Songs We Sing, 12/22 - 12/23/12 and Christmas Eve - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we wrapped up our Advent series, "Simple Christmas." Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about our simple purpose of worshipping and glorifying Jesus Christ, and the simple priority of the gospel in and through our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here. Here are our service plans from this weekend:

Weekend Services Welcome/Call to Worship "Angels From The Realms Of Glory" (C) [James Montgomery, Henry Thomas Smart, my arrangement] "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [Edward Hodges, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven, w/ chorus & bridge by Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Simple Purpose" [Joe Hishmeh] "What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, my arrangement] "O Holy Night" (C) [Adolphe Charles Adam, Placide Cappeau, John S. Dwight, my arrangement] "Glorious One" (C) [Steve Fee] Dismissal

Christmas Eve Call to Worship "Joy To The World" (C) [Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn] Welcome/Announcements "O Holy Night" (C) [Adolphe Charles Adam, Placide Cappeau, John S. Dwight, my arrangement] "O Come Let Us Adore Him" (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade] Message - "Simple Priority" [Joe Hishmeh] "What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, my arrangement] "Silent Night" (A) [Franz Xaver Gruber, Joseph Mohr, John Freeman Young] Dismissal

Thoughts: There won't be much detail this week - I'm technically on vacation... ;) This was a beautiful weekend, as we celebrated the incarnation of Jesus together as a church family. Our volunteers were incredible, and we had a lot of fun serving our church together. Our weekend services came together powerfully, and our Christmas Eve services were probably the greatest (and most unique) I have ever experienced. Eight services in three days was challenging and rewarding, and the church sang like crazy for most all of it. It was truly incredible. Once again, I really loved being able to sing our Advent songs together for these past four weeks. I love singing these great old songs in new and fresh ways, and to help our church see the gospel in them.

God is so good, and I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of this great church!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas celebration with your family, friends, and your churches!

Songs We Sing, 12/15 - 12/16/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we continued in our third week of Advent and our series, "Simple Christmas." Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about how God chooses to use simple places in His plan of redemption on this earth, and how Bethlehem was a great example of this. These kinds of places provide a perfect platform for God to display His power. I think it reminded all of us that we are here in Topeka for a purpose, and we need to join God in what He is doing here. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [Edward Hodges, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven, w/ chorus & bridge by Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram] "O Come Let Us Adore Him" (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Simple Places" [Joe Hishmeh] "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (Em) [Henry Sloane Coffin, Thomas Helmore, and John Mason Neale, arr. by Bill Horn] "What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, arr. by Bill Horn] "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend! We arranged everything with a heavy acoustic emphasis. We had two acoustics, electric bass, keys, drums with mostly hot rods, djembe, and muted trumpet played by our discipleship pastor, David Hinkle. Our band did such a good job of finding their respective fit in the mix, and it turned out great. I love our team and how God has gifted them. It is a blessing to serve with each of them.

We repeated "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" from last week, and it is just a great song to start with. I love the combination of old and new with this one. We also sang "O Come Let Us Adore Him" from Hillsong's Christmas album, We Have A Savior. This is another song that we introduced last year during Advent, and we sang it recently in our Overflow night of worship last Sunday. The added chorus ("O come all ye faithful/ Come let us adore Him") just stays with you. The chorus just blasts (reaches a G at one point, and I get a little red in the face as a result...), creating a ton of energy. Combined with the band we used this weekend, it was a great moment.

We responded to the message with "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and "What Child Is This," both with the feel of a lazy acoustic groove, which was really locked in by our drummer Bob Fulmer, percussionist Ryan Hoskinson, and our bassist Ben Engstrom. I loved the way these two songs worked together.

We finished the weekend with "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)," really making the chorus of the song our prayer: "Hosanna (which is a name meaning "come save us"), 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." Because of the message this weekend, we wanted to finish by declaring that God has each of us here in Topeka for a purpose, and we want His will to be done and His kingdom to expand here. This song was a great way to finish our weekend together. It was the first time I had ever seen this song done at the end of a service (it is usually a "call to worship" kind of song), but I liked it a lot as a send off.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend together with the church. We prayed together for the families who were affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT, which was a sobering reminder of the evil in this world, and for us to make our relationships a priority in this lifetime. We need to share the love of Jesus with one another, and with the world around us. We need to be lights in the darkness. Change begins with us.

As a side note, I got to baptize my 5-year-old daughter after the last service this weekend, which was an amazing blessing. I am so thankful that she has trusted in the saving work of Jesus for her, and wants the world to know. It's a beautiful thing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Songs We Sing, 12/01 - 12/02/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we began our celebration of Advent and our new series, "Simple Christmas." Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about God's plan of redemption for us, and how the only way for us to receive this redemption is to step down from our pride and trust in the finished work of Christ. It was a great way to begin Advent. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Joy To The World" (C) [Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn] "Salvation's Chorus" (G) [Todd Fields] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Simple Plan" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)" (C) [Charlotte Elliot, Brenton Brown] "In Christ Alone" (E) [Keith Getty, Stuart Townend, arr. by Bill Horn] "Here I Am To Worship" (E) [Tim Hughes] "Cannons" (chorus only) (E) [Phil Wickham] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Joe's message was a powerful to trust completely in the work of Christ and to step down from our pride that He might be more exalted in our lives. The band did a great job this weekend, too. I threw a lot at them, with some new songs and some old songs done in new ways. We introduced Todd Fields' (of North Point) "Salvation's Chorus" to our church this weekend, which is a song that I have wanted to teach for a while. It is a great song for celebrating our redemption in Christ. Also, we introduced Brenton Brown's update of "Just As I Am," entitled "Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)," which is a beautiful song for communion. Cindy Gular helped lead this one, and it was a great moment. From there, we introduced my new arrangement of "In Christ Alone." The team did a great job of developing their parts, and I was pretty happy with the results. I look forward to singing this arrangement again soon with the church. I simply love the words of this song. All in all, it was a great weekend. The church was singing pretty well, and I loved some of the creativity the team showed this weekend. I love my church and my team! It is such a blessing to serve here.

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

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

Set List, 11/24 - 11/25/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we finished our series, "Ephesians - United in Christ." Our family pastor, Brian Tryhus, preached from Ephesians 6 and wrapped up our study of Ephesians by emphasizing our adoption in Christ. We also had a major emphasis this weekend for orphan care, drawing attention to the great needs of the fatherless, specifically in our state. Brian tied these ideas together really well, pointing out that adoption is the defining story of our lives in Christ, so our earthly lives should be marked by a compassion for the fatherless and support for adoption. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Our God" (A) [Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] "Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Ephesians 6" [Brian Tryhus] "Grace Alone" (E) [Dustin Kensrue] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Brian did an awesome job sharing about the powerful truth of our adoption in Christ as children of God. He also did a great job tying this truth to God's calling on us to have compassion for the fatherless in our world. It was a powerful word. Also, our team did a great job. This newer rendition of "Before The Throne" by The Modern Post continues to be one of my favorite songs, because of the powerful declaration about what Christ has done and continues to do for us in the gospel. We have a substitute and an advocate in Christ! Also, "Grace Alone" was a great gospel-centered song that tied in directly with Brian's message. It was a great way to respond. This song is valuable in that it points out how each person of the Trinity is involved in our redemption, and clearly explains the gospel throughout. It's a weighty song. I plan on properly teaching this song after the new year. We don't have much time during Advent because we have so many other songs that we need to sing! "Your Great Name" was an especially powerful moment for me, because Amy, who sang the second verse ("The fatherless find their rest at the sound of Your great name..."), is also a parent of two adopted children and she was interviewed for a video that we showed this weekend about adoption.

I have LOVED the past 12 weeks as we have walked through the book of Ephesians together as a church. I'm excited about heading into Advent this weekend, and the special emphases we will have on giving to some amazing   ministries in our city and around the world. God is doing great things, and it's amazing to be a part of it. He is worthy of all glory and honor and praise for who He is and what He has done for us! I've said it before: He's ridiculously good to us.

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

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

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

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

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

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

 

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

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

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

Set List, 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, 10/27 - 10/28/12 - 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 5:1-8 how God calls us to "Love not Lust." When we settle for lust instead of love, we are selling ourselves short, and accepting far less than God's best for our lives. It was a powerful challenge to pursue love and our true identity and purpose in Christ. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Because of the drive of the message, we focused on the amazing love of God that never changes, never fails, never leaves us, never forsakes us, and never gives up.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"Sing to the King" (D) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne] Welcome/Greeting Time "One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)" (Bb) [Brian Johnson, Christa Black, Jeremy Riddle] "Forever Reign" (Bb) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] Message - "Ephesians 5:1-8" [Joe Hishmeh] "The Love of God" (D) [Frederick M. Lehman, arr. by Bill Horn] "Amazing Grace" (D) [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees, arr. by Bill Horn] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"Sing to the King" - We opened our services this weekend with this great hymn rewrite by Billy Foote. One of our newer team members, Cindy Gular, led us on this one and did a great job. I loved opening with this song, as it set our eyes on our hope: Christ's victorious return and the consummation of our salvation. As Joe said in his message, "Our lives our best when long-term values are  the basis of our short-term decisions." When we keep our eyes on our future and our hope in Christ, we live differently.

"One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)" - We continued after the welcome time with this song, which helps us declare the truth about God's constant and unchanging love for us. I love singing this song together with our congregation.

"Forever Reign" - This song says a lot about God and His character. I love how it juxtaposes God's perfection against our weakness in the verses, helping us to see and sing of our great need for Him.

"Your Great Name" - We finished the first part of the service with this song, which points us to the cross and the redemption that we find in Christ alone. He is Lord, and He is high and lifted up, and one day every knee will bow before His throne and confess that truth. My hope for our congregation is that we will confess that truth not only with our words, but with our lives.

"The Love of God" - We responded to the message with this profound hymn about God's love. I (along with most everyone else who hears this song) particularly love the last verse: "Could we with ink the oceans fill, and were the skies of parchment made/ Were ev'ry stalk on earth a quill, and ev'ry man a scribe by trade/ To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry/ Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky." That is beautifully said.

"Amazing Grace" - We tagged this onto the end of "The Love of God" to finish out our services. We did something we don't normally do, in that we sang it only with piano. It was a nice moment for us all to hear one another singing this most familiar of hymns together. I feel that it also helped tie everything together from the service: recognizing our own sinfulness, the greatness of God's love and grace for us, and fixing our eyes on our hope in Christ.

Thoughts: This weekend was a great weekend. Our team did a great job, and I am happy with how each song tied together with the focus. I felt that the church sang well in each of our services, and that people were engaging with the truth of God and His gospel in the songs that we were singing. The weekends are consistently a highlight of my week, as we remember the gospel and praise God for who He is and what He has done for us.

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, 10/20 - 10/21/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our student pastor, Nick Strobel, continued our discipleship series, "Ephesians - United in Christ." In his message for the weekend, Nick shared from Ephesians 4:17-32 about how we are called to "put off" the old man and "put on" the things of Christ in the new man. He ended with a strong emphasis on participating in biblical community. It was a very challenging message that called us to the likeness of Christ. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Countdown - "Only A Word" (E) [Bill Horn] "Song of the Redeemed" (Em) [Charlie Hall, Kendall Combes, Dustin Ragland, Quint Anderson, Brian Bergman] Welcome/Greeting Time Child/Family Dedications "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] "Son of God" (A) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran] "Nothing But The Blood" (G) [Robert Lowry, arr. by Bill Horn] Message - "Ephesians 4:17-32" [Nick Strobel] "Glory to God Forever" (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"Only A Word" - This was our countdown song this week. This is a song that I wrote on my first trip to Brazil when I was on the Amazon River. It is about the power of a single word from the Lord. The idea is that He can change everything with just one word. That kind of power is unmatched!

"Song of the Redeemed" - We began teaching this song last weekend. I love the concept of this song, and especially value the unique lyric of the bridge, which specifically points out our unity around the cross of Christ: "We adore You/ And before You/ Forgiven and redeemed/ All races/ From all places/ Around the cross we sing." If we don't continue singing this particular song, I will always be looking for songs that proclaim these kinds of truths, because there are very few that do it well.

"Because of Your Love" - We came out of child dedications in each of our services into this song, and started by emphasizing that everything pertaining to our life and salvation begins with the love that God has for us and demonstrated at the cross. Everything we do ought to be a response to that love. This song communicates that idea very clearly.

"Son of God" - This remains one of our congregation's favorite songs. It's a simple, strong, and beautiful song about Jesus.

"Nothing But The Blood" - This was the first time we had sung this arrangement of "Nothing But The Blood," which I finished up this past week, and which the band helped me flesh out during rehearsal. I really enjoyed how it built and flowed. I look forward to using it again soon. This is most definitely a song worth singing, because it glorifies and gives credit to Christ alone for our redemption and salvation.

"Glory To God Forever" - We responded to the message by singing this song together. We began with the bridge, which is my favorite part of the song by far: "Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory..." I wanted to make that the emphasis in our response, because the message was calling us to put of our old lives and to put on Christ, that we would reflect His image to the world around us. This song represents that idea well.

Thoughts: This weekend was a great weekend of worship. The team did a good job, and we had a lot of fun worshiping and playing together. I felt that the congregation engaged pretty well in all of our services, for the most part. Highlight moments were during "Son of God" and "Nothing But The Blood." I'm not sure if we'll sing "Song of the Redeemed" again...

I need to continue encourage the congregation that clapping, applauding, raising of hands, etc. are all expressions to GOD, and not to the band or anyone else in the room. We gather for His sake, not our own. We sing for Him alone. I have to remind myself that many of our people, like me, did not grow up attending churches like ours (or attending church at all), so it's important to be clear about those kinds of things. When we have that clear, it removes some of the awkwardness from outward expressions of worship, and frees us to exalt Jesus more completely.

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, 10/06 - 10/07/12 - 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, Joe shared from Ephesians 3:14-21 about submitting our lives to Jesus, and asking for His presence to dwell in us, His love to thrive in us, and His character to fill us. This, Joe said, is the greatest prayer we can pray as believers. When these things are a reality in our lives, the gospel will advance through us to others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on the powerful love of God, which surpasses all we can imagine.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"In Tenderness" (G) [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey] Welcome/Greeting Time "God Is Able" (B) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan] "One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)" (B) [Brian Johnson, Christa Black, Jeremy Riddle] "Beneath The Waters (I Will Rise)" (G) [Scott Ligertwood, Brooke Ligertwood] Message - "Ephesians 3:14-21" [Joe Hishmeh] Communion "Stronger" (B) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"In Tenderness" - We taught this song over a few weekends recently, and this was a refresher weekend for the song. It is quickly becoming one of my new favorites, and it is a great fit as we walk through the book of Ephesians. The chorus captures the heart of God in the gospel very succinctly - "O, the love that sought me/ O, the blood that bought me/ O, the grace that brought me to the fold of God/ Grace that brought me to the fold of God!" I simply love declaring this together with the Church!

"God Is Able"- We sang this song coming out of the welcome and greeting time, and it focused us right in on where we were going this morning. We sang this song in particular because part of our passage this week was Ephesians 3:20-21:

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)

This is a solid staple in our worship song vocabulary here at Fellowship, and it does a great job of building our confidence in the one who is truly able, our Lord Jesus Christ. He conquered sin and death, and He has redeemed us and given us life. There is no one else who has done what He has done, or who could do what He can do.

"One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)" - This is another fairly new song that we introduced about two months ago. I love the strong declaration that this song makes regarding God's faithful love. Again, this song builds our hope and our confidence in who Christ is and what He has done/will do.

"Beneath The Waters (I Will Rise)" - This is a new song that our NextGen director Erik Oldberg and his wife Sarah introduced last weekend. We continued teaching it this weekend, and one of our newer worship team members, Cindy Gular, led us on this song. It is a very strong and beautiful song, but I'm not sure yet of how it serves as a congregational song in which our people can participate besides the chorus.

As an aside, I also wanted to make a note about using this song: we made one change before we introduced it, in that we adjusted one line of the song. In the second verse, the original recording by Hillsong has the line, "Salvation through repentance." This elevates a result of saving faith to a causal position with regards to our salvation. We are "saved by grace through faith," according to Ephesians 2:8-9. Repentance and baptism, which are connected with salvation by Peter in the book of Acts (Acts 2:38), are demonstrations of our faith, but faith comes first. We believe and therefore we are saved. Repentance and baptism are not salvific, meaning they do not cause salvation or result in our redemption. When we truly believe in Christ, we will do those things that are fitting of a saving relationship with Christ, but salvation does not come through those things. They are not the means of salvation--faith is. While most people would not notice or make a big deal about the word "through" in this line, I think it is a huge deal, because it communicates that salvation is somehow in our hands, which is not the case. Salvation is a gift, and nothing we can do can earn it. We simply place our trust in Him as our divine substitute at the cross, recognizing our own sinfulness and desperate need for rescuing. Because of this, we changed the line to say, "Salvation to repentance," trying to clarify that we repent because we have saving faith. The bottom line is this: as leaders, we are responsible for what we teach our people (and yes, we ARE teaching our people through the songs that we sing together). I want us to be as clear as possible with the message of the gospel. It has been entrusted to us as His Church and we must be crystal clear with it, because the world around us is doing everything possible to muddy up the truth about salvation.

"Stronger" - We sang this song for our response and communion song. We quietly sang the first part of the song (everything prior to the bridge) while the elements were being passed out, and then we sang the bridge and repeated the chorus after we took the elements. I was reminded how much I love this song when we attended the Hillsong Live concert in Kansas City a few weeks ago. It is a solid song about the gospel and what Jesus has done for us, and therefore it was a great fit for the message this weekend and for our time of communion.

This weekend was a good weekend of worship overall. Our team did a great job, and played and sang well together. I felt like the change to colder weather slowed our people down a little bit, but we celebrated the gospel and Jesus was lifted up as a result. I am so thankful for our church, and pray that the Lord continues to point us to His gospel and the salvation that is found in Him alone.  

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, 09/22 - 09/23/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

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

This week our adult ministries pastor, David Hinkle, continued our discipleship series, "Ephesians - United in Christ." In his message, David shared from Ephesians 2:11-22 about living in unity in the Church for the purpose of glorifying Jesus Christ. One of the most impacting thoughts was that God has chosen to hang His name and reputation in the world primarily through the Church. He also gave us some really useful practical wisdom about how to respond to the needs of those who are hurting. It was a strong challenge for all of us to pursue love, peace, and unity with one another, not for its own sake, but for the glory of our great God and Savior! You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

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

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service Countdown - "Beautiful Things" (D) [Lisa Gungor, Michael Gungor] "Kingdom" (A) [Kristian Stanfill] Welcome/Greeting Time "Hallelujah To My King" (C) [Paul Baloche] "Lead Me To The Cross" (D) [Brooke Fraser] "In Christ Alone" (E) [Keith Getty, Stuart Townend] Message - "Ephesians 2:11-22" [David Hinkle] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michaele Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"Beautiful Things" - This was the second time we have sung this song in the pre-service time. It was a great fit for the focus of the weekend, because it points to the amazing truth that Jesus has taken our broken lives and not only made them new, but He knits us together as something as beautiful as the Church -- His body -- here on the earth. We can accomplish more together than we can apart, and we need one another. There is nothing more powerful than seeing the Church truly living as the Church -- doing life together, caring for one another, supporting and encouraging one another, bearing one another's burdens, serving together, and loving like Jesus loved us.

"Kingdom" - This was our opening song of our services this weekend. It was a late addition to the list after debating between it and "The Solid Rock." I love how this song connected with the message, as we sang about how God has made us "the kingdom of God" and "an army of love," whose purpose is to carry love and truth to our broken world. He has put us together not just to form a "holy huddle," but for a glorious mission and purpose: to expand His kingdom and to take His gospel to the ends of the earth.

"Hallelujah To My King" - After our welcome time, we continued with this song, which recalls and celebrates the gospel, and how "We were strangers/ now we're called His own." This thought is tied very closely with the focus passage this weekend, which says that we "have been brought near by the blood of Christ" and that Jesus "Himself is our peace." We have great cause to praise Him--He has rescued us and made peace for us, that we could be with Him forever. Sarah Oldberg led us on this song, and she did a great job as always.

"Lead Me To The Cross" - Sarah led us this song as well, and it continued to help us focus our eyes on the cross. Everything in our lives as Christians ought to begin with the cross, because everything changes for us there. When we fix our eyes on the cross (which is empty, by the way...) we see things in the proper perspective. We see the incredible and ridiculous love of God. We see grace beyond measure. We find our motivation to love others and to be truly selfless, because Jesus was selfless for us.

"In Christ Alone" - I love this modern hymn by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. This was one that I thought was more familiar to our church than it was. I had anticipated a little more participation, but it seemed to me that people were focusing more on the words of the song (and that's not a bad thing!) because they were somewhat new to them. I love how this song communicates the gospel. I think I will need to make a point of singing it more often with our congregation, because this is definitely a song worth singing. Again, we sang this because I wanted us to focus on the gospel, because all of our worship and response stems from that.

"Your Great Name" - We responded to the message by singing this song together. Amy Thompson started us off and led the first verse of this song, and then I jumped in with the male vocal on the chorus and we continued on together. This song was definitely a highlight of the weekend. We sang it because David emphasized the truth that Jesus has placed His name and reputation on His body, the Church. All of us come from different places of brokenness and need, but when we love as Jesus loves, and care with the kind of care that Jesus has for us, Jesus' name is lifted up and exalted. We honor Him and worship Him when we imitate Him in our world.

This weekend started a little rough in our first service, as we had a few hiccups in the band, but we smoothed them out for the last three services. It was a great moment of learning and growth for our team, because when things go bad, it is easy to get sidetracked and overly focused on our mistakes. To press on, we have to learn our lessons and move on and keep working to make things better. Our team did just that. It was a great weekend of worship, where the church was challenged to follow Jesus more fully, and where Jesus was truly lifted up!

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

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

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

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

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Set List, 09/08 - 09/09/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

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

This week our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, kicked off our new discipleship series, "Ephesians - United in Christ." In his message, Joe shared from Ephesians 1:1-14 that Jesus is our best offense, our best defense, and our best confidence. It was a great reminder of the work of Christ on our behalf, which results in grace and peace in our lives. He is so good to us! You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on the gospel and on God's sovereign power over all.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"In Tenderness" (G) [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey, arr. by Citizens] Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship/Confession "Glorious Day" (Bb) [J. Wilbur Chapman, Michael Bleecker] "You Alone Can Rescue" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] "Lord of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] Message - "Ephesians 1:1-14" [Joe Hishmeh] "Son of God" (G) [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"In Tenderness" - This was a new song that we taught during our countdown last week, and continued teaching this week. It is a hymn that was written in 1894, and that was rearranged by a band from Mars Hill Church called Citizens. I love the energy this song brings to our services and to our congregation, and I think our church is catching on. I think this song is a keeper for us, and it fit well with the message for this week.

"Glorious Day" - This is another old hymn that has been refreshed for the Church today by Village Church. I love the lyric of this song, as it remembers where we were before Christ, and then celebrates what Christ has accomplished--and will accomplish--for us. It is a great fit for this series through Ephesians.

"You Alone Can Rescue" - This song focused specifically on the redemption that we have in Christ. I love how this song communicates our own powerlessness to save ourselves and the unique ability of Christ alone to rescue us from sin and death. Because of who He is and what He has done for us, He alone is worthy of our praise.

"Lord of All" - We went from singing about the unique worth of Christ (because He is the only one who can rescue us) at the end of "You Alone Can Rescue" to this song, which emphasizes His unique worth because He is the Lord of all. This has been, and remains, one of our church's favorite songs. I love singing it together.

"Son of God" - We responded to Joe's message with this song, which focuses on the unique personhood of Jesus. This is another of our church's favorites, and it was a great way to wrap up our services.

This weekend was a solid weekend of worshiping together. Our team did a great job leading our congregation in singing to our King. We also worked like crazy to get our new stage design put together, and I am really happy with how it all turned out. I am really excited about going through Ephesians together as a church. It's going to be transformational!

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, 09/01 - 09/02/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared some biblical wisdom regarding leaving a godly legacy, as we finished our series called "Can You Relate?". In his message, Joe shared about how small changes today can have a long-lasting impact, far beyond what we could even imagine today. It was a challenge to be mindful of the impact that we can have on our children and on others around us who are watching our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. For our singing this week, we focused on the gospel and on giving our lives to Jesus as living offerings of worship and thanksgiving for what He has done and is doing in our lives.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "In Tenderness" (G) [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey, arr. by Citizens] "Those Who Trust" (Em) [Don Chaffer] Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship/Confession "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] "One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)" (Bb) [Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Christa Black] "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman] / "Glory to God Forever" (G) [Vicky Beeching, Steve Fee] Message - "Can You Relate? - Legacy" [Joe Hishmeh] Communion "Jesus Paid It All" (B) [Elvina M. Hall, John T. Grape, Alex Nifong] Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

"In Tenderness" - This was a new (to us anyway - it was written in 1894) song that we taught during our countdown this week. This is one of my favorite songs for the Church that I have heard this year. It is lyrically profound, while being musically straight-forward, energetic, and extremely catchy. I couldn't get it out of my head for at least two weeks. This is especially true of the chorus: "O the love that sought me/ O the blood that bought me/ O the grace that brought me to the fold of God/ Grace that brought me to the fold of God!"

"Those Who Trust" - This was technically our opening song this week, and it established a theme for the weekend in declaring that those who build their lives on - and trust in - the Lord will never be moved or shaken, because He is their foundation. He is constant and true, and we can trust Him to be with us no matter what we face in this life. This song is incredibly fun to play, especially with bassist Ben Engstrom and drummer Jordan Hymon, who love to play funk. It just works.

"Let Me Sing" - This song was key for our focus this week, as it put words to the idea of giving our lives as a response to how Jesus gave His life for our redemption. I love this song, and our church connects with it well.

"One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)" - This was the third week of teaching this song to our congregation. We gave the song a week off last week, and brought it back as a refresher this weekend. This song contributed to our overall direction by giving us assurance and confidence in the unfailing love of God, which in turn gives us freedom to love and give fully.

"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"/"Glory To God Forever" - We sang this song just prior to the message this weekend, and it consisted of using all of "10,000 Reasons" and the bridge of "Glory to God Forever." That really put an exclamation point on where were going this week: "Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours." That idea is where wanted our major emphasis to be this week.

"Jesus Paid It All" - During communion, we sang the traditional portion of this great hymn, and then after we took the elements together as a church, we sang the additional modern chorus ("O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead"). It was a beautiful moment of focusing powerfully on the gospel message, and the thanks and praise that are due to our Savior and King for what He has done for us!

This weekend was an incredible weekend of worship. Our team members all did a fantastic job of preparing and leading well. They worshiped sincerely, and pointed all eyes to Jesus, where they belong! Not only was it powerful, it was a lot of fun, too. Everything clicked well, and we were able to really "enjoy the moment" throughout the weekend. I am so grateful for what the Lord is doing in our team and in our congregation.

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, 08/18 - 08/19/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our family pastor, Brian Tryhus, shared some biblical wisdom regarding parenting, as we continued our fourth week in our series called "Can You Relate?". In his message, Brian called us to be intentional at every opportunity with our parenting. He challenged us to the standard that Moses communicated with the Hebrew people in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, calling us to make it personal, to fight for the heart of our children, to imagine the end (know where we want to see our kids in the end), to create a rhythm, and to widen the circle (inviting others that we trust to be a part of influencing our kids). These concepts have been adapted from a great book, Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. For our singing this week, we focused on the redemption and the future that we have because of Christ. Just as the people of Israel, we walk most closely with the Lord when we remember what He has done for us, and live in response to that.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"Sing To The King" (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Sylvester Horne] Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship/Confession "Hallelujah To My King" (C) [Brenton Brown, Paul Baloche] "One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)" (Bb) [Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Christa Black] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] Message - "Can You Relate? - Parenting" [Brian Tryhus] Offering Intro "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman] Announcements/Dismissal

"Sing To The King" - This was our opening song this week, setting the stage for the service for us by focusing on the redemption, the future, and the victory that is in Christ. He has bought us with His precious blood, and we are His. All we are, and all we have is His. He is worthy of our everything. Sarah Oldberg did an awesome job leading on this one, as always.

"Hallelujah To My King" - After our time of reflection and confession, we continued with this song. This is another song along the lines of "Sing to the King," in that it recalls the finished work of Christ and the future hope that we have because of it. As John says in 1 John 3:3, everyone who has this hope purifies himself. Sarah led us on this song as well, and singing it in the key of C rather than the key of E or F gave it a very different feel, and it was great to hear the ladies singing out so well along with Sarah.

"One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)" - This was the second week of teaching this song to our congregation. I think it really connecting with many people in our congregation. I love the message of this song, as it inspires our confidence in the Lord and what He has done for us. He, and His love, never fails! I think this is another song that will be a part of our regular worship vocabulary here at Fellowship, because it is something we need to believe, sing, and remember.

"Your Great Name" - This was the last song we sang before the message, and it remains one of our congregation's favorite songs. I love how powerfully it exalts the name of Jesus. We sang this because it focuses on who Jesus is and what He has done, and continues to do, for us. He is good, and He is worthy of all praise.

"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" - This was our response song this week, and it was a great fit with the focus of the message. As I said earlier, it is easier for us to follow closely with the Lord when we remember who He is and all He has done and is going to do. He is with us, and we can trust Him with everything we are. I love how the church sings out together on this one.

This weekend was as great weekend of worship. The team did a solid job, and Jesus was the focus of it all, which is the way it should be. We had two of our NextGen team members, Chandler Klamm and Hannah Deardorff, playing with us, and they did a great job. I am so proud of our NextGen team and the leadership that their director, Erik Oldberg, is giving them. God is doing great things in our young people here at Fellowship! God is so good, and it is awesome to be a part of His working and moving in our church. I know that our best days are ahead of us!

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, 08/11 - 08/12/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared some biblical wisdom regarding marriage, as we continued our third week in our series called "Can You Relate?". In his message, Joe called us to the example of Christ and the Church. The three challenges were to You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. For our singing this week, we focused on the unfailing love of God. He loved us when we were unlovable, and is faithful even when we are faithless (2 Tim. 2:13).

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"Unchanging" (G) [Chris Tomlin] Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship/Confession "Blessed Be Your Name" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] "One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)" (Bb) [Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Christa Black] "How He Loves" (Bb) [John Mark McMillan] Message - "Can You Relate? - Marriage" [Joe Hishmeh] Offering "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] Announcements/Dismissal

"Unchanging" - This was our opening song this week, because it laid the foundation for the rest of what we sang and studied in Scripture: God's faithful, steadfast love for us. It is one that is well-known for our congregation, so we sing it well together.

"Blessed Be Your Name" - We sang this song to continue with the truth that we can trust God no matter what, and that He is always in control and worthy of praise.

"One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)" - - This was a new song for much of our congregation, and it's one that I have become pretty excited about over the last week or so. It is a fairly simple song overall, repeating this line in the chorus: "Your love never fails/ It never gives up/ It never runs out on me." It has been sung and recorded by at least four groups, so look it up. This is one that we will continue to sing in the future, because it a great reminder about God's love.

"How He Loves" - this is a very familiar song through various avenues, but is one that I haven't led before with Fellowship. It really resonates with many in our congregation. I enjoy the fresh, unique lyric in the verses, and the simple pre-chorus and chorus. And yes, we sing the Crowder lyric ("unforeseen kiss"). I cannot sing "sloppy wet kiss" without laughing.

"You Never Let Go" - This was our response song this week, as it pointed us once again to the steadfast love of God. His love casts out fear and gives us rest, because He never leaves us or forsakes us. The Lord is so good to us, and we find hope in His unfailing love.

This weekend was a great weekend of worship together. The team did a fantastic job serving the congregation. One thing I was reminded of this week was that I need to leave room in my worship planning for songs that are currently and freshly moving my heart. That song this week was "One Thing Remains." It has really been encouraging me to trust God more over this past week. I still very much believe that my planning is what I need to do to lead my congregation well, but my leading feels more alive when I am finding and incorporating songs that are speaking to my heart in fresh ways. It made the weekend very special for me. I will definitely keep this tweak in mind as I plan toward the future.

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, 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, 07/28 - 07/29/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared some biblical wisdom regarding friendship, as we began a new series called "Can You Relate?". He emphasized the importance of having true, deep friendships in following the Lord. We need people we can trust with all our lives. As he said during the message, "Deep friendships are enduring," and "I need to be what I want to see in others." The areas where Joe pointed our focus were availability, acceptance, awareness, affirmation, and appreciation. It was a powerful challenge, especially for someone who leans toward being a "loner" like I do. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. For our singing this week, we focused mostly on songs that emphasized the solid foundation and constant presence of Christ with us. He never changes, He never fails, and He never leaves us. He is a shelter and a refuge, and we can trust in Him.

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Beautiful Things" (D) [Michael Gungor, Lisa Gungor] "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Welcome/Greeting Time "Cornerstone" (Bb) [Edward Mote, Jonas Myrin, Reuben Morgan, Eric Liljero, William B. Bradbury] Time of Confession "God Is Able" (Bb) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] "Your Name" (Bb) [Paul Baloche, Glenn Packiam] Message - "Can You Relate? - Friends" [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Response Time "Forever Reign" (Ab) [Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram] Announcements/Dismissal

"Beautiful Things" - We sang this song during the countdown time this weekend. I have wanted to do it for a long time, and it finally worked out and fit well. I love the lyric of this song, as it reminds us that despite the brokenness and sin in our lives and our world, Jesus makes things new and can make beautiful things from the mess. He is the one who can restore and recreate us. This song is written by Gungor, which is an amazingly talented and creative band. They use varying textures and stylings throughout their catalog of music, and it is always an enjoyable listen. If you haven't heard them, check them out ("Dry Bones" is probably my favorite song of theirs - it's AMAZING).

"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" - This is one of our church's favorite songs, and it is a great song to use towards the beginning of a service, as it is a call to worship and to opening our lives to the direction of the Lord. We can trust Him and give Him our lives without fear, because He is faithful and able, and in Him there is hope and promise.

"Cornerstone" - This song is fairly new to our congregation (our NextGen worship director, Erik Oldberg, introduced it last week during our family worship weekend). I had first heard this song before Easter this year, but it had fallen off my radar, and I'm glad Erik brought it back up after the new Hillsong Live release. I really appreciate how this song uses a beautiful and powerful lyric, and gives it a fresh take for a younger generation. In my opinion, "On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand" is one of the greatest hymns (remember that a "hymn" is basically a metered poem of praise to God that was usually set to music at a later time) ever penned. It inspires our confidence in the finished work of Christ alone, and that is the type of thing we need to sing continually, because we tend to drift toward confidence in what we do/have done and toward independence rather than dependence on Christ. I have had this song stuck in my head all week. I look forward to continuing to sing it together with our church.

"God Is Able" - After a time where we confessed sin--things that come between us and the Lord or between us and the people around us--we sang this song and trusted in the Lord's finished work for us, and in His unfailing love and presence with us. He is with us, He is for us, and He is on our side.

"Your Name" - We haven't sung this song in a long time (I'm not sure I have even sung it here with Fellowship), but with the subject matter, Sarah singing with us, and the cello, it was a perfect fit. I have always enjoyed this song. It is simple, but once again, it points our confidence to Jesus Christ as our "strong and mighty tower," "a shelter like no other," and the only one who has the power to save.

"Forever Reign" - We responded to the message with this song, which sings of the perfect attributes of God, compared with our failings and weaknesses. It is one of our congregation's favorite songs, and it has become one of mine as well. The bridge is a great moment of dedication: "My heart will sing/ No other name/ Jesus, Jesus." Before we sang, we committed to opening our lives up to others in one of the areas that Joe spoke about during the message. Then we turned to look to Christ and to commit ourselves to Him, who is the only one who can truly transform us.

This weekend was really simple and enjoyable, because we used a purely acoustic band. Erik and Sarah Oldberg led with me, and we also had a first-time cellist, Laramie Hulse, playing with us. She did a great job for her first time playing with us and getting used to the way we do things, and I'm looking forward to having her play with the team again in the near future. I have to confess that cello is probably my favorite instrument (aside from guitar), because of its powerful warmth and range. If I could find the time to learn another instrument, that would be the one.

We didn't use our in-ear monitoring system this weekend, and instead switched to floor monitors, and it was nice to hear the congregation singing out in the open. The accuracy and clarity of in-ears forces us to sacrifice a little in the way of hearing the congregation as clearly, while using floor monitors forces us to sacrifice a little in clarity and accuracy. For that reason, it's not always the best for our team to use wedges, but this week was a perfect week to do it.

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!)