This coming Sunday I am serving as the worship leader at E-Free. The message for the morning is entitled “A Song for our Mission” and is taken from Psalm 11. Two of the major themes for the morning will be God as our refuge and missions.
I struggled with this set list. The first several songs that came to mind were ones that would not be familiar at E-Free. By my estimation we have two songs that emphasize missions that we sing at E-Free . . . and I decided not to use either of them. I wrestled with Rueben Morgan’s song You Said. I am not comfortable with all the lyrics of the song, so I decided not to use it. The other one is Mission’s Flame by Matt Redman. The lyrics are solid in this song, but I do not like the musical arrangement of the bridge (it is very difficult for a congregation to sing).
So I decided to interpret refuge and missions loosely.
Song #1: Holy (D) – Brenton Brown
This song will begin right at the start time of the service (maybe even a few seconds early). At E-Free that means the song is a prelude, for many people will be getting to the service late. I like the song because it affirms the holiness of God, establishes that He is worthy of worship, and the song is sung directly to Him.
Song #2: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms (G) – Elisha Hoffman
Deuteronomy 33:27a says “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” This is part of a blessing spoken by Moses to the tribe of Asher. I have always liked this hymn because of the concept of the everlasting arms of God. While the word refuge might not appear in the song, it is all about refuge.
I am planning to use an arrangement of this song that I have been playing around with. The musical inspiration is the old Phillies theme song from UPN 57. I’ve modified it considerably, but it is a great groove. I’m not sure if I will be able to get everyone on the same page, but I’m going to try.
Song #3: Forever (G) – Chris Tomlin
It seems to me that reminding ourselves of God’s faithfulness, strength, and presence is something like painting a picture of a refuge. I am usually not a big fan of songs that repeat a lot, but this one doesn’t bother me. I can sing truth statements about God over and over, it is repeating statements about me that I’m not too keen on.
Song #4: Enough (G) – Chris Tomlin
Now that I just said that I don’t like to sing statements about myself over and over I selected a song that is loaded full of first person singular personal pronouns. But despite this, it is a collection of statements of truth. Instead of saying “I will do (something)” it is full of “You are my (something).” I find this song to be a helpful reminder.
Closing Song: Lord Reign in Me (C) – Brenton Brown
This song might not have an obvious missions tie-in, but I think it is there. What is missions? I see it as living as a witness and representative of the Gospel. If I am truly seeking to reflect Christ in my thoughts and words I will be effective as a missionary (I resisted the urge to put the word missionary in quotes, because I mean the word in a literal sense, it is simply the perception of the word that needs quotes around it. So if you think missionaries only exist in jungles, islands, and far away places you can put quotes around it).