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

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

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

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

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

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

I hope you had a great weekend!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - 03/26 - 03/27/17

It has been a while! It's been a busy month, but it's time to get back on the wagon with the blog posts recapping our weekends. This weekend was our next to last in our series through the Sermon on the Mount,  The Way of Life. In his message, Joe talked about the narrow way and the wide way, and the influences that will lead us down one path or the other. This is one of the more difficult teachings of Jesus, but it was a powerful challenge to follow after Jesus because His way leads to life.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service - "I Am Set Free" [All Sons & Daughters]
"The Solid Rock" [Edward Mote, The Dispatch]
"Before The Throne" [Charitie Lees Bancroft, The Modern Post]
"The Lion And The Lamb" [Leeland Mooring, Bethel]
"Lord, I Need You" [Chris Tomlin, Passion Worship Band]

It was a unique weekend for me, in that I was leading from the bass guitar. I have never led a weekend here from the bass, so it was exciting and challenging. It requires a bit of a different mentality and rhythm of playing, so it took some extra focus to do along with singing, but I really enjoyed the stretch. The team did a solid job leading, and it was a great weekend of worship together.

For the songs we sang, we focused on Jesus as the foundation and forerunner of our faith, as expressed in Hebrews 12:1-2. He is everything we need for faith, for life, and for our eternity. He supplies us with the wisdom, strength, and guidance to follow Him. As He says in John 15, we cannot bear any good fruit apart from Him. Those truths directed our singing time together throughout the weekend.

I hope you had a great weekend!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - 02/25 - 02/26/17

We had a great weekend together as we continued our series through the Sermon on the Mount, The Way of Life. This weekend, the focus was on our secret practices, and how God is more concerned with our relationship to Him and who we are in private than with how we seek to impress other people. It was a great weekend, and I think we were all challenged to focus more on our internal lives and private practices than performing for others.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "Your Love is Strong" [Jon Foreman]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, The Modern Post]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale]
"Hosanna" [Hillsong United]
"Lord, I Need You" [Chris Tomlin]

Fellowship Bible Church - 02/11 - 02/12/2017

This weekend we looked at Jesus' challenge to us to keep our word, both in marriage and in the promises we make. In his message, Pastor Joe shared how marriage and keeping our word is a picture of the gospel and the promises that God gives us through Christ. When promises–especially marriage vows–are kept, they remind us of God's faithfulness in His relationship with us as His people.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "Nothing But The Blood" [Andy Cherry, Robert Lowry]
"Grace Alone" [Dustin Kensrue, The Modern Post]
"Before the Throne" [The Modern Post]
"Good Good Father" [Housefires]
"Lord, I Need You" [Chris Tomlin]

In our singing, we focused on themes of God's grace for us, Christ being our Atonement and Advocate and Mediator, God's faithful love for us, and our desperate need for the Lord to be our Righteousness. It was a moving weekend together, as we have all been touched in some way by the brokenness and pain of divorce in our culture, and know the deep need we have for restoration, reconciliation, forgiveness, and repentance in our lives and marriages. May God gives us grace and strength to be people who keep our word and reflect His faithful love to the world around us.

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - 01/14 - 01/15/2016

We had an interesting week, to be sure. There were many weather-related questions concerning the weekend, with a looming ice storm that threatened to hit right in the middle of our Saturday evening services and run through the night into Sunday morning. Because of the potential storm, we pre-recorded the service on Thursday afternoon so we could share it with the congregation just in case. However, we were able to get our Saturday 5 PM service in, but we canceled the remaining services to be safe and to keep our people off the roads as much as possible to prevent accidents due to icy conditions. As it turned out, the temperature danced around the freezing point, and the ice was minimal, but when we had to make the call, there was no way to know that for sure. Hindsight...

All that considered it was a great weekend. David Hinkle's message from Matthew 5:3-12 and the Beatitudes pointed us to the truth that our blessing comes to us externally because of what Jesus has done for us. His life, His righteousness, His character–they are shared with us as we depend on Him and look to Him for our satisfaction and our identity. It was a powerful message of the grace of God and being clothed in Christ.

For our singing, we focused on dependence, on the truth that we are children of God and He is our faithful Father, and on how we desperately need Him to lead us and guide us.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

"All The Poor & Powerless" [All Sons & Daughters]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Good, Good Father" [Housefires II]
"Lord, I Need You" [Chris Tomlin]

I hope you had a great weekend, whatever weather you were experiencing!

in the Son,

Bill

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

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

Here are the songs we sang together:

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

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

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

in the Son,

Bill

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

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

Here's what we sang together:

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

I hope you had a great Father's Day!

In the Son,

Bill

FBC Service Recap - 04/23 - 04/24/16

For our fourth weekend of our Decided series, we looked at the choice to "confide or hide." Scripture calls us to confide in trustworthy brothers and sisters. With this, there are benefits in community with others – forgiveness, humility, authenticity, and vulnerability. For our singing, we focused mainly on themes of confession and the faithfulness of God to forgive us.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

  • "Made Alive" [Citizens & Saints, The Northwest Collective]
  • "There Is A Fountain" [Citizens & Saints]
  • "Lord I Need You" [Chris Tomlin]
  • "Forever Reign" [Jason Ingram, Hillsong]
  • "One Thing Remains" [Kristian Stanfill, Passion]

It was a great weekend. The team did a great job, as always, and it was great to be back celebrating the grace of God in Jesus with my church family! 

I just returned from Church conference at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX, and it was a refreshing time of learning and growing with some of the pastoral team. 

Songs We Sing - 10/17 - 10/18 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we concluded our Unstuck series as we looked at the often uncomfortable subject of "Fun." Joe shared how we can celebrate and have fun because of our joy and delight in the Lord. He pointed out how the entire Jewish calendar revolved around the concept of celebrating the work of the Lord for them. We can have fun in a way that both celebrates the work of the Lord and deepens our relationships with our family and our brothers & sisters in Christ.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
"In Tenderness" [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey]
"Lord, I Need You" [Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson]
"Great Are You Lord" [Jason Ingram, Leslie Jordan, David Leonard]
"It Is Finished" [Dustin Kensrue]

We had a great weekend of worship together. Our team did a great job, and all of our songs celebrated and reflected on God as our strength and our song, as our Father, and as our redemption and life. "It Is Finished" is fixed as one of my favorite anthems. It confidently declares the finished work of God for our salvation, and almost brings me to shouting for joy for what He has done for us. I don't think I will ever grow tired of the truth in that song (although I might grow tired from singing it–I have a hard time holding back when I sing those words!). 

It was great to be back after a weekend off. I absolutely love worshiping with my church family here, and I love experiencing how God is at work in His Church.

This week, I pray that God reminds you of His saving work on your behalf! It is Finished!

In the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 09/12 - 09/13/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we began our new series, "Unstuck," where we'll examine the areas of life where we all frequently get stuck. For this message about "The Intentional Life," Joe focused on the value of wisdom from the book of Proverbs, as well as addressing common reasons we resist wisdom in our lives. It was a powerful challenge to live intentionally and to seek out wisdom with all that we are.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
"This is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle]
"Lord, I Need You" [Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson]
"Man of Sorrows (In My Place)" [Philip Paul Bliss, Bill Horn]
"Lord of All" [Kristian Stanfill]

We had another great weekend of worship together. Our team did a great job overall and led well. We sang some of our church's favorites in "Rejoice," "This is Amazing Grace," and "Lord of All." "Lord, I Need You" was a great moment in response to Joe's message, and we continued to teach our new rendition of a great hymn, "Man of Sorrows (In My Place)." It's always fun and interesting to sharpen a song as you continue to use it and share it with the church, as you see what parts work well and what parts don't connect with people. We'll continue to sharpen it in coming weeks, and I hope it's something we can continue to sing together, because Philip Paul Bliss' hymn lyric is definitely worth repeating.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship!

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]

Songs We Sing - 04/18 - 04/19/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend we continued our series, Never, with a message called "Never Go Back," where Pastor Joe shared about biblical repentance. It was a powerful call to leave behind our old lives and to cling to Jesus.

Here are the songs we sang from this weekend:

"Jesus, You" [Bill Horn]
"Sing to the King" [Charles Silvester Horne, Billy Foote]
"Lord, I Need You" [Daniel Carson, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Jesse Reeves]
"Glory to God Forever" (Bridge Only) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]

It was a great weekend together. During "Jesus, You," we had a synced video that showed the first names of everyone who made a decision to either trust in Christ for the first time or to reconnect with Christ. It became an opportunity for prayer together, and to reflect on Christ's powerful work in all of us. Other highlights were "Lord, I Need You" and "Rejoice," as they provided opportunities for us to repent and to trust the Lord in the midst of our struggles, recognizing that He is faithful, He is with us, and He will remain with us, no matter what. "Rejoice" seems to be an anthem for our congregation right now, and I think there is good reason for that. it really encapsulates a lot in the lyric. It reminds us:

  • of God's worthiness of all of our worship
  • that His mercies are new every morning
  • that He has reconciled us through the sacrifice of the cross
  • that He is our faithful Father
  • that He knows and understands our trials and sufferings, having walked the path before us
  • that He hears us when we cry out to Him
  • that one day, He will right all the wrongs of this life

"Rejoice/ Come and lift your hands and raise Your voice/ He is worthy of all praise/ Rejoice/ Sing the mercies of your King/ And with trembling, rejoice!"

Amen.

Songs We Sing, 11/16 - 11/17/13 Fellowship Bible Church

As followers of Jesus, we are guided by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. This was the message from our Family Pastor, Brian Tryhus, as we continued our series titled "Faith." It was a great reminder for us to look for guidance in the right places. You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here.

Here's our service plan:

Pre-Service - "Lead of Love" (G) [Aaron Tate of Caedmon's Call]
Welcome
"I'll Fly Away" (G) [Albert E. Brumley]
"Your Grace Is Enough" (G) [Matt Maher]

Greeting Time Announcements Message - "Faith: Guided" [Brian Tryhus]
"It Is Well" (Bb) [Philip Paul Bliss, Todd Fields, Horatio G. Spafford]
"One Thing Remains" (Bb) [Christa Black, Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle]
"Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
Dismissal
Post-Service - ""Lead of Love" (G) [Aaron Tate]

Thoughts: This was a solid weekend of worship with our church. It was one of those weekends where I felt the Lord was strong in my weakness. The lyric that stuck with me throughout the weekend was from "Lead of Love": "Looking back I can finally see/ How failures bring humility/ Brings me to my knees/ Helps me see my need for Thee." That resonated with me this weekend. During the message in the first service on Saturday night, I was having a conversation with my wife and keeping my eye on the timer for the message. When it said four minutes left, I quickly headed upstairs, only to hear music playing and to find the speaking pastor, Brian, in the stairwell. Needless to say, I panicked. Kip did a good job covering and getting the band started without me, and I tried my best to quietly head out to my position on the platform and join in. Talk about embarrassing! Anyway, that only contributed to how "off" I felt through the weekend. I'm not sure if it was allergies or a slight cold, but I just didn't feel like I had any energy or focus.

Despite all of that, the team did a great job, and our congregation was really engaged throughout the weekend. I felt the Lord was glorified, and that people responded to the Word of God through the message. Ultimately, the Lord was strong in my weakness. It seems that some of the greatest weekends of worship I experience or witness in our church are those where I feel weakest. I don't believe that's a coincidence, either. :)

The highlights for me were having my friend Ronnie Murphy on mandolin, singing an older favorite of mine in Caedmon's Call's "Lead of Love," "It Is Well," and one of our congregation's new favorites in "Rejoice." The church has really seemed to latch onto that song. I love the declaration and the energy in that song, and I'm thankful we can sing it together.

So, I leave you with this: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from this past weekend?

- Bill

Songs We Sing, 04/27 - 04/28/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

First off, sorry for the late posting this week! This past weekend, we continued in our third message of our series - "Seven." Our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared about the importance of our calling, and how we are all called to be ministers of the gospel in whatever vocation we have. Every job can present an opportunity for the gospel if we serve with excellence and integrity. His message called us all out to a higher level of serving with our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Only A Word" (E) [Original] Welcome "Your Grace Is Enough" (G) [Matt Maher] "Made Alive" (C) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Seven: Calling - Colossians 3:17" [Joe Hishmeh] "Take My Life And Let It Be" (D) [Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was a beautiful and powerful weekend. The team did an amazing job, and the church sang out! I was really encouraged by the feedback we received regarding the weekend, especially about the new song we introduced: "Made Alive" by The Citizens. I LOVE this song. It feels totally different from most of the music for the Church that is out there, and it is taken right out of Ephesians chapter 2, which is one of my favorite gospel passages. It lays out where we were and where we are now because Christ has brought us back and made us alive together with Him because of His grace, love, and mercy. Singing it really just makes me want to shout out! I can't wait to sing it again this week. Another highlight of the weekend was when we sang "Your Great Name." I'm not sure I have ever heard the church sing as loud as they did during that song this weekend. It was overwhelming. Jesus is so good, it's ridiculous.

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 03/09 - 03/10/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

For our eighth week of our 2 Corinthians series - "Purpose In Christ," pastor Joe preached through 2 Corinthians 9, and taught about what believers receive when we give to God and to others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome/Call to Worship - 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 "Your Grace Is Enough" (G) [Matt Maher] "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [Ludwig van Beethoven, Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Purpose In Christ, pt. 8" [Joe Hishmeh] "10,000 Reason (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] "Beautiful" (C) [Phil Wickham] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. From the call to worship to the end of the last song, it was a beautiful time of worship in each of our services. We continued teaching Phil Wickham's "Beautiful" to our congregation. It is a simple and powerful song that helps us declare the glory and power of Christ as demonstrated through creation, redemption, and the final consummation of our salvation. I love it and hope our church continues to take a greater hold of it. It was also great to sing "Joyful" again. It had been a while since we had sung that one. "Because of Your Love" and "10,000 Reasons" were great fits for where Joe went with the message this weekend. They helped us reiterate and sing the truth about giving and generosity in their proper place--as a response to what God has already done for us and given us.

On a side note, I had an issue with a burr on my guitar's saddle, which resulted in several broken strings--a little frustrating, but not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. My main guitar is getting the frets planed and dressed, so I'll have to get the issue figured out on this guitar in the meantime... I hope you had a great weekend of worship! Thanks for reading and being a part of this with me.

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 01/19 - 01/20/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we began our series through 2 Corinthians-- "Purpose In Christ." Pastor Joe shared about purpose in our suffering, and how we can remained focused on Christ in the midst of trials. He encouraged us to live with hope in the resurrection, simplicity around the character of Jesus, and sincerity in our faith and trust in Him. It was a powerful challenge to not be sidetracked by suffering, but rather to use it as a platform for the glory of Christ and His gospel. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Your Grace Is Enough" (G) [Matt Maher] "Unchanging" (G) [Chris Tomlin] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Purpose In Christ - Suffering" [Joe Hishmeh] "It Is Well" (Bb) [Horatio G. Spafford, Todd Fields] "Always" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] Dismissal Baptisms

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Saturday night's services were some of the most powerful I have experienced since coming here to Topeka. Sunday morning was a little more of a struggle, which I think was partly due to the much colder weather in the morning. It was beautiful to sing "It Is Well," "Always," and "You Never Let Go" - great songs of trust and hope - in response to the Word of God and how it speaks to suffering. I am so grateful for my team, who did a fantastic job, and our church. I love them! It has been an incredible two years so far. I'm looking forward to many more.

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

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

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued our discipleship series, "Ephesians - United in Christ." In the message for the weekend, Joe shared from Ephesians 5:9-21 about how we are called out of darkness and into the light of Christ; to shine the light of Christ by living wisely and loving deeply in a dark world. It was a great challenge for us to pursue a rich life of following Christ. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. In our singing, we focused on the gospel, and the life that we have been given through Christ. Our response ought to be one of worship and obedience, because He has done great things for us!

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "All Because of Jesus" (B) [Steve Fee] "Happy Day" (B) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Ephesians 5:9-21" [Joe Hishmeh] Communion "Christ Is Risen" (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes] "Stronger" (Bb) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan] "Jesus Paid It All" (Bb) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong] "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] Dismissal

"All Because Of Jesus" / "Happy Day" - We opened our services this weekend with the combination of these two songs. We went from "All Because of Jesus" right into "Happy Day," all with the focus of how we have been rescued and made alive by the finished work of Jesus Christ. We have great reason to celebrate and worship!

"Christ Is Risen" - This was our communion and response song to Joe's message this week. His selected passage from Ephesians included 5:14: "Awake, O sleeper/ And arise from the dead / And Christ will shine on you", which is the foundation for this song. This verse, according to the Expositor's Bible Commentary, was probably an early hymn that the Church would sing to celebrate baptisms. This makes sense with Paul's comments later on singing "songs and hymns, and spiritual songs" in verse 19. This song is a powerful song about the resurrection to life that we have because of Christ. He has brought us out of darkness into His light.

"Stronger" - After the Lord's Supper, we continued by singing this song together, which speaks of Christ's victory over sin and death for us. I love singing this chorus together with the church: "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."

"Jesus Paid It All" - From "Stronger," we went directly into this song, which is one of our church's (and I'm sure this is true for many other churches) favorites. During our Saturday night services, we only sang the second chorus (or bridge, if you prefer): "O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead," but we decided to sing the whole song on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful moment of worship together.

"Let Me Sing" - We finished our services with this song, which really put the exclamation point on the entire service, tying in all the themes that were emphasized: Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our redemption, walking in the light vs. the darkness, and living a life that shines the light of Christ in a dark world. We finished the song with mostly just the voices, and it was beautiful to hear the church singing these words of dedication and response to Christ: "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!" 

Thoughts: This weekend was a fantastic weekend. We completely rearranged our services, and it was refreshing and energizing. People were confused at first when the band left the platform after only two songs and Joe came up to preach, but we heard many comments about how people were engaged in worship because of the change. I always love singing in response to the proclaimed Word of God, since all of worship is a response to who God is, how God acts toward us, and what God calls us to. It just felt right. The team did a good job with all of the changes this weekend, and I am really grateful for our weekend of worship together. I am so encouraged by how our church engaged throughout the weekend, and all that is happening at Fellowship. I LOVE MY CHURCH!

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, 10/13 - 10/14/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

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

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued our discipleship series, "Ephesians - United in Christ." In his message for the weekend, Joe shared from Ephesians 4:1-16 about unity in the Church. Unity, Joe said, is a sign of Christian maturity and is life-giving for the believer. It was a powerful reminder of the value of unity for our lives and for Christ's mission for the Church. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on .

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"Your Grace Is Enough" (G) [Matt Maher] Welcome/Greeting Time/Call to Worship "Song of the Redeemed" (Em) [Charlie Hall, Kendall Combes, Dustin Ragland, Quint Anderson, Brian Bergman] "You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg] "Lord of All" (A) [Kristian Stanfill] "How Great Is Our God" (chorus & bridge) (A) [Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Message - "Ephesians 4:1-16" [Joe Hishmeh] "Center" (E) [Charlie Hall, Matt Redman] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"Your Grace Is Enough" - We opened with this song because it is both familiar and it reminds us of the all-sufficient grace we have in Jesus. Our standing with God is not by our own merit, but because of His grace toward us.

"Song of the Redeemed"- This was a new song for our congregation this weekend, even though it's not really new at all. I love the concept of the "song of the redeemed" throughout Scripture--the song that can only be sung by those who have been redeemed and rescued by God. It shows up in Exodus with Moses' song, throughout the Psalms, and all the way to the book of Revelation, where the redeemed are gathered around the throne in worship in 14:3. Angels cannot sing this song; only those who have been redeemed can sing of God's redemption.

"You Have Overcome" - We sang this song because it helps us worship by clearly focusing on the gospel: we were dead and lost, but Jesus went to the cross in our place and bore the righteous wrath that we deserved from God, and then Jesus rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Jesus has overcome, and there is no one else who can save us! It is overwhelming to see the church sing it as well as they do. There is nothing more powerful or motivating for worship than the gospel.

"Lord of All"/"How Great Is Our God" - We wrapped up the first section of our singing with this sort of medley. First, we sang "Lord of All" which is one of our church's favorite songs (which makes me very happy), and then we tagged the chorus and bridge of "How Great Is Our God" to finish up. It was a beautiful moment of exalting God together.

"Center" - This was our response song this weekend, as it is a significant prayer for us to sing to our God: "O Christ, be the center of our lives/ Be the place we fix our eyes/ Be the center of our lives." If we all truly desire for Christ to be the center of our lives, we will be unified.

This weekend was a great weekend of worship! Our team did a great job, and it was a blessing to worship with our congregation. I think the highlight for me was singing "You Have Overcome" and moving right into "Lord of All"/"How Great Is Our God." It was really powerful and moving as we simply lifted up our Savior for who He is and what He has done. I love our church!

On Sunday morning, we also had a special guest musician playing before our services: Joe Gavin. Joe is a friend of mine from Lakeland, FL, and he is an incredible fingerstyle guitarist. He has taught me a lot, and it is always a joy to hear him play. He was in town to play for the Trash Mountain Project's Spoken benefit, and he was kind enough to play for us as well. It was a beautiful addition to the day, and contributed in a great way. If you want to hear more of Joe's music, his website is joegavin.info, and you can find his CD/MP3s on iTunes and on Amazon. Support his great work!

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, 08/04 - 08/05/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared some biblical wisdom regarding dating relationships, as we continued our series called "Can You Relate?". In his message, Joe emphasized the importance of seeking wisdom in our relationships and thinking of the big picture of the future rather than only thinking of the presence. It was great, practical wisdom, which is of benefit to all of us, whether we are already married or in dating relationships, because it gives us wise counsel that we can pass on to others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. For our singing this week, we focused on the holiness and trustworthiness of God. We can trust Him with the people in our lives, as well as their (and our) relationships.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"Holy Is The Lord" (Ab) [Chris Tomlin] Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship/Confession/Ps. 51:1-2 Reading "You Alone Can Rescue" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] "Cornerstone" (Bb) [Edward Mote, Jonas Myrin, Reuben Morgan, Eric Liljero, William B. Bradbury] Communion "Christ Is Risen" (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes] Taking of the Elements Reprise of "Christ Is Risen" (Gb) Message - "Can You Relate? - Dating" [Joe Hishmeh] "Always" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"Holy Is The Lord" - We sang this song as a foundation for our services, in recognizing the holiness and glory of God. When we see God as He is--high and lifted up and greatly exalted--we see ourselves more clearly as those who are desperate for forgiveness and salvation. God's holiness and perfection is the foundation for understanding our own sinfulness and our need for salvation. This is a song that we haven't sung much since I have been here, but it is one that holds a special place in my faith journey, and it was great to hear the church singing together on it.

"You Alone Can Rescue" - After our time of confessing the idols in our lives (the things that we have put stock in for our hope, our peace, our trust, etc.), we read Psalm 51:1-2. Then, we sang this song, expressing our confidence in Christ alone for our life and salvation. He is the only one who can heal us, help us, restore us, rescue us, and give us life. His is the only name in which we can trust without fear.

"Cornerstone" - We have been teaching this song to our congregation over the past few weeks, and I think it is taking root here. As I have written before, I love the lyric of "On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand," and how it expresses confidence and hope in the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. I love singing this together with the Church.

"Christ Is Risen" - This was our communion song this week, and I thought it tied everything from this weekend together. It called us away from sin and toward Christ. It called us to trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross. It called us to hope in His resurrection from the dead. It reminded us of His victory over sin, death, and hell. It called us to life. We haven't sung this since Easter, and it was good to sing it together again. I love this one.

"Always" - This is another that we haven't sung in a while (April). I love how this song calls us to courage and confidence in Christ, recognizing that He alone is our hope and salvation. We can trust Him with our lives, with our broken relationships, with our conflicts, with our hurts, knowing that He can heal us and rescue us. This song says it so well. "I lift my eyes up/ My help comes from the Lord."

This weekend was a solid weekend. We made a few changes mid-stream, which caused some interesting moments, but overall it was a great time of worshiping together. The team did a great job adapting and leading our congregation well. It seems like it has been a while since we've had a "regular" weekend of worship, and it was refreshing to get back to leading with the full team again. I loved how well all the songs connected this week. Glory to God for His direction.

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

What were your thoughts or experiences from this weekend in your church?

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

Set List, 07/14 - 07/15/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared about authentic, biblical community in a message entitled "Authentic Community." It was a strong challenge to us all to value and prioritize the things that are most important and that will last: God, His Word, and people. One of the best way we can do this is through small groups, where we can share those things--life--together. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. For our singing this week, we focused on songs that emphasized the Lordship of Christ and the freedom and love we now have because of His grace, which enables us to experience true community.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"Your Grace Is Enough" (G) [Matt Maher] Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship - Ps. 9:1-2 "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] "Lord of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] "How Great Is Our God" (Bb) [Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] Message - "Authentic Community" [Joe Hishmeh] "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" (Eb) [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, John P. Rees] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"Your Grace Is Enough" - We opened our services with this song, which is one of our staples. We haven't sung it in a while, but it was fitting this weekend as it emphasizes the grace of God, which is what has brought us together as the body of Christ, and is the only way for us to remain together. We need His grace to shape our hearts and minds and to edify one another in the Church.

"Everlasting God" - This is a song that our church always engages with, and I love it because it pulls directly from Scripture (Isaiah 40). This is definitely a great, yet simple song that is worth singing together. One of our worship leaders, Becky Tindell, led us into this one, and we traded off throughout the song.

"Lord of All" - This song is one of my all-time favorite worship songs. It helps us declare the glory, majesty, and power of our Lord in very simple and beautiful language, and the music adds to those ideas. The chorus is as strong as they get: "There is none so high and holy/ King of kings the one and only/ You are adored, You are the Lord of all!"

"How Great Is Our God" - We tagged the bridge and the chorus of this song to the end of "Lord of All," because they share a nearly identical chord progression. The two songs were well together thematically as well, so it was a great combination that helped us exalt the Lord well.

"Your Great Name" - We finished our main singing time with this song, which is one of my favorites. I love singing the name of Jesus together with the Church. We started it out very quietly, with Becky leading us into it. It was a beautiful and powerful moment. This song is interesting because the original melody by Michael Neale (the guys' parts on the chorus and bridge) is now largely considered the harmony because Natalie Grant recorded the harmony (the girls' parts) as though it were the melody of the song. Because of this, both the men and the women have a clear and strong part to sing, and it makes for a great congregational song. Becky and I each did a verse, and then we sang the respective parts for the rest of the song. This song was the highlight of the weekend for me.

"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" - We hadn't sung this song for a while, but it always connects with our congregation. We sang this song because it celebrates the freedom and love we have in Christ, and those things are what make authentic biblical community a possibility. Jesus set us free and put us together as the body of Christ, and it's a beautiful thing.

This weekend was really enjoyable for me. There were many moments where I was moved almost to the point of not being able to sing (those are tricky times to be leading...). Our team did an awesome job, and it was truly a blessing to worship together and to point our congregation towards the Lord.

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! (and sorry this is so late!)