,” which was part of a revolution in my thinking regarding worship music. Until I encountered this song, I was drawn to the emotional songs that focused on how I felt and what I needed. When I first heard this song, I was confronted with a song that has only one occurrence of first person, when it sings, “And we have only heard/ The faintest whispers of how great You are.” The rest of the song speaks only of God, His greatness, and His goodness. It was refreshing, to say the least, and it challenged my priorities in worship. Was I participating only for what I could get out of it? Was my worship selfish or self-centered? Or was I doing it only because the Godhead is worthy of all my praise and glory? These questions made me reevaluate my choices regarding worship and the way I led worship through music. As a result, I try to spend the majority of our worship time focusing on God--who He is and what He has done—and less time worrying about us. Worship is about God. He is worthy of my praise, no matter what I am dealing with or think I need. He has paid the price for our redemption and rescue, and He is ultimately more valuable than anything, or anyone, else.

We responded to Joe’s message about God’s “good work” in us by singing “From The Inside Out,” which is another well-known song for Fellowship. I love the dynamics of this song, how it builds from quiet reflection on our weaknesses to committed, sincere praise to the everlasting God, the one whose worth and power never diminishes.

The recurring themes throughout this weekend’s music were Jesus’ surpassing worth and creative activity. It was time well spent.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were. Be sure to check out The Worship Community to see what other believers experienced in their worship gatherings this past weekend.

I will be out this next week on vacation, so I won’t have a set list for next weekend. I may have our Next Gen worship leader, Erik Oldberg (he doesn’t know it yet), put some of his thoughts down from leading the weekend services for me.

In the Son,


Set List, 01/29 - 1/30/11 Fellowship Bible Church

Here's our set from this weekend, which was also our baptism weekend at Fellowship: Pre-service: "Happy Day" [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] Call to Worship - Psalm 47 "All Because of Jesus" [Steve Fee] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting Time Focus passage for second set - Ephesians 2:1-10 "Jesus Messiah" [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves] "Son of God" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, and Gordon Cochran] "The Stand" [Joel Houston] Message - Pastor Joe Hishmeh Baptisms/Testimonies Response: "Jesus Paid It All" [Alex Nifong, Elvina M. Hall, John Thomas Grape]

This weekend was my second week leading Fellowship Bible Church in worship, and I thought it went well, and that God was glorified. I have many dreams and ideas for the future of our Worship & Arts ministry, but it doesn't all happen over night, and I am looking forward to building these things and making these ideas happen here in the near future.

We opened up with "Happy Day" as some people were still entering the worship center. We had to cut this song for the fourth service, because the baptisms went a little long, and our two services ran into one another, creating quite the traffic jam as people were coming and going. This song is fairly new to this congregation, so it was another teaching moment. I used this song during one of my trips up here to interview with the church, and this weekend was the second time they have sung it. With that in mind, it did seem that the people were with it and participating.

The second song was "All Because of Jesus," and it followed a call to worship, in which the Word of God challenged us in Psalm 47 to clap our hands and to sing praises to our God, the great King over all the universe. I made the comparison between the way we cheer for our favorite sports teams, with loud clapping and shouting, and the way we worship our God. I challenged our people to offer at least as much energy to our God, who is infinitely more worthy than a sports team (especially the Cleveland teams that I root for...).

After the welcome, offering, announcements, and greeting time, we moved into a time of worship focused on the idea of Ephesians 2:1-10, specifically how God made us alive together with Christ when we were dead in our sins and transgressions. We were completely hopeless for eternity before He intervened and rescued us. Because of His great gift for us, we ought to respond with our lives as living acts of worship. The next three songs, "Jesus Messiah," "Son of God," and "The Stand," followed that focus.

"Jesus Messiah" and "The Stand" were both very familiar to the congregation, so they engaged well with it. "Son of God" was new to Fellowship, and is a song that I believe the Church should be singing. It does a good job of describing the story of Jesus, from shaping the stars to fulfilling the prophecy of the Messiah. It wraps it up nicely with a simple, solid chorus ("Jesus, O Holy One/ I sing to You, forgiven/ Savior, I'm overcome/ With Your great love for me") and bridge ("You are worthy/ You are worthy/ You are worthy of all my praise/ You are beautiful/ You are beautiful/ I will lift up my hands and sing").

Pastor Joe's message focused on the life of Saul/Paul as an example for us to describe how God's story has intersected our own story and taken it over, transforming our lives from one centered on ourselves to one that is properly centered on Jesus Christ. After he shared, we baptized people who had signed up and prepared a testimony to share how God had rescued them.

We wrapped it all up with "Jesus Paid It All" as the response song. It's hard to go wrong with that song, as the hymn does a great job of examining our own weakness and dependence on Jesus for our every need, and the additional chorus by Alex Nifong is a beautiful, concise expression of thanksgiving for what Christ has done: "O praise the One/ Who paid my debt/ And raised this life/ Up from the dead". This is another song that I believe the Church needs to sing, because of the powerful truth which it contains.

Three of the four services went without a snag. The third service (Sunday, 9 AM) went a little long because some fo the testimonies were longer than we had planned for. It was a moment where we have to remind ourselves of the reasons we gather together. One of those reasons is to see lives changed, regardless of how long it takes. Sometimes our organization and systems can make it easy to lose track of the things of most importance, because we're concerned about someone complaining or having to change our plans. While I don't prefer to make a habit of this kind of thing (going 30 minutes over our scheduled time), I am reminded that this morning we were witnesses of God's amazing grace and power in the lives of His people. I am thankful that He still moves in such amazing ways, and that He still rescues, just as He rescued me.

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

In the Son,


Sunday Set Lists

Set List, Sunday 03/14/10, Church at the Mall

Currently watching: Toy Story. Here's our set from this morning:

"Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" [Paul Baloche] "Faithful One" [original] "Unchanging" [Chris Tomlin] "We Crown You" [Steve Fee] "The Stand" [Joel Houston] Response: "It is Well" [traditional, arr. Todd Fields]

Today was Daylight Savings Time, and we all "sprung forward" and lost an hour. Today is one of those days when it is a little more difficult to get going, and to get everyone else going as well. It turned out to be a great day despite the fact that most people lost an hour of sleep. We started out a little differently this morning, using the pre-chorus of Paul Baloche's "Hosanna," which sings, "When we see You, we find strength to face the day/In Your presence, all our fears are washed away." It served as an opportunity to focus, and I think the change made for a good moment. We then went to one of my originals, "Faithful One." Pastor Jay was focusing on the Holy Spirit and our prayer life this morning, so I went the route of God's faithfulness and immutability. Tomlin's "Unchanging" served that same purpose this morning, and the chorus lyric, "So we raise up holy hands/To praise the holy One/Who was, and is, and is to come," gives our people freedom/permission to raise their hands and express their praise in that way. This song is one of my favorite Tomlin tunes, because it expresses some great truths in it.

From there, we moved to Fee's "We Crown You," teaching it for the second week. While this song is a great song, I don't think our people are connecting with it. Maybe it's too difficult to sing with. Maybe it would serve better as a special/solo kind of tune. I can count on one hand the times that I really thought a song would work and it fell flat like that. "Faithful" by Alex Nifong was another one that did that. Oh well. Sometimes, you never know until you try!

We closed the first set by tagging the chorus of Joel Houston's "The Stand." This was the first time we've used this tune at all, and people caught on quickly and engaged with the song in a beautiful way. I was a little surprised by that, to be honest. It really is a great lyric, and I have wanted to use it for a while. If you have never heard it, I encourage you to check it out. We'll definitely make use of it again in the near future.

It was a great day, despite the fact that I was up late working on my Greek homework. Staying up one hour later than normal instantly became two hours late. Like I always say, "You gotta do what you gotta do." God can move in big ways, even when I am tired and weak, proving once more: it's not about me. Not even in the least.

I hope you all had a great morning with your churches, and that the Lord is moving in your midst.



Be sure to check out TheWorshipCommunity's Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders and churches did in worship this weekend.