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.

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.

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.

Grace Church Set List 5.16.10

I have fallen in love with the song Cielo by Phil Wickham. I have to admit that at first I wasn’t sure how it would go over, we sampled and played a version of the intro and for us that was a little different than normal but it went great the whole team that was skeptical at first are now belivers. Great song. The day was great and God moved in a great and mighty way.

Glory to God – Vicky Beeching and Steve Fee
Love The Lord – Lincoln Brewster
The Power Of The Cross – Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
Cielo – Phil Wickham
Draw Me Close – Kelly Carpenter

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

Grace Church Set List 5.9.10

I am not normally a fingerpicker. I mean I can do it but I normally stick with the rhythm. We wanted to do something cool for Mother’s Day, so we had a great women’s trio do a bluegrass rendition of I Surrender All (which lends itself nicely to the style). We played in the key of B (I used a capo and played in A). I play my A chord with my index finger bent across all three strings backwards from the normal knuckle bend. We practiced it over and over and over and three services on Sunday left me with a sore pointer finger. Thus the lack of pointing at people since Sunday. Anyway It was a great Sunday, with inspired worship.

Sing Sing Sing – Daniel Carson, Matt Gilder, Travis Nunn, Jesse Reeves, and Chris Tomlin
Let It Rise – Holland Davis (Inspired by Big Daddy Weave)
Mercy and Grace –
Made Me Glad – Miriam Webster
I Surrender All – Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter and Winfield Scott Weeden (Inspired by The Isaacs)

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

Grace Church Set List 4.25.10

This was the last week for our interim pastor to be with us as we begin the transition of a new Senior Pastor.  We left a little extra time this week knowing that he had been with us for about 5 months and had grown to be a great part of our family.  Goodbyes are alway hard so we left a little extra time.

Floodgate – Paul Colman and Michael Neale
Majestic – Lincoln Brewster
Depth of Mercy – Chad Cates and Tony Wood
Your Name – Paul Baloche and Glenn Packiam

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

5 Reasons for a Choir in Modern Worship Services

It was about a year ago when I was asked to begin directing our church choir.  At the mention of the idea chills ran up and down my spine as if the company you rented the sound system from messed up the ground loop and your slightly wet lips completed the loop as you begin to sing the first words and strum the first power chord on your electric guitar.  I mean I have sang in a number of choirs through school and church but never had thought I could direct one.  My Original thoughts were honestly that we would slowly begin weening out the choir and favor a more contemporary and modern service.  A majority of the music we received through the major choral music companies was way to over orchestrated and didn’t seem to really fit with the worship band scenario (not all products were like that but you have to look long and hard to find the ones not completely driven by horns and strings).  That being said it has been about a year since I began directing our choir and to be honest, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I have come to love directing our choir and am finding that it fits in so much better with a contemporary and modern music style than I would have thought.  So much so, that I strongly recommend a choir in modern worship and here is why.

1. Visual Energy – I am a big believer in the importance of visual energy.  If the person/people leading worship are visually engaging, (not distracting or for show which can sometimes be a fine line but is better hashed out in length in another post) then it engages the congregation as well.  Basically if you don’t look like you are enjoying worship (ha ha think worship pain face – you know what i’m talking about) or even look as if you are worshipping then how can you expect those you lead to enjoy or worship.  A choir in a modern worship service provides a great visual energy.  Though I have never directed a choir before I was always enthralled with the gospel choir – the energy and engagement they provide just draws you in like a moth to a candle flame.  That is what I am talking about – a large group of people in total worship and engagement breaks down some barriers for those who might be uncomfortable otherwise.

2. Built in Group Who Know New Songs – I witnessed this once on a Hillsong DVD where they were teaching a large group some new songs so that they were able to sing with the band and Joel (grant it, it was because they were recording a live DVD and who wants a crowd who doesn’t know the songs).  But think about it, sometimes as we introduce new songs the congregation can be uncomfortable singing along because they don’t know the lyrics.  And while it may not seem logical that they would magically know the lyrics if a choir happened to be singing as well, I have found better response to brand new songs when we have a choir singing along.  There just seems to be some visual connection when seeing a large group singing to feeling more apt to sing along as well (as long as you actually teach them the song prior to service – sorry those in our choir for forgetting this crucial idea from time to time ha ha).  Plus sonically it’s nice to have the sound of many voices making the unfamiliar familiar.

3. Ministry Involvement – Let’s face it, sometimes it is hard to involve everybody that wants to be involved in the music ministry.  It either becomes a scheduling nightmare which never pleases anyone, or you have to tell someone they can’t serve with their giftings (and full disclosure not to be simon but that still takes place sometimes and I am still not sure if it is for the best or not… again another post).  But what better way to garner, energy, excitement, and involvement from those who want to serve and worship?  I have seen some churches go as far as just creating a worship choir who – for all intensive purposes – are just congregation sitting/standing on or behind stage with no real micing just involvement in worship. No matter how you go about it, it is a great way to connect people to a ministry within the church plain and simple.

4.Vocal Adrenaline – we talked about the visual energy brought through a choir but there is a distinct audio energy that exists with a choir as well.  Simple physics would teach us that the more people you have singing the same thing the more energy produced per note – More people = more loud!!!! (but our choir goes to 11).  For certain modern worship songs this is just a huge plus for the whole feel of the song – I am thinking Fee, Tomlin, and others that create wonderful musical and vocal energy.  There is just something powerful behind a large group of people lifting up the name of Jesus together and in my opinion it provides wonderful worship leading.

5. It is a Blessing – I realize I don’t have a lot of experience as a choir director but let me share how much fun this experience has been.  Yes it has been hard at times, challenging at others, but most of all this has been a huge blessing.  It has grown me spiritually, mentally, musically, and has allowed for musical diversity in our services beyond what we would do without a choir.  You may not choose to go down the road of Choir specials and anything other than modern worship music with a worship band but for us it has allowed us to present worship in many different ways and connect better with those who come to worship with us.  Yes we pull choir music from the most modern music as well as liturgical, hymns, a cappella, southern gospel, and more.  Sometimes we “modernize” the music (a lot of times we use the arrangements for structure and vocal arrangement but band-wise we play like the modern worship recordings which yields pretty cool results) and sometimes we stay traditional.  And we as a church, as a music department, as a band, and as worshippers are better for having our choir being a huge part of who we are.

Yes there are challenges to a choir – stage space, to robe or not to robe debate, micing the choir, rehearsal schedules, more people always means more challenges in keeping the peace.  But in my experience it is so much more of a blessing to join together and worship with a choir than anything else.

Does your church use a choir?  How does it utilize one? Do you see a complementary relationship between a choir and the modern music style?  What are your thoughts?

Grace Church Set List: 4.18.10

Well I was on vacation this past week.  It was nice to get away and relax for a few days but I always miss my church family and our Sunday morning worship together.  I was able to attend the church I grew up in; the one that sparked the whole life of worship for me.  It was nice to sleep in a little and not have to worry about playing but at the same time I did miss it.  Bittersweet.  He is the set list for Grace Church this past Sunday

Let The Praises Ring – Lincoln Brewster
Blessed Be Your Name- Beth Redman and Matt Redman
You Are Good – Israel Houghton
Hungry – Kathryn Scott

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

Grace Church Set List 3.14.10

In my opinion this is the worst Sunday on the calendar liturgical or regular!  Why? Simply put we lose and hour of sleep the night before.  Ugh.  The worship team already gets up before the sun and works hard to be prepared and at least half awake for our 8:30 service.  The whole premise of just getting to be one hour earlier to make up for the traumatic loss is highly unlikely at best.  I have petitioned and lobbied to higher forms of government for a succeeding of Grace Church from the tyrannical union that is “Spring Forward” in hopes that as a church we govern ourselves as Arizona and parts of Indiana.  I realize that having a random collection of people belonging to one church not participating in the time change will cause many more problems for “regular” society but that is something I am willing to deal with to keep my hour of sleep.

That being stated, God lives outside of time and still showed up yesterday even if a good majority of people admitted to me they changed to a later service to make up for the hour loss (or forgot to change their clocks or their phones didn’t change for them – sidebar: spring forward is the only reason I own or use a regular alarm clock, just in case).  It was a great day even if it happened an hour before it should have.

This is Our God – Chris Tomlin and Jesse Reeves
Open the Eyes of My Heart – Paul Baloche
On the Banks of the Promised Land – David Moffitt, Sue C. Smith, Jason Dyba; Arranged by Cliff Duren
Beautiful One – Tim Hughes
Hosanna (Praise is Rising) – Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown

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

Grace Church Set List: 2.7.10

It was truly another blessed Sunday, the band was tight, the choir was rocking, and the ensemble sounded great. And we got to start the 2nd service off with a baptism which always sets the stage beautifully. Not to mention it was a great kid whose mom and dad both happened to be up on stage as part of the band and ensemble.

Burdens Rolled Away – Christ Church Choir
Floodgate -Paul Colman and Michael Neale
Let Your Holy Rain Fall Down – David M. Edwards and Regi Stone
Better is One Day – Matt Redman
My Savior My God – Dorothy Dora Greenwell and Aaron Shust

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