Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Being a witness beyond death

Recently our parish has commenced a time of discipleship equipping in worship.

We started off with being a disciples through our death.
With the reminder that death is not the end, but the stepping stone to the future with God.
We encouraged people to think about how their funeral service can be used to glorify God, and connect the God we know to some of the people we know.

We encouraged people to think about what message that you want people to know about their loving God, and what bible verses and hymns maybe helpful in supporting.

We also distributed a brochure...encouraging people to think about their funeral, life and God's involvement in both.
We asked people to pray about it, talk it over with their family or close friends and provide the church, their solicitor and family members with a completed copy.

If you would like a copy of the brochure in publisher file feel free to email me richardschwedes@gmail.com

Richard Schwedes

Monday, May 19, 2008

Contemporary Songs and a Worship Order

Steve Witwicki from Worship HELPS!! and a worship leader at some Lutheran churches in Chicago offers the following songs that have been used in Lutheran congregations for contemporary worship.

Agnus Dei (Third Day Version) [C] Michael W. Smith (haveactually used this for communion!)
Amazed [D] Jared Anderson (goodtune for offering/communion)
Blessed Assurance (Bob Fitts Arr.) [A-D] Fanny Crosby (a myriad ofuses - special, congregational)
Blessed Be Your Name [A] Matt & Beth Redman(probably our congregation' s favorite song)
Choose Life [G] Steve Wiggins (Big TentRevival - special)
Everything Glorious [C] David Crowder (use inopening worship set)
Friend of God [C] Michael Gungor & IsraelHoughton (use in opening worship set or for send-also used during 4th ofJuly parade)
God is Great [B] Marty Sampson (greatenergy, use in opening worship set or for send)
Grace Like Rain [C] Todd Agnew (offering,prelude)
Hallelujah to the King [F] Michael Neale (openingset)
Hosanna [G] Paul Baloche (opening set)
I Am Yours (Take My Life) [F] Michael Neale (openingset, great new chorus to an old hymn)
I Saw the Light [G] David Crowder Version(with banjo!)
I Will Boast [G] Paul Baloche (greattune, we've used for opening, send)
I Will Search [A] Israel Houghton(opening)
In Christ Alone [D] Stuart Townend (powerfulsong for communion)
It Is You [G] Newsboys(special, prelude)
Let the Praises Ring [D] Lincoln Brewster (greatenergy, opening or send)
Love the Lord [E] Lincoln Brewster(Probably number 2 on the list of favorites for the congregation)
Meet With Me [G] Lamont Hiebert (popularwith congegation)
Most High [D] Marty Sampson (highenergy, great for send or opening)
Moving Forward [A] Ricardo Sanchez & Israel Houghton (big tune, not for amateurs - special)
My Reward [B] Paul Baloche (verypopular, fairly easy)
My Savior, My God [D] Aaron Shust (used forspecial - need a good vocalist)
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded [Bm] Hans Leo Hassler & J.S.Bach (4Him Version - very powerful, used after reading the Passion thisyear)
Offering [F] Paul Baloche(Might be #3 on the congregation' s list)
Once Again [D] Matt Redman (can be avery moving piece, we build on the bridge for a dynamic effect)
Only a God Like You [G] Tommy Walker (fun tune,use in opening set)
Our Love is Loud [E] David Crowder(high energy - opening or send)
Rescue [Bm] Jared Anderson (moving,powerful tune - use for communion or meditation during opening set)
Rising [E] Paul Baloche (goodopening tune)
Romans 12 [G] Todd Agnew (another goodtune for worship opening)
The Wonderful Cross [D] Chris Tomlin, J.D. Walt &Jesse Reeves (familiar hymn, good contemporary chorus)
This God He is Our God [D] Tommy Walker (bouncy tunewe use in opening set)
Til I See You [A] Joel Houston & JadGillies (moving song for mediattion in opening set)
To You [G] Darlene Zschech (goodcommunion song)
Worship You Forever [E-F#] Todd Fields (high energysend or open)
You Are Good [A] Israel Houghton (ditto)
You Never Let Go [E] Matt & Beth Redman (usefor offering, meditation)
You Shine [D-E] Brian Doerksen (open orsend)
Your Grace Still Amazes Me [C] Shawn Craig & ConnieHarrington (powerful ballad for offering or communion)
Your Name [A] Paul Baloche & GlennPakiam (there are 2 distinct versions of the same tune - we've done both)

PRE-SERVICE - A special vocal or instrumental piece.
OPENING WORSHIP SET (3 or 4 tunes usually end with a more prayerfulor meditative peace to bring folks "down" to hearing the Word
MESSAGE RESPONSE/OFFERING - Sometimes a congregational piece, sometimes a special, usually not a "rocker" though
COMMUNION - Again, generally a slower more meditative piece during distribution.
SEND - Almost always a very upbeat tune
REPRISE - Most always the chorus (or other logical start) of theprevious piece
Also worth looking at are the most popular 25 songs from CCLI, this will give you an indication of what a lot of congregations are singing...(however check out the songs to make sure they are suitable)
Most popular CCLI songs as at 18 May 2008 you can check this out at http://www.ccli.com.au/licences/church-copyright-licence/top25.cfm:
1, How Great Is Our God, Tomlin, Chris \ Reeves, Jesse \ Cash, Ed
2, Here I Am To Worship, Hughes, Tim
3, Mighty To Save, Fielding, Ben \ Morgan, Reuben
4, Shout To The Lord, Zschech, Darlene
5, How Deep The Father's Love For Us, Townend, Stuart
6, In Christ Alone, Townend, Stuart \ Getty, Keith
7, Lord I Lift Your Name On High, Founds, Rick
8, Blessed Be Your Name, Redman, Beth \ Redman, Matt
9, For All You've Done, Morgan, Reuben
10, The Power Of Your Love, Bullock, Geoff
11, Ancient Of Days, Harvill, Jamie \ Sadler, Gary
12, Shine Jesus Shine, Kendrick, Graham
13, Above All, LeBlanc, Lenny \ Baloche, Paul
14, There Is A Redeemer, Green-Sievright, Melody
15, Come Now Is The Time To Worship, Doerksen, Brian
16, Open The Eyes Of My Heart, Baloche, Paul
17, Hosanna, Fraser, Brooke
18, Forever, Tomlin, Chris
19, My Redeemer Lives, Morgan, Reuben
20, The Stand, Houston, Joel
21, One Way, Houston, Joel \ Douglass, Jonathon
22, What The Lord Has Done In Me, Morgan, Reuben
23, Indescribable, Story, Laura
24, From The Inside Out, Houston, Joel
25, Awesome God, Mullins, Rich

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Something to think about: GO or MAKE DISCIPLES??

When you hear the words from Matthew 28:18-20
28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

What is your main response?
Is it to Go or is it to MAKE DISCIPLES?

I have been preparing for this week's sermon and it dawned on me that some commentators have highlighted something I had never seriously considered...

Jesus main instruction to the disciples (and therefore us) is to make disciples. In fact one commentator highlights that the go should be more like....as you go about your life....something which the God's Word translation picks up for verse 19 So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

How does that influence how we do ministry?
How does that influence your congregation?