Grace Church Set List 6.13.10

I have to say when I left the church yesterday I didn’t feel great about the set but I didn’t feel horrible. There were some transition things I think we could have cleaned up but I couldn’t really put a finger on why it just felt weird. I mean overall it was a good day just strange (could have been the squirrel that died in the side room ceiling over the 95 degree weekend and left a wonderful odor permeating the room – maybe). But when we got in and watched the service back on tape it definitely seemed much better than we felt when we finished the day. Overall especially after watching back over the day, it was a good day just for some reason was strange. And the strangest part was the number of similar remarks for their respective services a number of my Twitter friends made. Anyway here was the Set.

Floodgate – Paul Colman and Michael Neale
Blessed Be Your Name – Beth Redman and Matt Redman
Oh Lord You’re Beautiful – Keith Green (Jesus Culture Version)
All of Creation – MercyMe
This Is How It Feels To Be Free – Dave Clark, Shawn Craig, and Don Koch (choir)

You can check out other setlists from around the country at Sunday Setlists at TheWorshipCommunity.com.

Ricky-Bobby at Church

I talk with my hands to the point that it is hard to type my blog entries due to the excessive use of hands while expressing my thoughts.  So why did I use have so much trouble figuring out what to do with my hands during worship.  Now granted I play guitar so I avoid the awkward “Ricky-Bobby-esque” moments of not knowing what to do with my hands during worship.  I mean I could see everyone around me at church and other worship events raising their hands but I never understood why.  My more charismatic friends never understood my hesitations and questions, I mean it’s a part of life for them.  They are born with lifted hands.  So one day, who remembers how long ago, I decided to dig a little to figure out why we raise hands.  I mean I talk so much with them (and Xtina and other diva’s sing so much with them) why didn’t I use them when worshipping?

There are two main themes I came across when digging into this subject, Supplication and Blessing.
Supplication – to ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly. Stretching forth one’s hands is a gesture common in many different cultures to implore another person to help. One thing we represent when we lift our hands in worship is a desire to invoke God’s help. It also seems to be deeply connected to more than just the physical person as well, it reflects the inner person. “I stretch out my hands to thee; my soul thirsts for thee like a parched land” (Psalm 143:6). Hands mirror the soul stretched out to touch God, “… for to thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul” – verse 8 – “Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven” (Lam. 3:41, NIV). The lifting of hands is an outward representation of a lifting of the inner being to be in communion with God.

The other major theme that showed up was Blessing. We lift our hands in blessing to God. David lovingly calls to his faithful God: “So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name” (Psalm 63:4). “Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God; and all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen,’ lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (Nehemiah 8:6). “To lift up the hands” is a gesture that expresses adoration in the context of worship.

So why do you lift hands in worship services? Why don’t you? I mean I myself am not the most demonstrative worshipper but understand that some people are and really connect that way. So what do you think?

Friday Funny 6.11.10

It seems i have not had a lot of time on my hands this week as my normal blogging has taken a back seat to everything else going on lately. But somehow in the midst of a crazy schedule I have managed to collect a ton of hilarity. One could argue (quite well) that the little free time I do have could be better spent. But regardless I hope you enjoy the fun. Let’s start with a video apropos to the current world situation.

I knew it! Wonder how long the it took to develop the grunt remover?

All dog’s go to heaven? Well just to be safe.

Ahhh yes; like a record Jesus, right round, round, round.

The tag line at the end cracks me up!

I'm sure it was created with the best of intentions but really? The Catholic Priest model has been discontinued.

Sunday Conversation: I Believe Because?

It’s the crux of why we do what we do and why we dedicate so much of our lives to the church, helping those in need, and sharing the gospel of hope and peace. One of the hardest times in my life came after I asked myself this question. It’s not like I hadn’t asked before but for some reason this tine sent me down a dark road that was a struggle to walk. It was a tough time but a very important and life shaping one. My hope is that it is not a question that finds you a similar fate but one that encourages you and others as well. It’s hard to look past the “proper christianese” answer and just speak from your heart.

I Believe Because…?

Grace Church Setlist 6.6.10

Well it was the first official Sunday for our new Senior Pastor. Because of how the timing of things played out, he was unable to be around the office so we never really had much time together as a staff before he came to preach Sunday. There is a strange tension on the first Sunday of a new Pastor. It’s not a bad tension but it’s there. It ended up as another great Sunday with a powerful worship set and inspirational and powerful message. I think this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

Today Is The Day – Paul Baloche and Lincoln Brewster
All Because Of Jesus – Steve Fee
He Made the Difference – Christ Church Choir
Revelation Song – Jennie Lee Riddle
God You Reign – Lincoln Brewster and Mia Fieldes

You can check out other setlists from around the country at Sunday Setlists at TheWorshipCommunity.com.

Coming in for a Landing

Oh man it has been a long 6 months at Grace Church.  I remember roughly 6 months ago, sitting on my couch at home and receiving a phone call from a good friend (who was also my Senior Pastor).  He was on his way home from the Nashville airport after a quick trip to Denver Colorado.  Turns out when he mentioned to us that he was heading to the mountains for the weekend he was really heading to a job interview.  We all assumed, living in middle TN, that he was heading towards Gatlinburg for a vacation.  Nope.  It was like a little punch to the gut to find out the guy who gave you your first job in a church was leaving.  But alas God had called him to Denver and there he now resides.

So in the mean time we have had 6 months without a Senior Pastor, a Connecting Pastor who like me is younger and working at his first job in a church, a Youth Pastor who had practically just started, a Children’s Pastor who has been through this before, and me.  So a younger energitic staff but with less experience than desireable to keep a larger church opperating.  And to top it all off the way the Nazarene denomination works is that we all have to officially resign with the Senior Pastor and the Church Board decided whether or not to keep us (really just a beurocratic formality) to which they can only guarentee 90 days of employment after the new pastor is offically hired (it is their perrogative to bring staff with them, keep the current staff, or use the 90 days to determine how things will work).  While I was told I had little to worry about and that it is rarely ever the case for a staff overhaul, it sticks in the back of your mind as a possibility.  Plus we had just bought a house and planted roots.

So we have been opperating in what I called maintenance mode for the interim time.  We have basically been doing everything we can to keep the plane circling until we can bring it in for a landing (a nice safe non-crashed landing).  In times of Senior Leadership change it can become very stressful.  People seize the opportunity to voice oppinions that they would previously have kept to themselves.  People jockey for position and attempt to “right the ship” they way they had always hoped their church could be.  It can get heavy, people leave, rose colored glasses shattered and apparently pestilance, gnashing of teeth and the such.  Or so I am told from other’s who have been through the change before.

I have to say that even though it wasn’t my favorite time of my ministry life, it wasn’t the horror show it could have been.  The people of Grace really rallied together and despite the potential for a hard transition made the time one of spiritual growth rather than stagnation.  And now we sit on the precipice of a new season at Grace Church as well as for each of our lives both personally and professionally.  We have a new Senior Pastor starting this week and a new phase will begin.  I can’t tell you it will continue to be smooth sailing, I can’t know what tomorrow brings, and I can’t predict what is next for Grace Church but I can tell you that it is time to begin again.  We can come in for a landing and remove the scales of the maintenance mode and hit the ground running (wow a whole sentence of cliches and idioms!).  Regardless of the reckless use of bad overused phrases, it’s like my battery is so close to being completely drained and I am ready to get recharged.

So have you ever been through this type of transition before? What was your experience? Please share.

Sunday Conversation | To Worship Means To ______?

What does it mean to worship?  I am sure there is some definitive theological answer (maybe) for the question.  I am sure there are lots of great saying and phrases we have been taught to regurgitate when asked that question.  But what does it really mean to you?  Is it more than just singing?  Is it more than surrender?  One of the ways I like to view our worship goes back to the Old Testament story of Cain and Able.  You see in that story Able gives God the first fruits of his years crop.  And I see worship as a similar act of giving back our first fruits, giving back our best to God and saying here use this, use me.  So how do you see worship?  What does it mean to you?

Comment below and share if you would like to.

Friday Funny

It may be a day late, but it is certainly not a dollar short. I hope you enjoy these little gems that brought me so much joy this past week.  To start it off let’s explore the depth of T-Pain’s talent.  Auto tuned wolves!

Now pay attention to the man so moved by the spirit he chucks projectiles at the pastor and then baptizes himself.

That's Flipping Sweet!

It's all about marketing yourself correctly

Hmmm at least it comes with dental and a pension.

He's a pretty charismatic guy, what can I say.

Grace Church Set List 5.23.10

Another great Sunday, a little hectic trying to manage two different bands with less then 15 min to switch and get what semblance of a sound check we could. All in all a great day full of great music in every service. And the best news is we are drawing ever closer to the beginning of a new phase of the life of Grace Church as we welcome a new Senior Pastor in two weeks. It has been at times a rather smooth time without a Senior Pastor and other times just plain rough to be honest. But God can move through a bunch of fools just like me as long as we allow it to be.

1st and 2nd Service
Song of Hope (Heaven Come Down) – by Dan Hamilton, Chase Jenkins, Taylor Johnson, Ryan Owens, Robbie Seay, and Tedd Tjornhom
Your Grace Is Enough – by Matt Maher
This Beautiful Place – Mike Hohnholz
Come Thou Fount – Robert Robinson
Jesus Lover Of My Soul – Paul Oakley

Youth Band 3rd Service
Revolution – Starfield
Lead Me To The Cross – Brooke Frasier
From the Inside Out – Joel Houston
With Everything – Joel Houston

You can check out other setlists from around the country at Sunday Setlists at TheWorshipCommunity.com.