Here is another song featuring Julie Thompson. We had a trio together (Julie, me, and Pam Noblit) and had a blast singing together. I cannot tell you how much I’m going to simply singing with her–much less everything else that she was (sister, Scott’s wife, mother of five, soloist, etc.)
Yesterday we began a new season in the life of our church. We began an entirely new Order Of Service on our Morning Services. In the past, we would do something like this:
10:28 Pre-Service Music (w/Orchestra)
10:30 Welcome from Pastor/Announcements/Missions Report/Opening Prayer
10:40 Time of Fellowship
10:42 Congregational Singing (3 songs)
10:53 Offertory Prayer/Receive Tithes and Offering
10:55 Congregational Singing (1 song)
11:45 Closing Song
Yesterday we changed the Pre-Service life music to almost 15 min. of Music Videos. We changed the welcome and announcements to a 5-minute video (called GLC-TV). We only sang 2 songs before the sermon instead of 4. We sang more after the sermon. It looked like this:
10:15 Music Videos
10:30 GLC TV
10:35 Congregational Singing (1 song)
10:39 Offertory Prayer/Receive Tithes and Offering
10:41 Congregational Singing (1 song)
11:30 Congregational Singing (2 songs)
11:40 Receive New Members (Just this Sun)
Why make these changes?
It gives a better segue from Small Groups to Main Service. While we didn’t want to interrupt the interaction with folks mingling before the service after they dismiss from Small Groups, we did want to give our people a better way to engage while waiting for the service. Playing music videos is a way to do that. We will also, on a rotation basis, have live music (praise team, band, or solos), or scripture readings (live or scrolling on the screen) with music bed as other options.
It streamlines the service. GLC TV will do in 5 minutes what live speaking would take 10-15 minutes to accomplish. Plus the announcements are more attractive and draw the congregation’s attention a bit better. It also eliminates the possibility of any mistakes in information that might occur (or at least lowers the chances). It also gives each minister a personal touch with the congregation. It also frees up Bro. Jeff’s (our preaching pastor) attention to focus only on the sermon and not have to worry with giving announcements.
It moves the sermon earlier in the service. This might help with those who struggle with attention spans or have to leave early due to other commitments (family appointment, work schedule, etc.)
It gives our congregation an opportunity to sing in response to the sermon. I’ve often wondered if we have the order of singing and preaching backwards. Historically, churches have done 80% of their singing before the sermon. We even think of the song service as a way to prepare a congregation for the sermon (and rightly so). However, I’ve all to often observed that it’s after the sermon that our congregation is really ready to engage in singing. Their hearts are full to overflowing as the gospel has been thundered from the pulpit.
Sometimes it’s just good to change things up. All of us are prone to get into a rut. Where we have freedom from God’s word, it’s sometimes a healthy thing to shake up the pattern to freshen things up and give your congregation a different perspective and help their attention spans.
This new Order of Service is very much in a fluid state. We’ve still got to bring the Choir and Orchestra back this Sunday. To be honest, this OOS presents some problems for the Choir. I’m praying that we’ll be able to figure out a good, effective, and proper way to keep the Choir central to the singing at GLC. Stay tuned!
Here’s today’s radio spot I did with Monk Boone at WSTS 100.9 FM. Today we deal primarily (although in a tip-of-the-iceberg kind of way) with Worship Wars in the church as we continue talking about the role of music in the church.
As promised, I’m making a tidy little announcement about an opportunity I’ve been given to do a weekly interview with Monk Boone every Tuesday morning at approx. 7 am CST dealing with the same subjects in which I speak here at the blog–truth in Christian music. Monk is an on-air personality at WSTS 100.9 FM The Cross in Fairmont, NC. (There is a link at their website where you can listen live. Monk came up with the title of the spot which is the title of this blog entry.) He and Randy Catoe, the station manager, have had for some time a deep burden to see reform in all genres of Christian music. Their station happens to be one that plays Southern Gospel music. They also air my pastor’s radio show, “Anchored In Truth”.
I’m looking forward to the opportunity to discuss so much of what I write and teach about at Grace Life Church and here at the blog. It’s been over seven years now since I had my own radio show with American Family Radio so I’m also excited about getting back in the saddle on the airwaves. Please pray that I will honor Jesus in all that I say and that our discussions will be seasoned with humility, love, and gentleness as we tackle some rather controversial topics.
I will interrupt my series on the RP, NP, and BP with a few thoughts from my time in London, England. As I type this I’m in a hotel in Southall, which is the Indian section of London. Jeff Noblit (my pastor) and I served at a conference in Angel, London Thu-Sat. with Barry King and the Grace Baptist Partnership (GBP) (along with Ali MacLachan) and then served on the Sunday service at Grace Baptist Church in Southall this morning. We are heading (Lord willing) to Scotland in the morning to do basically the same conference there over the next three days.
This has been my first time out of the United States. I must say that I was a bit apprehensive about the trip leading up to it (I’ve only flown four times in my life–not quite the jet-setter) but now that I’m here, I’m having a wonderful time.
I thank God for my pastor. It is wonderful to see Bro. Jeff in this environment. It’s like I’m hearing him in a whole new way. He has such wisdom and insight into how to build a healthy church and his passion for the Bride of Christ is even more evident over here (if that’s possible!) I have truly enjoyed traveling with him and greatly appreciate him on a personal as well as ministerial level.
I thank God for Barry King. England doesn’t know what it’s got! If you are looking for an opportunity to support a missions work PLEASE check out the GBP. There is not a more “bibline” man on the planet. He has poured the scriptures as well as himself into this wonderful flock here. The church planters that I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting have been some of the most humble, loving, God-centered, scripture-saturated brothers I’ve ever met. Humanly speaking, that credit goes to Barry King.
I thank God for diversity. How refreshing it’s been to lead music in a totally different environment! I love the challenge of adapting to a new culture while making objective truth central. If I had tried to do the music here exactly the way we do it at GLC, it might have been a distraction to some. We’ve been able to make a few adjustments and thereby (hopefully) increase the communication of the lyrics. But I’ve also had the thrill of singing along with Indian, Burmese, Romanian, Iranian, and British (as well as other) brothers and sisters. London is the melting pot of melting pots.
I thank God for the gospel. I have had a kinship with these wonderful folks over here in a matter of days through the power of Jesus’ mighty saving work that I’ve never experienced with many folks I’ve known my whole life. When truth is central, true fellowship and unity is experienced that is absolutely supernatural. I’ve never been more aware of that as now.
I thank God for Grace Life Church. GLC has truly been somewhat of a lifeline for many of the folks I’ve met here. London is such a spiritually dark country. Many who are partnered with GBP have looked to our church as a model for building healthy church plants. I can hardly believe that I get to go back to such a wonderful place (DV).
I thank God for my girls. It’s so nice to know that while I’m out “across the waters” that Marla, Emily, and Aubrey are home waiting for me. I can’t imagine their not being there when I would arrive home (DV). Oh to grace, how great a debtor!
I’ll have more to say about Scotland soon. Hopefully, I’ll post some pics and possibly some video when I get back to the states.
Not only is the True Church Conference FREE this year but for the first time, you can watch the entire conference live-streamed.
The schedule is as follows (all times CST):
Tonight (Thu): 7 PM
Friday: 9 AM, 1:30 PM, 7 PM
Saturday: 9 AM, 7 PM
Sunday: 10:30 AM
If you or your group wants to sing along with the song services, you can download the lyrics here
Here’s a rough (emphasis on “rough”) mix of a song I wrote a while back. My friend Nathan Clark George allowed me to step into his home studio and recorded me playing and singing the song “It Had To Be You” (no–not the jazz song). You can see an old video of it here (man, am I skinny in it!) You can find FREE sheet music to it here.
Here are the lyrics:
The power of my will
Commitment in my zeal
Trusting in my strength and concentration
With no success to find
Still a pris’ner in my mind
Behind iron bars of my own condemnation
Failed on ev’ry count
And hope in no amount
It had to be You
Who captured my heart
‘Cause there was nothing in my soul that ever loved You
You showed me Yourself
And my need for Your blood
And how there was never any good in me
And Your complete ability
To make me anew
It had to be You
The war’s still there today
My Father to obey
But now it’s by His sacrifice I’m measured
His Spirit lives in me
His law a treasury
And fellowship with Christ my greatest pleasure
My slate not only clean
But broken on the tree
HERE’S THE AUDIO OF THE SONG:
And will the Judge descend and must the dead arise
And not a single soul escape His all discerning Eyes?
And from His righteous lips shall this dread sentence sound
And through the numerous guilty throng spread black despair around:
“Depart from Me, accursed, to everlasting flame
For rebel angels first prepared, where mercy never came”
How will my heart endure the terrors of that day
When earth and Heav’n before His Face astonished flee away?
But ere that trumpet shakes the mansions of the dead
Hark from the Gospel’s cheering sound what joyful tidings spread:
Ye sinners, seek His grace, Whose wrath ye cannot bear
Flee to the shelter of His cross and find salvation there
I am sharing with you today the song list from the True Church Conference. My next posts will then breakdown and expand on the breakout session that I taught at this year’s conference called “What We Have Learned So Far About The Role Of Music In The Church”. I still have a series that I started on how to help a beginning Music Minister that I will hold off on finishing until the lengthy series from the breakout session is completed. (I now see that I shouldn’t have started the series on helping a beginning Mus Min when I did!)
Now to the song list:
All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name (E Perronet/O Holden)
It Is Well (P Bliss) Grace Life Music Arrangement (Available upon request)
The Power Of The Cross (S Townend/K Getty)
Nothing But The Blood (R Lowry)
How Deep The Father’s Love For Us (Townend)
Holy, Holy, Holy (R Heber/J Dykes)
Hallelujah! What A Savior (P Bliss)
How Firm A Foundation (J Rippon/J Funk)
There Is A Fountain (W Cowper)
Be Thou My Vision (Trad.)
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (M Luther)
The Lord Will Provide (T Clay) Music Available Upon Request
Worthy Is The Lamb (D Zschech)
Rejoice The Lord Is King (C Wesley/J Darwall)
Immortal Invisible (W C Smith/J Roberts)
And Can It Be (C Wesley/T Campbell)
Near The Cross—Trio (F Crosby/P Marino)
O For A Thousand Tongues (C Wesley/C Glaser)
How Great Is Our God (C Tomlin/3rd Verse by T Clay) *Lyrics below
Give Me Jesus (Trad. Folk Song/Arr. By Fernando Ortega)
The Church’s One Foundation (S Stone/S Wesley)
Crown Him With Many Crowns (M Bridge/G Elvey)
Revelation Song (J Riddle)
Before The Throne Of God Above (C Bancroft/V Cook)
In Christ Alone (S Townend/K Getty) Arrangement by Travis Cottrell
Nothing But The (Your) Blood (M Redman)
*The darkness of our hearts
Had kept us far apart from His amazing love
From His amazing love
He gave Himself to die
My lifeless soul to buy redeeming sinful man
Redeeming sinful man