WORSHIP TEXT-FESSIONAL, Oct 7th AM – St. Simons Community Church

October 8, 2007

Praise God, yesterday was a good morning! In spite of odd rehearsal times (we were on staff retreat during our normal rehearsal time, so we had to re-schedule for Monday), 2 of our regular musicians being unavailable to play, and numerous vocalists being unavailable (in one week I had 4 cancellations that I had to reschedule for!), everything went fairly smoothly, and we had a BALL!

I was blessed to find Saint Lewis drummer, Jaimie, available to fill in on drums, meaning I was very comfortable on the rhythm side of things, and my friend, Jay, to play electric – he’s a fun, rockin’ fellow, so I was really pleased with our line-up of musicians for the morning.

After a numerous complexities and cancellations, primarily in trying to acquire an alto for that morning, we ended up with an excellent team of singers, though we could have used an extra melody singer. To get around this difficulty, the alto/soprano (she was rotating with my wife as alto on some songs) and our tenor switched off on many songs singing melody where it mattered most. Listening to the cd of the 3rd service, I think it worked pretty well, honestly.

One thing that really stood out to me, however, is how quickly familiar songs can seem to slip from people’s memories. Our leadership had recently circulated an email evaluating a list of mostly ‘older’ (as in, over the past 10 or 12 years) songs that have been popular with our congregation. With the exception of our walk-in song, and our closer (which was an adaption of “Amazing Grace”, so not really unfamiliar), the set was entirely chosen from that list. That being said, I found it difficult to engage our congregation that morning, except in our 2nd of 3 services, where the congregation really just showed up ready to sing to God.

Anyway, here was the set:

WALK IN: My Savior Lives – New Life Church
– This is really a great anthem, and our youth really dig it. I don’t think many of our adults have ‘caught on’ yet, which is why I used it as a ‘walk in’ song. Jay REALLY added a lot to this one, as he nailed the original riff note-for-note, and his tone was incredible!

At this point I welcomed everyone and encouraged folks to take a moment to meet those around them.

The regular set:
1. For all You’ve Done – Hillsong
– Though I had led this before at another church, Fred introduced this at Community Church some while back, and I’m so glad that he did! It’s a powerful proclamation of Christ’s death & resurrection.

2. Beautiful One – Tim Hughes
– One of my ‘older’ (I’m sure some reading this find that baffling, as the song is only about 3 years old) favorites, unlike how the church has sung this one in the past, I kept my arrangement pretty faithful to the original. I saw many singing this one, especially in the 2nd & 3rd services.

David Yarborough, our pastor, gave a few short announcements and prayed us into our second set of corporate worship for the morning.

3. God of Wonders – City on a Hill/Caedmon’s Call/Third Day/The Choir, etc.
– As one who is really into science and the wonders of creation, I’ve always loved this song. That being said, we REALLY struggled with it, for reasons I don’t fully understand. We addressed all the necessary parts in rehearsal, and went over it again that morning, and I even charted out the song’s structure on the chord chart, however, only in the 2nd service did we make it through this one without some sort of train-wreck after the final chorus when attempting to transition into the bridge. We were able to cover for the error pretty well during the 3rd service, but in the first the problem was VERY noticeable. I was a BIT embarrassed during that first service, to say the least!

4. Come Thou Fount -Robertson/Nettleton
– We did Fred‘s wonderful Celtic arrangement of this song. You can know that Fred’s arrangement is beautiful because I had my own arrangement of this beautiful old hymn, and I chose to use his. I would like to record this one day. Definitely a favorite. As usual, this is the point where the congregation really seemed to connect during most of our morning services.

Next, David BROUGHT IT – a solid sermon from the Exodus, connecting Israel’s time enslaved in Egypt to our own slavery to sin before being delivered from bondage by Christ. I love it when he goes deep, and I’m excited to hear the rest of this series!

5. Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) – Newton/Chris Tomlin
– Okay, I’ll eat crow on this one. When Tomlin’s latest c.d. came out I ridiculed this song. I’ll admit it, I’m still not a huge fan of Tomlin’s recording of it on the c.d. (it doesn’t seem to GO anywhere – maybe it needs a little ’emo’?), however I must admit that it is indeed a beautiful arrangement of this already magnificent hymn, and his new added chorus is an instant CLASSIC! I’d never even considered using it before last week at Church in the Park when Todd led this with Fred as special music. Seeing how well it went with David’s sermon, I subtly rearranged it for a full-band: I started the song strumming the acoustic, having the piano join in the first verse, and when we hit the chorus drums, bass, and electric guitar were full-on. Even I was surprised by how moving it was, as the whole congregation stood to their feet and proclaimed together “My chains are gone – I’ve been set free!” I think I’ll be using this one often from now on.

Overall it was a good morning, and it was an honor to get to lead our congregation to better see the beauty and glory of our great God!

Amen.

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4 Responses to “WORSHIP TEXT-FESSIONAL, Oct 7th AM – St. Simons Community Church”

  1. fmckinnon said

    Hey Shannon,

    Good recap. I was only in the 8:00 and then the first part of the 9:30. I’d agree with your confessional, and of all the material, I think God of Wonders was by far the weakest – but not just because of the band issues – the people just don’t get into that song.

    Last time I did “God of Wonders” I noticed that for some reason, they just didn’t get into the song. A few sing alongs on the chorus, but that’s about it.

    As for me and my house – that song is going to be pulled off the list.

    🙂

    Fred

    PS: thanks for the kudos on my Come Thou Fount arrangement – I’m thinking about doing that Friday night!

  2. saintlewis said

    I agree – I will still use “God of Wonders” at Inside Out and Rush Hour (they really like that song), but not at ‘Big Church’ – definitely didn’t seem to ‘connect’. Also, I think “Come Thou Fount” would be AWESOME for Friday night!

    I’ve finally reeled in my whole band for that night – now if I can just confirm the vocalists! I’m excited! Should be a great evening!

  3. […] so rather than do a video worship confessional, I’m yielding to Shannon’s “TextFessional” as he was the designated Worship Leader for all 3 services. I worshiped with them in the […]

  4. sscc said

    I keep hearing comment after comment from people who were seemingly in awe over the service Sunday.

    You can also send people to the podcast at http://www.sscommunitychurch.com/media-sermon_podcast.php

    The Sunday I’m sick at home seems to be the best Sunday in months. Go figure. 🙂

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