Songs We Sing, 03/29 - 03/30/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our student pastor, Nick Strobel, continued our series on worship with his message about godly wisdom. He went through the Proverbs and explained how living with godly wisdom is the only appropriate response of worship to who God is and what He has done for us. He told us that godly wisdom calls us to reality, humility, obedience, and ultimately, the cross of Jesus. We cannot truly walk in wisdom without the redemption that Jesus accomplished for us through the cross. It was a powerful and challenging message. He even took time out to mock my fandom of the Cleveland Browns. I was in tears from laughing, because it was so true... You can listen to or watch the message and service here.

Here's the order from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Remedy" (G) [David Crowder]
Call to Worship
"Sing to the King" (E) [Charles Silvester Horne, Billy Foote]
"Name Above All Names" (A) [original]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message - "Worship: Godly Wisdom" [Nick Strobel]
"How Deep The Father's Love For Us" (D) [Stuart Townend]
"Revelation Song" (D) [Jennie Lee Riddle]
"Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]

This was a special weekend of worship! Our entire team did an incredible job. Kelsey Thomsen co-led with me, and she continues to grow in her leading. Also, all of our singers and musicians really stepped up and led well throughout the weekend. It was a a powerful worship time.

For the songs this weekend, we focused on Jesus' sovereignty, and His worthiness of our worship because of His atoning sacrifice for us at the cross. Every song focused on these aspects in some way, and it tied in really well with where Nick went with his message. I think the highlight of the weekend for everyone was "Revelation Song." Kelsey led powerfully, and the church responded powerfully as we lifted Jesus up together. He is so worthy of all we are and of all our praise!

Hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were!

Songs We Sing, 03/01 - 03/02/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our pastor Joe Hishmeh began a new series on Worship with a message about suffering and worship from the life of Job. You can listen to the message or the entire service here.

Here's our order from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "In Exile" (Am) [Thrice]
Call to Worship
"Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message - "Worship: Suffering" [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion - "Suffering Servant" (G–A) [Dustin Kensrue]
"It Is Well" (Bb) [Horatio G. Spafford, Todd Fields]
"Blessed Be Your Name" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
Dismissal
 

Thoughts: This was a great (but cold) weekend. It was one of those weekends where all of the pieces seemed to fit together even better than planned. For instance, our pre-service song, Thrice's "In Exile," used phrases and words from a verse that Joe referenced in his message. "Rejoice" was a great fit for the start of our services, calling us to worship and rejoice in the Lord even in the midst of suffering. During communion, we sang a toned-down version of "Suffering Servant," a song that we have been singing before our services for the past few weeks. I love this song, and it was perfect for celebrating communion, as it reflects so powerfully on Jesus' sacrifice for us. We concluded our services with Todd Fields' rewrite of "It Is Well" and the Matt and Beth Redman's "Blessed Be Your Name." Together, these final two songs called us to trust in the faithfulness and goodness of God in every circumstance, good or bad. The takeaway from this weekend was essentially this: He will never leave us or forsake us, He is trustworthy and true, and He is always worthy of our worship.

Our team did an fantastic job leading this weekend, especially on the two newer songs, "In Exile" and "Suffering Servant." We had a really enjoyable time making music for the church together throughout the weekend.

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

- Bill

Songs We Sing, 02/15 - 02/16/14 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend we continued in the fifth week of our series, "Obedience," and Joe shared about the life of Elijah and how he stood with the Lord to confront evil in his lifetime. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here's our service plan:

Pre-Service - "Suffering Servant" (A - B) [Dustin Kensrue]
"Sing to the King" (D) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne]
Greeting Time Child Dedications (at 5 PM & 9:15 AM services)
Announcements
Message - "Obedience: Confrontation" [Joe Hishmeh]
"Always" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]
"Hosanna" (Eb) [Brooke Ligertwood]
"This Is Amazing Grace" (Bb) [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a powerful weekend. Once again, Joe's message was a powerful challenge to follow Christ with all of our lives, and to confront the evil in our world and lives with the power of the gospel. We started out our weekend in the pre-service time with Dustin Kensrue's "Suffering Servant," which is a fantastic song from his new record, coming almost directly from Isaiah 52 & 53. This song has brought me to tears several times over the past month, as I have been overwhelmed with the amazing sacrifice that Jesus made for our redemption. It is powerful in both its words and in its music. There are quite a few words to the song, so it may remain a song for special occasions, but I would love to sing it more often. We continued into the service with Becky leading us in "Sing to the King," which gives us great words by which to celebrate Christ's victory, and which is one of our church's favorites. In response to the message, we expressed our confidence and trust in the Lord through singing "Always." We hadn't sung this song in quite a while, and it was great to sing it again, as it is a powerful statement of our faith. From there, Becky led us in singing "Hosanna," and then we closed out the service with "This Is Amazing Grace." This song has been one of my favorites lately, mainly for the chorus: "This is amazing grace/ This is unfailing love/ That You would take my place/ That You would bear my cross/ You would lay down Your life/ That I would be set free/ Jesus, I sing for/ All that You've done for me!"

THAT is why we sing. THAT is why we worship. Jesus has been so good to us.

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

- Bill

Songs We Sing, 02/08 - 02/09/14 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend we continued in the fourth week of our series, "Obedience," and Joe shared about David's life, leadership, and heart for God from 2 Samuel. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here's our service plan:

"Made Alive" (C) [Brian Eichelberger, Zach Bolen]
"Glorious One" (C) [Steve Fee]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message - "Obedience: Devotion" [Joe Hishmeh]
"Forever Reign" (Ab) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
"You Are God Alone" (Ab) [Billy Foote, Cindy Foote]
"Lord of All" (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was another great weekend of services. Joe's message was challenging for all of us, as he called us to be faithful and responsive to God throughout our lives, and to leave behind the emptiness that so often comes from living by our own will. Our team did a great job throughout the weekend. We began our services by celebrating Jesus and His finished work for us as we sang "Made Alive" and "Glorious One," which is one of my longtime favorites that we haven't sung much here at Fellowship since I've been here. It was great to sing it together this week. Sarah Oldberg led us powerfully on "Forever Reign" and "You Are God Alone," and the church engaged well as we responded to Joe's message with these songs. We closed out our weekend with a powerful declaration of God's sovereignty and surpassing worth in "Lord of All." I wanted this to be a moment where we could intentionally set our eyes on Jesus as Lord of all, and commit our way to respond to Him and His leading throughout our days. I love this song, and still maintain that it's a song that the Church (big "C") needs to sing, because it carries a truth that resonates powerfully in the heart of every believer: "There is none so high and holy/ King of kings, the One and only!"

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

- Bill

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, 01/18 - 01/19/14 Fellowship Bible Church (Three years and counting)

This weekend was the first of our new series, "Obedience." In this message,  Joe shared about how being on mission with God requires us to be in submission to the Word of God. He called us to "scrap everything" for the daily practice of filling our minds with the Word of God and following God in love. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here's our service plan:

Welcome "Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
"Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]

Greeting Time
Announcements
Message - "Obedience: Mission" [Joe Hishmeh]
"You Are God Alone (Not a god)" (A) [Billy Foote, Cindy Foote]
"Glory to God Forever" (A) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
"Hosanna" (E) [Brooke Ligertwood]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a fantastic weekend with our church. Joe's message was a great challenge to follow Jesus more closely, and our church engaged well with both the preaching and the singing. Our team did a great job. We opened with "Rejoice," celebrating the faithful love, compassion, and mercy of God. We continued with "Everlasting God," where we acknowledged that our strength to follow comes from the Lord, whose strength and love for us never fails. We responded to the message with Kelsey leading "You Are God Alone (Not a god)," which we sang to focus on the sovereignty and trustworthiness of God. I pointed to this sovereignty and constancy as the reason we can trust the Lord in obedience, knowing that His way is best for us. We continued on with "Glory to God Forever," where we moved from seeing God's sovereignty to responding with the offering of our lives for His glory because of His surpassing worth. Finally, we closed with Brooke Ligertwood's "Hosanna," which calls us as God's people to follow Him closely in light of His return and in light of eternity. It was a great weekend, where everything tied together well the team led well.

On another note, this weekend marked my third year here at Fellowship, and it has served as a time of reflecting on all the Lord has done during my time here. I am overwhelmed at the goodness of God and His blessings in my life. He has done great things! 

Next weekend, I will be in the Philippines with the Trash Mountain Project to help equip some local pastors and to minister in several trash dump communities. I may post some notes about the trip when I get back, so be on the lookout. Please pray for us as we seek to build up the Body of Christ there!

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

- Bill

Songs We Sing, 01/11 - 01/12/14 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend was the third and final week of our series, "The Story." In his message,  Joe shared about how and why we to share the gospel in a compelling manner, inviting others to trust in Jesus for their salvation. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan:

Pre-Service - "True Love" (C) [Phil Wickham]
Welcome
"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
Greeting Time
Announcements Message - "The Story: Share It Compellingly" [Joe Hishmeh]
"Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Lead Me To The Cross" (Bm) [Brooke Ligertwood]
"I Will Go" (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Allen Salmon]
Dismissal

Thoughts: I believe this weekend was a great weekend for our church. Joe really called us all into sharing the gospel with the people in our lives, because Jesus is worth it. Our singing echoed that same thought, and it was a great call and challenge to each of us as we evaluated our priorities.

We began in the pre-service time the same as we had the previous two weeks, with "True Love" by Phil Wickham. I love this song, because it is a very powerful portrait of the gospel and what Jesus accomplished for us. We then began the service by inviting the Lord to have His way in us as we sang "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)," which is an excellent call to worship. Later, we responded to Joe's message with "Your Great Name," reflecting on the power of the name of Jesus. Jesus changes everything. His name, and His name alone, has the power to save. We continued with "Lead Me To The Cross" to give us words through which to express our submission to the Lord's call to take up our cross and follow Him in proclaiming the good news. We closed our service with another song in that same vein, "I Will Go," which is a little bit of a punch in the gut, if we're honest. It calls us from our comfort and privilege to sacrifice, service, and submission in reaching the lost and needy in our world. Everyone who encounters Jesus has to wrestle with that decision–either they leave following Him more closely, or they walk away further from Him and more committed to being "lord" of their own lives. I called the church to see the surpassing worth of Jesus and what He has done for us, and to respond with living our lives in worship and submission to Him. He alone is worthy!

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

- Bill

Songs We Sing, 01/04 - 01/05/14 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend was the second of our series called, "The Story." This week, pastor Joe shared about how we all need to be live out the gospel so that we can be confident in it as we share with others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here's our service plan:

Pre-Service - "True Love" (C) [Phil Wickham]
Welcome
"Happy Day" (B) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message - "The Story: Live The Story" [Joe Hishmeh]
"Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)" (C) [Charlotte Elliot, Brenton Brown]
"Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham]
"Jesus Paid It All" (C) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, add. chorus by Alex Nifong]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was another great weekend. Again, reflecting on the power of the gospel is the greatest motive we have to worship Jesus. He loves us and He gave Himself up for our redemption. He is so worthy of worship!

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

- Bill

Songs We Sing, 12/28 - 12/29/13 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend was the first in our series called, "The Story." Our pastor Joe shared about how we all need to be clear about the message of the gospel so that we can share it with others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here's our service plan:

Pre-Service - "True Love" (C) [Phil Wickham]
Welcome
"In Tenderness" (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton]

"Before The Throne Of God Above" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message - "The Story: Know The Story" [Joe Hishmeh]
"You Alone Can Rescue" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
"This Is Amazing Grace" (Bb) [Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, Phil Wickham]
"Made Alive" (G) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was incredible. It is probably stating the obvious, but I absolutely love singing about the gospel and the finished work of Jesus for us. This series is all about that, and this weekend was one where we could sing a bunch of our favorite songs together. It was a powerful service, and I was moved by the amazing grace and love of Jesus for us. He has done great things! It was an awesome way to end 2013 together.

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

- Bill

A Look at Blended Worship - a presentation for NOBTS Worship Leadership

What is "Blended Worship"?

Blended worship is essentially a blending of the two major ways of thinking about worship: aesthetic and kinesthetic. Aesthetic worship emphasizes beauty and order, while kinesthetic worship emphasizes the experience and participation of the worshiper. When these are blended, it can take many forms, yet these foundations remain the same. In this presentation, we will examine some of the foundations and motivations of blended worship designs, along with challenges and examples of these designs.

An Overview of Worship Renewals of the 21st Century

Blended worship is linked to the major events of both the liturgical and contemporary worship renewal movements in the 21st century (Exploring the Worship Spectrum, pg. 175).

The Renewal of Liturgical Worship

  • In the 21st century liturgical worship can be characterized as:
    • Tied into a print form of communication
    • Service structure is predictable and executed based on a pattern.
    • Worship is isolationist in nature.
  • These three principles drove the worship structure until the 1960's during Vatican II and the Roman Catholic reforms. Reforms that came from this include:
    • Worship is put into the language of the people and simplified.
    • Focused on the renewal of theology, architecture, style, and environment.
  • These reforms took root in the Protestant denomination in 6 different ways:
    • There is new concern to restore the theology of worship.
    • There is new attention to the historic pattern of worship.
    • The Lord's Supper of reexamined.
    • The Christian year is restored.
    • New discussion and questions about the role of music and the arts of worship appear.
    • The desire to include the entirety of the congregation in the worship experience.

The Renewal of Contemporary Worship

  • Three movements lead into the renewal of contemporary worship:
    • Azusa Street and the Pentecostal Movement beginning in 1906.
    • Latter Rain Movement, known of it's spontaneous worship.
    • The rise of the chorus tradition which lead to the more current rock band style popularized by the Vineyard movement.

The Blending of Worship

"Blended worship brought the content of the liturgical movement and the experience of the contemporary movement together." (Exploring the Worship Spectrum, pp. 177-178)

This blending began in 1987, where national worship was led by Maranatha! to explore what the blending of these two worship forms could bring.

"Blended worship at its best is substance and relevance, truth and experience, divine and human." (Exploring the Worship Spectrum, p. 179)

Blended worship is a combination of the strengths of the other forms of worship. (Exploring The Worship Spectrum, p. 176)

• Liturgical tradition—emphasis on beauty • Reformed tradition—emphasis on the centrality of the Word • Anabaptist tradition—concern for community and discipleship within worship • Restorationist tradition—commitment to weekly Communion • Revivalist tradition (Baptists, Methodists, evangelicals)—concern to move toward the invitation and call sinners to repentance • Holiness tradition—emphasis on the need to break through and achieve sanctification in worship • African-American tradition—emphasis on soul worship

Motivations of Blended Worship

Blended worship ultimately comes from a heart to unite the Church, rather than to segment it because of preferences in worship. In joining elements of both the aesthetic and the kinesthetic together into one worship service, generations can be drawn together. Also, the best of each worship tradition can be valued and shared with the other. Those of the traditional or aesthetic tradition have the opportunity to learn from and value the fervency and passion of the kinesthetic tradition. Those of the contemporary or kinesthetic tradition have the opportunity to learn from and value the love of truth and beauty of the aesthetic tradition. Multiple generations can learn from one another, and legacy can be shared in this context, which would not be possible if the different generations and traditions were segregated from one another based on their respective preferences.

Difficulties of Blended Worship

Blended worship can easily fall into the trap of seeking to please everyone, rather than leading a congregation toward a God-given vision for the church. A worship leader considering blended worship must be careful to not simply use it because it is the best "compromise," but rather because it follows the leading it makes the most sense in the current worship environment for their particular congregation.

Blended worship is not meant to be a "catering" to needs or wants, but rather a leading the church into unity and leading one generation toward the other. The target is not the pleasure of the congregation (making everyone happy) but on unity. If blended worship devolves into a means to please people, then it misses the mark, and settles for far less than it can be. This is a common issue in blended worship environments. In order for blended worship to work, everyone in the congregation will have to make some sort of sacrifice and give something up, in order to serve one another.

Another difficulty of blended worship is in forming a team that can confidently and skillfully lead a congregation in multiple styles of music from multiple generations. The music of one generation or another can easily be done poorly, and the people can smell a fake. It then seems disingenuous, and it disengages the congregation, rather than engaging them together. Care must be given to the presentation of the various styles within a service, to ensure that each is an authentic and skillful representation of the media.

  • Achieving cohesiveness with varying styles
  • Many congregants remain unsatisfied with the mixed style offering
  • Invites criticism of the unpreferred style
  • Presenting multiple styles with one, unified team
  • Team talent limitations
  • The sacrifice of team members to play other styles which are less desirable to them
  • Some songs/styles are more difficult to lead than others
  • Requires adaptability and flexibility on team

Examples of Blended Worship

The description "blended worship" covers a broad sweep of churches and worship services, which can range from mostly traditional to mostly contemporary, while including aspects of both. The flow of blended worship environments also depends on the tradition from which they are born. Some spring out of very liturgical, aesthetic tradition, while others spring from more of a revivalist tradition, all of which influences the look and feel of how they design and lead a blended worship offering. Below are some examples of blended worship.

General Blended Worship Outline from Exploring The Worship Spectrum

  • Preservice music
  • First set of music
  • Prayer/Welcome
  • Second set of music
  • Sermon
  • Invitation
  • Offering
  • Decisions affirmed by church
  • Benediction

Another example from the text

  • Gathering Songs
  • Entrance Hymn with Procession (The experience of coming before God)
  • Greeting, Call to Worship, and Invocation
  • Songs of Praise and Worship (The experience of God's transcendence)
  • Confession and Forgiveness (The experience of God's forgiveness and relationship)
  • Opening Prayer (Transition to the Word)

Other Examples of Blended Worship Service Designs

Design by Brandon Cullum

  • Prelude - "Great is Thy Faithfulness"
  • Special Music - "The Heart of Worship"
  • Welcome and Greeting - led by Pastor
  • Worship through Music
    • "From the Inside Out"
    • "How Great is our God"
    • "Great is Thy Faithfulness"
  • Scripture Reading  - Psalms 48:10 - led by Elder
  • Offertory - Instrumental
  • Worship through Music - "Awesome is the Lord Most High"
  • Sermon - Pastor
  • Invitation - "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"
  • Benediction - led by Pastor

Design by Bill Horn

  • Pre-service - Video Countdown
  • Call to Worship - Ps. 96:1-4
  • Worship Through Singing
    • "Sing to the King"
    • "On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand"
  • Prayer/Welcome/ Time of Greeting - Lead Pastor
  • Worship Through Singing
    • "You Never Let Go"
    • "It Is Well"
  • Worship Through the Word – James 1 - “Faithful” - Lead Pastor
  • Response - ‘"Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus"
  • Worship Through Giving - "In Christ Alone"
  • Benediction - Lead Pastor

Design by Adam Gillespie

  • Pre-Service Music - "The Family of God (Instrumental)"
  • Welcome / Prayer - Deacon of the Week
  • Expressions of Praise - Music Minister
    • "We are God's People (Hymn 383)"
    • "Oh, How I Love Jesus"
    • "Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine (Hymn 334)"
  • Special Music / Testimony - Praise Band - "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"
  • Proclamation of God's Word - Eph. 1:7-10 - "How Great Is Our God!" - Lead Pastor
  • Invitation to Respond - "Just a Closer Walk With Thee"
  • Worship Through Giving - "Take My Life"
  • Presentation of Decisions and Closing Prayer
  • Closing Song - "The Family of God (instrumental)"

Resources and References for learning more about Blended Worship

Referenced in this presentation:

Exploring the Worship Spectrum. Paul A. Basden, ed.  Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2004.

Other Resources:

Books

Holy Gatherings by Michael Sharp and Argile Smith

Unceasing Worship, by Harold M. Best

Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell

Engaging With God by David Peterson

Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin

Worship By The Book, edited by D.A. Carson

Planning Blended Worship: The Creative Mixture of Old and New by Robert Webber

Articles

Gary Hollingsworth - Moving from traditional to blended worship In this article Gary outlines 10 steps when making the transition from traditional to blended:

  1. Take Your Time
  2. Do Your Homework
  3. Know Where You are Headed
  4. Work to Earn Trust
  5. Expect Challenge
  6. Transition Is a Prcoess, Not an Event
  7. Call the Right Personnel
  8. Don't Compromise Quality
  9. Understand Techincal issues
  10. Be Prayerful and Careful

David Burroughs - The Brouhaha About Blended Worship In this article from beliefnet.com gives a great overview of the current trends, benefits, and concerns over blended worship.  There is a great emphasis on unity between the older and younger generation and how Blended worship seek to bridge the gap that exists between generations as well as between typical service times.

Presentation created by Bill Horn, Brandon Cullum, and Adam Gillespie for Dr. Gregory Woodward and Dr. Gary Dennis, for the course Worship Leadership of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Songs We Sing, 11/23 - 11/24/13 Fellowship Bible Church

As followers of Jesus, we are to remember and pass on the Word of God to the people in our lives. This was what our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared as we concluded our series titled "Faith." You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here.

Here's our service plan:

Welcome "Happy Day" (B) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Greeting Time
Child Dedications

Announcements
Message - "Faith: Instructed" [Joe Hishmeh]
"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
"Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]
"In Tenderness" (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was fun. Our team led well, and all the pieces connected well. Trent Raines did a great job co-leading. The weekend before Thanksgiving always seems to be a special one, as people are more mindful of their many blessings and reasons to worship the Lord.

The highlights for me were "In Tenderness" and "Son of God." The church sang well throughout the weekend, but it reached its peak when we sang those two songs. I absolutely love the declarations of those songs, and it's moving for me when I hear the congregation singing it out together. It was a great weekend.

One of the things I am most thankful for in my life is the congregation I get to serve each week. They are amazing people!

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

- Bill

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

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

Here's our service plan:

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Bill

Two great weekends; one blog post: 11/02 - 11/03 & - 11/09 - 11/10/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

Well, life has been happening and I have fallen behind on my posts, so a little catch-up is in order. The past two weekends have been some of my favorites here at Fellowship. We have been in the midst of a series titled "Faith" and it has been both encouraging and challenging for our church. On 11/02 -11/03, our lead pastor, Joe, shared how we have been redeemed by the finished work of Christ. This past weekend, 11/09 - 11/10, our Adult Discipleship Pastor, David Hinkle, shared about how God has set us apart for His glory and His working here on the earth. Both of these messages were powerful declarations of the gospel, and it really showed as the church sang in response. You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here.

Here's our service plan from 11/02 - 11/03:

Pre-Service - "Song of the Redeemed" (Em) [Charlie Hall, Kendall Combes, Quint Anderson, Brian Bergman, Dustin Ragland]
Welcome
"Sing to the King" (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne]
Greeting Time
Announcements Message - "Faith: Redeemed" [Joe Hishmeh] Communion Intro
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" (D) [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees, Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio]
Taking of the Elements
"You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
"This Is Amazing Grace" (A) [Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle, Josh Farro]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was one of my favorite services of which I have ever been a part. Our team did a fantastic job leading across the board. Kelsey Thomsen rejoined the team to co-lead this weekend after a long break for school in Wichita, and she did a great job in her return. I am so excited to see how everyone stepped up and called our congregation to worship Jesus. The highlights for me were "Song of the Redeemed," "Sing to the King," and "You Have Overcome." It was an amazing weekend!

Here's our service plan from this past weekend, 11/09 - 11/10:

Welcome
"Holy Is The Lord" (E) [Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio]
"Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, The Modern Post]

Greeting Time
Announcements Message - "Faith: Set Apart" [David Hinkle]
"A Mighty Fortress" (Bb) [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
"Jesus Paid It All" (Bb) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, w/ additional chorus by Alex Nifong]
"Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was another great weekend of worship. Again, our team did a great job leading us in worship. Becky Tindell did a great job co-leading, especially in leading us on "A Mighty Fortress," which is an awesome song coming largely from the book of Hebrews. It was a great fit with the message this weekend, along with "Jesus Paid It All." Together, these two songs encapsulated the emphasis of David's powerful message: we are set apart to holiness for God's glory, yet our righteousness before God is only in the finished work of Jesus on our behalf. The highlights for me were "Before the Throne," "Jesus Paid It All," and "Rejoice," which is one of my favorite new songs. If you haven't heard it yet, give it a listen. The lyric is powerful and moving. In all, it was a beautiful weekend.

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

- Bill

Songs We Sing, 10/19 - 10/20/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, concluded our "Deep and Wide" series, and shared the results of how we came together as a church to advance the gospel in our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "In Tenderness" (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram J. Gordon, W. Spencer Walton, played by Citizens] "Let Me Sing" (Bb) [Todd Fields] Greeting Time Announcements Message - "Deep & Wide Recap" [Joe Hishmeh] "All Creatures of Our God and King" (D) [St. Francis of Assisi, David Crowder, William Henry Draper, Brent Milligan] "Wonderful Maker" (G) [Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman] "Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran] Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was a solid weekend with our congregation. Kip Kraisinger co-led, and he and our team all did a great job. We also introduced the glockenspiel to our services for the first time, and Stacy Krueger did a great job with it on "All Creatures of Our God and King," especially for her first time ever playing the instrument. It was a nice textural addition to our instrumentation, and I look forward to being able to utilize it more in the future. The back half of the service was a nice reflective time where we focused our worship toward God primarily as our Maker. "Wonderful Maker" holds a special place in my life as a worshiper, because it was the first song that had the obvious absence of self in the lyric--it was all about who God is and what He has done. It served as a turning point in my leading, where the emphasis shifted from songs about me and what I was going to do for God to who He is and what He has already done for us. There is a place in worship for offering our lives and essentially making vows to the Lord, but the emphasis must be on Him first. "Wonderful Maker" helped turn my focus in that direction, and I am very grateful for how the Lord used it in my life as a young worship leader. "Son of God" was a great way to close our services, because, in a way, it encapsulates the work of Christ for us from beginning to end, and in doing so it gives us words to worship Him and to magnify His surpassing worth. It always resonates with our congregation, and is a powerful moment of worship together.

Throughout the weekend, I felt a little "off." No matter how much sleep I had over the past week, I continued to feel very tired. It could possibly be due to a cold or allergies, but I'm not sure. Whatever the cause, I felt a little "foggy" as a result. It can be challenging to lead well when feeling like that, but those are also some of the most beautiful and powerful moments in leading, because we have the opportunity to see God's power made perfect in our weakness in a very tangible way. It is in those moments that we find ourselves even more dependent on the Spirit of God to work in our lives and in the lives of those we lead, and that is not a bad place to be. I'm thankful for how He continues to move and grow us as a congregation, and that He allows me to be a part of what He is doing here in Fellowship.

Next weekend, our NextGen worship director, Erik Oldberg, will be leading our weekend services with a team of students, and it's going to be a great weekend! Don't miss it.

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 10/12 - 10/13/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued in our seventh week of our series, "Deep and Wide," and shared how the followers of Jesus celebrate the goodness of God, the grace of God, and the gospel of God in their lives. It was a joyful weekend together, and a great reminder to celebrate often what God has done for us. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Countdown Song - "Follow You" (G) [Ben Rector] Video - Ethiopian Church - Ernie Frey "Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend] "Made Alive" (C) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger] Greeting Time Video - Student Ministry - Nick Strobel Sharefest Video Announcements Message - "Deep & Wide: A Follower of Jesus... Celebrates" [Joe Hishmeh] Elder-led Prayer - Alan Wynne Offertory song - "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] Dedicatory Prayer "Follow You" (G) [Ben Rector] Dismissal

Thoughts: This past weekend was a great celebratory weekend together. Our team did a fantastic job, and the church was very engaged in every part of the service. It was powerful and beautiful. I love my church, and I love celebrating together what Jesus has done!

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 10/05 - 10/06/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued in our sixth week of our series, "Deep and Wide," and shared how the Jesus multiplies whatever we bring to Him. If we offer Him nothing, zero multiplied by anything is still zero. When we offer even what we think is the smallest thing to Him, it becomes great than we could ever have imagined. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Countdown Song - "Follow You" (G) [Ben Rector] Video - T.E.A.M. - Brent Preston "Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, The Modern Post] "Hosanna" (E) [Brooke Ligertwood] Greeting Time Video - Administrative and Support Ministries - J.D. Holt Announcements/Offering Communion Communion Song - "In My Place" (A) [Michael Bleecker, Matt Boswell] / "Nothing But The Blood" (A) [Robert Lowry] Message - "Deep & Wide: A Follower of Jesus... Multiplies" [Joe Hishmeh] Elder-led Prayer - Jeff Vogel "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was 

For our singing this weekend, we sang songs that celebrated how our life and salvation are completely dependent on the redeeming power of Jesus for us ["Before The Throne," "In My Place," "Nothing But The Blood," "Your Great Name"]. We also sang "Hosanna," which calls us to laying our lives down for the kingdom of God as we look toward His return. We opened our services this week with Ben Rector's "Follow You" in the countdown, and it is a fun and hopeful song that calls us into the joy of laying down our burdens and following Christ.

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 09/28 - 09/29/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued in our fifth week of our series, "Deep and Wide," and shared how the deep and wide follower of Jesus experiences joy when he or she is surrendered to God's authority, submitted to God's will, and sacrificing to God's mission. When we are faithful with what He has given us, God brings us into His joy. It was a great challenge to evaluate whether we are truly experiencing joy. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Video - YoungLife - Andy Vogel "Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend] "Happy Day" (C) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram, Ludwig Van Beethoven] Greeting Time Video - LifeCare Ministry - Frank Eschmann Announcements Video - You & Two - Theresa Message - "Deep & Wide: A Follower of Jesus... is Joyful" [Joe Hishmeh] Elder-led Prayer - Greg Armbruster "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" (Eb) [Edwin O. Excell, Louie Giglio, John P. Rees, John Newton, Chris Tomlin] Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was great. Kip Kraisinger and Heidi Carlson both did a great job co-leading, and the team did a fantastic job overall. After introducing the new song "Rejoice" last week, our congregation sang it really well throughout the weekend. I love how the song calls us to rejoice because of who God is, in every circumstance, because He is with us and He is worthy. It's a powerful lyric for us to sing: "All our sickness and our sorrows/ Jesus carried up the hill/ He has walked this path before us/ He is walking with us still/ Turning tragedy to triumph/ Turning agony to praise/ There is blessing in the battle/ So take heart and stand amazed." "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" was a great way to end our services, while Kip and Heidi helped lead the congregation in singing.

For our singing this weekend, we sang songs that focused on how we can have joy in all circumstance because of who Christ is for us. He is our Redeemer, and He is with us no matter what we face in this life ["Rejoice," "Happy Day," "Joyful (The One Who Saves)," "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"]. It was an encouraging and hopeful weekend throughout.

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 09/21 - 09/22/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued in our fourth week of our series, "Deep and Wide," and shared how the deep and wide follower of Jesus is called to be generous with everything we have. It is always in response to the how  God gave first, in giving His only Son for our redemption. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Video - Aaron and Jessica Catlin, Missionaries to East Asia "Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend] "This is Amazing Grace" (Bb) [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle] "Lord of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] Tag of "How Great Thou Art" (Bb) [Stuart K. Hine] Greeting Time Video - Family Ministries Announcements Video - You & Two - Scott May Message - "Deep & Wide: A Follower of Jesus... is Generous" [Joe Hishmeh] Elder-led Prayer - Greg Pruett "Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran] Dismissal

Thoughts: It was great to be back after a week off for our move (my family and I moved to our new home on the east side of town). It was a little bit of a hectic week getting everything together, but the Lord was strong in my weakness and we had a great weekend worshiping together as a church. We introduced a new song, the team did a fantastic job and was very flexible with some adjustments, and Jesus was glorified through it all.

For our singing this weekend, we sang songs that focused on how God gives first ("Rejoice," "This Is Amazing Grace," "Lord of All," "Son of God"), and some of the songs also focused on His sovereignty and goodness, and our response to all He is ("Rejoice," "Lord of All," "How Great Thou Art"). It was a powerful weekend throughout, and it was beautiful to hear the church sing it out.

- Bill

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

Songs We Sing, 09/07 - 09/08/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued in our second week of our series, "Deep and Wide," and shared how the deep and wide follower of Jesus has received the greatest gift the world has known, the love of God, and then shares that gift with his world. He said the greatest thing we can ask God for is more love for Him, for His Word, and for others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Video - Brett Durbin, Trash Mountain Project "In Tenderness" (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton] "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash, Chris Tomlin] Greeting Time Video - Adult Discipleship Ministries Announcements Video - Trash Mountain Project - Spoken Promo Video - You & Two - Bruce Poage Message - "Deep & Wide: A Follower of Jesus... Loves" [Joe Hishmeh] Elder-led Prayer - Rick Tague "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a busy weekend in terms of service flow. We had four videos in each of our services, which we had to interweave with the regular, weekly elements. I think we fit the pieces in the best way possible, but I wouldn't want to make a habit of having four videos in our services. Joe's message was a great challenge to love like Jesus loves, Trent Raines did a great job co-leading, and our team did a solid job serving and leading.

For our singing this weekend, we sang songs that celebrated the incredible love that Christ has for us ("In Tenderness," "Because of Your Love," "Jesus Messiah," "10,000 Reasons"), and then some that also had elements of surrender and giving ourselves to God for His purposes and His mission in this world ("Because of Your Love," "10,000 Reasons"). I love the songs that we sang this weekend. I'm looking forward to continuing this series together, and seeing what God does in our congregation.

- Bill

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