Sunday Recap – February 19, 2012

Contemporary Services

We tried a whole new order of service today, with the goal of improving the  flow of the service. Instead of having the songs at several portions throughout the service, we put all of the songs at the beginning, offering/announcements in the middle and message at the end.  I loved the longer worship set (the music portion) at the start, and it seemed to really help people stay connected with what was going on rather than having to start over each time we start to sing. 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 it was so nice to have a full team again with percussion, guitar and bass. John also joined the team this morning as a vocalist, and did a great job!!  You can see the Planning Center details for this service.

Traditional Service

  • “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name”
  • “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place”
  • “My Faith Looks Up To Thee”
  • “By Faith” (Keith and Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend)
  • “I Know Whom I Have Believed”

Pastor Tim’s message today was on “The Faith Factor”, and as you can see, there are plenty of great hymns in that area. But, I also introduced a modern hymn written by the Gettys that fit perfectly as well. “By Faith” is a great hymn that speaks about living a life of faith, and how God has provided in the past for His people of faith.  You can see the Planning Center details and the video of this service.

This post is part of the Sunday Setlist blog carnival over at The Worship Community, where worship leaders share recaps and setlists from this weekend’s worship services.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you also had a great weekend of worship!

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.

Sunday Recap – July 3, 2011

Contemporary Services

We had a guest speaker today, a missionary to the Philippines, who gave a great message on “The Mission of God”. This post is part of the Sunday Setlist blog carnival at The Worship Community.
I’d like to say everything went great this morning, but we definitely had our mishaps today! The band and singers did a great job, but right from the beginning I felt like I was off the mark. First, I messed up the order of service when I started the service with our first song, instead of letting the other pastor start with the welcome, sending the other pastors scrambling to readjust the service order on the fly.  “God is With Us Now” and “Always” went fine, both great songs!
We have been experimenting with click tracks, and we had a couple that we were going to try today. Most of the click tracks/loops I’ve been using have come from Praise Charts, so the click/loop goes exactly with their arrangements, which works great since the majority of our lead sheets come from there. It has definitely been a learning experience! I guess we need days like this to help us learn from our mistakes.  During “The Power of the Cross”, I missed a couple of beats in the turnaround back to verse 2 (those dreadful 2/4 measures!), so we were off by two beats from the loop. I stopped the click in the middle of the song, but only after fumbling around trying to move the cursor with the trackpad on my laptop over to the right button. I discovered only after the service that pressing the space bar does the same thing. We finished the song fine, but I’ sure it was very distracting. In the next service I thought for sure we would conquer it – no problem! Well, during that same song in the next service, the battery died in my in-ear pack, so I lost the click and everything else! I had to whip out the earbuds, stop the click and play the rest with just the house sound.  To top it off, when I listened back to the recording of the live-stream, to my horror, I heard the click coming through the live stream! Whoops! Wow – what else could go wrong!  It’s really too bad, too, because that was the first time we’ve done that song here, and I was really looking forward to it. Both times today, there were issues.
So, a lot of mistakes today, but I sure learned a lot, and won’t repeat any of them (hopefully…)! As I told the team as we prayed for the second service, “We’ve had smoother…”, but also how good it is know that eve when we mess up, God can still use us! Who knows how God chose to use my bad day to bless someone else! You can catch it all on the video… ( I debated whether to even put it up or not, but, I gotta keep it real, right…) You can also see the Planning Center details for this service.

Cafe Connection Service

Zack led the team in this service today, and from what he said things went great – no missed repeats, he said!  It was great to have Zack, Jake and Brenda all back today after being gone for a couple weeks! You can see the Planning Center details for this service.

Traditional Service

  • “The Star Spangled Banner” (both verses)
  • “America, The Beautiful”
  • “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”
  • “Hallelujah, What A Savior”
  • “Lead Me To Calvary”
As you can see, we took some time to celebrate the 4th of July in this service!  You can watch the video of this service and also see the Planning Center details.

Sunday Recap – 12/5/2010

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s time to bring out the Christmas carols!! Pastor Tim started his Christmas series today, with “Did God Really Put Skin On?’, which was a great reminder of how the Word became flesh, based on John 1:14.


Contemporary Services

It was a Tomlin morning, I guess, with several from his newest Christmas CD and others.  It also was Communion today, and “Jesus Messiah” worked so well today as  a bridge between the Christmas message and the communion table! You can watch the video for this service, and see the Planning Center details.


Cafe Connection Service

I didn’t lead in either the Cafe or the Traditional this morning, so I was able to be the Producer today during this hour.  It was great to see Zack lead here in the Cafe and Randy in the Traditional.  The team did a great job today! I loved hearing them do “Carried To The Table”. Zack did an awesome job on the acoustic guitar on that one!


Traditional Service

  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel
  • Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
  • Joy to The World
  • Break Thou The Bread of Life
  • There Is a Redeemer

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

This post is part of the Sunday Setlist blog carnival at The Worship Community, where you can read recaps from other worship services.

“Love God. Love People.” by Israel Houghton – A Review

I had the privilege of listening to “Love God. Love People.”, the new release by Israel Houghton set to release on August 31st, to review for All About Worship.  I have been anxiously awaiting his next release, following “The Power of One”, which was hugely successful, garnering a Grammy for the Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel album earlier this year.  This new album was such a joy to listen to! It did not disappoint in any way!

As the title indicates, this new project “is a return to a simple, foundational Gospel command: Love the Lord with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself,” says Israel. The album was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in  London, and features Israel and the New Breed along with a group of outstanding guest artists, including Kirk Franklin’s vocals on “Mercies”, Fred Hammond on the bass guitar and smooth vocals in “Surprises”, and half of the Take 6 group on the beautiful “Hosanna (Be Lifted Higher)”, one of my favorite tracks on the whole album!

It’s hard to describe the style of this new album, with much of it having the all-familiar Israel Houghton gospel style, which is so wonderful! But, there is also a mix of rock, funk, pop, reggae, and a few more surprises thrown in, including The London Session Orchestra, and Israel’s version of the the recent Passion song “Our God”.

From the first few seconds of opening title track, I knew this album would be a lot of fun to listen to! I put on my headphones, turned up the volume, sat back and enjoyed a captivating musical journey filled with exciting moments of upbeat gospel praise, excellent tight vocal harmonies, outstanding musicians, and plenty of surprises along the way. I had to take off my “worship-leader-looking-for-new-songs” hat that I usually wear when listening to new albums, because although there are a couple songs I can see introducing to our church (“You Hold My World” and “Hosanna (Be Lifted Higher)”), I thoroughly enjoyed just listening to this album, appreciating all of the outstanding, excellent musicians using their amazing talents to praise God!

Some of the stand-out tracks for me I’ve already mentioned, including “You Hold My World”, a great song that could easily be adapted for churches; “You Won’t Let Go”, which fuses Reggae, Rock and that huge horn section into a contagious mix of sounds that I just had to play over and over again; and “Hosanna (Be Lifted Higher)”,  mixing the beautiful string sounds of the London Session Orchestra, a pure sound of a boys choir, the tight vocal harmonies of Take 6, and Israel and the New Breed’s vocals into a powerful worship song that builds and builds to an amazing climax of worship. The perfect way to close out this powerful project!

You will definitely want to pick this CD up when it comes out the end of August. You will not want to miss it!!

Barry Westman
All About Worship

(Note: You can also read this review on the All About Worship website.

Find Your Own Voice and Sing a New Song

It’s been over a week now, since we returned from the National Worship Leader Conference in Kansas City.  What a great week it was! As I’ve had time to ponder some of the themes that we encountered during the week, there seemed to be a recurring message that popped up in several places, and I’ve even encountered it in new places since the retreat. The theme is this – find your own voice and sing a new song!

The theme of the conference was “Sing a New Song”, based on Psalm 96:1. The week was filled with amazing new songs, sung by some of today’s newest artists such as Jonathan Lee, Matt Papa, Starfield, and Tenth Avenue North; as well as new songs by some of our favorite worship leaders – Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Israel Houghton and others.  I left with enough new songs to last me until next year (or at least until Christmas….)!

But, that wasn’t the only kind of new song that we heard about at the conference.  From Steve Berger, we heard about our new song that’s birthed through pain and suffering.  Using Psalm 40:1-3 as his text, Steve described his recent time in the pit after the tragic death of his son.   It’s easy to lose hope and give up on the thought of ever having a song of praise when you are going through a time in the pit, as David was describing in this Psalm.  But, Steve taught us that while we’re in the pit, we need to wait patiently, and realize that God has us there for a reason. God is still good, and He just has us there so He can conform us to be more like Him.

We just need to continue to lift our prayers and praises to him, not look to anyone or anything else for our salvation,  and realize that we will not stay in the pit forever.  You will not be there one second longer than you need to be.  Our hallelujah in the pit will lead to a new song of praise! Many will “see” our new song, as Psalm 40 says. Our new song is meant to be seen, not just heard. Our lifestyle may lead others to fear and put their trust in Him more than our songs. Our life should be a new song of praise!

We also heard about finding our own voice and singing a new song from Marcos Witt. Marcos is one of my favorite speakers, and this time was no exception! Using the story of the woman at the well from John 4, Marcos taught us what it means to be a proskuneo worshipper, willing to bow at the throne and be who we are.  Jesus said the Father is seeking true worshippers, and the word there for “worship” is proskuneo, or “to bow”, to lower your body, your attitude, humbling yourself in awe of the Lord.

We need to keep God on the throne in our lives, and let Him call the shots.  Marcos said when He’s on the throne, cool stuff can happen, and keeping His commands is no big deal.   He told some amazing stories of things God has asked him to lay down, or give up. Just like the elders in Revelation 4, we need to be willing to lay our crowns, or accomplishments, skill, down at the feet of Jesus.

The how of worship, this mountain or that mountain, isn’t so important. We try to copy the models of worship we hear and see. We try to be just like Chris Tomlin as we lead worship, or sound just like Matt Redman on his songs.  We can’t just instantly become as good as Lincoln Brewster is on the guitar via a one-time information download. It takes practice and skill to develop our own voice. We need to find our voice and stop trying to imitate others, and the only way we can do that is to be a proskuneo worshipper, willing to bow at the throne, to be who we are and sing a new song with our own voice.

There were so many other great speakers and ways to sing a new song; too many to describe here! But, the great part is that you can watch all of the main session speakers on your own online! The folks at Worship Leader magazine have provided video from the WorshipCast live streaming that was done during the conference. Just go to video on-demand section for the NWLC ’10 General Sessions to view all of these great speakers!!

You have to hear Louie Giglio tell his story of the “dead grandpa”, and hear Lisa Harper talk about her first experience twirling a banner! But, above all, find your own voice, and Sing A New Song!!

Barry Westman
All About Worship

Getting Started

Well, I thought I would just make a place for some of my thoughts, and things I’ve learned. I’ve been involved with the worship ministry for the last 16 years, and I’ve been through a lot of changes in that time.

I’ll be attending the National Worship Leader’s Conference next week in Leawood, KS, so I thought I may use this site to share some of my notes from different sessions and workshops. We’re bringing a team of 12 people from our church to the conference. I’m really excited for the week and look forward to seeing what God has in store for us.