Tag Archives: Worship Leading

SCEFC Set List: December 12, 2010

In my last post I mentioned that I will be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church this coming Sunday. I decided to stick with the set list I mentioned in that post. The thought  running through my mind as I developed the set was our need for a Savior. In the context of the advent season I thought about Israel, what it would be like to read Isaiah 11 and wait expectantly for that day. Hosanna!

Prelude: (G) Refuge in You – Bob Stratton, Brenton Brown, & Pete Jones

Starting off with a celebratory song that looks at the shelter, safety, and refuge we have in Christ seems like a good first step. When I’m afraid or troubled, comfort and perspective are restored when I dwell on God’s love for me. A response of “I love You; I need You; You’re my saving King.” is quite natural.

Song 1: (A) Mighty to Save – Reuben Morgan & Ben Fielding

This song captures the theme for the morning that was running through my mind perfectly. We need compassion and mercy. We need forgiveness and hope. So we turn to our God because He is mighty to save. I suspect the phrase “mighty to save” is taken from the Isaiah 63:1 (I looked this passage up in 14 versions of the Bible, 12 of the 14 used the exact phrase “mighty to save “). The bridge of this song talks about living in response to the glorious truth that we have been saved, letting light shine from us to glorify Christ.

Song 2: (Em) O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – John Neale & Henry Coffin

Emmanuel means “God with us.” The verses speak of the fullness and restoration Christ will bring. The chorus affirms this, calls for rejoicing, as the fulfillment of these longings has begun. I enjoy the musical contrast between the verse and the begin of the chorus in this song.

Song 3: (E) Come Thou Long Expected Jesus – Charles Wesley

The lyrics of this song are pure gold. It’s my favorite Christmas carol. I don’t even know where to start with pointing out lyrics I like, for they’re all good.One of the highlights in the first verse is: “From our sins and fears release us; let us find our rest in Thee.”

Song 4: (E) We Fall Down – Chris Tomlin

When I think about God being mighty to save, when I think about Christ being my refuge and shelter, and when I think about being delivered I tend to focus on the power that is involved. Yet Jesus came to earth in humility, a Lamb to be slaughtered. He knows what pain feels like. Faced with this mercy and grace it is difficult to be defiant or untouched.

Closing Song: (Bb) Joy to the World! – Isaac Watts

Both of the hymnals that I grew up singing from put an exclamation point* at the end of the title of this song. It is very appropriate.  As was pointed out in the comments on my previous post, Isaac Watts wrote this hymn with a focus on Christ’s return based upon Psalm 98. Over time it became associated with Christmas. No matter how you choose to interpret it, I think it makes a good closing song that focuses on Christ, His presence, and the wonders of His love.

I’m looking forward to this weekend for the music practices and service.

*This prompted me to think: How old are exclamation points? Is it possible that Watts used one back in 1719 when he published this hymn? Does this hymn predate the exclamation point? According to Wikipedia the exclamation point dates back to the 15th century in English usage. I was unable to determine if Watts used one, however.


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SCEFC Set List (November 14, 2010)

On Sunday I’ll be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. The message will be based on Ephesians 5:1-14, which talks about Believers being called to imitate God and move from darkness to light.

The set list I put together is based more on where I’m at than the passage itself. For the past month or so I’ve been experiencing what I will call a damp, drizzly November day of the soul (to borrow a phrase from Melville). I’m not depressed, just very aware of the pain and loss that is so prevalent in the world. Brooke Fraser’s song Hosanna has a bridge that begins with the words: “Break my heart for what breaks Yours.” I feel like that’s been happening to me lately. I’m usually good at giving cerebral sympathy, but for the past month I’ve been dabbling in empathy. Of course I probably don’t look any different in public, there’s just a heaviness within me that I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before.

All that to say, the main idea in my head as I put this set list together was the fact that God does not change. If I’m experiencing a cool and rainy November day in my soul He is the same as when everything is bright and sunny. My focus should be moved from my own instability to His stability. I can trust in His authority and His love.

Prelude: (G) God of Wonders – Marc Byrd & Steve Hindalong

I like this song as a prelude. It speaks of the awesomeness of God, our desire to look to Him, and offers Him praise. It’s also a familiar song that’s easy to sing along to.

Song 1: (B) God You Reign – Licoln Brewster & Mia Fieldes

The simplicity of this song appeals to me. It picks up on the themes the previous song had. As the second verse states, we live to acknowledge that God reigns. The verses of this song are written around a I to IV chord movement; I decided to make the first verse I to Isus, saving the I to IV for the second verse. I’m curious how that will sound with a full band. It ads an interesting dynamic when the song is played on the guitar.

Song 2: (G) Forever – Chris Tomlin

A nod to the unchanging nature of God, this song speaks of His love enduring forever. Forever He is faithful, strong, and with us. By the grace of God we will carry on, even when life is ominous.

Song 3: (D) Jesus I My Cross Have Taken – Henry Lyte & Bill Moore

I play this song a lot at home, but I’ve never used it at E-Free before. It will not be entirely new, for some other leaders have used it in the past. The verses are just solid. They speak of sacrifice and gain, suffering and celebration, the present and the future. The song ends with a glorious line: “Hope shall change to glad fruition, faith to sight and prayer to praise.”

Song 4: (E) Be the Center – Michael Frye

Considering that I am wont to be shaken and unstable it is logical that I should not be the center (i.e. foundation). This song is a prayer for focus. Lord may I look to You as my hope, source, and guide. May You be the reason that I live. It’s a fitting way to end the set as we prepare to dwell on Paul’s words to the Ephesians about imitating God and moving from darkness to light. We’re not supposed to light the fire in our hearts alone or paddle the boat ourselves, rather we ask Jesus to be the fire in our hearts and the wind in our sails.

Closing: (A) Marvelous Light – Charlie Hall

This song fits the passage being studied perfectly. I’ve never led this song before and I’m finding the verses to be a bit melodically challenging. I need to spend more time working on it. I decided to eliminate the bridge because I’ve never liked it, we’ll repeat the chorus instead.

I’m really looking forward to rehearsal on Saturday and the service on Sunday. This set list has been therapeutic for me to play through. I hope it encourages others like it has me.

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SCEFC Set List (October 17, 2010)

This coming Sunday I’ll be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. The message will be based on  Ephesians 4:17-21, which focuses on Believers being called to live a life different from the one they lived before they knew Christ and different from others in the world around them. What stood out to me as I read and reflected on this passage is that in Christ we are offered more than the world can offer.

Prelude: (E) Here I Am to Worship – Tim Hughes

This song speaks of the Gospel message, of God coming down to us and offering us a love we  cannot comprehend. It’s a fitting reminder for the start of the service, the very basis for the life Paul writes about in Ephesians 4.

Song #1: (A) You Never Let Go – Matt Redman & Beth Redman

I like this song for two reasons. First, it addresses the reliability of God. The message of the song is that God is faithful when life is difficult. Second, it acknowledges that life can be difficult. When we live the life Paul describes in Ephesians 4 it doesn’t mean comfort, ease, and the end of all problems.

Song #2: (E) All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name – Edward Perronet & John Rippon

In difficult times we can rely on the faithfulness of God. Though circumstances might be trying, and evil may seem depressingly strong, we can also dwell on the supremacy of Christ.

Song #3: (G) Enough – Chris Tomlin

In living the life we are called to it might be tempting to think we’ll miss what we leave behind. This song is a reminder that Christ is more awesome than we know and more than enough for us.

Response Song: (G) Give Us Clean Hands – Charlie Hall

This will be played immediately following the sermon as a response. We ask for humility, clean hands, pure hearts, and help seeking the face of God.

Closing Song: (A) From the Inside Out – Joel Houston

If lasting change is going to happen in our lives it must start in the heart. I desire that my heart and soul would long to bring God praise in the things that I say and do.

I’m looking forward to this weekend. I’ve been playing this set a lot over the past few days, alone in my living room. It will be great to join with a couple hundred people on Sunday and sing through it. Leading corporate music in the church is an honor, privilege, and joy.

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SCEFC Set List (Sept 19, 2010)

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.

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SCEFC Set List (August 8, 2010)

On Sunday I’ll be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. The theme for the morning is Every Spiritual Blessing, based on Ephesians 1:3-14. In this passage Paul writes about God choosing and blessing us in Christ. I read over that passage several times late last week and early this week and developed a set list. I heard from Pastor Keith later this week–he was letting me know the main points of his sermon and requesting a song of response after the message–so I modified the list accordingly.

Prelude: (G) Holy is the Lord – Chris Tomlin & Louie Giglio

The Ephesians passage starts with “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . .” So the singing time begins with a song praising God. He is holy and glorious.

I’ve been playing around with an instrumental beginning for this song that uses a I, IV, V, IVMaj7, IIIb, VIIb, I progression (I must admit it was inspired by John Mayer’s instrumental in the song Heartbreak Warfare, no shame in that). At this point I have no idea if it will be used or not.

Song #1: (G) No One Like You – David Crodwer et al.

The role Christ plays in our redemption is spelled out clearly in Ephesians 1. It is through His blood that we have redemption and through Him that we have received spiritual blessings too wonderful to even comprehend. It leads to the question, “How could You be so good to me?”

Song #2: (G) King of Grace – Mark Altrogge

Sometimes I am tempted to focus on my effort and desire to praise God and find safety. This song serves as a reminder that I am saved by grace. May I rest in His love and allow Him to perfect my praise.

Song #3: (A) Jesus Paid It All – Elvina Hall & Alex Nafong

Here we continue the theme of being saved by grace and offering praise in response.

Response Song: (D) Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) John Newton, Chris Tomlin, & Louie Giglio

Immediately following the message the passage from Ephesians will be read again. As that ends we sing this song as a response. Pastor Keith recommended this song, and I think it will be very fitting.

Closing Song: (A) Mighty to Save – Reuben Morgan & Ben Fielding

After hearing about God’s plan to save us us and bless us through Christ we offer praise to the Author of salvation (in this song the phrasing implies that Christ is the Author of salvation, which ties into a passage from Hebrews, yet in the context of the Ephesians passage it seems God the Father also deserves the title).

In the afternoon we are having an outdoor baptism service, so I’ll be putting together a short set (probably just two song) to lead poolside as well. I’m planning to decide on those songs later tonight.

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