Sunday Recap – February 12, 2012

Contemporary Services

This was quite an eventful morning! Ever have one of those mornings where almost nothing goes as planned, yet somehow it all works out? Well we experienced that this morning. This set list above didn’t happen in either service, although  it was the plan.   We had four very beautiful baby dedications in each service, and instead of the eight minutes we had planned, it turned out to be closer to 15. So, needless to say we adjusted our service accordingly, and cut a song in each service.  How do you handle things like baby dedications in your services? Everyone did a great job today, though! We had the worship choir sing along with the team and band, so the energy level was very high!  “Great I Am” is such a powerful song! If you haven’t tried this one yet, you need to at least listen to it. We had Jared Anderson at our church last October, and ever since then our church has embraced this song as a vehicle to just bask in the greatness and power of God. “You Are Good” was a newer song for us this morning – a great new upbeat song of praise from Bethel Live. You can watch the video of this service and see the Planning Center details.

Cafe Connection Service

Marv led the team in the Cafe this morning, and picked some great songs to along with our theme of “The Grace Factor”.  Pastor Tim had an excellent sermon on grace, and we even had our own baby dedication in the Cafe – a first!  You can see the Planning Center details for this service.

Traditional Service

  • This Is My Father’s World
  • Fairest Lord Jesus
  • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
  • All That Thrills My Soul
  • Grace Greater Than Our Sin
  • Wonderful Grace Of Jesus

There are so many great hymns about God’s grace that it was hard to pick, but I had to include the last one – so fun to sing!  You can see the Planning Center details and the video for this service.

This post is part of the Sunday Setlists blog at The Worship Community, where worship leaders share their setlists and service ideas from today.  I included a pic below that I took this morning before everything got started.  Thanks for reading, and I hope your services went great today!

My view for this morning.

Sunday Recap – February 5, 2012

Contemporary Services

We had a great morning at Bethel, and one of the coolest things was the band today was made up primarily of high school students! They all did a super job! We introduced “Like An Avalance” today for the first time as a special before communion. Bekah and Sheri did super!  We had quite  a bit of trouble with our camera system today, which was unfortunate. I think we have everything worked out, so we should be good for next week, but we only were able to broadcast 1 service today, instead of all of them.  This was the first day that WorshipStream had added the chat feature to our streaming, so I was looking forward to seeing how that worked.  You can’t see the video for this service, since the cameras weren’t working, but you can see the Planning Center details.

Cafe Connection Service

You can see the Planning Center details for this service.

Traditional Service

  • “I Sing the Mighty Power of God”
  • “He Hideth My Soul”
  • “We Are Called to Be God’s People”
  • “Behold the Lamb (Communion Song)” (Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend)
  • “There Is A Fountain Flowed With Blood”

The cameras worked for this service today, so you can see the video of this service and also see the Planning Center details.

This post is part of the Sunday Setlists blog at The Worship Community, where worship leaders share recaps and setlists from today’s services.

Desiring God Conference for Pastors – Day Three

Day Three at the Desiring God conference was a shorter day, but a great way to end the conference! Overall, this was a good conference. The theme was woven into all of the sessions, but it seemed like it might have been a bit overdone, or stretched a bit too far.

Today was probably my favorite day, with a session by Ramez Attalah with a focus on evangelism, and then a panel discussion with questions from the audience.

Ramez Atallah

“Pastoring with Vision, Creativity, and Courage in Hard Places”by Ramez Atallah

What a great session! This was one of my favorite sessions in the whole conference.  Ramez is serving as the general secretary of the Bible Society of Egypt and shared some great insights on what is happening in Egypt right now, as well as a detailed history of Christianity in Egypt and finally some leadership principles we can gain from his experience.

He started with a fascinating story of how John Mark was the first missionary to Egypt in AD 43, after he had been written off by Paul.  He shared how Egyptians were involved with the spread of Christianity at the Council of Nicea, and other important contributions.  John Mark went back to Egypt but was martyred there.  Even though Egypt was one of the first Christian nations, the country eventually became mostly Muslim, with now only about 10% Christian.

A Scottish missionary, Rev. John Hogg, came to Egypt to revive the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt back in the 19th century. He wasn’t received well by the Coptic church, thinking he was coming to force their religion on them.  There was a man named Tanassah that the Coptics had hoped would argue against the missionaries for them, because back then the priests in that church were not well educated, but he actually hosted them in his home, and began to support the missionaries. He was excommunicated from the orthodox church, and became the first elder in the new Protestant church.  Tanassah became a missionary and his goal was to regain the orthodox church.

The Coptic church saw what the Protestant church was doing to reach the people, especially with the kids, and decided to host their own Sunday School, a new concept for them! They needed teachers, so they had their brightest students actually open and read the Bible themselves, another new concept, in order to teach the kids. These Sunday School teaches eventually became revived and made alive through the Scriptures and the Orthodox church had its own revival through them. So the two churches – the Protestant and the Orthodox churches existed separately, but side by side, as it is to this day.

Ramez then told his story about how he grew up in Egypt in a small Episcopal church, but had no relationship with Jesus. His grandfather took hold of him and plotted a course for his life, since his grandfather had no sons of his own, only daughters. He wanted his grandson to carry on the family business of engineering.  Because of turmoil in Egypt he fled to Canada with his grandparents when he was 16. His grandfather soon died, and grandmother left the country, so he was left alone to fend for himself there.  He went to college there, was saved while there, and began to work with InterVarsity reaching the campus for Christ. He had a burden, though, for Egypt. So 18 years later, went back to Egypt with his wife (American turned Canadian) and two children.

He had a burden to reach the youth of the Protestant church there by the use of inductive Bible study. By God’s grace, he ended up being accepted in both the Coptic and Protestant churches, and allowed to teach them how to study the Bible, and my doing that, many people were saved.  He eventually became the director of the Bible Society in Egypt and works to this day distributing tracts and Bibles to people there, reaching that country for Christ.  He shared some very creative ways they work within the laws there to accomplis this task.   He spoke of the recent revolutions there in Egypt, and how now the people that are the most in danger are the moderate Muslims; the Christians will probably be left alone, but yet many want to emigrate and many already have left.

Then he connected the dots for us, and shared the big picture of how God works.  When he went back to Egypt, he found a family picture, and in it was his great-grandfather. He was holding a Bible, which was quite unusual in that day. He shared with us that he discovered his great-grandfather was none other than Tanassah, the man who had helped start the Protestant churched in Egypt many years ago, and was one of the first missionaries there to reach the orthodox church.  God’s plan wasn’t for him to be the heir of his grandfather and take over his business. It was to be the heir of his great-grandfather, Tanassah, and spread the news of Christ to both Protestants and the Orthodox church. Amazing!

He then shared five leadership principles he has learned through his life. He said effective leaders have:

  1. Vision which empowers others
  2. Trust in God’s sovereignty which gives meaning to seeming failures
  3. Creativity which transforms obstacles into opportunities
  4. Faith which respects people who are eccentric and/or marginal
  5. Humility which allows them to be mission-oriented rather than gift-oriented
    • About this, he said that some have a sense that we need to be fulfilled by using our gifts, but God never promised that we would be in a place where we can use all our gifts.
    • God calls us to a mission, and then asks us to muster any gifts or skills we need to accomplish that mission. We may have to say “no” to other gifts we have.
    • Where God has put me is more important than the gifts He has given me. He develops the gifts/skills in you to accomplish the task He has called you to.
    • Don’t run after your gifts, run after God’s calling for you life

He concluded with an amazing story of a garbage village in Egypt; a village that is actually built on a garbage dump, and all the families there are garbage workers. They live among the garbage. It’s a very dirty place, and people living there feel like they themselves are garbage. His wife, Rebecca, felt a burden to reach that community, and along with the Coptic priest that was assigned to that area, began to work on reaching that village for Christ.  Amazing things happened! A church was built, a school came to be, and kids and families were reached for Christ. The housing and public services improved.

The priest wanted to build a cathedral, so he excavated the mountain right next to this village, and built a huge cave church. It has now become the largest church in all of  the Middle East, seating about 15,000! On 11/11/11, they held a service combining Christians from both the Protestant and Orthodox churches for a time of worship in these cave churches. Over 50,000 people were there lifting up the name of Christ amidst this time of turmoil in Egypt. At one point during this 12 hour “Night of Prayer and Return to God”, this huge crowd shouted the name of Jesus for 10 minutes straight!  This was an amazing story of God’s redemption and how He is at work all around the world!

Cave Church

“Q & A Panel” with all the speakers

This final session brought back all of the speakers for one last time to answer questions submitted by conference attendees.  There were several questions that asked the speakers to dive deeper into topics they brought up in earlier talks, and some other general questions.  Several of the questions dealt with this main topic of masculinity in the church, like “What is Biblical femininity?”, “Advice for fathers of daughters?”, and “Disciplining Foster Children?”.

One of the questions that received the most time was “How to balance strictness with grace?” which led to a good discussion between John Piper and Doug Wilson, mainly, about the role of anger in discipline.  Wilson maintained that when you are angry at your child for what he/she has done, you are not then qualified to discipline them. You need to wait until emotions have settled before carrying out discipline, so as to avoid disciplining out of anger. Piper didn’t disagree with that, but just added that it’s good for kids sometimes to see the righteous anger that should accompany severe infractions of the family rules, such as disrespecting mom.  All agreed that anger itself is not bad, but that there needed to be control and it should not be motivation for discipline.

The next line of questioning had to do with worship, which I was glad to hear.  Doug Wilson was asked to clarify a point he made about how corporate worship is an attack on the culture. His main point there was that when we gather to worship the Father, we are basically saying to the leaders of this world that there is a higher power that you have to answer to. They don’t want to hear that, and it is threatening to them.  There was also a question about how music lyrics now can be somewhat “feminine”, and how to reconcile that with our discussion about masculinity in the church. Piper acknowledged that, and said there needs to be a balance. There should be a strong feel to worship, but we also need to realize that it is masculine to be emotionally engaged about the love of the King.

The session wrapped up with questions about who you should have around you to challenge you and help you move along in your walk, and finally encouragement to fathers who have grown children or older kids and who have not been good fathers so far that it’s not too late to change, or to fix relationships.  We just need to be honest with kids, acknowledge what we’ve done wrong, and keep walking into tough situations, not away from.

Desiring God Conference for Pastors – Day Two

Day Two at the Desiring God Conference for Pastors was an extremely full day, and my brain is a bit on overload right now.   But, I’ll try to give you a recap of the main points from each speakers. It was a full, but very good day! One more day tomorrow. You can watch the live-stream of Wednesday’s activities here.



Crawford Loritts

“Lessons on Biblical Manhood Learned From His Father” by Crawford Loritts

This was such a good session on fatherhood! It made me want to just go home and hug my kids!  Crawford Loritts is an excellent speaker, and really did a great job!  He started with a short biography of his father, who he said was the greatest man he’d ever known; and by great he doesn’t mean famous or well-known, but  staying power, integrity, nobility, never walking away.  He told a bit of his history, how his great grandfather was a slave, and how through the generations this idea of responsibility, pressing in, courageousness had been passed down.   In his talk, he described four stages of any man’s life, four big lessons from his father, and then a bit from Galatians 5 on how the Holy Spirit transforms us.

4 Stages of Any Man’s Life

  1. Childhood
    • Father’s need to teach their kid’s discipline, delayed gratification and parameters
  2. Adolescence
    • In this conflicting time, they define manhood often by thinking it’s being able to do whatever they want.
    • The father has to be persistent, pulling them through impulsive behavior, and teaching them to prioritize
  3. Manhood
    • Gladly embracing obligation and responsibility
    • Time to make their mark in the world
  4. Patriarch
    • These are essence people, having lived longer than others, made the mistakes, and now living for a time they cannot see

4 Big lessons learned from his Father

  1. Out of struggle comes strength
    • His father struggled and made sacrifices for what was important for his family
  2. Out of strength comes discipline
    • His father was firm and taught him to discipline himself
  3. Out of discipline comes integrity
    • Arguing with parents just wasn’t allowed.
    • Did not tolerate the three D’s of Dishonesty, Disobedience and Disrespect
  4. Out of integrity comes our inheritance
    • How people treat you should never define you
    • Don’t let people tell you who your friends should be
    • Always do the right thing

Galatians 5

  • We downplay the role of the Holy Spirit in transformation; he creates Christ-like character in us
  • 5 key words
    1. Walk (vs. 16)
      • Allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in how I live my life
    2. Led (vs. 18)
      • The freedom to be led by the Spirit to be whatever God wants us to be
    3. Fruit (vs. 22)
      • We don’t produce the fruit; it is the fruit “of” God that He produces in us
    4. Live (vs. 25)
      • Our lives should be typified, bathed in the Spirit of God
    5. Walk (vs. 25)
      • Different work for “walk”
      • We need to walk like in the military – boldly and confidently
  • How can we be filled with the Spirit?
    • Repent, Yield Believe
Darrin Patrick

“Being and Building Men for the Local Church” by Darrin Patrick

 I had not heard of Darrin Patrick either, but he gave another powerful message from Galatians 5 and the fruit of the Spirit.  He reminded us about the power of the Holy Spirit to change and transform lives.  Specifically at this conference, how He can change men into men that honor Him in everything we do. He wants to produce fruit in us, but he does it in counterintuitive ways.
How the fruit of the Spirit grows
  1. Fruit grows painfully
    • There is always going to be a struggle in you between wanting to do the right thing, then fall short, then repent and forgiveness. It’s actually a good sign that the Holy Spirit is as work in you – you are a Christian!
  2. Fruit grows inter-connectedly
    • All the fruit of the spirit grow in  you together at the same time, they are inter-dependent
    • When the Spirit is in charge, all of the fruit comes through in your life
    • If you have some but not all, it’s probably your human personality coming through
    • We don’t measure how we’re doing by comparing ourselves to others, but to Christ
    • We’re only as spiritual as our weakest fruit
    • To see the fruit grow in someone, you can’t legislate it, or make laws to force someone to be more that way
    • Laws may change the outward appearance, but only the Spirit can change the heart
    • To know if the change is because of behavior modification or the Spirit, just ask – who am I impressing?  Those who know you the least or the most? The ones who know you best will know.
  3. Fruit grows gradually
    • Change doesn’t just happen overnight.
    • We need to celebrate small changes that show Holy Spirit growth, even though we are not perfect
    • Remember – we are as loved and accepted by the Father as Jesus is. We benefit from His sacrifice. We are treated as righteous as Christ.
    • But, we need to crucify our flesh. He equates flesh with being under the law, which is works based on our spiritual performance. So our flesh is anything besides Jesus we use to get God’s approval – our work, our performance, working out, our family
  4. Fruit grows communally
    • We need other people who are just as concerned with crucifying their flesh around me to help challenge me to grow
    • Men who will help surgically cut out the areas of flesh left, not a butcher who will do it carelessly
    • If we are trying to do this alone it’s no wonder we get so discouraged
    • God did not make me the Savior of my ministry
    • If no one is around you who can, pray that God would bring people to you
John Piper

 “Biographical Sketch of J.C. Ryle” by John Piper

 Each year, John Piper highlights the life of a person from history, and challenges us from his life. This year, he highlighted English preacher J.C. Ryle, best know for his book “Holiness”.  It was an interesting look at this man, and the eight characteristics of a masculine ministry that he pulled from his life. I won’t take the time to go through because he said his entire manuscript would be available on the Desiring God website, so you can read the entire talk for yourself, if you’d like.
Doug Wilson

“Father Hunger” in Leading the Church by Doug Wilson

This was the last session tonight, and maybe it was just because I was tired, and my mind was already full from a day of learning, but I had a hard time following Mr. Wilson tonight.  I’m sure what he had to say was right on, but I had a hard time pulling out the main points.  I’ll try to give you an overview of what he said, however.
The overall message was how the church needs fathers in the church to be leaders and teachers in the church.  But, we can’t let the teachers get in the way of our relationship with Jesus. They should be windows we look through to see Jesus, not murals we stare at.
Other main points included:
  • He talked about how we’ve neglected the role of the Father in the Trinity in our worship and in the church, focusing more on the Son (Evangelical) and Holy Spirit (Charismatic).  But we need all three. Children imitate their fathers;it’s part of God’s design. The church needs fathers who imitate God the Father.
  • Fathers have the authority by virtue of office and of blessing. All fathers have the authority of office, but not all have the authority of blessing.  He equated it to a checkbook. The authority of office having your name on the check and owning the checkbook. It is your checkbook. But, the authority of blessing is like having money in the bank.  You make deposits before you  demand withdrawals
  • He stressed the importance of returning to the worship of the Father as a vital part of restoring fathers in the church
    • We become like what we worship
    • Those who are worshipping the things of this evolutionary, everything changes culture become like that and fall away from the firm foundation of the gospel
    • When God’s people worship the Father, he transforms us into being like the Father

Desiring God Conference for Pastors – Day One

We made the trip today from Janesville, WI to Minneapolis, MN for the Desiring God Conference for Pastors.  The theme this year is “God, Manhood & Ministry: Building Men for the Body of Christ”. I was really looking forward to being challenged in this area of fatherhood, and raising up men in the church.  Tonight’s speaker, Doug Wilson, spoke on “‘Father Hunger’ in Leading the Home”.  I had not heard of Doug, but John Piper introduced him as Bible-centered, reformed, and someone who has said about himself – “I’m such a foreigner to this earth that I’m surprised I don’t need a green card”!

Here’s a few highlights from his talk tonight about the Biblical role of fathers in the home:

  • Four Foundation Stones to build on
    • Fatherly Pleasure
      • God the Father sets the example for us on how to be a Father by how He treats His Son, Jesus Christ. At His baptism, the Father was there, made His presence felt, made His presence known by speaking, identified with His Son, expressed His love for His Son, and expressed pleasure in His Son.
      • Even though our children are not like Jesus, and we’re not like the Father, we need to express pleasure in our children to them
    • Fatherly generosity
      • We are to be open-handed and generous with our time, love and joy to our children, as the Father was.
    • Masculinity carriers
      • Father’s and husbands are reflectors of His masculinity; we are not the source, but we are the designated carriers.
    • Biblical headship is assuming sacrificial responsibility
      • What is masculinity? It’s the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility
      • “Masculine toughness has to lay underneath masculine tenderness. It is a velvet covered brick.”
      • Authority flows to those who take responsibility for sacrificial service (i.e. – Jesus)
  • Four Applications from those principles – What are we to do?
    • Provide and Protect
      • God has designed us in this way
    • My authority was given to me as a gift to my kids
      • That which God gave for good should not be used for harm
      • Our authority should be used to build up, not tear down
    • Second hand imitation is true Biblical imitation
      • The blessing of biographies
      • If we have not had a strong role model, we can study biographies about great fathers – in Scripture, in history, in literature
      • We can imitate what we see, but we can also imitate what we hear about or read
    • Father by modeling
      • By whatever we do as a father, kid’s learn what fathers are like
      • Kid’s will test the limits, but they want to be fathered, and want to see that we love them enough to correct them
      • Fathers need to learn how to be strict in the same way the Father is strict and merciful in the same way the Father is merciful.
      • If we’re only strict, we crush their spirits; if we’re only merciful, we create sense of entitlement; we have to be both, and by all means, don’t swap the two and be merciful where God was strict and be strict where God was merciful
      • Similar to Garden of Eden – everything there was “yes”, but there was one “no”. When Adam went against His “no”, God was consistent and made them leave.
      • But, He wasn’t so strict that he made a garden with all “no”s and one “yes”.  What are our homes like? All “yes”s and one “no” with boundaries clearly known and enforced; or all “no”s!
  • Wrap-Up
    • Take heart! Just because we mess up and don’t act like our Heavenly Father, He is still the same, and not like us. He will not receive us poorly, even though we may receive our kid’s poorly. He is the prodigal son’s father, waiting with open arms.

To read more quotes from Doug’s talk tonight, you can go to the Desiring God website.  You can also watch the livestream of the conference this week!

Sunday Recap – January 22, 2012

Contemporary Services

We started with two great songs about the name of Jesus with “Matchless” and “At Your Name”.  We used the click track from Praise Charts for “More Than Amazing”, which added a lot of great sounds and helped to fill it out and keep us from rushing.  There were a few cymbal crashes on the loop, though, that Christine didn’t play on the drums, which was a bit strange.

I had asked Zack to play an offertory on the guitar this week, and as the week went on, it evolved into him doing the song “Divine Romance” by Phil Wickham, which turned out great!! Zack played acoustic, with drums, bass guitar and accordion (on my keyboard).  He did a super job!

Closing out the service after the message, we used “I Will Follow” by Chris Tomlin. The 9:30 service went great, but at the 11:00, I forgot to change the keyboard from accordion back to piano, so needless to say, we had a very interesting start to “I Will Follow” in that service! I tried to casually joke about it, and we re-started the song, and all was well.  Some of the team, though, thought I should have kept it!

You can see the Planning Center details and the video for this service. I’ve included the video of Zack Burtness singing “Divine Romance” below.

Cafe Connection Service

I had the privilege of leading in the Cafe this morning, and I always enjoy when I get the chance.  We had a smaller team today with just me on the keyboard, 1 singer and acoustic guitar.  You can see the Planning Center details for this service.

Traditional Service

  • “The Solid Rock”
  • “My Faith Has Found A Resting Place”
  • “O Master Let Me Walk With Thee”
  • “O Jesus, I Have Promised”
  • “Little is Much When God Is In It”
  • “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go”

Rick led the team in the Traditional Service today, and from what I heard, things went well. Pastor Tim gave a message about serving today, and really did a great job of challenging people to get in the game and serve in a ministry. He highlighted each ministry, including the worship ministry, and by the end of the day, I had 5 new volunteers for the worship ministry!! You can watch the video of this service and see the Planning Center details.

This post is part of the Sunday Setlists blog, at The Worship Community, where worship leaders share their setlists and service recaps from this weekend’s services. I hope your services went well today!!

Sunday Recap – January 15, 2012

Contemporary Services

  • “Today Is The Day” (Lincoln Brewster and Paul Baloche)
    • We used the Paul Baloche version, along with a the click track from Praise Charts.  I like the Baloche version better than the original by Brewster! They’re both great, but this seems to be a bit more congregationally friendly.  I used Psalm 55:22 to introduce the song.
  • “Our God” (Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin)
    • All of our arrangements this week were from Praise Charts, and we used the click track for all the songs.  Our team has really settled in nicely with using click tracks! All four songs today just felt so comfortable and tight with the clicks!  We changed up the harmonies a bit on this song today, since we had the full worship choir.
  • “Holy” (Jason Ingram, Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman)
    • If you’re not familiar with this one, check it out! It’s on Matt Redman’s latest CD, 10,000 Reasons, and is such a powerful anthem! I love the progression of the lyrics in each verse, from “what eyes” to “our eyes” to “all eyes”. We introduced this song last week, and already people seemed to know it well and sang out.
  • “Forever Reign” (Jason Ingram and Reuben Morgan)

What a great morning of worship! We had a huge turnout in our worship choir today, even two of our pastors sang with today! We actually had more guys that we had ladies today, for the first time! It’s so cool to see that ministry growing and new people added! Pastor Tim continued his series on revisiting our vision statement at the start of a new year. We talked about “Grow”, the second part of our discipleship process – “Connect, Grow, Serve, Go”. You can watch the video of this service and see the Planning Center details.


Cafe Connection Service

Zack led the team in the Cafe this morning, and picked out some great songs.  Janet sang for the first time, and it’s great to have her part of this team! You can see the Planning Center details for this service.


Traditional Service

  • “We Come, O Christ, To You”
  • “O To Be Like Thee”
  • “I Am Thine, O Lord”
  • “Have Thine Own Way, Lord”
  • “Higher Ground”

You can watch the video of this service and see the Planning Center details.

This post is part of the Sunday Setlists blog at The Worship Community, where worship leaders share their setlists and recaps from today’s services.  Thanks for reading, and I hope your services went great today!