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

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

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

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

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

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

I hope you had a great weekend!

in the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 08/01 - 08/02/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

Below is a recap of both our services and our worship night from this past weekend. It was a fantastic weekend of worship together! - bh

Weekend Worship Services

"It is Finished" [Dustin Kensrue]
"There is a Fountain" [William Cowper, Zach Bolen]
"Before the Throne" [Charitie Lees Bancroft, The Modern Post]
"Son of God" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]
"Rock of Ages" [Augustus M. Toplady, Thomas Hastings]
"Lord, I Need You" [Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson]

 

Worship Night

"Lead Me to the Cross" [Brooke Ligertwood]
"10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)" [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman]
"A Mighty Fortress" [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
"Great Are You Lord" [Jason Ingram, Leslie Jordan, David Leonard]
"Lamb of God" [Jason Ingram, Andi Rozier, Meredith Andrews]
"Jesus Paid It All" [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong]
"This is Amazing Grace" [Josh Farro, Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
"Made Alive" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
"It is Finished" [Dustin Kensrue]
"Forever (We Sing Hallelujah)" [Brian Johnson, Kari Jobe, Jenn Johnson, Gabriel Wilson, Joel Taylor, Christa Black Gifford]
"He is Jesus" [Heath Balltzglier, Matthew Melton, Steve Fee]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Rise and Sing" [Steve Fee]
"Jesus!" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]

Set List, 01/21 - 01/22/12 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we returned to finish our heaven series, "Heaven Revealed."  Joe shared about the purpose of heaven and how we can be prepared for heaven. I really loved spending the time this weekend trying to get our hearts and minds around a clearer vision of heaven. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Jesus You" (E) [Bill Horn] Call To Worship "Sing To The King" (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne] Welcome/Greeting Time "Happy Day" (B) [Ben Cantelon, Tim Hughes] "Glorious Day" (B) [Michael Bleecker, J. Wilbur Chapman] "Jesus Paid It All" (B) [Elvina M. Hall, John Thomas Grape, Alex Nifong] Message - "Heaven Revealed, Pt. 2" [Joe Hishmeh] "Revelation Song" (C) [Jennie Lee Riddle] Offering/Announcements Dismissal

"Jesus You" - We sang this song as our preparation song this weekend. This is an original song that came from a study of the book of Romans, especially chapters three through five. We sang it for the preparation time this week because the song ends by pointing to eternity: "Now Death, where is your sting?/ You send me home, where forever I will sing/ You, Jesus, You." We have no need to fear death if we are in Christ. Death only sends us to our true home - the presence of Jesus.

"Sing To The King" - This was our opener this week. This song was used because it points to Christ's ultimate victory, which gives us the promise of a future together with Him in heaven. The focus of this song certainly gives reason for celebration!

"Happy Day" - We sang this song primarily because of the second verse: "When I stand in that place/ Free at last, meeting face to face/ I am Yours, Jesus, You are mine/ Endless joy and perfect peace/ Earthly pain finally will cease/ Celebrate, Jesus is alive/ He's alive!" Once again, it is because of the salvation we have in Christ that we can look forward in anticipation of the day when we see Jesus face to face. All tears and sorrow will be gone, and we will experience a joy that defies description!

"Glorious Day" - This song is still fairly new to our congregation, being that we only started singing it a few weeks ago. You can read more of my thoughts on the song here. This week, we decided to bring it down another half-step to B to see if it would be even easier for our congregation to sing.

"Jesus Paid It All" - This song is a staple for our church, and we sang it because it celebrates the one who resurrected us from spiritual death - Jesus Christ. He is the reason we have life. He is the one who has saved us. We did not (and could not) save ourselves. We owe all thanks, praise, and honor to Him. He is the one who paid our debt and raised these lives up from the dead!

"Revelation Song" - This was our response song this weekend. It was one that I had planned on doing for this series when we first started talking about it, and when we sang it for the "Heaven Is For Real" event this past Sunday night, it became a natural tie to this weekend as we concluded our formal discussion on heaven in our services this weekend.

This weekend was really powerful, and we experienced the presence of Christ as we worshiped in our services. Our team did a great job, and our congregation sang like crazy, which was exciting to witness. I am overwhelmed by the goodness of Christ in His promise of heaven for us. I can't wait to see Him face to face.

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,

Bill

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

Set List, 08/27 - 08/28/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on the subject of transformational worship. Joe's point was that we become like whatever we worship. We are transformed by the object of our worship. When we are worshiping the things of this world, we become more like them, and take on their characteristics. He called us to preparation for worship, presentation of our lives as living sacrifices, and participation in God's calling on us.

Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Only a Word" (E) [original] Time of Preparation (a time of confession and focus in prayer) Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship - Rom. 12:1-2 "Glory to God Forever" (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching] "The Lost Are Found" (Bb) [Ben Fielding, Sam Knock] "Lord of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] "Jesus Paid It All" (Bb) [Elvina M. Hall, John Thomas Grape, Alex Nifong] Message - "Upgrade - Worship" [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Announcements Response - "Let Me Sing" [Todd Fields] Dismissal 

"Only a Word" - I've wanted to sing this song here for a while. We used it because it sets a good tone for worship by recognizing God's power to change us and to change the world, and helps us develop an expectation for Him to move in our midst, because "nothing impossible with God" (Luke 1:37). The thought of this song that it only takes one word from God to change everything. Scripture shares the phrase that God said in creation, "Let there be..." That was all it took. I don't think He needed to say anything, but it simply communicates how easy it is for God to transform our reality. He is able and powerful. I have been reading through Tozer's The Knowledge Of The Holy, and he repeatedly states the fact that nothing is difficult for God. He never needs to rest after working. He has everything He needs to do anything He wants whenever He wants to do it. Through that book, I have been reminded that God is truly able.

Here's the lyric from the song:

"Only a Word" Words and Music by Bill Horn

VERSE 1 With a word You throw the spheres and space is formed With Your voice You fill the void with light and worlds With Your arm You carve the ocean from the shore With a breath You move the dust and life is born

CHORUS With only a word, stars come blazing forth Only one verb, and darkness is no more Only Your voice, can pierce us through, O Lord This world can be transformed, with only a word

VERSE 2 With a thought You ease the waves and still the sea With Your hand You touch the blind and let him see With a song You make the prison doors break free Everything can change when You say, “Let it be”

BRIDGE The sun aligns with You For You are the truth You are reality Before everything

"Glory to God Forever" - We prefaced this song with Romans 12:1-2 as our call to worship. I felt it was a good way to start a week that focused on worship, because we need to fight hard to correct the misperception that worship through music is all there is to worship. The proper posture of the worshiping heart is summed up in the bridge: "Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours."

"The Lost Are Found" - This was a new song for our congregation this week. Joe asked if we could teach it, because it really ties into the subjects of worship (the song of the redeemed/Lordship of Christ/making all things new) and outreach (which we'll be focusing on next week. This is a good song with a simple a strong lyric. I really like what is technically the bridge of the song, which sings, "The lost are found, the blind will see/ The lame will walk, the dead will live/ And You our God, forever You will reign." In teaching the song, I called our people to remember and look forward to the day of Christ's return, when He makes all things new and rights all the wrongs in this world. We look forward to this day with hope, and it should change our perspective on daily life.

"Lord of All" - We sang this song because it helps is get a proper perspective on who the Lord is  - the Lord of all and King of kings. I love singing this song together. We had one hiccup in the 3rd service on this one, where our drummer Jordan's kick pedal broke toward the end of "The Lost Are Found" and was broken throughout this song. Our tech director, Wyatt, was able to grab a replacement from one of our other venues and get it installed for the end of the song. It was a good reminder of what is truly important in our worship services, and it was fitting in the week about worship. The band and technology are nice, but they are extras that can possibly make it easier for us to worship God by connecting our head and our hearts. However, they are by no means essential, and we all ought to be able to worship the Lord just as well without an instrument as with the full band.

"Jesus Paid It All" - We sang this song because there is no greater reason for us to worship than the gospel of Christ. We were dead, and now we are alive in Him. We were enemies, and now we are heirs together with Christ. Could there be a greater reason to be thankful and worship our great God?

"Let Me Sing" - I think this was a fitting response to our pastor's message this weekend, because it expresses a desire to live a life that worships God greater than anything else in creation. 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." I think this sums up my thinking about the entire service. Our greatest reason for worship is the gospel, and the kind of worship God deserves is that which comes from an entire life lived for Him.

We had a good weekend of corporate worship, focusing on the subject of lifestyle worship. I enjoyed how the different elements connected and interplayed. It seems like God made it all fit together to communicate a single message: worship is life.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship!

In the Son,

Bill

p.s. Don't forget to check out The Worship Community to see what other leaders did this weekend!

Set List, 07/30 - 07/31/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, preached from Philippians 4:14-23 to talk about "An Appraisal of Giving." It was a challenging message regarding stewardship and generosity in our lives, with the proper perspective on our resources being that God is the giver and owner of those things anyway. Also, we can give in such a way as to give God the glory He deserves, in an act of worship through giving. I believe we were all called through the word to live simply so we could all be more generous, for the purpose of advancing the kingdom of God, and investing in the things that last: God, His Word, and people. For our song selection process, we emphasized how God gave first. He demonstrated His great love for us by giving Jesus to die in our place for our sins (John 3:16-17). Our giving is merely a response to His goodness and love for us.

Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "All Because of Jesus" (Bb) [Steve Fee] Call To Worship/Prayer "Blessed Be Your Name" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting Time "I Stand Amazed" (D) [Charles Hutchinson Gabriel] "Lord of Lords" (D) [Brooke Fraser] "Jesus Paid It All" (B) [Elvina Mabel Hall, John Thomas Grape, Alex Nifong] Message - "An Appraisal of Giving (Philippians 4:14-23)" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "Take My Life And Let It Be" [Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan] 

This weekend was a good weekend of worship. We tried a few new things and stretched a little, and I think it was healthy for the church and for the team. For one, I played electric guitar for the majority of our worship set. I definitely felt stretched. Becky Tindell did a great job on rhythm acoustic guitar and leading.

"All Because of Jesus" - This song is a solid part of our worship vocabulary, and our congregation always engages with it and participates. This song served the purpose of reminding us that everything we have is because of God's grace and goodness. This idea is foundational for us to understand what generosity really means.

"Blessed Be Your Name" - This song was used primarily for the bridge: "You give and take away/ You give and take away/ My heart will choose to say/ Lord, blessed be Your name." We

"I Stand Amazed" - Becky Tindell led this song, and she did a great job. She is one of our newest leaders, and she has been faithfully serving and leading with our Children's ministry called the Mountain. This was the first time I have had this song in a "girl" key, and I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed being able to play lead on this one, in particular. I love the chord progressions of both the verse and the chorus, and it makes room for some interesting melodic lines.

"Lord of Lords" - Becky also led this song. I love how this song helps us to picture the throne room of heaven, and to see Jesus as the Lamb of God seated on that throne.

"Jesus Paid It All" - This song is a staple here, and one that our congregation still connects with well. This song reminded us again that Jesus gave first, and our giving of our lives in obedience and worship is right response to who He is and what He has done.

"Take My Life And Let It Be" - This hymn was chosen mainly for the final verse, which speaks to our money and our mind being given as an act of worship to our King. I love how the congregation sings out on this song, and I think it something we need to reflect on frequently - that all aspects of our lives would be dedicated to worshiping Jesus.

I was encouraged by this weekend, and really enjoyed our times of worship together. May we be generous with our lives for the King and for His kingdom.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship as well. Check out The Worship Community to see what other worshipers experienced and why.

Let me know your thoughts! I love your opinions and feedback.

In the Son,

Bill

Set List, 06/11 - 06/12/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on Philippians 2:19-30, where Paul commends Timothy and Epaphroditus, pointing out their sacrificial service for the gospel and for the Philippian believers. The call for us this week is to live a life of ministry, leveraging everything we are and have for the purposes of God and His kingdom. Because of His worth, we should put everything, even our lives, on the line for His sake. Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "I Will Go" (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld] Call to Worship - Isaiah 40:28-29, 31 "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting "Glory to God Forever" (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching] "Always" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram] "Jesus Paid It All" (Bb) [John Thomas Grape, Elvina M. Hall, and Alex Nifong] Message - The Appraisal of All Things: A New Appraisal of Ministry [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "Take My Life And Let It Be" (D) [Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan] 

"I Will Go" - This song is a strong call for us to lay down privilege and blessing for the sake of Christ, reaching out to the hurting and the helpless in our world. We used this song because Joe's message was focusing in on the life that is laid down for Christ and His purposes, and the conscious decision to sacrifice, which goes against our nature.  I think this song may still be a little surprising to our congregation, just because the sound is a little "edgy." I think I may play with the arrangement and/or presentation of the song in the future. This song is definitely worth singing, because it is a challenging call on each of our lives. May the cry of our hearts be with that of Isaiah, as the song sings, "I will go, I will go/ I will go, Lord, send me/ To the world, to the lost/ To the poor and hungry/ Take everything I am/ I'm clay within Your hands/ I will go, I will go, send me."

"Everlasting God" - Coming out of our call to worship from Isaiah 40, I wanted to make the challenge to our people that God calls us to imitate Him and His character, and what Scripture says of Him it also, in a way, challenges us to be the same. In the Isaiah passage it describes God as not fainting or growing weary. At the end of the chapter, it says that the ones who wait on the Lord and find their strength in Him will not faint or grow weary, either. In the midst of this, it describes God as helping the faint and the one without strength (us). We should of the same mind, helping those in need and those who are powerless. This song points out these characteristics of God, and as we sing them, I am challenged that the things He cares about are the things I should care about, too. His priorities are the only right priorities, because He is God. This is a song that our congregation engages easily with but I wanted to approach it from a different angle, to keep us thinking about what we're singing, so that it doesn't lose its impact.

"Glory to God Forever" - I have commented many times before, but the bridge of this song is a beautifully simple prayer for God to use our lives for what matters: Him and His glory! "Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours." I strive to make this my prayer each time I sing it.

"Always" - This was the second week of teaching this song. I decided to bring it down a half-step to Bb to see how the congregation sings with it there. This song is tricky in that regard, because the verse is pretty low while the chorus reaches fairly high. In Bb, the verse goes all the way down to a G. In the key of Bb, it still seemed that the chorus was hard to reach. Some of the quiet response to the song may be due to the newness of the song, so we'll leave it where it is for another week to see if it changes. The lyric continues to resonate with me, and reminds me that my strength and my hope are only in Jesus, and not in my abilities, talent, knowledge, strength, or anything else on this earth. It is only in Him. He is the only one who is able to rescue me and change me. The battles of this life belong to Him.

"Jesus Paid It All" - This song points to the cross and the price Jesus paid, in our place for our sins. The only proper response will be something like, "All to Him I owe." Our response to His grace, love, and sacrifice does not earn salvation for us, but it is a response of thanksgiving for the amazing free gift He gave us. He is so good to us, and loved us even when we were His enemies! This is what I shared with our congregation before we sang it together, because it is so easy for us to drift into the mentality that what we do can make God like us more. We cannot be any more acceptable to God than through the finished work of Jesus Christ in His atoning death and His resurrection. He has made the way for us to be right with God, and now we are free to love and to serve without another thought for ourselves. I have been reading Martin Luther's On Christian Liberty (aka The Freedom of the Christian) this past week, and it sparked a thought: because of Christ's selfless and sacrificial life and death for us, we can now be truly selfless. In the paradigms where we think our own works make us righteous before God, even the smallest good deed has a selfish twist to it, because we are trying to make ourselves acceptable to God. In Christ, we don't have to think that way anymore. We can truly love and serve without thinking of ourselves, because Christ has thought of us and gave Himself for us. His selflessness made it possible for us to be truly selfless. It's the only way that we could be truly selfless. We owe our lives to Jesus, expressed in our love for Him and for others.

"Take My Life And Let It Be" - I got the idea for this arrangement from Andrew Osenga's former band, The Normals. On the 21st track (the bonus track), they had a really nice acoustic arrangement of this song, with a beautiful introduction. I tweaked the idea a bit for congregational use, and brought it down to the key of D to make it a little easier to sing. I love the focus of this song, and I felt it was a great fit for Joe's message this week. This song is a simple prayer for God to use everything about us (our life, our hands, our feet, our lips) for Him and His purposes, sanctifying them in using them for His glory.

It was a good week of worship. We are still struggling to get everyone awake and aware at our 9 AM service on Sundays, but  by the end of the song set, I think we were focused on the gospel, and ready to obey the Word of God. Overall, the congregation's response seemed a little quieter and weaker. I'm trying to figure out to what it can be attributed. Maybe the first song got us started on the wrong foot, even though the message was on point. Maybe the rainy/cloudy weather had everyone a little down compared to normal. It still surprises me how we can do things in very similar ways, yet have very different responses and engagement from a congregation. It just goes to show that it is not about us. We are just facilitators, trying to make it as easy as possible for people to see Jesus Christ and all His glory, and to see what the proper response is to who He is and what He has done.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were, and that you were a part of lifting up the name of Jesus!

Join the discussion below! I would love to hear your thoughts. What are some things that have helped your congregation "wake up" in early morning services? What are some things you have tried that help your congregation engage in your context?

In the Son,

Bill

p.s. be sure to check out The Worship Community's Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders and worshipers experienced this weekend with their communities.

Set List, 04/22 - 04/24/11 Fellowship Bible Church

Jesus is risen! He has conquered sin and death, and He reigns forevermore. This weekend holds so much meaning for the church, and it was truly a joy to celebrate Christ's resurrection together. This weekend, we had two services on Good Friday, and then six Easter services through Saturday and Sunday (two on Saturday and four on Sunday). It was a marathon, but it was completely worth it. I am so proud of our team for stepping up and serving with excellence in all of the services, giving their best for our Savior and His church. Here's our set from Good Friday:

"Jesus Messiah" (G) [Chris Tomlin, Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, and Ed Cash] "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] "Lamb of God" (G) [Bill Horn] Message - "The Heroic Rescue of Humanity: Jesus the Savior" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "The Wonderful Cross" [Isaac Watts, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Lowell Mason, J.D. Watts] Communion Intro "Nothing But The Blood" [Matt Redman] "You Saw Me" [Mia Fieldes, Ben Fielding, and Reuben Morgan] Taking of the elements Dismissal 

And here's how we celebrated the resurrection in our Easter services: Pre-service - "God is Alive" (A) [Steve Fee and Eddie Kirkland] Call to worship - Mark 16:4-6 "Happy Day" (Bb) [Tim Hughes and Ben Cantelon] Welcome/ Offering/ Announcements/ Greeting time "You Alone Can Rescue" (Bb) [Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin] "Stronger" (Bb) [Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan] Message - "The Heroic Rescue of Humanity: Jesus the Restorer" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "Jesus Paid It All" [John Thomas Grape, Elvina M. Hall, and Alex Nifong] Dismissal - Joe Hishmeh

I am thrilled with how this weekend's services went. Our Good Friday services were sweet times of reflection on the cross and on Jesus sacrifice for us. We used a distinct instrumentation for the service, with predominantly acoustic instruments. We had two standard acoustics, a high-strung acoustic (Nashville tuning), viola, fretless bass, and a percussion set up for our drummer with djembe and cajon and a few toys. It was very organic in the way that we put the songs together and in the way we presented it. I thought it came across the way we wanted, and people were pointed to the cross. We had the large, wooden cross lit in all red, and the band was all in black in the background on the stage, and that helped to communicate the desired focus for the evening. In all, it was a strong and sincere evening. Good Friday is one of my favorite occasions for worship, as we praise our Savior for His great sacrifice on our behalf--in our place, for our sins.

One Easter, we pulled out the stops, and pushed things forward a bit with some new elements. We opened the pre-service time with "God is Alive," and we used a brand-new element in our context: our drummer, Jordan, is a master beat producer, and he brought out his Akai MPC 4000 to create a loop to play underneath the whole song, which would be brought into focus during the intro and the breaks. I was giddy when he put it all together and we started to play together as a band. It was such a fresh addition to what we have been doing, and it is and element that I have wanted to incorporate (in any worship setting) for years. The click track was step one to getting to this point, and we got here a lot quicker than I anticipated. It was pretty special to finally experience it in that way. I thought it added even more energy to an already exciting song. It was a perfect moment for me, as we sang out "Everyone/ Glorify the risen Son/ The Holy One has overcome/ Jesus is alive/ The enemy/ Is broken underneath His feet/ Death is crushed in victory/ Jesus is alive/ Jesus is alive." It's a beautiful thing!

We followed the call to worship with "Happy Day," which felt like a great fit for the weekend. This song was a little more familiar to our congregation, so they sang out and participated more than on "God is Alive" (which is part of why we did "God is Alive" in the pre-service slot). I love the truth in this song, and I think it is one of Tim Hughes' best songs. He captures the gospel message clearly and simply. The verses say it well: "The greatest day in history/ Death is beaten, You have rescued me/ Sing out, Jesus is alive/ The empty cross, the empty grave/ Life eternal, You have won the day/ Shout it out, Jesus is alive/ He's alive!"

After the welcome time, we moved to "You Alone Can Rescue" and "Stronger," which are two songs that focus on God's unique ability to save us and rescue us from sin and death, and to give us eternal life. I love the choruses of each of the songs. "You Alone Can Rescue" sings, "You alone can rescue/ You alone can save/ You alone can lift us from the grave/ You came down to find us/ Led us out of death/ To You alone belong the highest praise." In particular, my favorite line is the one that describes the divine condescension, His coming down to find us and leading us out of death. I am moved as I sing those words. This song really took hold with me as Matt Redman led at a week-long event in Daytona Beach last summer, and the weight of these words really landed. It remains a powerful expression of worship for me. The chorus of "Stronger" 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." This echoes Scripture in a few places, one of which is Philippians 2, where Paul writes that "Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:8-11 NASB).  Because of Jesus' humble and obedient sacrifice to conquer sin and death, He now has the name which is above every name. He is Lord of all, and worthy of being worshiped as such.

We finished the service by responding with "Jesus Paid It All," but we did it a little differently than we had previously. We treated the original hymn in a very standard way. We played it in a way that would be very familiar for guests and regular attenders alike, in a gentle and slowly building manner. Then, we finished with an instrumental chorus, with the piano playing the melody. When we landed on the tonic chord (Bb), we let it ring out, and then quietly sang Alex Nifong's added chorus: "O praise the One/ Who paid my debt/ And raised this life/ Up from the dead." We went from gentle to full-bore in a matter of moments, and it was a powerful moment as we declared praise and truth about our risen King, who has also given us life when we were dead in our sins and transgressions (Eph. 2). It was a great fit with Joe's message this weekend, which talked about two ways to live - either submitted to Jesus as the true King by faith and trust in His finished work on the cross to make things right; or attempting to reign over our own lives and to make things right on our own, unsuccessfully.

Our Easter weekend has been a true highlight of my time with Fellowship thus far. I can't wait for us to continue to develop things and build from here. We have an amazing Worship and Arts team here, and I love their servant hearts. God is doing great things among us. He is alive and moving in His church!

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

In the name of the risen Son!

Bill

Set List, 02/26 - 02/27/11 Fellowship Bible Church

Here's our set from this weekend: "All Because of Jesus" (A) [Steve Fee] Call to Worship "Happy Day" (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] Welcome/Announcements/Greeting Time "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] "You Alone Can Rescue" (Bb) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman] "Jesus Paid It All" (Bb) [John Thomas Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong] Message - "I Believe God Acted - Redemption" [David Hinkle] Response - "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" (Eb) [Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees]

I feel like this week was another step forward for our team and our congregation. We took more steps to make it easier to participate - we brought some songs down to a lower key, and we were more intentional about teaching new material. It seemed like there was more participation overall in each of the four services, which is exciting and encouraging. The team felt locked-in (most of the time), and I felt like we were engaged in worship as we were leading the congregation, as well.

We brought "All Because of Jesus" down to the key of A from the usual key of B, and we brought "Happy Day" down to Bb from B. Both were good moves, as the people sang out more on both. When I took a close look at the lead sheets this week, I noticed that both of these songs had parts of the melody that went well beyond the range of the "normal" voice, from C to C. We brought them both down to get them close. They still weren't entirely in the desired range, but if we lowered them much more, the verses would bottom out! That's one of the biggest problems with some modern worship songs - the low verses and high choruses make it difficult to get them into a normal person's vocal range. We'll keep working on it, though!

"Jesus Messiah" is one of the 21 songs we have done more than five times over the past year, and therefore is one that I would be safe in saying we know as a congregation. It showed as people sang it out and connected with God through it. I love the lyric of this song, as it really declares the gospel clearly, and finishes it all off with the simple, powerful bridge: "All our hope is in You/ All our hope is in You/ All the glory to You, God/ The Light of the world." Jesus is our only hope of salvation. Enough said.

Also, this week we introduced "You Alone Can Rescue" by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman. When I initially heard this song done live by Matt Redman, I was very excited about it, but when I heard the recorded version, I was a little underwhelmed, so I put it off for a while. However, when Matt led at Student Life in Daytona this past summer, I was reminded again how powerful this song is. It is a simple lyric, but proclaims a powerful truth - that Jesus is the only one who can save us. Here's the lyric:

Verse 1 Who, O Lord, could save themselves Their own soul could heal Our shame was deeper than the sea Your grace is deeper still

Chorus And You alone can rescue, You alone can save You alone can lift us from the grave You came down to find us, led us out of death To You alone belongs the highest praise

Verse 2 You, O Lord, have made a way The great divide You healed For when our hearts were far away Your love went further still Yes, Your love goes further still

Bridge We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes You're the giver of life We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes You're the giver of life

Even typing the lyric of this song is bringing me to tears. What a beautiful expression of confidence in Christ alone for our rescue and salvation. We have no hope apart from Him! His humble, loving sacrifice is the only way for us to be rescued; the fact that He chose to redeem us at such a great cost to Himself is overwhelming. This song brings this into clear focus, and is a beautiful expression of thanksgiving and recognition of the work of Jesus Christ to save us. He, and He alone, is the one who can rescue, who can save us, who can lift us from the grave. This is because He is the one who came down to find us a lead us out of death. Scripture says that Jesus' efforts to rescue us are the reason God has given Him the name above every name (Philippians 2). I know this is the reason I worship Him. He is so good, while I am still so undeserving of it. My life is completely dependent on His grace and finished work of the cross.

We bracketed the message about our redemption with Alex Nifong's arrangement of "Jesus Paid It All" and Tomlin's "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)." These two songs never get old to me, because there is beauty in the simplicity of their declarations. I never tire of singing, "O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead." On "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" Kelsey Thomsen and I traded off on the verse. She did a great job leading, and I think it facilitated a very powerful moment of worship, especially after David's weighty message about our redemption. I loved his words about what God has done to rescue us! We owe it all to Jesus Christ, who made a way where there was no way.

I love my church, and I am very excited about what is going on around here. We are learning and growing together, and we are pursuing Jesus Christ and His gospel. Jesus, and His work to redeem us, was truly lifted high this weekend. I am so grateful for how He has rescued us. He is truly my only hope!

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

Jesus alone is worthy!

Bill

Sunday Set Lists