Category Archives: Weekend Worship Recap

A week of Worship…

So I decided to wait till today to write this post. The reason for this is that we had several special services this weekend and had an African Missionary the past two nights. It was such a blessing, but also exhausting. I led 5 worship services this week and 3 of them were over an hour long. Since we did so many different worship sets, I will just make a list of all the songs we did, and the share some highlights of the weekend.

  • “Crash This Place” by Matt Reed
  • “This is Our God” by Harbour Live
  • “Like a Lion” by Daniel Bashta
  • “Now Unto The One” by Evan Wickham
  • “One Thing Remains” by Bethel Church
  • “Split My Chest” by Benjamin Dunn
  • “Song of Love” by Jaye Thomas
  • “Fragrance” by Nic Billman
  • “You Are Holy” by Radiant Worship
  • “Sing to Jesus” by Fernando Ortega
  • “Beautiful” by Phil Wickham

There were some interesting moments where we had a baby dedication service this weekend, and that brought in a good amount of people who do not normally attend church. This gave me an opportunity to bring people into worship who may never have gone into worship, and may never again. The problem? Our projector died this Sunday morning. So I was introducing a group of unchured people into worship with no words on the wall for them to feel more comfortable.

This past Friday was rough. It was one of the most difficult services I had led in a while. There was just a real difficulty engaging worship. Its hard to explain, but it was as if there was a brick wall in front of us and we really had to push for the breakthrough. But when we finally did, God began to move on the hearts of the people. Add to this the fact that as the evening went on, I began to feel more and more dizzy and nauseous. When the service was over I was exhausted and just ready to crash.

Our Saturday worship set was actually an  exhibition for our school of worship. We had an open house to invite people to check out the class and see if they would be interested in studying with us. It went well except for the fact that I was tired from the night before and the nausea I had experienced. Add this to the fact that it was 9:30 am.

The two nights with our African Minister, James Murunga were excellent. The first night was a challenge because A Hispanic church we are connected with decided to come, but many of them spoke little to no English so it was hard to get them to engage in the worship. Also since we didn’t know they were coming, we didn’t have a plan for translation. Normally we have a brother from a nearby Army base who is a fluent speaker of Both English and Spanish, and is such a gifted translator, he doesn’t need the speaker to pause, he just lets the speak and just interprets as they go. The lack of translation made the message not flow well. One of the men from the Hispanic church tried to translate, but he doesn’t speak great English and needed James Murunga to stop and explain a lot, so it was difficult. The second night we got a better solution for translation and James was able to move smoothly and shared a powerful word for the Churc out of Deuteronomy.

Overall I would say this was a fascinating but stressful week. Aside from the Services, we also did video recording at the church Sunday and Monday. Some of the churches we are connected with have been asking us to start producing DVD’s with some of our minitry teachings, especially those we do in our Bible School, so that they can use the videos to teach their churches. Also, having some more media will help us get more exposure for the ministry, and for our new Church Plant here in Lawrence.

A Wild Weekend

As always I am joining the crew over at The Worship Community. I am a big fan of the Sunday Setlist program because of the community building aspect, as well as the encouragement I receive when taking part and hearing what is going on in other congregations.

This was a special weekend because the Pastor’s were away in Indiana picking up their mother and grandmother who will be coming to spend time with us in Kansas. In their absence , They left myself and two other interns in charge. I, as always, lead the worship, but I was also left in charge of the altar ministry time. So it was a unique opportunity for me. But let me back up and begin with Friday night’s service.

As you may or may not know, Friday night is the service where we really go wild. Sunday mornings are more tame, because we know we will have visitors and people who might not be saved, and we aim our Sunday mornings to be  accessible to everyone and encourage people to find, and pursue Christ. Friday night is the night where we really pursue after him hard.

This Friday night I had a great set ready. I had given my team the weekend off because a few of them were on vacation for the holiday. So It was just me and my guitar. Nothing fancy, and nothing special. Here was the intended set.

  • “Crash This Place” by Matthew Reed
  • “Now Unto The One”by Evan Wickham
  • “Split My Chest” by Benjamin Dunn
  • “Sing To Jesus” by Fernando Ortega
  • “You are Holy” by Radiant Worship

As you can see this is a pretty great list, and I was excited. “Crash This Place” was a new track for the congregation, but it is a singable song that let people really engage in some praise and calling upon the Lord.

The next two songs went well and the church was really entering into worship. It was excellent as a worship leader to see such a strong response.  However, the real response began during the song “Sing to Jesus.” This is just a magnificent song and always seems to touch home with the people. As I was singing, Lisa (who is in charge of the Friday Night Services) felt the Lord tugging her heart to have communion, so she grabbed our deacon and they got the crackers and juice together before I had even finished the second verse of the song. It was impressive. Then I got the nod to play the melody, but stop singing as Pastor Chris came up and led the church in Communion. After he shared, I began to vamp on the first verse of the song while communion was being served and God was moving on the church. It was undeniable. Then we took communion together and waited upon the Lord with no music playing and nobody moving. We just waited as his sweet presence began to fill the room. I had been given the signal that after a moment or two I was to continue worship, and this was just a sweet interlude and not an abrupt end to worship. I began to feel in my spirit that “You are Holy” was the incorrect song for what God was beginning to do in the service. luckily, I had another chord chart sitting on the stand next to me. I had grabbed two songs as potential offering songs. (I usually don’t know what I want to do for offering until its time to do it.) I saw the song “Fragrance” by Nic and Rachel Billman. (Nic and his wife happened to be leading this weekend at a conference in North Carolina that my friend Kevin Basconi was holding) I knew it was the right song for the moment so I slid it over to my stand and began to play the chords slowly. I was probably at about quarter tempo. and slowly built it up to speed, I really didn’t want to disturb the atmosphere of his presence that had descended upon us.

As I finally got to tempo, I sang the song and went through it probably twice and led into the bridge. The bridge of this song is so simple, “Let the fragrance of our worship draw you in” as I sang this a few times, I suddenly shifted to simply singing “Let It Draw You In” and people were entirely engaged, some were worshiping, and some were on their knees engaging the Lord on a personal level.

It was about here that I noticed a signal telling me to keep going and just let it flow. So I vamped on the chords of that bridge Em – C – G – D and began to sing spontaneously from my heart. As I began to release the song in my heart, the cry that I had been holding in, his presence seemed to just keep increasing. So I just sang. I kept in with the theme of drawing him in, and his fragrance, but shifted to my own song to the Lord.

It reminded me in hindsight of Kevin Prosch’s song “I Really Love you” In that song, which was recorded Live at a conference, he sang a Chorus which was just the phrase “I Really Love You” repeated a few times, and then would go into a spontaneous verse. This is what ended up happening  with me. after a moment I found my way to the simple chorus “I coma Alive… when you walk into the room. I come Alive… at the scent of your perfume.” and would sing that a few times and then go back into the spontaneous verses.

Then after probably another 25 or 30 minutes I began to feel it was time to wind the worship down and so I draw down and gave the signal to Lisa to let her know I felt it was time for the word. She nodded back to me in agreement, and slowly made her was up to the podium.  We took a slow transition from worship into the word, but it was great. God really moved in power Friday night and it was awesome to be the Glass that he used to pour out his new wine.

Sunday Morning was much more straight forward. I replaced “Sing to Jesus” with Fragrance, and then ended the service with “You Are Holy” The service went well and when it came time for me to lead the altar ministry, a solid amount of people came forward responding to the message which was about learning to Live in the grace of God.

This past weekend was a wonderful time with the Lord, it was peaceful, and gave us rest. I am glad to see the presence of God active in our church.

Sunday Setlist

Once again, it is the time of the wek where I join other worship leaders around the world in sharing our Worship Sets from this weekend. If you want to join in the fun, please click http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/sunday-setlists-162/

This week we did not have a Friday night service. We canceled it and took anyone who was interested in coming with us to Kansas City to worship with another Church there. This church is based out of an accredited Bible College we are thinking of becoming a Satellite campus for. But that is another story for another day. Let us move to Sunday morning.

This Sunday I woke up and thought it was Monday. It took a bit for it to sink in that it was Sunday, but eventually I got moving and headed over to the church. Our set-list this week did not introduce any new music.

  • “Like a Lion” by Daniel Bashta
  • “This is our God” by Harbour Live
  • “Split My Chest” by Benjamin Dunn
  • “Fragrance” by Nic Billman
  • “Sing to Jesus” by Fernando Ortega

The songs on this list might not be familiar to all of you who are reading this, but I promise you that each one is packed with power. “Split My Chest” is one that many of you will not know. It is written by Benjamin Dunn, and it is a great song that basks in the love and joy of Salvation. This is one that just needs more exposure. Look for Benjamin’s music on itunes. You will be glad you did.

“Fragrance” by Nic Billman is another song that you probably do not know. Honestly I feel sorry for those who haven’t heard of Nic & Rachel Billman They are Worship Leaders and Missionaries to Brazil. Check out their music and support them. Their music will really pull at your heartstrings. I believe you can find some of their songs on youtube as well.

Daniel Bashta’s Album is finally ready to release I believe next week. So if you can, get that too.

But I digress, back to discussing the worship experience. The congregation knew most of these songs well, and responded well. You could definitely feel it as the Presence of God ushered in and changed the atmosphere. The last 3 really went over well. Especially the final song, “Sing to Jesus” we camped out on that song for a while and then ended it with some spontaneous worship, and people singing in the spirit.

It has been interesting taking this journey as a worship leader at a church plant. Several of the people in our currently small congregation are not ‘active’ worshipers. In saying this, I am not saying they do not worship, but they tend to sit and sing, rather than clapping, jumping or dancing, or any other outward expressions of praise. This at times can be discouraging. Especially when I am leading a song that makes me want to toss aside the guitar and bust a groove, but then there are things that make it all ok. This past sunday, one of those happened when one of my ‘passive’ worshipers came and told me how much he enjoyed the music and liked the songs I was doing. I could tell in his voice that he was really being touched by the worship.

This experience is one of the best, and reaffirms why I am doing this. How did your services and worship encounters go?

Weekend Worship Recap…

For some reason it takes me forever to get around to writing the weekend recap. But as usual, I am doing this as a part of the Sunday Setlist group over at The Worship Community. For 161 consecutive weeks the fine folks over at TWC have gotten worship leaders to share their sotries. That is over Three years. The Sunday Setlists program was recently named one of the best worship resources of 2011 by Worship Leader magazine. Congratulations guys! Well, enough piddling, let me get in the way back machine and go back to the weekend.

This weekend I led in both the Friday night and Sunday Morning services, and because we are a small church and I am training most of my musicians to play on a team, many of whom have never played on a worship team before, I did the same set on both services.  The order went as follows:

  1. “This is Our God” Harbour Live (written by Justin Jarvis)
  2. “Now Unto the One” Evan Wickham
  3. “Our God” Chris Tomlin
  4. “Set a Fire” United Pursuit (written by Will Regan)
  5. “You are Holy” Radiant Worship (Written by Richy Clark)

The only new song this week was “Set a Fire” which I will include a youtube video of the original song at the end of this post. I am really loving the song this is our God. I have done it a few times recently and have done it as an acoustic song as I haven’t felt compelled to try and force electric guitar into our sets yet. I will one day soon, but so far I have held off because of our sound equipment (or Lack there of) It goes over well with the congregation because it is simple, and very singable.

“Now Unto The One” and “Our God” are always pretty popular, and the congregation is becoming familiar with them enough to know the words without thinking much, so they really are able to engage well.

“Set A Fire” is a great song, and really shouldn’t have fit where I put it, because its too much of a grooving song, but it worked perfectly here because it is such a simple song people could engage well. This also doubled as the offering song because The Pastors asked me to do a reprise (fancy musician word!!) That was a nice touch. It is good to get encouragement from your leaders.

“You Are Holy” has become a standard in our lineup lately because it is such a powerful song. The congregation always moves into that deep place of worship when we do this song and I am convinced that as we press in and sing about Isaiah’s vision of the Lord, eventually we will start having similar visions. Where the presence of God keeps building to a place where we need to repent because we see ourselves as we really are. It is such a powerful song.

As I have mentioned, we are a new church plant here in Lawrence, so I have been working to steadily introduce new songs to the church. Now we have about a dozen songs we have introduced, and it is nice to have a solid block to come from. My musicians are coming along well, and learning to play together. I am proud of them, because a couple of them didn’t play anything a year ago, and most of those who did, had never played with other people. I am seeing such progress that I know God is at work in my team.

I am thinking about getting the ‘Pure Praise’ study from Dwayne Moore and taking my team through it as a unity and vision building exercise, but right now most of us are tight on finances. So this might get pushed back a bit. Keep praying as we are trying to raise funds to build a proper sound system. We are in desperate need of Good PA speakers as both our speakers have blown tweeters.

That is what has been happening here at Eagle Rock Church in Lawrence, KS. God is on the move and lives are being touched. The church is growing, even if it still is the day of small beginnings.

Friday Night Fire

Once again, I am sharing my worship recap with the fine folks over at The Worship Community. I am so blessed to be a part of a community that stimulates me to do more for the kingdom of God through my worship. The family over there is excellent.

I only led worship in our Friday night service this week. As many of you know we are a church plant and are still getting things settled and paid for. So this weekend we had a Garage Sale to raise money for the church and its needs. Because of this we moved all the chairs out of the sanctuary section of our church. (For those who do not know, we are renting a building that used to be a Harley Davidson store and Showroom. So it is one giant room with a stage in the center that separates the room in half. The Front half is our sancturay and the back half is for fellowship, and our classes. This week we moved everything out of the sanctuary side and filled it with tables and stuff to sell.

Because of this, we had church in our “fellowship” side which lent itself to a smaller more intimate service. I was asked to lead friday night by myself on my acoustic guitar. This excited me, because it gave me a chance to test the waters with 2 songs I have been wanting to teach my team. “This is our God” by Harbour Live (featuring my friend Matt Reed on Drums) You will remember I did a review of Matt’s debut album “Come and Drink” not long ago here on the blog. Well This is his home church, and I reviewed their CD for All About Worship. Click that Link to read the review. The second song I wanted to introduce was “Simple Offering” by Dustin Smith.

Well both went over well, but “Simple Offering” didn’t click like I was hoping it would. The people liked it well enough, and were responsive, but it didn’t carry the same presence it does when I listen to it at home. Not sure what caused the disconnect, but for now this song is going to stay on the back burner.

“This is our God” went over great. People were into it, they danced, and sang, and seemed to genuinely enjoy the song despite it being the first time I played it in service. If you clicked onto Harbour Live’s website you got a chance to listen to the song on their media player. It is upbeat reminds me of something Modest Mouse or the Killers might have written. but I pulled it down into a unique acoustic performance of the song. I kept the upbeat tone of the song, but managed to give it more of a bluesy groove. As I mentioned this went over well, I am thinking of getting out my adapters and recording this to my computer, but I don’t know yet.

To fill out my set, I did “Now unto the One” by Evan wickham which I introduced last week. Once again it was well recieved, and shows me why I am keeping it in the rotation. “Our God” by Chris Tomlin, “Heaven By “Daniel Bashta” and “You Are Holy” by Radiant worship rounded out the list. “You Are Holy” was not part of the set, but as I was winding down to defer the service over to Lisa, she asked me to play that song soft while she prayed, and then it just flowed naturally and after her prayer we kept on the song and people were moved by it. The Order went as follows, “This is our God”, “Now Unto The One”, “Our God”, “Simple Offering”, “Heaven”, and finally “You Are holy” The set as a whole went well, and the tangible touch of God’s presence was evident in the room.

With school beginning again, we are shifting our worship team practices over to Wednesday nights. This is primarily because three members of my team, which is almost half, are enrolled in the Local community college and are all taking Hebrew during the time that used to be our worship practice time. Now I am trying to figure out how we will be proceeding with school schedules causing things to be disjointed. Pray that God shows me how to make things fit the best way I can.

Weekend Worship Recap

I repent, it has been a long time since I have joined the crowd over at The Worship Community in putting together a Sunday Setlist. But tonight, I am doing just that.

Recently I have taken a position with a church as Worship Leader. This is a church plant, which means the whole thing is new ground. I do not even have a sound system as of yet. Just some mics, amps, and a pa that holds 4 mics. everything else is running on their own amp. Its frustrating sometimes. Not to mention I am drawing from a pool of people who aren’t musicians. In fact many on my team didn’t play anything a year ago. I love their enthusiasm, and willingness to learn something new to help the church.

Since the majority of my team  are new to this, I have to teach them a few songs at a time. This means that the pool of songs we have to draw from is small. For instance, right now I have 9 songs that my team knows how to play, and we are learning a new song every week, sometimes 2. I do not want my team or my congregation to become burned out on the songs, so we are trying to build a solid repertoire quickly.

This weekend our set list introduced two new songs to the congregation. “Now Unto The One” by Evan Wickham and “Sing To Jesus” by Fernando Ortega. I introduced them in our Friday night service, and then did them again on Sunday morning. The whole of the set went as follows, “One Thing Remains” by Bethel then “Now Unto The One” into “Rain Down” by Planetshakers, “Sing To Jesus” and finally “You Are Holy” by Radiant Worship

Both on Friday and on Sunday worship went over well. Sunday was a slightly stronger reaction, because the two new songs were a bit more familiar, but in both services God showed up. Our Pastor works a full time job, and missed worship Friday night and came in right at the last song. When he came up to the front to take up an offering I told my team I wanted to do “Now Unto The One” again as our offering song. Pastor Chris began to pray, and then stopped, and began to share how he was believing for the salvation of his brother, and deliverance from the things that kept him from God, and how he encouraged everyone who was believing for a loved one to put a special offering in the pot tonight, even if it was only a quarter, and offer it on their behalf as a prophetic declaration that one day they will be saved and they will be in he church. It was interesting how much of his wording was right out of the song, which he had never heard. I knew this was God speaking and encouraging me that I am picking the right songs for worship.

***For those of you who are thinking he was trying to buy his brother’s salvation, let me make clear, as he did, that he did not intend to earn or buy anything, but was doing it as a statement of faith, knowing that his brother was there to offer himself to God, so Chris would stand in his brothers place and believe for his salvation.***

Sunday was also quite impactful. The songs really ministered to the congregation,  in fact, we played the last song, “You Are Holy” longer than usual because people were seriously engaged, and many were on their knees as you felt a shift and the tangible presence of Almighty God filled the place.

It has been encouraging to me to watch the church really engage with the Lord as I have been leading them in worship.