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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola

What a great new book by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. I've had the privilege of reading several other of Leonard Sweet's book and this once along with the others did not disappoint. In Jesus Manifesto, he points out that we as Christians today have made the gospel about so many other things and not the one thing that it should be centered on, Christ. I think he's right on. We get so focused on this committee or that committee and this outreach ministry and that outreach ministry, that we forget Who the One is that we're sharing and the One Who has allowed us to share His Good News. I'd heard the word "manifesto" before growing up in history classes, but to be honest, I really didn't remember what it meant. Here is what says,
"a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization."
They also give a word origin and history lesson, so here is where the word "manifesto" came from,
"1644, from It. manifesto "public declaration explaining past actions and announcing the motive for forthcoming ones," originally "proof," from L. manifestus
This word accurately represents the message in this book. Leonard is calling us as Christians to make a declaration that we are going to stay focused on the One who is the Gospel. I love the word "intentions" in the definition and the origin, because to me it signifies that a change is being made, and in this case that we are moving from intentions that haven't been the best to intentions that are deliberate and made to move people to a personal relationship in Christ. In the opening pages of the book, Leonard asks a question. It is the same question that Jesus asks His disciples to tell Him what the people in the area call him. Then He makes the question very personal, he asks his disciples, "But who do you say that I am?" This is the question that Leonard says each of us must answer so that we can fully comprehend the message of the book on restoring the supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus Christ.

Special thanks to Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze for providing this complimentary book to read and review.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Setlist - 05.30.10

Week #97 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, May 30th.

- Your Grace Is Enough
- My Savior's Love
- Beautiful the Blood
- There is a Fountain

After being gone last weekend it was great to be back at church and leading our people in worship. Last weekend was refreshing and exactly what I needed, but was very glad to be back. We did "Beautiful the Blood" again and I think it is going over very well. The team enjoys it so that always helps. I loved these songs with what our pastor was preaching on. We're in a series in the book of Hebrews and we're to chapter 9 where the writer really contrasts the old and new covenants. It's all about the blood of Christ.

It's also Memorial Day weekend, so we had a video, a time of recognition, and a time of prayer for those in our congregation that have or are currently serving in our country's armed forces. We don't thank them enough, so times like this morning were incredibly meaningful. Below is the video that we showed from Worship House Media.

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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

All About Worship Retreat Day 3 Recap

The final day of the retreat and another wonderful time of devotions led by Rich Kirkpatrick. Always a great way to start the day.

Our first general session for the day began with worship led by Troy Kennedy, who is the Worship Pastor at Westside Family Church right there in Kansas City. Then Dwayne Moore came up and spoke for the final time at the retreat. He began by saying that he was led to change what he was planning to speak on. The message he ended up bringing to us was how to worship during the times of brokenness and trials:
• Analyze your trials by asking yourself 1) What did I learn? 2) Did it serve to make me better or bitter? & 3) How am I using that trial to encourage others?
• Trials and struggles are important, just like when a butterfly emerges from the cocoon, it needs the struggle to know/learn how to fly.
• Even in the midst of storms we need to praise.
He also shared a personally story of a family from his worship team who had a young boy who battled and beat cancer in his leg on two different occasions. Then he said after that he was diagnosed with leukemia and this time he did not win that battle. He told us that the faith of that family during this huge trial was amazing and how they had asked the worship team to play, and ultimately to worship, at the memorial service. One of the songs they asked Dwayne and the team to do was Blessed Be Your Name. Dwayne said that an amazing thing happened as the team reached the bridge of that songs, "You give and take away, You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name!" At that point the father stood up with his arms reaching out towards heavens. What an awesome thing to hear. At that point Michael Farren came up and led us in an absolutely awesome time of worship. He transitioned straight into that song. The presence of the Lord was huge in that room at this time. It has been a long time that I have been that moved during a time of worship. We had a very moving time of worship, confession, thanksgiving, and prayer for one another. One of the times I will remember the most from the retreat. Thanks to Dwayne and Michael for following the Spirit's leading even though it meant changing everything they originally had planned.

We had two more breakout session times and I spent both of those with Troy Kennedy. The first session was Lessons from the Trenches: Thriving Long Term in Local Ministry and the second session was The Power of Focus: Doing More with Less. Two great sessions with a guy that has been involved in ministry for a long time. Got a lot of great info from him that I will definitely be spending more time looking over. It's been absolutely great having these guys come in and share the experiences they've had and what they've learned from them. They say we have a lot more information and resources available to us now, but I thinks it's almost more valuable to have these guys share first hand what they went through and how they went about it.

Enjoyed lunch with some more folks at a local Mexican restaurant, Jalapenos. Even got some great ideas of things to do with bridging the gap of worship styles in a multi-generational church.

The retreat ended with one last time of worship with Jared Anderson, then a short little message from Darrell Evans where he gave us the chance to ask any last questions or comments that we might have had.

A very special thanks to Wisdom, Ben, All About Worship and those from Grace Church that helped make this retreat possible. It was a fantastic experience and exactly what I needed; the chance to get away, slow down, recharge, and really spend some time in worship was truly a blessing.

All About Worship Retreat Day 2 Recap

Day 2 began with some devotional time with Fred McKinnon. Fred is the founder of A great time with him and a great way to kick off the day.

Our second general session was kicked off with some worship by Ben Abu Saada, who is the Worship Pastor at Grace Church and co-host of the All About Worship podcast. It was great to be led by one of the guys who helped put together the retreat. Then Dwayne Moore brought us a message on hitting the target in our daily worship:
• Align with God's Word.
• Discipline our thoughts by policing them, prioritize them, seize them if we need to & standardizing them.
• Rely of the Spirit.
• Surrender completely.
We ended being led in worship by Jared Anderson, who is one of the worship pastors at New Life Church in Colorado Springs and a part of Desperation Band.

We also had two breakout sessions during the day. The first one I attended was with Jared Anderson and the second one was with Tommy Walker. Tommy's session was fantastic as it was 7 Keys to Preventing Burnout:
• Authentically worship God.
• Believe that God is at work.
• Be a God-pleaser, not a man-pleaser.
• Know how to speak the truth in love.
• Stay creative in what you do and how you do it.
• Raise up leaders around you.
• Pace yourself and don't bite off more than you can chew.
Some great stuff in both sessions and definitely things to think through and implement.

Our third general session began with worship led by Mike Kim, who is the worship pastor at Church of the Living God in Manchester, CT. Dwayne Moore brought another message and this was on Developing Ministers Through Music (this is covered in his book Pure Praise):
• We need to exemplify it through passion, calling, discipline, integrity & serving.
• We need to examine those around us by planning to be around them away from rehearsal.
• We need to exhort those around us by encouraging them and teaching them.
Tommy Walker closed our time by leading us in worship.

There also some more great connection time over meals. I had lunch at Red Robin with three other guys. Great food and great conversations. Dinner again was brought in, this time by Zio's Italian Kitchen, so we could all eat together. Another great opportunity to connect with some more people.

The highlight of Day 2 was an Acoustic Night of Worship with Darrell Evans, Jared Anderson, Tommy Walker and Michael Farren. What a wonderful evening worshipping with the retreat folk, about 600 other people as they opened the NOW to the public and also with all those watching online. It was great to see these guys' heart for worship come out as they led all of us to the throne. It was a fantastic evening and a great way to end another great day at the worship retreat. All glory to God!

All About Worship Retreat Day 1 Recap

On Thursday, May 20th about 50 worship leaders converged on Grace Church in Overland Park, KS for the very first All About Worship Retreat. After arriving at the church we had some time to meet and begin to connect with everyone. This was a great time as I felt like I already knew a lot of these guys. I've been connected with some of them via facebook, twitter, blogging, and other online communities such as Met a lot of new people as well and made some connections. Some of the guys knew people I knew from college. Great time meeting everyone and finally putting some faces to names of a lot of them.

After a short orientation we split up into small groups and enjoyed some more time getting to know people. Rich Kirkpatrick was my small group leader and it was great to get to spend some more time with him after meeting him for the first time last month at Catalyst West.

We then enjoyed some Kansas City BBQ together courtesy of Jack Stack BBQ! Great food and what a great idea to have dinner at the retreat so we can continue to get to know each other.

Our first general session of the retreat began with worship led by Darrell Evans who is the writer of songs like Trading My Sorrows and Let the River Flow. Our main speaker for the weekend is Dwayne Moore, author of Pure Praise and founder of Next Level Worship. In this session he talked to us about how to become next level worshippers and the characteristics that we need to have:
• Passion to give worship.
• Surrender to live worship inward, upward through praise & outward to others.
• Burden to show worship to others.
We ended our session with worship led by Michael Farren of Pocket Full of Rocks. We finished Day 1 with a time of prayer and reflection led by Joanna Reyburn May from the International House of Prayer.

Sunday Setlist - 05.23.10

Week #96 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, May 23rd.

- O Worship the King
- Jesus Messiah
- The Solid Rock
- Mighty to Save

This Sunday I was blessed to be able to take some time away and one of my worship team members led our body in worship this morning. I had the privilege of attending the All About Worship Retreat at Grace Church in Overland Park, Kansas. I'm thankful for those at Bethel allowing me to attend.

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

Sunday, May 16, 2010

All About Worship Retreat

Tomorrow I leave for Kansas City and the All About Worship Retreat! I'm so excited to get the chance to attend the retreat. I'm really looking forward to it as it's going to be quite different from every other conference I've attended; a truly unique atmosphere in which we can get together with other worship leaders and get connected on a personal level and learn from each other. We'll also have the opportunity to hear people share and spend some time in worship with some great worship leaders. I'm really looking forward to hopefully being able to slow down and really spend some time with my Creator; some truly meaningful time where I can really reconnect my heart with His. I tend to get lost in the day to day shuffle of running around and then trying to balance multiple jobs. My prayer personally is that I can really open up and hopefully be an encouragement to others in what ever way I can and also allow other to encourage and guide me. I'm still young and haven't been doing this for a long time, so I know there are still many things I need to learn.

I'm sure there will be more to come, so keep an eye out here for more things and also on my twitter at @ryanrotman. Also, on Friday night at 7:30pm CST there will be an Acoustic Night of Worship with Michael Farren of Pocket Full of Rocks, Jared Anderson of Desperation Band, Tommy Walker, and Darrell Evans. If you happen to be in the Kansas City area you're invited to come. If you're not, you can still take part as it will be webcast here.

Sunday Setlist - 05.16.10

Week #95 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, May 16th.

- Open the Eyes of My Heart
- Raise Up the Crown (All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name)
- Nothing But the Blood (Matt Redman version)
- Beautiful the Blood

Another great morning of worship with a great team. My team is absolutely fantastic at picking up new songs. Today we introduced Steve Fee's "Beautiful the Blood" and it went very well. I also think the congregation really connected with it. It also flowed really well with "Nothing But the Blood." For you other worship leaders out there, I have changed the keys of those last two songs. I had already changed "Nothing But the Blood" to Bb from B and I also changed "Beautiful the Blood" from Db to Bb to match the first song. Both end up being very comfortable for everyone and it's always nice to have some songs that flow well together without having to deal with a key change.

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

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blessed Be Your Name by Matt & Beth Redman

As a worship leader myself, it's always a great thing to hear the writers of a song go deeper into the meaning of it. "Blessed Be Your Name" does just that and Matt and Beth Redman take us there as they talk about their song of the same name. This is a song I have used many times in worship sets and have seen how it can minister to many people in all kinds of different ways. The lyrics and meaning of the song seek for a response of worship and that response of worship is a choice. We are bound to run in to hard times, times of uncertainty, times of loss, etc. We must choose to believe in the faithfulness and sovereignty of God and learn to say even in the midst of these difficult time, blessed be Your name. I love how he incorporates lines from their song as chapter headings and then a personal story to enhance the chapter. Here are their headings:
1. My Heart Will Choose to Say
2. The Road Marked With Suffering
3. Though There's Pain in the Offering
4. Turn It Back to Praise
5. You Give and Take Away
I like how he also brings in that this song is also meant for times of praise. I had always thought it was written for times of suffering and hardship, but it was great to hear the Redman's say that this song is also meant for praise when things are going well. We have a choice and it's important how we respond. Matt and Beth Redman have written a great resource to help us focus on God so that not only in the times of abundance, but also those times of suffering we can give everything over to Him; He gives and He takes away, but still our heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name. I end with this quote,
"In the life of every worshipper there will come times when worship meets with suffering. And these moments shape what kind of worshippers we will become. Yes, praise be to God for times of abundance and plenty in our lives-those carefree days full of peace and laughter. Yet we praise Him also in the wilderness times-those dark and stormy seasons of the soul when we're left crying out with the psalmist, 'How long, O Lord, how long?' (Psalm 6.3)"
This is a great book for personal study, but also group study. I'm sure it would be great for worship teams. There are even discussion guides for small groups in the back of the book.

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

Sunday, May 9, 2010

10 Passions of a Man's Soul by Mark Elfstrand

Mark Elfstrand has a great resource for men here in "10 Passions of a Man's Soul." To enhance his own writing, he also incorporates insights from other men and their insight on these passions. These men include Bob Lepine, John Eldredge, Joe Stowell, Bill McCartney, Dave Ramsey, Erwin McManus, Bill Hendricks, Steve Arterburn, Gary Chapman and Crawford Loritts. He takes a look at the passions that we as men have. The key to understanding these passions is to have a correct balance. He uses an illustration of what he calls the continuum for each purpose. In the middle is obviously the area of balance and then there are two extremes on either side. Staying on either extreme means that we're missing some of the aspects of understanding what it means to be a man and truly embrace these passions in the way they're meant to be. These passions are:
1. The Passion for Purpose
2. The Passion for Adventure
3. The Passion for Power
4. The Passion for Winning
5. The Passion for Wealth
6. The Passion for Self-Preservation
7. The Passion for the Hunt
8. The Passion of Pleasure
9. The Passion of Relationships
10. The Passion of Legacy
This is a book that is suitable for individual or group use and an invaluable resource for anyone who is ready to explore the heartfelt desires of a real man's soul.

Special thanks to Moody Publishers for providing this complimentary book to read and review.

Sunday Setlist - 05.09.10

Week #94 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, May 9th.

- How Great Thou Art
- God of Wonders
- Here I Am to Worship
- I Am Yours

Another great morning of worship. Continuing in our series in the book of Hebrews and our study of a Biblical Worldview through Focus on the Family's The Truth Project. Also a very Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there and especially those of Bethel Church. In appreciation of Mother's Day here is a video that we showed.

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

Monday, May 3, 2010

66 Love Letters by Dr. Larry Crabb

Dr. Larry Crabb has written a real gem with his book "66 Love Letters." He has written this book in a conversational style; a conversation with God that invites you into His story. This book adds a very personal touch as Dr. Larry Crabb goes through each book of the Bible trying to understand what God is telling us. The Bible isn't always the easiest collection of books to understand and he asks tough question as he seeks to gain more understanding but also as he seeks to know the God that wrote these love letters. He also seeks to weave together the themes of these book as they reveal God's plan for our lives, as we strive hard after Him to gain the prize as Paul puts it, eternity in heaven with Him forever. This book takes some time to go through and it's not meant to be read in a couple days. It's a journey and something we shouldn't take lightly. As I was reading, I was realizing that isn't just some story that someone wrote. I believe it truly is the longings of Dr. Larry Crabb's heart. In that realization, this book is a conversation that any one of us can have with our Creator. This book is a conversation that we should be having with our Creator as we seek to know Him even greater and His Word. His Word is truth. It is timeless and is just as important for us today as the Old Testament was for those first century Christians. I believe this book is a great resource in our own personal study written in a way that draws you in and then wanting more as you finish the conversation of each of the 66 love letters.

Special thanks to Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze for providing this complimentary book to read and review.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Plan B by Pete Wilson

Pete Wilson's new book "Plan B" is a fantastic book written by a guy who has a heart for the body of Christ and who has walked with lots of people as they go through their Plan Bs. Pete is a pastor and I know a lot of thought has gone into this book and a couple sermon series done on this topic, but I felt as if I was sitting under his teaching on a Sunday morning.

I also felt as if he was writing this book directly for me on many occasions. I haven't gone through a huge tragedy like some of the people he uses as examples in this book, however I feel as if my Plan A has not come about and I am now in a Plan B. I graduated from college 3 years ago expecting to find a full-time job as a worship pastor and being able to support my wife and I financially as we started our new life together. However, as I walked across the stage to receive my diploma, I had no job waiting, but my wife did and her full-time job would be providing for us financially. Now, three years later, I have had 3 part-time jobs. I praise God though that one of those is on staff part-time as a worship leader, so God has allowed me to do what I love.

I believe Pete has written a practical tool in these uncertain times where I'm sure many people are finding themselves in Plan Bs in one way or another. I love what he writes here,
"Time and time again in your life you're going to feel as if God isn't showing up. You're going to feel as if God isn't healing, He isn't restoring, He isn't releasing His mighty power. These moments are crucial moments in your relationship with Him. These moments are crucial because God is trying to get you to the place where you can't handle things on your own, where you are willing to surrender your plans in order to receive His. He's trying to mature your faith."
We have to come to a place where we are willing to trust God that He has a bigger plan for us and that plan may not be what we thought it would be. This book can help you get to that place, but you also need to be abiding in God and His word. I leave you with the chorus to Safe, a new song by Phil Wickham that I think has a great message to compliment this book,

You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with You always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms

Special thanks to Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze for providing this complimentary book to read and review.

Sunday Setlist - 05.02.10

Week #93 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, May 2nd.

- Everlasting God
- Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
- Shout to the Lord

I was off this week as my wife, two great friends and I took part in the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure which is an annual bike ride to help raise awareness for diabetes as well as funds to help support research. It was a great day and it was awesome to see so many people come out and support the cause of diabetes that has changed so many peoples lives that live with the disease everyday, including my wife who was diagnosed at 2.5 years of age.

I'm blessed with some great people on my worship team who can take the lead when I'm not there. I'm very thankful for them, so that I can take some time off every now and then. I haven't talked with anyone yet, but I'm trusting that they had a wonderful morning of worship through song, the Word as we continue in our Hebrew series, celebrating communion, and our study hour where we are going through Focus on the Family's "The Truth Project." Look forward to being back with the Bethel family next Sunday.

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