On Sunday I’ll be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. The message for the morning is based upon Ephesians 4:4-6, a passage in which Paul writes about unity. Initially I thought it would be easy to develop a set list that focused on unity. I was wrong. All the songs I know that address unity are either old or obscure. In the end I decided to build a set list that looks at the source of unity. It turned out like this.
Prelude: (A) How Great Is Our God – Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, & Jesse Reeves
It seems fitting to start the service by focusing on God’s greatness. I’m reminded of the line Keith Green sang: “Oh it’s so hard to see, when my eyes are on me.” Unity is a lot easier when we’re not all self-absorbed.
Song #1: (A) You Are God Alone – Billy Foote & Cindy Foote
This song talks about God being independent of humans. He wasn’t made by us and He doesn’t need us. I think a large percentage of in-house problems in churches are related to constructs of God that we make to feel comfortable, justified, or satisfied.
Song #2: (G) We Sing the Greatness of Our God – Isaac Watts & Jeff Redd
A continuation of the theme God as Creator, not as created. This song also contains a line that I love: “While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care. . .” Their own life is something most people tend to hold quite dearly, yet ever our very existence is something that is borrowed.
Song #3: (E) Sing to the King – Billy Foote & Charlie Silvester Horne
As Believers I think it is important to focus on what we have in common. We belong to Jesus. That should trump differences in personality or taste.
Song #4: We Fall Down – Chris Tomlin
In response to Christ–the mercy and love we have received–how can we do anything but surrender the things that Tomlin refers to as crowns. Years of service and dedication, accomplishments, gifts and sacrifices, whatever we might see as adornment, all pales in comparison to the holiness of the Lamb.
Closing Song: (E) Sing, Sing, Sing – Chris Tomlin et al.
I spent more time picking out this closing song than any other song I have selected for any set list I have assembled in my life. It was ridiculous. I wanted to find a relatively new song that was either familiar or had a simple enough melody that it would be easy for the congregation to pick up. I struck out. I looked through all the music I own. I tried web searches. I tried theme and keyword searches on the CCLI website. I tried asking other people. And finally I decided that modern songs that talk about loving each other and unity in the church/Church are few and far between.
In the end I selected Sing, Sing, Sing because it is a song of collective praise. I suppose being unified might be more powerful than talking about being unified.