This recap of the services at Fellowship Bible Church in Conway, AR is part of the Sunday Setlists blog carnival hosted by TheWorshipCommunity.com. To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/sunday-setlists-76/.

Being the first Sunday of the new year, we went with a “state of the church” themed message, an opportunity to re-cast vision. We usually have two services each Sunday morning, but we decided to have just one service Dec 20 – Jan 3. We took the opportunity of having everyone together to celebrate communion as well. We usually do communion on the first Sunday of every month, flexing when it fits better with a message on a different week. It was great to practice this discipline together with a larger gathering of folks.

We opened the service with a reading of 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, followed by a 3 (more like 2.5) song set:

No Sweeter Name
Revelation Song
We Fall Down

I say 2.5 songs because we did We Fall Down as a tag to Revelation Song. We did a verse and then the chorus twice, but we kept it mellow – mostly keyboard & vocals.

Our pastor came up for the message immediatly after, opening with prayer.
Message audio available here

We did You Are My King while the offering was taken. We do communion a couple of different ways: sometimes having folks come forward to stations and sometimes passing the elements in trays. We decided to pass this morning since the crowd was so large. We did The Cross (Charlie Hall) while the bread was passed, then Nothing But the Blood (Matt Redman) for the juice.

We closed with Matt Redman’s new song This Is How We Know. It has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s very singable, fun to play, and emphasizes the centrality of the cross.

We opted to give our musicians the week off since it’s just 2 days after Christmas. I led all songs from our grand piano, using very traditional arrangements.

O Come All Ye Faithful

Video: We Are Here

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Angels We Have Heard on High
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Good Christian Men Rejoice

Message:
Audio download

Our teaching pastor spoke about the 2 comings of Christ: first as a lamb (sacrifice), second as a lion (King who will reign). The two songs following the message reflected both comings.

The First Noel
I Will Rise
(Chris Tomlin)

Since we didn’t have a band, I said a few words to encourage folks to really sing out on I Will Rise. The bridge just calls for a very big sound. It’s supposed to be a word-picture of heaven. I asked everyone to really ramp it up vocally when we got to that point, both as a personal act of praise and as an opportunity to minister to each other. The point I was going for was, “Sing loud because someone on the other side of the auditorium might really need that picture of heaven today.” The congregation responded well. I could hear them singing throughout the song.

We closed with a simple version of Go Tell It On the Mountain. The piano part I played during the chorus was actually from an organ arrangement by Dr. Paul Manz. I always loved his take on things in my organ-playing days.

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out Fred McKinnon’s blog at http://www.fredmckinnon.com/myblog/2009/12/27/sunday-setlists-75/

So, I’m running a little behind on these…

December 20 was our annual church-wide Christmas service. We have just one service instead of two, getting the whole family together at once, followed by a potluck lunch afterward. We had two different musical teams serving for the morning. One was a standard worship band: keys, drums, bass, electric, acoustic, with 4 vocalists. The other was a gospel choir accompanied by piano & drums.

The worship band opened with Mercy Me’s arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I love that whole CD. We also used their version of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree after the service was over and folks were making their way out to the potluck.

After the opening song, we had a brief call to worship from Luke 1:39-45. This was followed by a 3 song set:
O Come All Ye Faithful (Third Day)
Angels We Have Heard on High (Third Day)
In the Bleak Midwinter (Paul Colman Trio)

Next up was the message:
Sermon audio download
Sermon notes download

The choir handled the set after the message, drawing from more of a gospel background:
So Many Wonderful Things About Jesus
Born in a Manger
(by our very own Marvin Williams)
Unto Us (also by Marvin)
Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child

This concluded the service. After we gave instructions for the potluck, the worship band came back out to provide a little “fun music” while folks waited for their turn. It was a great morning with a great church family!

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out Fred McKinnon’s blog at http://www.fredmckinnon.com/myblog/2009/12/20/sunday-setlists-74/

This is my second week to participate in the Sunday Setlists blog carnival hosted by FredMcKinnon.com.

After a 5 minute video countdown, we opened with Third Day’s arrangement of Joy to the World. For a call to worship, we read Isaiah 12:2-6, and then we sang a couple of songs that anticipate Christ’s return and emphasize that our hope is in Him:

Days of Elijah
Hope of the Nations

Our teaching pastor gave a brief overview of some events coming up this week before launching into the message. Sermon audio is available here. The message led into communion. We handle communion a couple of different ways logistically. Sometime, we have stations up front and have folks come forward. This week, we passed the elements out by rows. This method takes longer, but it can also allow us to do more through songs or guided meditation. When we do the stations up front, sometimes folks are just focused on when/how to go and come back. After each element was distributed, our teaching pastor came up to lead us through taking it together. We have a small table on the platform during first service so the worship team can participate.

We did Before the Throne of God Above while the bread was distributed and This Is How We Know by Matt Redman while the juice was distributed. The latter is a new song and our team really likes.

After communion, we had the morning offering and closed with God of This City (Hello Love arrangement) and Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble.

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Overall, it was a good morning. Musically, it didn’t feel like we were hitting on all cylinders, but most of it was the kind of stuff that only gets noticed by musicians. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that we ended up having only half our band at Thursday night’s practice. Everyone got up to speed quickly on Sunday morning, but it’s just different when there isn’t that mid-week rehearsal to draw from.

I’ve decided to try participating in the Sunday Setlists blog carnival at FredMcKinnon.com. It’s a way for worship leaders to connect online and share what went on at their respective churches on the most recent Sunday. It’s a great way to share ideas and see what others are doing. It’s also a helpful practice for evaluating your own services.

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Program

Video Countdown
Video: Advent Conspiracy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVqqj1v-ZBU)
Call to Worship (Luke 3:1-6)
Turn Down the Music (Shane & Shane)
From the Inside Out (Hillsong)

Operation Christmas Child Recap Video
Verbal OCC Update

Message A Biblical Theology of Marriage
Audio – http://media.libsyn.com/media/fbcconway/20091206-podcast.mp3
Sermon Notes – http://media.libsyn.com/media/fbcconway/Eph_5.25-33.pdf
Connection Cards
Prayer for the Offering

God of Justice (Tim Hughes)
Center (Charlie Hall)

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Play-by-Play

Immediately following the 5-minute countdown, we opened with a video from Advent Conspiracy. During the video, one of the vocalists lit the first 2 candles on our Advent Wreath. I gave a brief call to worship, reading Luke 3:1-6 (NIV).

We sang Turn Down the Music by Shane & Shane as more of a presentation. During the call to worship I invited folks to use the song as an opportunity to reflect, and then I invited the to stand & participate vocally in From the Inside.

Next up was a recap of our involvement in Operation Christmas Child. It began with a video made by one of our members. Our OCC coordinator followed with a verbal update, sharing a few stories from the week. We’re the regional collection center for our county, so we see quite a few boxes come in. The update concluded with a video from Samaritan’s Purse of kids all over the world saying “Thank You.”

Next up was the message. We have started utilizing “Connection Cards” at the end of the message each week. On one side, there’s room for newcomers and regulars to submit/update their contact information. On the other side, there’s space for prayer requests as well as a few application points based on the message. The prayer request section has been revolutionary for us. It has enabled the staff & elders to pray in an informed way for members of our body, and we’ve loved it.

After walking folks through the application items on the connection card, we had the morning offering. We did God of Justice by Tim Hughes during the offering, and then asked everyone to stand for Center by Charlie Hall as a closing song.

We usually have more than 4 songs in our services, but the Operation Christmas Child update mandated an adjustment. It’s one of our core ministries, so it’s well worth it.

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Commentary

I’m really not a sports nut, so I’m not sure why I went with the sports broadcast theme in my section titles. Overall, I felt good at the end of the morning. Our teaching pastor was in his wheelhouse (to bring in more sports imagery). Biblical manhood & womanhood is something that he’s very strong on. He spoke with both authority & passion. It really seemed that he had the attention of the congregation and that folks were really taking it in.

Our body really stepped up to the plate on Operation Christmas Child this year, so it was a great investment to spend some time on a good summary. One of our members did a great job putting together the summary video. It incorporated video footage taken during collection week.

Turn Down the Music was a great find, and I can’t take credit for it. One of our Fellowship After Dark (Sunday evening) guys brought it to my attention. I would put it in the same category as Matt Redman’s Heart of Worship. It’s a great reminder for the Advent season as we seek to be followers of Jesus rather than followers of consumerism.

Many kudos to the folks over at AdventConspiracy.org! Your videos this year are exceptionally well done!