On Sunday I will be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free. The theme of the message is “Grace in Our Church” and is part of a series on grace. The main text for the morning is Ephesians 4:17-32.
I decided to establish a different theme for the music. The theme I chose is God is my (our) provider.
When I originally put this list together I thought I would be leading by myself, just me and Marty (Marty is the nickname I have given my Martin guitar, I know . . . I’m pretty creative like that). At the last minute I ended up with some accompaniment (piano, bass, drums, vocalists), so I made a few minor adjustments to the list and arrangements.
Song # 1 – (G) No One Like You – David Crowder Band
I wanted to start with a song that was lively and simple, and this one fit the bill. The chorus affirms the uniqueness of God, while the verses speak of His presence and provision. I have never used this song as a leader, though I have played it many times as a guitarist. I intend to play it on the slow side (maybe 85 bpm?) so the lyrics aren’t impossible to follow. Crowder and company play it at 88 bpm if I recall correctly, so I’ll make sure we don’t go any faster than that.
Song #2 – (A) Mighty to Save – Reuben Morgan & Ben Fielding
The chorus of this song has been running through my head a lot over the past month. In this song I confess my need for grace and forgiveness, affirm the mightiness of God, request to grow closer to God, and ask for God to continue to show the world His glory. I’ve decided to use a capo on this song to make the transition into the next song smoother; plus I also like the chord voicings that capoing allows me to use.
Song #3 – (A) Everlasting God – Brenton Brown & Ken Riley
The verse of this song talks about finding strength while waiting on the Lord. The prechorus calls Him our hope and deliverer. The chorus pays tribute to our everlasting God, One who does not grow tired or weak, One who defends the weak, One who comforts those in need. The end of the second chorus speaks about being lifted on wings like eagles. If we had a worship eagle at E-Free I would totally bust it out for this song. I am planning to work with the band on punching the &4 beats coming out of the instrumental line. In my head it sounds huge, we’ll see how it translates to reality.
Song #4 – (G) Enough – Chris Tomlin
This song is an excellent reminder of the sufficiency of God. He is more valuable than things I get distracted by. Every time I sing this song I am reminded that He is enough to satisfy my thirsts and needs, even though so often I have a hard time remembering that. I have a few ideas about rhythmic accents and dynamic shifts that I plan to play around with at practice. I’m also considering adding an ad lib vocal outro, which I have never done as a leader at E-Free. I would really like this to become a normal thing, but I have a feeling it will take time. Many people feel like they have to sing if something is being sung. So if I tag the line “You’re more than enough” a few times at the end of the song, sliding the melody around a bit, I bet many people will stumble along trying to follow it. They’ll wonder why the words aren’t on the screen. I still might do it . . .
Closing Song – (E) Be Still My Soul – Katharina von Schlegel
This was the first song I picked for the list and it ended up being last (that’s quite Biblical). It is one of my favorite songs. I sing this song frequently, often during my walk or bike ride to campus. In a world that is full of stress and unrest it is helpful to focus on being still. And this is not just stillness. We’re talking about stillness of soul. That’s deep. That’s at the core of who I am. It’s not looking cool and calm for the people around me, it’s something more authentic than that. I decided to use the chord progression for U2’s song One for the intro, instrumental between verses, and outro. When I play it at home I sing Bono’s ad lib vocal line from the end of the song over the progression, but I fear that would be awkward on Sunday morning.
For some reason I am anticipating Sunday morning more than I usually do. I hope this collection of songs is able to encourage someone/multiple someones. It has been encouraging to me to play through it in my living room, and I look forward to playing through it another 20-30 times before Sunday.