FBC Weekend Recap - 12/26 - 12/27/15

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebration with your families and friends!

This weekend, Brian Tryhus taught from Psalm 23 about how the Lord is our Great Shepherd. He shared how God's people recognize the Shepherd's voice and follow Him, and in doing so, they experience provision and rest.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

In Tenderness [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey / Citizens & Saints]
Made Alive [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger /Citizens & Saints]
You Never Let Go [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
One Thing Remains [Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Christa Black ]
Rejoice [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]

We returned to my preferred service order this weekend, with two songs up front and then three songs in response to the Word. While there are several excellent orders for worship services, I prefer this one because it reflects the concept of "revelation and response" in worship. God has revealed Himself in His Word, and that is how we know Him. When we know Him, we can then respond in worship. We have been away from this order for a couple of months, so it was nice to return to it.

In all, it was a great weekend of celebration and worship, thanking God for being our faithful Good Shepherd!

in the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 09/19 - 09/20/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This was our second week of our Unstuck series, where we looked at what it means to be "unstuck" in our faith. Joe shared the ways we typically get stuck in faith, and the things God often uses to get us growing again in our faith.

"Made Alive" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
"Desert Song" [Brooke Ligertwood]
"You Never Let Go" [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Everlasting God" [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]

In talking about faith, we began by focusing on Jesus as the source of the gift of faith, in making us alive together with Him in "Made Alive." We then sang "Desert Song" as a reminder that even if we are faithless, Jesus remains faithful to us, so we don't have to fear. We responded to the message with "You Never Let Go," which continues that idea of God's faithfulness in the midst of trials, and our need to trust Him no matter what we face, because He is with us and cares for us. We then closed out the service with "Your Great Name" and "Everlasting God," both of which proclaim how the Lord is the one who restores us and gives us strength, especially when we are weak.

This weekend served as a gracious reminder that Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us; He is always faithful, even when we have much growing to do in our faith.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship!

in the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 04/11 - 04/12/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we began a new series, entitled Never. In this series, Pastor Joe is going to share about how life in Christ enables us to "Never Give In" (to temptation), "Never Go Back" (to our old lives), and "Never Give Up" (in the face of trials). This week, Joe shared some practical wisdom about temptation. For our singing this week, we focused on Jesus' faithfulness to us as our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4), and how He is all we need.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"The Mighty Hand of God" [Citizens & Saints - Zach Bolen, Dustin Kensrue, Cam Huxford, Brian Eichelberger]
"Before the Throne" [The Modern Post - Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by Dustin Kensrue]
"One Thing Remains" [Bethel Worship - Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Christa Black]
"Always" [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]
"You Never Let Go" [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]

The week after Easter always feels a bit like recovery, especially when Easter services are done off-site. There is lingering fatigue and fogginess in the wake of such a significant gathering for the church body. Lots of hours are spent both setting up and tearing down the many pieces that go into such an event. Despite the overall tiredness of our team, we had a great weekend of worship together. Our team did a great job, and the congregation was engaged and worshiping together. I will never get over the joy of hearing the Church sing to Jesus for who He is and what He has done!

The first two songs this weekend really established the foundation for where we were going this weekend, in that our standing with God is dependent on the finished work of Jesus and not our own ability to "get it right." Instead, we seek to honor God and reflect Him with our lives because of who He is and what He has done for us. Our confidence is in Him—not ourselves.

The final three songs were practice for us, giving us the opportunity to trust the Lord in the midst of our struggles and difficulties. All three are powerful expressions of faith and trust in Jesus, who is faithful and constant no matter what we're facing. He is God with us, and we do not have to be afraid of reality any longer. We can move forward in confidence that He's got us, and that He will never let us go.

Songs We Sing, 06/21 - 06/22/2014 - Fellowship Bible Church

For our fourth weekend in our series on Hope, Pastor Joe shared from the prophet Jeremiah about remaining faithful in uncertain times, because of our certain hope in the Lord.

For our singing, we focused on songs that reminded us of our true hope in the Lord, even in the midst of trials and suffering. Our hope is secured because of the finished work of Christ for us, and that is something we need to be reminded of daily.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

  • "Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend] - Jesus suffered in our place, and therefore He knows the hurt and the pain of trials and suffering that we experience. Because of this, He is our sympathetic Great High Priest, who knows us, cares for us, and makes a way for us. He goes before us, so we can rejoice always in Him.
  • "I Will Boast" (D) [Paul Baloche) - This song is almost directly from Jeremiah 9:23-24
  • "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] - We were all without hope before Jesus saved us and made us His own.
  • "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] - Even in trials, the Lord is faithful and He is with us, so we must keep our hearts fixed on Him and continue to praise Him no matter the situation.
  • "Desert Song" (D) [Brooke Ligertwood] - This song calls us again to faithfulness, in worshiping the Lord in every season of our lives.

It was a solid weekend. Our team did a great job, and it was great to dust off a few songs that we haven't sung in quite a while ("I Will Boast" and "Desert Song"). I'm really enjoying this series as a whole. There have been some powerful and challenging messages about where we find our hope, and how to continue on in hope, even when the situation is grim.

I hope you had a great weekend of worshiping together with a church family, wherever you were! 

Songs We Sing, 02/01 - 02/02/14 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend we continued our series, "Obedience," and Joe shared about how we are called to follow Jesus in all situations. Whether we are experiencing crisis or success, we are to follow His leadership and submit to Him, rather than seeking out our own means for trying to save ourselves. Only Jesus can deliver us. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here's our service plan:

Pre-Service - "Kingdom" (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
"Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message - "Obedience: Calling" [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion Song - "Carried To The Table" (A) [Leeland Mooring, Marc Byrd, Steve Hindalong]
"One Thing Remains" (Bb) [Christa Black, Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle]
"You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend together. Our team did a fantastic job. Trent Raines co-led with me this weekend, and he led powerfully during our communion time with "Carried to the Table," which is a perfect communion song. Also, one my guitar students, Brynn Baker, played lead guitar for the first time as part of our weekend service team, and she knocked it out of the park. She continues to step up and do a great job wherever she is serving (at 13 years of age!!! I had just picked up guitar at 13 years old, and she would play circles around an 18-year-old version of me...). Her playing was definitely a bright spot for me this weekend, especially when she nailed the lead part on "Kingdom," which is one of my favorites. "Before The Throne" continues to be a song that really resonates with our congregation. I prefaced our singing of it by reminding us that even our worship is acceptable to God only because of Jesus' finished work for us, and not because of anything we have done or can do. Jesus is everything for us! We finished our time together with two songs that called us to trust in Jesus and His faithfulness: "One Thing Remains," and "You Never Let G0." These two songs are simple declarations and powerful reminders for the Church to sing together, and it was a fitting way to respond to Joe's message this week.

At some point in the near future, I hope to take some time to write about my recent trip to the Philippines with the Trash Mountain Project. It was both challenging and inspiring, and I'm still processing much of what I saw and experienced. The Lord is doing great things there, and He is raising up some amazing leaders to advance the gospel in some of the darkest parts of the world. Please pray for them as they fight the good fight!

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from this past weekend?

- Bill

Songs We Sing, 07/13 - 07/14/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we had a stand-alone message about walking in faith. Our family pastor Brian Tryhus taught this weekend. In his message, Brian shared about how we gain the conviction to walk in faith because of the assurance of future hope in Christ, looking at the examples of the heroes of the faith from Hebrews 11. It was a powerful challenged to trust Jesus, no matter what. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Those Who Trust" (Em) [Don Chaffer] "Blessed Be Your Name" (G) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] Greeting Time/Announcements Video - Super Kids Super Kamp promo Message - "Faith: Hebrews 11" [Brian Tryhus] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] "It Is Well" (Bb) [Horatio G. Spafford, Philip Paul Bliss, Todd Fields] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a very emotional weekend for me, as we sang primarily about trusting God and about God's amazing faithfulness. As we sang "You Never Let Go," I was overwhelmed at how God has provided for me and my family, and how He has seen us through so many different situations to where we are today. He is so good to us!

Our team did a great job throughout the weekend. Becky Tindell and Heidi Carlson helped co-lead, and we had our Discipleship Pastor, David Hinkle, as a guest on trumpet. It was a lot of fun, and I love each of the songs that we sang together, helping us to trust in Jesus like Brian challenged us in the message. Jesus is worth following, and He will never fail. He is all we need, and He will see us through.

May we each walk in faith, knowing that Jesus is coming again, and that He will see us through.

- Bill

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

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

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

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

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

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

Set List, 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, 06/09 - 06/10/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, David Hinkle preached about abiding in Christ from 1 John. This was our second week walking through 1 John together in our "Love In Christ" series, and we have been reading through the entire letter each week to become very familiar with it. In his message, David emphasized the certainty and security that we have because of what Christ has done for us, and our resulting relationship and fellowship with Christ. It was a beautiful and powerful reminder of our covenant relationship with God. You can listen to the entire message here. For the music this week, we focused on God's faithfulness, God's grace toward us, the finished work of the cross, and the call for us to be completely confident in the person and the work of Jesus Christ. We have nothing to fear in Him. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"Faithful One" (G) [Original] Welcome/Greeting Time "Hallelujah To My King" (E) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] "He Has Done It All" (G) [Andy Cherry, Jason Ingram] "You Have Overcome" (G) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg] Message - "Love In Christ: Abide" [David Hinkle] Offering "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman] Announcements Dismissal

"Faithful One" - This is an original song that we introduced to our congregation a few weekends ago. It declares the truth that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). In my mind, this is one of the crucial attributes of our Lord, because it means that He will not change His mind about us when we are in Christ. His Word is binding and unchanging, because it comes from Him. This is the reason that we can trust His promises.

"Hallelujah To My King" - This song is a simple song of praise to God for all that He has done for us. My favorite verse is the second, which sings of God's amazing grace and mercy in adopting us as sons and daughters, even when we were enemies.

"He Has Done It All" - This is a new song that I have been itching to introduce to our church for a few months. I first heard it February at the re:create conference during our night of worship with several Essential Worship artists. One of them was completely new to me: Andy Cherry. I hadn't heard any of his songs before that night, but several of his songs really resonated with me, especially this one. It declares with confidence that we are secure in what Christ has done for us. The chorus sings, "Love tells me/ It is finished, He accomplished/ What no one could, He has done it all/ Everything has been made complete/ In Him I belong, He has done it all."  Unfortunately, it's not really streaming anywhere for you to hear it, so you'll have to just pick up the album (it's worth it, believe me). I love this song, and our church joined in singing it pretty well. I think our congregation will participate in it more as we continue singing it together. This one is a keeper.

"You Have Overcome" - This is an original song that we introduced around Easter, and it is one that is simply about the gospel and what Jesus Christ accomplished for us. He has overcome sin and death and redeemed us to everlasting life. We can place our complete trust in Him; He is so worthy of our praise.

"You Never Let Go" - In response to the message, we sang this song of faith. Regardless of the circumstances we face in this life, God is with us, and He is worthy of our praise. He is faithful to His covenant toward us.

This weekend was a pretty good weekend. I didn't feel like we were as tight as I would have liked, but we sang songs that centered on the gospel and that pointed our confidence to Christ alone, which is what ultimately matters most. Christ was exalted, and I feel that we were all encouraged by the reminder that Jesus never fails and never neglects His covenant toward us. We can be assured and confident in our Savior!

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, 04/21 - 04/22/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we began a series called "Everything!" Joe is talking through the concepts of a generous life and stewardship with all that we have. It was a really fresh and challenging perspective on generosity, beginning this weekend with a focus on the true owner of the things in this world - God owns everything, and we are stewards of what He owns. You can listen to the entire message here. For our singing, I wanted our songs to remind us that we have nothing to fear when we are in Christ. Many times, the thing that keeps us from obedience and generosity is that fear. He is always with us, and we can trust Him with everything we have and everything we are. He is so good and faithful!

Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"All We Need" (G) [Charlie Hall] Welcome/Greeting Time "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] "Always" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram] Message - "Everything: Where Your Treasure Is, Your Heart Will Be Also " [Joe Hishmeh] "I Surrender All" (D) [Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter, Winfield Scott Weeden] Offering/Announcements Dismissal

"All We Need" - We reintroduced this song to our congregation this weekend. It has been about three years since they had sung it, and it was a great fit for this message series, as it declares that our sufficiency is in Christ and nothing else.

"Everlasting God" - This song remains a staple for us. We sang this song because I wanted us as a congregation to remember that God is from everlasting to everlasting, and that He is our all-sufficient source of strength and hope. 

"You Never Let Go" - We haven't sung this song for a few months, and I felt that this series was a good time to bring it back. I feel it helps us to remember and declare that God will never leave us or forsake us, because He is faithful and unchanging. Matt Redman has a great gift in writing songs in this vein that really resonate with the Church, and which express great faith and trust in the faithfulness of our great God [e.g. "Blessed Be Your Name," "Never Once," "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)," etc.].

"Always" - This is another song that we haven't sung recently, which was also a good fit for the message this weekend. This song really focuses on how we need not fear because of God's faithfulness and perfect timing. No matter what we face in this life, we will endure and God will see us through. He will be there with us through it all.

"I Surrender All" - We responded to our time in the Word with this song. I felt it was a great statement of faith for us to sing after being challenged to trust God and obey Him completely, even when we feel it is difficult. It is in those times that it truly feels like "surrender," when we have to let go of things that we hold dear or things on which we feel dependent. That is exactly the type of thing that Joe pointed out in the Word this weekend. I tried playing it differently than I had before, in my favorite open tuning, DADGAD. I thought it turned out rather pretty (everything sounds good in DADGAD if one can find good chord voicings...). I will definitely use that again. I was inspired to take a look at some other hymns to try in this tuning, too. I'll keep you posted.

This weekend was another solid and very enjoyable weekend of worship. We also had OVERFLOW on Sunday night, which is our night of worship. I may post the set list from that worship gathering as well, in case people are looking for the info.

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

This weekend, we continued our Advent series with a message entitled, "God With Us." He made comparisons between life with Christ and what life would be without Christ, and it was really powerful to see the two lists side-by-side. You can listen to the entire message here. We continued to try something different with our service order to change things up, and we moved the message up a few minutes earlier in the service to have two songs in response to the message, rather than our typical one song in that position. All of us on our worship planning team believes that these kinds of changes help us and our congregation to engage and to not be passive in worship. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Lord I Need You" (B) [Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, Matt Maher, Daniel Carson] Welcome/Greeting Time "Joy To The World" (C) [Isaac Watts] "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven] "A Mighty Fortress" [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels] Message - "God With Us" [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Announcements "Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)" (Bb) [Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] Dismissal

"Lord I Need You" - We sang this song in our preparation time. This is the second time we have sung this song, and I think it will become a staple for our church. I think it resonates with each of us. It communicates a timeless truth in a fresh way, and helps us express our dependence on the Lord for everything. I'm a big fan of this song.

"Joy To The World" - We sang this oldie but goodie to kick off our services. My arrangement of it is kind pop/punk-ish, so it is fun to play and sing together. The melody is unchanged, so everyone can sing along easily. This song just makes people smile. The content of it is solid, and really declares some of what Christ's first coming accomplished in this world. He changed everything with His coming.

"Joyful (The One Who Saves)" - We continued teaching this song to our congregation this week. I decided to drop this song a full step to the key of C this week, to make it a little easier for our congregation to sing, especially on Sunday morning at the early service. I think it was much easier for all of us to sing. Becky and I traded off verses on this one, and I think this is something we will continue to do, because I think it helps draw both the ladies and the men into what we are singing together. I really like this song, and I like how it fits into the Advent season.

"A Mighty Fortress" - Becky led us on this song, and it is one of my favorite declarations about the assurance and refuge we have in God. He is faithful, trustworthy, and true, and we can confidently place our lives in His hands. Our church sings this song well, even after only a few occurrences in our services. Part of the emphasis I was going for here was to point to the trustworthiness and love of God for us, and when He is called "God with us," we can walk with Him in faith, because He will never fail, and His purposes are not thwarted.

"Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)" - We began our response song with this song, which was new to me this week. I really like the message of the verses, which speak to the time of waiting and anticipation before the Messiah arrived. I also enjoy the chorus as a whole, which simply and beautifully sings of the first coming of Jesus: "Emmanuel, Emmanuel/ God incarnate, here to dwell/ Emmanuel, Emmanuel/ Praise His name, Emmanuel." There are a few parts of this song that are a little tricky for one reason or another, so I had to work pretty hard to try and get it right, but I'm glad we sang it together this weekend.

"You Never Let Go" - We closed out our services with this song, which remains one of my favorites. Part of the imagery Joe used in the message was the dominant scriptural image of the Good Shepherd. This song pulls ideas from one of the most prominent pictures of the Shepherd contained in Psalm 23, and I think it helped to tie everything together really well. I love this song's statements of trust and faith in God, regardless of our circumstances. Jesus is worthy of our trust and faith. He will never fail, and He will never let us go.

This was a unique and refreshing weekend of worshiping our Savior together. Our team did a great job as always. I love celebrating Advent with the Church. It's a beautiful thing.

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, 10/29 - 10/30/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on John 14, examining the Holy Spirit and how He changes the way we live and face reality in this life. You can listen to the entire message here. Because of the focus of the message this week, our call to worship came from selections from Psalm 107 (an awesome psalm!), which helps us to remember all the ways God has been with us and for us. It helps us to recall the faithfulness of our God. He is so good to us. I challenged our congregation to focus on things that the Lord has done in our lives, from redemption to walking with us through a difficult time, and to dwell on those moments as we sang out to our God. This was something that the Lord laid on my heart as we were rehearsing. As we were singing "You Never Let Go" and "Never Once," I found myself recalling God's faithfulness in bringing my family and I to this church. I remembered God's faithfulness in our journey after Hurricane Katrina moved us out of New Orleans. As these things were at the front of my mind, I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving and praise because of what the Lord had done. He is faithful. This became the focus of our time of worshiping through singing together. Psalm 107 ends by saying, "Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord" (Psalm 107:43 ESV). Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Jesus, You" (E) [original] Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship - Psalm 107 "Happy Day" (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] "God Is Able" (Bb) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] "Never Once" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Jason Ingram, Tim Wanstall] Prayer Message - John 14 [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Video/Announcements Response/Closing Time "'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" (E) [Louisa M. R. Steed, William James Kirkpatrick] Dismissal

"Jesus, You" - We opened our preparation time with this song again this week. I want our congregation to know it, because at the very least, it is helpful for us to focus on the gospel and to remember clearly what the Lord has done for us. As the book of Romans lays out clearly, we were dead and without hope--enemies of God--yet Jesus came to rescue us by dying in our place and rising again victorious over sin and death. Because of what He has done for us, our song for eternity will be one that sings the name of Jesus, our redeemer.

"Happy Day" - This song is a great opening song that helps to put the focus immediately on the gospel of redemption. It is very familiar for our congregation, and I think it resonates with many of us.

"You Never Let Go" - This song remains one of my favorites. We haven't sung this together in a while, so it was good to pick it back up this weekend. I love the reminder in this song of Jesus' promise to believers, recounted in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave you or forsake you." There is great comfort, peace, and assurance in that promise, and it is one that we really need to remember as we make the journey through our lives with Jesus. Because

"God Is Able" - We taught this song a couple of months ago, and I think it was a great fit for this weekend's focus because of it's repeated emphasis on God's continual presence with us. I really enjoy this song, and I think our congregation has connected well with it, so we will continue to sing it together in the future.

"Never Once" - Similar to the previous two songs, this song emphasizes God's presence with us and His faithfulness to us as His children. When we look back on our lives in Christ, we will be able to look back on our lives and see that God was always with us, and never, at any point, did we walk alone.

"'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" - We responded to God's Word with this song. This is a favorite hymn of mine, because it sings about the blessing of the relationship we have with Jesus when we are trusting Him fully. The benefits of knowing and trusting Jesus are the same that the Spirit provides in us, and that is why we sang this song as the response. We will only experience the blessing of truly knowing Jesus through His Spirit when we trust Him.

All around, this was a great weekend of worshiping our Savior. Our team did a fantastic job, and I'm thankful for what the Lord is doing in 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, 07/23 - 07/24/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on the topic of contentment from Philippians 4:10-13. In this passage, Paul writes that in every circumstance, he has learned to be content. He is able to do this through the strength that Christ gives. Joe emphasized from this passage that our expectations for increase and improved life status (in the west, anyway) makes it easy for us to be discontent with our lives. Our idea of "normal" is faulty. Our idea of normal needs to change, and we need to trust Christ in any and every circumstance in our lives. This subject is something we all need to hear on a regular basis, because it is easy to be drawn away into discontentment and distrust. Our songs for the weekend focused on trust, peace, and contentment, as well as the power and sufficiency of Christ. He is worthy of our lives and our worship, no matter the circumstances. Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Those Who Trust" (Em) [Don Chaffer] Call to Continue Worship - Psalm 95:1-3 "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting Time "It Is Well" (Bb) [Horatio G. Spafford, Todd Fields] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman] "A Mighty Fortress" (C) [Christy Nockels] Prayer Message - "An Appraisal of Contentment" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "Desert Song" (D) [Brooke Fraser] Dismissal

"Those Who Trust" - Taken from Psalm 125, This is a favorite of our congregation, because it celebrates the firm foundation we have in Christ in a very distinct way. It's a lot of fun for our team and our congregation. Our discipleship, David Hinkle, played his trumpet on this one, and he is always a great addition to the team!

"Let Me Sing" - This was our third consecutive week teaching this song, and I loved using it at the top of the service, after the call to worship this week. It was fitting, coming after reading Psalm 95:1-3 together, which repeats the phrase, "Let us..." followed by several commands of worship. I love the message of this song, as it communicates the "why" of worship - we respond in worship and thanksgiving because God is who He is, and because He has done what He has - He has redeemed us!

"It Is Well" - This song, which we have used a few times over this series, was too good a fit for this weekend's message for us not to include it. I think it really echoes the truth of Philippians 4:10-13 in a strong way, and helps us to connect the truth to our hearts and minds. It gives us an simple way to respond to these truths through singing our commitment and trust to God.

"You Never Let Go" - This was another song that we have been teaching during this series, and it was another great fit for the message this week. These two songs have made me see more clearly how certain songs are great fits for a series of messages, and not just a single message. On both of these, it is apparent that much of our congregation knows them, and hardly needs to look to the screens for guidance. It's a beautiful thing.

"A Mighty Fortress" - We haven't done this song in a while at Fellowship (I think the last time was during the interview process), but it is one of my favorites. It is probably my favorite song off of Christy Nockels' solo album. Sarah Oldberg led this song, and she did an awesome job pointing to Christ through it. I had really enjoyed singing harmony with her. I love how they arranged the song because it has some great builds and accents that help focus us on the lyric, which powerfully points to the Lord as God and King, along with many other attributes of His. This is a song that the church needs to sing, much like "Lord of All" and a few others.

"Desert Song" - We responded to the message with this song, because it really sums up and describes what it is to praise God through any and all circumstances. Sarah led this song as well. This song has a very unique feel to it, especially for Hillsong - it almost feels Celtic in a way. At any rate, it was a very appropriate response to the Word, and I think we all walked away from this week challenged by the truth.

It was a good weekend. The team did a great job leading, and participation from the congregation was solid. I believe the focus of the weekend remained constantly on Christ, His gospel, who He is, and what He has done.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship, and that Christ was lifted high! Check out The Worship Community to see what other leaders and worshipers experienced in their congregations this weekend.

In the Son,

Bill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Son,

Bill

 

Set List, 05/21 - 05/22/11 Fellowship Bible Church (Through the Storm)

This weekend held a few surprises! During the middle of the message in the 5 PM service, we had a funnel cloud sighting and the tornado siren going off in Topeka, so we had to move everyone to our children's theater in the basement to take shelter. Joe closed out his message and I brought my guitar down so we could worship together. It was a sweet time of worship in that basement, with everyone (kids and all) crowded into a smaller room. We sang a few songs together, and it was such a beautiful sound to hear everyone so clearly (our worship center is pretty deadened sonically, so it is sometimes difficult to hear everyone). It was a blessing. Because the warnings persisted, we decided to hold our 7 PM service  in the basement as well. The whole band came down and it was a really special time for all of us, as we adapted to the situation and still served God and our church. I will never forget last night. You can see more about the details of what happened over my Tech Director, Wyatt Johnston's blog: wyattjohnston.com.

Joe talked about fear and security, and suffering for the cause of Christ. It was a challenging message. He shared about how God calls us to faith, trust, and certainty rather than fear, doubt, and uncertainty, regardless of the circumstances. He shared about the high calling of suffering together with Christ, that Jesus' name may be lifted high through it. May we all be counted worthy to suffer for His name.

Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Those Who Trust" (Em) [Don Chaffer] Call to Worship - Psalm 150:3-6 "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] Welcome/Announcements/Offering/Greeting Time "Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman] "Your Name" (Bb) (Paul Baloche, Glenn Packiam] Message - "A New Appraisal of  Fear and Security" [Joe Hishmeh] Response - "Forever Reign" (Ab) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]

We began our pre-service time with "Those Who Trust" from the album Enter the Worship Circle: First Circle. This entire album holds a special place in my life and walk with Jesus, as it was a catalyst for a worship reformation for me. Each of the songs comes directly from Scripture, and the writers came together, studied the Bible, and created songs out of that experience together. The recording is raw and full of life, and done with all acoustic instruments. One of the most amazing worship experiences I have ever had happened as a result of this music. I joined a few friends after an event, and we were sitting on the floor in their living room, and we had a few guitars, and they began to sing some of these songs. As we sang and spent some time in a spontaneous worship moment, just playing a few chords and singing our prayers to God, a bridge came to me, and it ended up becoming the bridge of this song, Everything. The experience taught me a new way to write and to worship, in singing my prayers to God. This particular song has a great groove to it, and I love the declaration of confidence in God from Psalm 125. "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot move, but abides forever." Our God is a sure foundation, and we can place all of our confidence in Him. This song was an even better fit for the message than I had planned.

During our call to worship, we focused on Psalm 150:3-6, and taught our people about the Biblical expressions of worship through the instruments that are written about there (with a few adaptations...). We had our Adult Ministries Pastor, David Hinkle, playing trumpet for the service, so it was the perfect opportunity for this. It was a fun demonstration of Biblical worship. This passage ends with the command: "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord" (ESV), so we repeated together as a church, "Praise the Lord!"

After the call to worship, we went straight into "Everlasting God." This song is a standard for our church, and we always sing it well together. I love the simplicity and solid foundation of this song directly from Isaiah 40. We followed this with Redman's "You Never Let Go," which was very much in keeping with the theme of leaving our fear behind and placing our confidence and trust in the Lord, coming largely from Psalm 23. This was the second week that we have been teaching this song, and the congregation was sing much more in each of the services. We finished the second set with "Your Name," which partly comes from Psalm 65:8: "The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy" (NIV). This song is very singable, and is well-known to our people, so we all sing well on it. David Hinkle played the cello part on his trumpet with the mute, and it was a cool and new feel for that line. I really enjoyed it.

We responded to Joe's message with "Forever Reign." Sarah Oldberg sang lead on this song, and did a great job. This song focused on another element of the message this week--that Jesus is more worthy and more valuable than anything we can have or lose in this life: "Oh, I'm running to Your arms, I'm running to Your arms/ The riches of Your love will always be enough/ Nothing compares to Your embrace/ Light of the world, forever reign." The bridge of this song always engages me, as we sing together, "My heart will sing/ No other name/ Jesus, Jesus." May this be true of all of us. May our hearts truly seek Jesus as the main object of our love and affection.

In each of our services this weekend, I felt that our people were really engaging and participating. I am really encouraged by how we are growing together, and God is being glorified in our transformation. I am also encouraged by how well all of our teams adapted to the craziness of the storms on Saturday night. No one complained (not once!) about the inconvenience of moving all their gear downstairs, or recreating the worship slides, or having to deal with a smaller stage or lesser equipment. Everyone maintained the attitude that it is a joy and honor to serve Jesus and His church, and adapted to the changes with grace and gratefulness. This just goes to show what an amazing group of people I have the privilege of serving with here with Fellowship. I am so thankful for each of them. God is so good!

I hope you had a great weekend in worship, and I hope that you are safe from the weather. Be sure to head over to The Worship Community to see what other churches and leaders experienced this weekend, and join the conversation there. Also, share your thoughts below. I love to hear your take on things!

In the Son,

Bill

Set List, 05/14 - 05/15/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on Philippians 1:18-26, where Paul clearly lays out what is truly worth living and dying for: Jesus Christ. Nick Strobel, our student pastor, shared about living for what is valuable and having proper perspective on life and death. I was really challenged by what he said, and how he unpacked this passage of Scripture. Ultimately, Jesus is more valuable than our stuff and our accomplishments, because Jesus is eternal and Jesus is perfect. He is the only one who can give our lives the value that they need to be fulfilling. He is the only one worth living and dying for. Here's our set list from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "All Because of Jesus" (Bb) [Steve Fee] Call to Worship - Psalm 66:1-2 "Glory To God Forever" (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching] Video/Welcome/Announcements/Greeting Time "Blessed Be Your Name" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] "It Is Well" (Bb) [Todd Fields, Horatio G. Spafford, Philip Paul Bliss] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman] Message - The Appraisal of Death [Nick Strobel] Response - "Glory to God Forever" (reprise) (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching] 

We opened the pre-service with "All Because of Jesus." This song had a twofold relation to the passage of Philippians this week. First, it related to our real life being created in Christ and His perfect work on the cross. Second, it related in that Jesus is the only one worth living for and giving our glory to, because of what He has done. I thought it was a very fitting way to begin this weekend's services, and it set the proper tone for our worship.

During the call to worship, we took a look at Psalm 66:1-2, and took the opportunity to teach our congregation about shouting for joy to the Lord, as we continue to explore the Biblical expressions of worship. Together, we shouted Jesus' name at the count of three. I think it was a stretching time for our congregation, and while not everyone participated, I think most did, and we are better for it.

From there we moved to "Glory To God Forever," mainly because of the bridge, which fit well with the overarching thought of the weekend, as it sings, "Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours." My hope was to emphasize to our congregation to make this our prayer. I cannot think of a more noble or desirable prayer for the King of kings and His kingdom. I love how succinctly this bridge communicates the idea of sacrifice and taking up our cross.

After the welcome and announcement time, we opened the second set with "Blessed Be Your Name." This song is powerful, and has been for some time. There are not many songs that communicate such a heart and willingness to praise God regardless of our circumstances, because He is more valuable and worthy than our circumstances and even our own lives. I think if we are honest, this is a difficult concept for us to handle, much less for us to sing with all of our hearts. This is especially true in the bridge: "You give and take away/ You give and take away/ My heart will choose to say/ Lord, blessed be Your name." This song set the tone for the entire second set, as we tried to remind one other that Jesus is worthy of our lives and our worship, regardless of the circumstances. He alone is that worthy.

We continued the second set with "It Is Well," which I have written at length about in the past. I still love this arrangement, and I think it continues to connect with our congregation in a special way. I love to hear our people sing the lyrics of this song, as we examine how Jesus is faithful and true, and all will be "well" when this life is over. There is nothing to fear.

We then finished the set with "You Never Let Go." This song is new to Fellowship, and was a song that I introduced when I was interviewing here. It has always been one of my favorites from my time at Church at the Mall in Lakeland (you can see our team there leading this song here). I love its declaration of confidence in Jesus regardless of circumstances. It draws partially from Psalm 23 and from 1 John 4. The truth of this song is that we have nothing to fear if we are in Christ, because He never leaves us and never forsakes us, and He will always be with us. We can draw hope and confidence in this truth, and we can walk in such a way that we lay our lives down for the kingdom of God, no matter the cost, because our hope will not be disappointed in Christ!

We responded to the message with a reprise of the bridge and chorus of "Glory To God Forever," and made that a sort of benediction as well as a challenge to each other. My prayer is that we lay our lives down for our King and His kingdom, no matter the cost. May our lives truly be Yours, O Lord.

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 experienced in their worship gatherings this weekend.

Be a part of the discussion below with your comments! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

In the Son,

Bill

Set List, Sunday 11/20/10 - 11/21/10, Fellowship Bible Church, Topeka, KS

This is late, but here's the set from the last weekend I led in Kansas: "Happy Day" [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] "Marvelous Light" [Charlie Hall] "Our God" [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin] "Lord of All" [Kristian Stanfill] Reflection: Psalm 23 "You Never Let Go" [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] Message: "I Am the Good Shepherd" [Pastor Joe Hishmeh] Response: "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" [Christy Nockels] (led by Sarah Oldberg)

I had a fantastic weekend leading worship with my new friends in Topeka, KS. I sent the files up two weeks prior, and we all got together Saturday afternoon to work it all out. Fellowship has four weekend services--two on Saturday at 5 PM and 7 PM, and two on Sunday at 9 AM and 10:45 AM. It makes for a pretty crazy weekend, but it definitely makes the most of the space they have available. I really enjoyed working with the band and the tech team. There are some great people there!

The highlight of the services for me was "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." I absolutely love that song, and Sarah did a fantastic job leading it. The lyric is so solid, and as Sarah said that weekend, "It sounds like you've heard it before." It is instantly singable, and as people began to grab hold of it, they stood in response and sang out the great truth: "A mighty fortress is our God/ A sacred refuge is Your name/ Your kingdom is unshakable/ With You forever we will reign."

I'm heading back up there this weekend to lead once again, and I'm excited about joining in some awesome worship of our King together. I hope you had a great worship experience wherever you were, and that you are taking time to focus in on the greatness of our God throughout your week!

In the Son,

Bill

Set List, Sunday 10/31/10 Church at the Mall

Here's our set from this past week: "God is Alive" [Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland] "Our God" [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin] "You Never Let Go" [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] "Lord of All" [Kristian Stanfill] "Beautiful" [Phil Wickham] Message [Pastor Jay] INV: "Never Be the Same" [original]

The band and team did a phenomenal job this past week in worship. My friend, Larry, filled in on guitar for my last week, and he did admirably. The rest of the band was right on as usual. It felt like a bit of a "best of" morning, where we pulled out some of our definitive songs over the past few years. "Our God" has become something of an anthem for our congregation. "You Never Let Go" describes my journey with Christ as well as any other song, especially at this point. "Lord of All" has become a summary statement for us as a congregation: "There is none so high and holy/ King of kings, the one and only/ You are adored, You are the Lord of all." We finished the worship set with "Beautiful," which I thought was particularly relevant given that it was my last day. The last verse looks to the day of consummation, when all believers will be gathered together as the glorious bride in the presence of Christ: "When we arrive at eternity's shore/ Where death is just a memory and tears are no more/ We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring/ Your bride will come together and we'll sing, 'You're beautiful.'" I thought it was fitting to end emphasizing that this is not really the end, but rather a parting of ways as we continue to expand the kingdom of God and to go where we are needed for God's purposes. We will all be together again soon, and we will be together forever in the presence of our only hope, Jesus Christ, and we will sing the song of the redeemed!

There aren't really words to describe all the feelings that went with this past weekend. It was my last Sunday leading for the 9:30 service for the church, and although it was a great day of worshiping together, it was also a very sad day in some ways. I feel that I have poured my life into that service, and it has come a long way in the 4 1/2 years that it has been in my charge. It is awesome to see what it is compared to what it was when I arrived here. I am so thankful for how the Spirit of God has transformed that service and has grown us together over these years. I am so thankful for the relationships that have made my experience here what it has been. To think that it was probably the last time I would be leading beside Pastor Jay and the other leaders of the church is difficult to imagine. It is hard to even envision worshiping with a different family of believers. It will be strange to be anywhere else.

I pray for God's richest blessings on the people of First Baptist Church at the Mall, and I leave with this note from Acts 20:32 (the context captures my heart as well): "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified."

I love you, dear church.

In the Son,

Bill

Sunday Set Lists | www.theworshipcommunity.com

Set List, Sunday 09/12/10 Church at the Mall

Sorry I didn't do a recap sooner. It's been an insane week. Quickly, here's our set from last Sunday: "Say Say" [Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, Chris Tomlin] "Happy Day" [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] "Blessed Be Your Name" [Matt and Beth Redman] "Let Me Sing" [Todd Fields] "You Never Let Go" [Matt and Beth Redman] INV - "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" [Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees] OFF - "Our God" [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, et al]

This past Sunday was another great week of worship together. God is moving, and it's exciting to be a part of it all. This week, we're in the middle of our church's first original evangelistic production, Thanatos, and God is moving in that as well. People are coming to Jesus and coming back to Jesus in droves. I believe this is a hint of revival, the likes of which I have not have the privilege of witnessing before.

Praise God for His power and working, and His choosing to use broken vessels for His amazing purposes.

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

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

In the Son, Bill