"Worship is man's full reason for existence. Worship is why we are born and why we are born again." A.W. Tozer

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Setlist - 02.28.10

Week #84 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, February 28th.

- Jesus Messiah
- Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King
- Mighty to Save
- Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

I just have to get it all up for my worship teams. They do a great job week to week playing music and helping lead our congregation in worship. They don't have to do it at all, but they have been obedient to the gifts and talents that God has blessed them with and they're using it for Him. I can't say thank you enough to those that serve every week in our music/worship ministry at Bethel Baptist Church.

Some great moments of worship this week really focusing on our Messiah and Lord. The One that came and lived a sinless life, then to take our sins upon Himself on the cross so that we may have a relationship with God. Really fit well with the message this morning as well that was on Hebrews 3.1-6. We are encouraged here to fix our eyes and thoughts and focus on Jesus, our Apostle and High Priest. One great moment musically in our set this morning was at the end of Chris Tomlin's Amazing Grace. We ended that song by singing the last verse acapella and wow did it come out fantastic. Great harmonies and a powerful way to end that song by thanking God for His amazing grace and singing unto Him, "You are forever mine!"

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Branding Faith by Phil Cooke

I don't have to tell you that we live in a heavily media-driven culture. The very fact that I'm posting a review about this book on the internet is proof of that. With that we have access to so much information, so many images, so many logos, that many can get lost in the masses. In Phil Cooke's book Branding Faith he really shares his expertise as a media consultant and the experience he's had working with churches and non-profits. Towards the end of the book, he says this and I think it sums it up perfectly:
Branding isn't just a matter of brochures and website designs. It's the story of your organization expressed through customer service, building design, uniforms, procedures and policies, employee training, and much more.
My original thought when I started going through this book is that well, it's designed for media pastors and anyone dealing with coming up new brands, but as I continued in the book, there is so much more information that is great for anyone that is connected with a brand in any way. Especially when it comes to a ministry it's so important to not only know the brand and being able to recognize it, but to be able to share what it stands for. The brand communicates everything about the ministry or company and what they stand for. It's so much more than an image, but as Phil says, it's a story. But for those that are involved in the process of coming up with the brand, there are things to look for and ways to cut through the clutter of all the brands and images that are out there. It's a very practical book filled with lots of great information.

As I was reading this book, the whole time I was thinking about First Baptist Orlando. I had the chance to intern there back in 2007 and during my time there, they were finishing the process of rolling out a new brand. Here is that brand:

It's a great logo, simple and easy to recognize, but it tells a story about who First Baptist Orlando is. Now I had the chance to be there when it was shown and I've heard what it stands for. The other thing about it, is that it is highly talked about at the church. The people there know what it means and are able to share it. If you look at the logo above on the left you will notice the cross inside the three circles. The three circles stand for the vision of the church; A Passion for God, A Passion for People, and A Passion to Serve. The six dots that make up the cross stand for the church's core values; WORSHIP as a lifestyle, EXCELLENCE in all we do, ALL PEOPLE matter to God, Authentic biblical COMMUNITY, Every believer SERVING others, and OBEDIENCE to Scripture. It's a brand and a logo that stands for something and is one that a lot of planning and thought went into.

Special thanks to Regal Books for providing this complimentary book to read and review.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Setlist - 02.21.10

Week #83 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, February 21st.

- Come, Now is the Time to Worship
- Hosanna
- Agnus Dei
- Holy, Holy, Holy
- Great is Thy Faithfulness
- Better is One Day
- Everlasting God
- The Heart of Worship

We had a wonderful morning of worship today. My pastor gave me the whole morning to plan. We really focused on God and some of his attributes, but also to understand what it means to truly worship Him, to live a life of worship. We had a mixture of songs, scripture reading from the worship team and allowing our people to share, videos and a short little message that I gave. It was a fantastic God-honoring morning. It took a lot of preparation time and work but God really pulled it off. It's always wonderful to hear our people share scripture and what God is doing in their lives. My prayer is that our people understand that worship is more than singing songs and more than what we do inside the walls of our church for an hour on Sundays. I found some great videos to show in the service as well. The first one is called "A Life of Worship" and the second is "What Now." These were two fantastic videos to help us focus on the One who allows us to worship. Worship is a lifestyle and we can worship Him in everything that we do. We worship Him by giving Him our worth and affection. God instructs Moses to teach the nation of Israel that they are to "love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your strength." We are to worship Him through loving Him. And I don't believe it's any accident that God puts the heart first in that sequence. He wants our complete and undivided heart as the psalmist cries out in Psalm 86:11. As an author once put it in regards to worship, "the heart of the matter is a matter of the heart."

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday Setlist - 02.14.10

Week #82 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, February 14th.

- O Worship the King
- Holy is the Lord
- God of Wonders
- How Great is Our God

Well, sorry for the late post for this weeks posting of Sunday Setlists, but I just got back late last night from a quick trip to Yosemite National Park with my wife after leaving right after church on Sunday. Had a great time and if you've ever been to Yosemite you know it is absolutely breathtaking. Check out a picture I took here. No better place in the world to be. I also got the chance to spend a whole summer serving there with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks in the summer of 2006.

We had another great time of worship on Sunday though. Some great songs and even had some of my other team members lead out on some of them. It's always great to have volunteers that can do that. I think the congregation likes it as well and I always enjoy not having to start every single song, every single Sunday.

Stay tuned for next Sunday's posting as it's going to be a big one. I have been given the whole service by my pastor and it's going to be focused completely on worshiping our God through the use of song, scripture reading, prayer, etc.

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

Friday, February 12, 2010

Technology and the Church

I am amazed once again at how much technology is being used in the Kingdom of God. This past week beginning on Tuesday morning all the way through today I had the privilege of attending the 2010 Radicalis Conference from Saddleback Church via the internet at my house and my office at church. This was a fantastic conference with attenders from literally all over the world coming together to be built up as radical followers of Jesus Christ. There were main morning sessions and then individual learning experiences in the afternoon. Those consisted of tracks in preaching, youth ministry, children's ministry, worship, etc. There was even a special track done by Rick Warren's wife, Kay, for pastor's wives.

For the live webcast only the main morning sessions were broadcast. These sessions were incredible with some amazing speakers; Rick Warren, Perry Noble, Andy Stanley, Dino Rizzo, Mark Driscoll, Ed Stetzer, and Kerry Shook. Along with the speakers were some amazing times of worship through song led by Phil Wickham, Kari Jobe, Steve Fee, Starfield, and Rick Muchow. The main session topics we're Radical Devotion, Radical Preaching, Radical Membership, Radical Discipleship, Radical Compassion, Radical Mission, Radical Purity, and Radical Generosity. As Rick Warren began this conference he came back to the meaning of the word radical and where the basis for the whole conference is. Radicalis is Latin and comes from the root Radical which means rooted. I would call this the theme verse for the whole entire Radicalis Conference:
Just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him. Colossians 2.6-7 (NLT)
A fantastic basis for a wonderful conference. The sessions were full of great material and wonderful worship, but probably the most awesome aspect of the whole conference was hearing Mark Driscoll speak on the crucifixion. Fitting for the conference as probably the most radical showing of compassion. From there he and Rick went into a time of communion with all the attenders of the conference and they even invited us watching online to participate as well. Knowing that people from all over the world were partaking in communion at the same time worshiping the Lord in that way along with Steve Fee leading us in song was an awesome experience.

A great big thank you to Rick Warren and the team there at Saddleback Church for a great conference and for allowing us that couldn't make it to still be a part of it. Technology is alive and well in the church and it's fantastic to see it being put to use for furthering the Kingdom of God.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sex, Lies & Religion by Randy Elrod

At the end of Randy Elrod’s new book Sex, Lies & Religion, he says, “In my religious circles, sex was what everybody thought about, but nobody talked about. I hope this book will start conversations.” I believe this is an excellent book, written to start that conversation. In an age where sex is everywhere, tv, movies, magazines, etc., why shouldn’t the church take the forefront in teaching and talking about sex? It’s almost as if this topic has become so controversial that we don’t want to even bring it up. However, as Randy talks about in his book, sex was created by God. In the very beginning God calls Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. What comes later in Genesis 4 is much greater though. It is written that “Now Adam knew Eve, his wife.” Yes it is referring to sex, but in lines with Randy’s book, it is also eluding to something much greater. The word used for knew is the word “Yada.” It means to know, but in a very intimate and interactive way as Randy tells us in this book. There in lies the parallel between the intimate relationships we desire with our spouse and also the more important intimate relationship God desires with us. The same word used in the sexual context between Adam and Eve is the same word used by God knowing and caring for His own. Sex is much more than just an act and Randy definitely explores that in this book. It’s an incredibly intimate act between husband and wife yet it’s a wonderful picture of the intimate and personal relationship that we have with our Creator God. This book helps us focus on the spiritual aspect of sex and dispels some of the lies and misconceptions that our culture and possibly even the church has made about sex and sexuality. Definitely a recommended read.

Special thanks to Randy Elrod and cre:ate 2.0 Publishing for providing this complimentary book to read and review. You can purchase a copy of the book at

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Setlist - 02.07.10

Week #81 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, February 7th.

- Open the Eyes of My Heart
- Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Travis Cottrell version)
- It Is Well (Todd Fields version)
- Glory to God Forever

As I was typing out this setlist with the hymn versions we use, I thought that I would tell you a little about Bethel and our style of worship. We used to have two different services, one traditional and one contemporary. In March of 2008 we changed our services and went to two blended/unified services. So now each weeks set has a mixture of hymns and contemporary choruses. However, most of our hymns are done in a contemporary style or using a contemporary version because of instrumentation I have. As most of you can imagine, especially if you had to do this transition yourself, it was very rough road for quite a while. We lost some people which was tough but we have moved on and now people are really connecting with the change. Not to long after we made the change, my pastor and I did a whole service on worship. I believe it stretched a lot of peoples thinking because they were told worship is so much more than just the music. Music is a tool, but worship is a lifestyle. Plus we've had a lot of people get to know eachother from both services because now they can go to either service. For a long time we had a first-service church and second-service church.

Anyways, it was another great Sunday. For the first time this morning we used a contemporary version of "It Is Well" done by Todd Fields of North Point Community Church. I first heard this arrangement a couple weeks ago and immediately loved it. My wife equally loved it so I decided to put it in. Seemed like the congregation connected with it. I've always loved the hymn and the story behind it is inspiring. However, I love the chorus that Todd wrote for it:
It is well, it is well
Through the storm I am held
It is well, it is well with my soul
It is well, it is well
God has won, Christ prevailed
It is well, it is well with my soul
You can go to for a free download of this song. Another song that our congregation has really connected with is Steve Fee's "Glory to God Forever." I believe this one will become a standard at Bethel.

And just for fun since we did a Paul Baloche tune I can't help but share a tweet that he sent this morning, "@paulbaloche Just broke into "Father Abraham" for first service, spontaneously. Seemed like we needed to.. Celebration, child-like joy."

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at