Fellowship Bible Church - 4/22 - 4/23/2017

This weekend, we began a new series about living a generous life: "The Flow of Everything." it was a great start to the series as we looked at God as the source of absolutely everything we have.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service: "You Are God Alone (Not a God)" [Billy & Cindy Foote]
"Made Alive" [Citizens & Saints]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints/The Northwest Collective]
"Good Good Father" [Housefires]
"Son of God" [Starfield]

We had some challenges to overcome this weekend with team members getting sick or injured (at one point there was the possibility of me leading from the drums– yikes!), but the Lord provided and brought a team together that did a great job serving and leading. 

Fellowship Service Recap - 05/21 - 05/22/16

This weekend in our Decided series, Pastor Joe looked at the decision of a follower of Jesus to serve others or be served. For our singing this weekend, we focused on songs that speak of how Jesus came to serve us and seek us out to save us, and on songs that call us to follow and serve Him and serve others in response to what He has done for us.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

Pre-Service: "I Will Go" [Starfield]
"Made Alive" [Citizens & Saints]
"Hail The King" [Citizens & Saints]
"O Come To The Altar" [Elevation Worship]
"Because of Your Love" [Phil Wickham]
"Before The Throne" [The Modern Post]

We sang some favorites, both old and new. I am really loving "O Come To The Altar," and it seems like the church is connecting with it, as well. This was the third consecutive week we have sung the song in order to teach it to our congregation, so now we'll give it a break and bring it back in week or two as a refresher, and then include it in our list of familiar songs.

While we're on that subject, don't forget to check out our church's favorites over at Spotify–-search for "Fellowship Favorites."

Our team did a great job this weekend, as we continue to make the adjustment to the new worship center and the new challenges that come with it. I love the new environment because we can see everyone's faces and it feels much more like a family room than our previous gymnasium worship center. It feels more like we're there together, and that's my favorite part about it.

Have a great week!

in the Son,

Bill

Service Recap - 12/19 - 12/20/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend was our third and final weekend of our Christmas message series, The Christ of Christmas. For this message, Joe focused on "Christ The Maker," examining the deity of Jesus Christ.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

*This Is War [The Modern Post, Dustin Kensrue]
*Jesus [Citizens & Saints/Zach Bolen & Brian Eichelberger]
*O Holy Night [Adolphe Charles Adam, Placide Cappeau, John S. Dwight, my arrangement]
*Angels From The Realms Of Glory [James Montgomery, Henry Thomas Smart, my arrangement]
*Lord Of All [Kristian Stanfill]
*Son of God [Starfield/Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld, Gordon Cochran, Ed Cash] 

It was a great weekend!

Merry Christmas!

Bill

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

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

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

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Son, Bill

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

Set List, 06/23 - 06/24/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This was our fourth weekend walking through 1 John together in our "Love In Christ" series. David Hinkle preached about obedience from 1 John, focusing on "chasing Christ rather than checking the box," and pursuing "godliness, not merely goodness." I think we were all challenged and called to Christ this weekend. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. For our singing this week, we focused on songs that emphasized God's calling on us and His worthiness for our obedience. He loved first and gave first, and our obedience is a response to God for who He is and what He has done.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"I Will Go" (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld] Welcome/Greeting Time "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] "Hosanna" (D) [Brooke Fraser] "Lead Me To The Cross" (D) [Brooke Fraser] "All To Jesus I Surrender" (aka "I Surrender All") (D) [Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter, Winfield Scott Weeden] Message - "Love In Christ: Obedience" [David Hinkle] Offering "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] Announcements/Dismissal

"I Will Go" - This was our opener this week, and it is a strong song of dedication that we have sung a few times over the past year. I love the message of the lyric, and I think it something worthy of being sung often: "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." May this be the Church's sincere prayer to the Lord.

"Let Me Sing" - This song really emphasizes the correct heart and motivation for obedience: because of what Jesus has done in giving His life for our redemption, we respond with all that we are as living offerings of worship for Him and His glory.

"Hosanna" - We sang this song because the second verse and bridge really tied in well with our focus, asking God to break and shape our hearts to align with His.

"Lead Me To The Cross" - This is another great song of dedication, as we look to the cross of Christ, where He also calls us to take up our own cross in following Him. Our own life of sacrifice ought to be modeled after His.

"All To Jesus I Surrender" - We tagged this song onto the end of "Lead Me To The Cross," as a way to help tie everything together. Jesus is worthy of ALL we are and ALL we have. Let us hold nothing back from Him as He calls us to follow Him.

"Because Of Your Love" - I think this song was a very fitting response song to David's message (praise God for His direction here). Again, this song emphasized how the Lord gave first, and our response and obedience to Him is because of what He has already done for us: "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 weekend was a good weekend overall. I felt that our team led with sincerity and intensity, despite a few loose moments in our playing. I will take that any day. I want our team to lead like they mean it. Sometimes that will result in some less than perfect moments for now, but as we all become more familiar with our vocabulary, that will continue to improve. The bottom line is that we cannot expect our congregation to more excited about engaging with God than we are. That is our challenge--to lead by example, in every area of our lives. I'm really proud of how our team is growing and trying to lead more and more each week.

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, 08/06 - 08/07/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend David Hinkle preached from the book of Ruth to talk about God's mission and how it has involved His people throughout history. The message was title "Legacy," and he talked about how we can become a part of God's overarching purpose in this world. One of his main points was that we were born at this time to be involved in this specific part of God's plan - sending us out to tell the world about His Son, Jesus. It was a challenging reminder of the calling on our lives as rescued believers in Jesus Christ. We have a mission. For this week's message, we focused on the gospel, mission, pursuing God, redemption, and the new covenant. Each of these songs carries at least one of these elements in it.

Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Kingdom" (A) [Kristian Stanfill] Call To Worship/Prayer "Happy Day" (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting Time "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] "Forever Reign" (Bb) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan] Message - "Legacy" [David Hinkle] Communion Song - "Rock of Ages" (Bb) [Augustus M. Toplady, Thomas Hastings] Response - "Son of God" [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld] 

This weekend was another good weekend of worship. One highlight for me was seeing one of our young guys, Anthony Dake, jump in on drums and do a fantastic job. He played like a champ, and served our congregation well. I look forward to having him in there again soon. Part of our vision for our worship ministry is to build into our younger guys and gals and teach them early on what it's all about and how to lead worship through music, with authenticity and excellence. Our NextGen Worship Leader, Erik Oldberg, does a fantastic job with these guys, and even in the six months I have been here, I have seen huge growth in each of them. I am thankful for his leadership and passion for worship.

"Kingdom" - This song was a great fit for the theme of the weekend, but it is a little tricky for most of our congregation to sing with, which is why it was in the pre-service slot. It really communicates that it is our responsibility and calling to carry the truth of the gospel to the world, and to invade the darkness with the light of Jesus Christ. I love the message of this song.

"Happy Day" - This is now a standard for our congregation, and it has been a while since we sang it together. I love what it communicates about Jesus' victory over sin and death, and how our eternal destiny has been permanently affected by His work on the cross and His resurrection.

"Let Me Sing" - We began teaching this song a few weeks ago, and this was our refresher week, to solidify it in our congregation's memory. This song supported the theme of the weekend with the idea of us shining as lights in the darkness as an act of worship, in response to the amazing sacrifice that Christ made for us. In my mind, this is the most significant reason we have to worship, to obey, and to give of ourselves - Christ gave first, and did so in a marvelous way.

"Forever Reign" - We bracketed the message with this song, or parts of it anyway. The bridge and chorus really helped to communicate the drive of the message, for us to pursue Jesus Christ and His purposes with everything we have.

"Rock of Ages" - This hymn arrangement is from a band called Ascend The Hill, on their album of reworked hymns, Take The World But Give Me Jesus. The first time I heard it, I was immediately struck by the powerful lyric, and the simple arrangement, which added great power and emotion to the truth of the lyric. The lyric conveys the desperation we should all have for the saving work of Christ. We are completely hopeless without His help and His rescuing us. We sang this song during communion, and it was very appropriate in that slot. Here's the lyric:

Rock of Ages Augustus M. Toplady, Thomas Hastings

VERSE 1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure; Save from wrath and make me pure.

VERSE 2 Not the labor of my hands Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, These for sin could not atone Thou must save, and Thou alone.

VERSE 3 Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless look to Thee for grace; Foul, I to Thy fountain fly Wash me, Savior, or I die.

VERSE 4 While I draw this fleeting breath, When mine eyes shall close in death, When I rise to worlds unknown And behold Thee on Thy throne Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.

"Son of God" - We finished the service by singing this great song to our Savior. It actually ended up being more fitting than I thought it would be, because of the way that David emphasized the covenant and Christ's sacrifice on the cross for us. The ends of each verse spoke to these elements, singing directly about the cross and then in the second verse about how Christ fulfilled prophecy and how He is coming again for His church. I think it was a solid way to end our times together this weekend.

I am so thankful to be a part of this great church, and for the opportunity to grow together in worshiping our King. 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 reading your opinions and feedback.

In the Son,

Bill

Set List, 04/16 - 04/17/11 Fellowship Bible Church

Palm Sunday weekend (we had to tag "weekend" onto it because of our weekend services--we landed there after a little bit of discussion...) is one that brings mixed feelings. On one hand, we celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem as Messiah and King. On the other hand, we see our fickleness as humans, where one day we are praising Him as King, and later that same week we are calling for His death. At the same moment we recognize Jesus' supremacy and power and worth; along with our own weakness, foolishness, and wickedness. Planning for this weekend, we tried to emphasize the real focus of this moment: the Messiah has come to save us! Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and He is our only hope. Each of our songs this week pointed in some way to Christ as Messiah or King. Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "God Is Alive" (A) [Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland] Call to Worship - Matthew 21:6-9 "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting time "Hosanna" (G) [Brooke Fraser, arr. by Starfield] "Our God" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, and Jesse Reeves] "Son Of God" (G) [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld, Ed Cash, and Gordon Cochran] Message - "The Heroic Rescue of Humanity: The Messiah" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "Lord Of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill]

This weekend we sang "God Is Alive" for the second time. It seemed like the song caught on a little better this time, and people were participating more, even though the song was still slated in the pre-service time slot. Much of the congregation was clapping and singing together. I was a little unsure of the song's reception last week when we introduced it, but the response this weekend was encouraging. I'm looking forward to using this song on Easter, because the lyric is perfect for the occasion.

After the call to worship, we moved to Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown's "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)," which is a perfect fit for Palm Sunday weekend. The chorus echoes the statements made by the disciples and fans of Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem, but restates them while being informed by our Christian understanding of the person and the work of Christ: "Hosanna, Hosanna/ You are the God who saves us/ Worthy of all our praises/ Hosanna, Hosanna/ Come have Your way among us/ We welcome You here, Lord Jesus." That word, Hosanna, literally means "come save us now," and it was what the people of Israel were crying out to Jesus as He entered in as King. However, they didn't really know what they were asking. They didn't really know what they needed. They were asking for deliverance and salvation from Roman rule in their lives. They were asking for less than what God intended for the Messiah. What they really needed was deliverance from sin and death, and restoration to God. Joe shared this idea in a powerful way this weekend. We can either trust in Christ as our Messiah, or we can seek deliverance our own way by trusting in worthless idols--"substitute Saviors."

Following the welcome time, we kicked off the second worship set with Brooke Fraser's "Hosanna." This week we did a variation of Starfield's performance of the song, which is suited better for my vocal. I like their treatment of the song, and how they gave it a little more overall energy, which serves a little better toward the top of a worship set.

Next we moved to "Our God," which has become a staple for us. The concept of this song fits very well with Luke's account of the triumphal entry, as he wrote that "the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen" (Luke 19:37). The verses of "Our God" align perfectly with that, as they sing, "Water You turned into wine/ Opened the eyes of the blind/ There's no one like You/ None like You/ Into the darkness You shine/ Out of the ashes we rise/ There's no one like You/ None like You." The rest of the song sings of the Lord's great power and ability to rescue, and when He is for us, there is nothing that can stand against us. It was a great fit for Palm Sunday weekend.

We finished the second worship set with "Son of God," which is new to our congregation. I sang this song once when I came the church to lead as a guest, but it was completely new here. This week was the first week in which we'll be teaching this song, and we will pick up teaching it after Easter weekend. I love this song because it presents Jesus in many respects, such as Creator, Savior, Lord, and promised Messiah. It proclaims His surpassing worth and greatness, along with His love and forgiveness for us. While very simple, it covers a lot of ground, and shows how Jesus, from beginning to end, is King. It declares His worth and how He deserves our worship in everything. Here's the lyric:

"Son of God"

Verse 1 Son of God, Shaper of the stars You alone the dweller of my heart Mighty King, how beautiful You are How beautiful

Son of God, the Father's gift to us You alone were broken on the altar of love Precious Lamb, our freedom's in Your blood It's in Your blood

Chorus Jesus, O Holy One I sing to You, forgiven Savior, I'm overcome With Your great love for me

Verse 2 Song of God, strength beyond compare You alone, the darkness cannot bear Lord of love, Your kindness draws me near It draws me near

Son of God, prophecy of old You alone, Redeemer of my soul Come again and lead Your people home Come lead us home

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

We finished the service with one of my favorite songs, "Lord of All." I have discussed this song at length in the past, but suffice it to say that I believe this song is one that the Church needs to sing. It declares the power, glory, and victory of Jesus, the King of kings. It proclaims the truth of Philippians 2:10-11: "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." It does this with strength and truth, and I have never regretted singing this song in corporate worship. I don't think we, as the body of Christ, can sing this truth enough.

On a technical note, we continued using the click track and the Aviom system, and it continues to be a great asset to our team. We are consistently tighter as a band, and it cuts lots of time from our rehearsals as an added benefit. Stephen, our drummer, had never played with a click before, and he did a fantastic job operating it and sticking with it. I have given more responsibility to our drummers, as they not only have to play their instrument, but now they also have to make the tempo adjustments to our click track (which every band member hears), and start and stop it at the appropriate times. I continue to be impressed with our team as we challenge ourselves to get better at what we do, so that we might serve our congregation better. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve with this awesome team.

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 planned and experienced this week in their worship services.

Hosanna! Glory to God in the highest.

In the Son,

Bill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHORUS I will go, I will go, I will go, Lord send me To the world, to the lost, to the poor and hungry Take everything I am I’m clay within your hands I will go, I will go send me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Son,

Bill

Sunday Set Lists

Set List, 02/12 - 02/13/11 Fellowship Bible Church

Here's our set from this weekend: Pre-Service: "Say Say" (A) [Christy Nockels, Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill] Call To Worship -  Hebrews 13:8 "Unchanging" (G) [Chris Tomlin] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting "Hosanna" (G) [Brooke Fraser, arr. by Starfield] "How Great is Our God" (G) [Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash] Focus: "Phos Hilaron"/"Hail Gladdening Light" "Joyous Light" (G) [unknown, John H. Gower; Arr. and additional chorus by Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, and Louie Giglio] Message - "God Is: Trinity" [David Hinkle] "Holy Holy Holy" (D) [Reginald Heber and John Bacchus Dykes]

This weekend in worship with Fellowship was one of my favorites so far. It felt like everything connected really well, and that the focus of the morning permeated everything. The message for the weekend was about the doctrine of the Trinity, and Pastor David did a great job of communicating the understanding and the significance of this doctrine for the Church. There was a lot of ground to cover, and it was thick subject matter, but I think the message was clear, and people walked away with something to cling to for practical purposes in their Christian life. David ended with the idea that we are to live our lives "To the Father, by the Son, and through the Spirit."

We chose two main songs to emphasize and support the teaching time and bring our people to a point of worshiping in a "trinitarian" way: "Joyous Light" and "Holy Holy Holy." "Joyous Light" is a song that I value highly, as it is based off of the earliest known hymn for the church, "Phos Hilaron." Before teaching this song to our congregation, I read a translation of "Phos Hilaron," known as "Hail Gladdening Light." Here is that text:

"Phos Hilaron"

Hail, gladdening Light, of His pure glory poured Who is the immortal Father, heavenly, blest, Holiest of Holies--Jesus Christ our Lord!

Now we are come to the sun's hour of rest; The lights of evening round us shine; We hymn the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit divine!

Worthiest art thou at all times to be sung with undefiled tongue, Son of our God, giver of life, alone: Therefore in all the world Thy glories, Lord, Thy own. Amen.

It's an amazing thought that we can join in a song that the church has song since the 3rd century A.D. (almost 1700 years ago!). The writers of "Joyous Light" put it this way:

"Joyous Light"

Verse 1 Hail Gladdening Light, Sun so bright Jesus Christ, End of night Alleluia

Verse 2 Hail Gladdening Light, Eternal Bright In evening time, ‘round us shine, Alleluia, alleluia

Chorus We hymn the Father, we hymn the Son We hymn the Spirit, wholly Divine No one more worthy of songs to be sung To the Giver of Life, all glory is Thine

Verse 3 Hail Gladdening Light, such joyous Light O Brilliant Star, forever shine, Alleluia, alleluia

It was a great moment for us this weekend, as we we joined in singing this ancient hymn and truth about the nature of our God.

"Holy Holy Holy" was a late addition/change to the set for this week, as David and I discussed late Thursday about wrapping the message. Some scholars maintain that the Scriptural phrase, "Holy Holy Holy" is referring to each person of the Trinity, and we thought it might be fitting (even without mentioning that) to do a song that contained both that phrase and explicit references to the "Blessed Trinity." It was also another way to connect both old and new in our worship time.

In reference to my learning experience last week (see here), we did "How Great Is Our God" all the way down in the key of G (A bit lower than the recording in C#...). It was rather low, but it fit well in the flow of the rest of the worship set, and the people sang it well. I think the key of A would have been fine, but it further emphasized to me the value of putting things in singable keys - which is something I have been working on and learning for the last 4 years. If you are leading somewhere, and it seems that people are not singing with you (I believe the participation of our congregations ought to be part of the goal), try dropping the key a step or so and see what happens. Try to eliminate any excuse people can give for not joining in the song with the church, especially for the guys.

In all, it was a great weekend of worshiping together. I love our team here at Fellowship, and I am so blessed to serve with them. Their hearts and their talent is what makes our weekends special together. I'm excited about where things are heading, and the things we're learning together as we help to lead God's people in worshiping their King!

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

In the Son,

Bill

(Sunday Set Lists)

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,

Bill

Sunday Set Lists

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

Here's our set for this morning: "I Will Go" [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld] "God is Alive" [Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland] "Jesus Messiah" [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves] "Because of Your Love" [Phil Wickham] "Lamb of God" [original] Message - "It's Your Serve - Grab a Towel" [Dr. Jay Dennis] INV "I Want to Love You" [Todd Fields]

This morning was a good day of worship. Because Pastor Jay was dealing with the call on each one of us to serve, we focused on the cross of Christ as described in Philippians 2:5-11. Here, Paul tells of how we are to have the same attitude as Jesus,

"who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by 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 'Ever 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."

"Jesus Messiah" was a perfect fit for this passage of scripture, singing, "He became sin who knew no sin/ That we might become His righteousness/ He humbled Himself and carried the cross/ Love so amazing/ Love so amazing." There is no better example of service than Jesus Christ. He had everything to lose by serving (by the world's perspective), yet He put it all aside to save us and to glorify the Father. We have much less to give up in order to serve those around us, yet we can still glorify the Father in doing so. May we all take a long look at our lives, and see how we can lay our lives down for one another. I know I am.

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

In the Son,

Bill

As always, check out Sunday Set Lists over at www.theworshipcommunity.com. It's awesome to see how brothers and sisters around the country and the world are worshiping the Lord in their own communities of faith.

Set List, Sunday 09/26/10 Church at the Mall

Here's our set from this week: "All Because of Jesus" [Steve Fee] "Say, Say" [Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, Chris Tomlin, et al] Welcome, recognition, announcements "I Want to Love You" [Todd Fields] "True Love" [Phil Wickham] Message - "It's Your Serve: Tell Your Story" - Pastor Jay Dennis INV - "I Will Go" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld] Parent/Child dedication Business Meeting

This morning was a good morning - busy, but good. We had lots of elements to this Sunday, as you can see above. It is always a frustration of mine when we have too much to do to take time to worship. I guess it is the nature of the beast, because Sunday morning is the only time the church is all gathered together in one place, and is considered the best option for getting information to everyone in the congregation. I suppose this is probably the case in many places. I don't think anyone believes it is ideal, but it is what it is. We are working towards getting people to get all their information through the many other available means, and hopefully we'll get there sometime soon. Until then, we will have days where there are tons of people to mention and announcements to be made, and we'll make it work as well as we can.

One of the highlights for me today was the Parent and Child Dedication. This is the first time we were able to do this at the 9:30 AM service, where many of our young families attend. This is time well-spent in my opinion. Seeing the young parents dedicating their lives and their children to God with the church family is a beautiful thing. There are so many amazing stories in those families. One couple has been trying to have children or adopt for several years, and they got a surprise call a month or so ago to go to the hospital and pick up their child. It was an amazing moment for that family, and it was beautiful to see them on the platform for the dedication. I, as well as many people in our congregation, are thrilled for them.

I felt like things were a little disconnected, as we did one song we hadn't done in a long time ("I Want to Love You") and one that is more a "listening" type of a song ("True Love"). I probably should have had the congregation sit during that last one. It's a fantastic song with an amazing message, anyway. If you haven't heard it yet, check it out! It fit really well with Pastor Jay's message about sharing one's story to share the gospel, which was primarily about knowing and sharing one's personal testimony. It is such a useful thing to have prepared, because people will listen to your own story more than they will listen to preaching.

I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were. Please let me know if you have any questions.

As always, check out Sunday Set Lists over at www.theworshipcommunity.com.

In the Son,

Bill

Set List, Sunday 08/29/10 Church at the Mall

Here's our set from yesterday: "Rise and Sing" [Steve Fee] "Hosanna" [Brooke Fraser, arr. by Starfield] "Glorious" [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] "Our God" [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, and Jesse Reeves] "Cannons" [Phil Wickham] w/ tag: chorus of "Let My Words Be Few" [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] MESSAGE: "Catching a Glimpse of the Glory of God, Pt. 2" [Dr. Jay Dennis] INV: "Let My Words Be Few" [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] OFFERTORY: "Indescribable" [Laura Story]

This week was another great day of worship with Church at the Mall. Pastor Jay continued his message about the glory of God, and we led in that direction with the music. The glory and awe theme ran throughout the music, because when we see God in the truth of who He is, we cannot help but see ourselves more clearly. Such was the case for Isaiah, as Pastor Jay shared in his message from Isaiah 6. When Isaiah saw the Lord, high and lifted up, with the temple shaking and filled with smoke, and God's glory overwhelming everything, Isaiah's response was one of dread and fear, recognizing his own sin and unworthiness of standing in the presence of God. Because of Christ, our response can be a little different because we may not fear for our lives, but we should still see our own lives clearly and recognize God's grace and mercy all the more. We have no right to stand before God and enter into His presence. It is only because He made a way for us where there was no way. He redeemed us and adopted us and made us free. As a result, we can stand before God without fear, but we should never forget who we were or how desperate we are for His help and grace.

One could argue that it begins and ends with worship--we worship God for who He is and lift Him up in our praise, exalting Him and recognizing His surpassing worth and glory; then we see how unworthy and undeserving we are of His love, grace, and mercy; finally, we worship Him even more because of what He has done for us.

May we continue that cycle in our lives, worshiping Him wholeheartedly for who He is, seeing ourselves more clearly and honestly, and responding to Him with thanksgiving for all He has done.

The last few lines of "Indescribable" say it well: "Incomparable, unchangeable/ You see the depths of my heart/ And You love me the same/ You are amazing, God."

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

Bill

www.theworshipcommunity.com's Sunday Set Lists

Set List, Sunday 07/18/10 Church at the Mall

(Now playing - Charlie Hall, "Center") Here's our set from this week:

"Faithful One" [original] "Hosanna" [Brooke Fraser, arr. by Starfield] "Let Me Sing" [Todd Fields] "I Need You" [Kristian Stanfill, Louie Giglio] "You Never Let Go" [Matt Redman] "Never Be the Same" [original] "You're the Only One" [original]

This week was a great week of worship. I felt a great deal of freedom and tried a few different things, which was exciting and challenging. I tagged a slower chorus of "Faithful One" (a declaration about God's constancy and immutability) to get us to the tempo of "Hosanna," and it set us up nicely to bring the songs together. I'm not sure where exactly I got the idea, but it probably was inspired by Chris Tomlin and his band at Student Life in Daytona Beach this past week (which was one of the most amazing worship experiences I have ever had, by the way).

The second set of "Let Me Sing," "I Need You," and "You Never Let Go" were all chosen to help us focus in on Pastor Jerry's message about the prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. The elements of praise, recognition of Christ's sacrifice, our need for Him, His faithfulness, and His nearness to us were all intentional to set the stage for prayer. I think we got there, and God worked in a powerful way. God is so good.

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

God bless you!

Bill

P.S. Please take time to check out Sunday Set Lists over at www.theworshipcommunity.com to see what other leaders did this week. God is building His church!

Set List, Sunday, 06/27/10 Church at the Mall

Here's our set from yesterday: "Rise and Sing" [Steve Fee] "All Because of Jesus" [Steve Fee] "Hosanna" [Brooke Fraser, as recorded by Starfield] "Son of God" [Tim Neufeld/Starfield] "Cannons" [Phil Wickham] INV: "I Want to Love You" [Todd Fields]

Yesterday was a great day of worship together at Church at the Mall. We celebrated 9 baptisms (one of which tried to cannonball into the baptismal water!) and had a great time singing praise to our King. Pastor Jay shared about the hidden hand of God, when God is present even when we cannot see how He is working or what His plans are. It was a much-needed message for our time and for our congregation. "Rise and Sing" was a great way to start out the morning, and I think people were engaging in a great way through the morning. "Cannons" was a sweet moment, as we ended with a quiet repeat of the chorus: "You are holy/ Great and mighty/ The moon and the stars declare who You are/ I'm so unworthy/ But still You love me/ Forever my heart will sing of how great You are." That is definitely one of my favorites. I am very grateful to my bro, Chris Kuti, for introducing me to Phil Wickham. He is a great writer, and he really captures the heart of worship in many of his lyrics.

God is at work. I am anxious to see how God moved in people's lives yesterday, as there was a strong response during the invitation time. Many people were on their knees in prayer. The Lord's presence was evident!

I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were yesterday.

Until next time,

Bill

P.S. be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists at www.theworshipcommunity.com to see what other worshipers experienced yesterday!

Set List, Sunday 05/30/10 Church at the Mall

Currently Listening to Fiona Apple "Tidal" Here's our set for this week:

"Faithful One" [original] "Unchanging" [Chris Tomlin] "Let Me Sing" [Todd Fields] "I Need You" [Kristian Stanfill] "You Never Let Go" [Matt and Beth Redman] "I Will Go" [Starfield] "You're the Only One" [original]

This week went well. It felt a little like we were swimming upstream trying to get everyone to worship, probably due to it being Memorial Day weekend. I think we got there by the end of the music set, and Pastor Jay's message really drove it home. He shared some really powerful lessons, and a profound story of suffering which was really hard to hear, yet very impacting. God is truly at work, and it's awesome to be a part of it!

I hope you all had a great week, wherever you were worshiping.

Be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists at www.theworshipcommunity.com to see what other leaders and worshipers experienced this week.

Set List, 05/09/10 Church at the Mall

Currently Listening to my printer... Here's our set for this past Sunday:

"Happy Day" [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] "Salvation is Here" [Joel Houston] "Everlasting God" [Brenton Brown] "Lord of All" [Kristian Stanfill] "How Great is Our God" [Chris Tomlin and co.] INV: "I Will Go" [Starfield] OFF: "Because of Your Love" [Phil Wickham] This week we had a good day of worship. Dr. Jerry Haag, president of the Florida Baptist Children's Homes shared a message about taking care of the orphans, and it was very powerful. He incorporated many stories about his experiences with the organization, and the many orphaned children around the world to whom he has had the chance to minister. God's hand in the planning was evident, as our invitation/response song, "I Will Go," was a perfect way to close the message, with the lyric singing,

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

Chorus I will go, I will go, I will go, Lord send me To the world, to the lost, to the poor and hungry Take everything I am, I'm clay within Your hands I will go, I will go, send me

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

Bridge I wanna live for You Go where You lead me I wanna follow You

This song is quickly becoming one of my favorites, because it is such an earnest cry and prayer for our obedience as the Body of Christ, that we would be His hands and His feet to the world around us.

It was a good Mother's Day service, and God was glorified by it. I pray that people heed the call to take care of the helpless. May we all heed that call!

Have a great week. I hope you had a great week of worship, wherever you were this week!

I will be on vacation next Sunday, so there won't be any updates next week. I'll be unplugged for a while, which is long overdue.

Bill

P.S. make sure to check out Sunday Set Lists over at www.theworshipcommunity.com, to see what other leaders did this past week.

bill