A few months ago, I asked one our projection guys to change jobs – I ask him to step into an “overseer” role with our tech team for Sunday mornings. While our service isn’t crazy or overly produced, we do care a lot about excellence and making sure our congregation can easily follow and engage with what we’re doing. Up until a few months ago, tech scheduling and uploading and coordinating was pulling my focus from my pastor/musical duties, so I asked Jayson to consider it. Last night, I was reminded of what a great job he’s done. If you’ve got a go-getter in your tech team, consider having him or her take on more responsibility…they’ll usually surprise with you how good they are.
LET YOUR KINGDOM COME (G)
We added this SovGrace song last year. It’s an older song, but our pastor heard it at a conference and asked me to check it out. As most of you know, you don’t have to push me too hard to do SovGrace music! We did it a couple of times a few months ago, and like most SovGrace tunes, it was a hard one to figure out. Those songs typically don’t have a lot of signature riffs or hooks mixed in the forefront so it difficult to hear those parts that give the song it’s unique flavor. Our guitar player really figured this one out. While it wasn’t a difficult part to play, it gave the song the drive it needed. During the bridge/chorus breakdown, I read from Psalm 145 about God’s kingdom being an everlasting kingdom. The band did a fantastic job building to the last chorus.
O THIS GOD (G)
It’s hard to figure out something fresh to say about songs you use frequently. Like this one. One thing I did different this week was to not play during the verses. Normally, I’m pretty busy on my guitar, but for this Sunday, I would just strum each chord and let it ring out. We had a full band (drums, bass, electric, acoustic, keyboard and B3) and they carried the verses nicely without me playing. Think I’ll keep that little arrangement change.
Our Senior Pastor Ross was preaching at our new “Arbor” campus and the Arbor pastor, Eric, was in our service. We kept with our normal Sunday flow and Eric did a good job. He welcomed folks, read from Psalm 24 and prayed. He was a bit quicker than Ross…which the band didn’t mind. More jamming!
LEAD ON, O KING ETERNAL (D)
We did one of our favorite hymns, but changed it up a bit. A few weeks ago, I did a YouTube search to see if there was footage of the band Enfield doing their version of this song. (We’ve got three or four Enfield tunes in our catalog…we like ’em!) I found crowd footage of the band doing this song as more of a rock thing. They had shifted the riff to electric guitar and the drummer had adopted a rock-march very similar to some of U2’s old arena anthems. Last week, I sent the video to my drummer and guitarist and ask them to adapt the arrangement in this away. To the team, I sent the normal version and told them that we’d change it a bit at rehearsal. It really did breathe some new life into this song. I had Kristen (my wife) sing the verses on this one and she knocked it out of the park – she managed to sing it with confidence without belting, which was the perfect mix.
Normally, we’d be doing communion on the first Sunday of the month but since we’re participating in Orphan Sunday next week, we bumped it up. As many of you know, back in May, we moved communion from “end of the service” up into our worship flow. It was a great decision – different than what our people were used to, but it’s been such an improvement on the overall pace and feel. I talked about communion a bit, called the ushers forward and read this prayer over us.
Almighty and everliving God, Who by Your holy Apostle has taught us to make prayers, and supplications, and to give thanks for all men; In Your mercy accept our holy offerings, and receive these our prayers, which we offer unto Your Divine Majesty;beseeching You to inspire continually the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and harmony: And grant that all those who do confess Your holy Name may agree in the truth of Your holy Word, and live in unity and godly love.
And to all Your People give Your heavenly grace; and especially to this congregation here present; that, with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear, and receive Your holy Word; truly serving You in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life. Amen.
JESUS’ PRECIOUS BLOOD (A)
The communion song was the highlight of the day. This is a hymn that was redone years ago by Red Mountain Church. We do a few Red Mountain songs at Christmas, but this one was new to me. I had to drop the key significantly and we added more instrumentation that Red Mountain’s solo electric guitar version. Kristen sang the whole thing and it was perfect. Although, we have folks sit and focus during communion, they usually sing along, but this was one of those special times where everybody was captivated by a song. The way they watched Kristen was pretty amazing.
As the ushers came back up, I read Isaiah 53:3-6. I’ve never read this one in communion, but felt like it worked perfectly with the song we were singing. When I read the scripture, I have folks stand while the band plays softly. After I read, we take the elements and then sing one more chorus.
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
What did you read/say/sing at your place of worship?