We began a new series today at OBC where we’ll be spending the new five weeks walking through the book of Psalms – getting a new perspective on what’s written, how it’s written and how we should read the book. The series is affectionately being called our Psummer Psalms Pseries around the office 🙂
Here’s our service outline this morning –
Sing – Josh Wilson – A
w/ Psalm readings
Forever – Chris Tomlin – G
Hosanna – Paul Baloche – G
Great Is Thy Faithfulness – C -> D
Jesus You Are Worthy – Brenton Brown – C
We tried something a little different this morning and did a bit of a presentation-type call to worship at the beginning of the service. Right when we hit 10:00, the band began to play “Sing” while the quotes from the post below played through on the screens. When the quotes finished up, we did two verses and choruses of the song before two people came up on stage to read verses from the Psalms which talked about the people of God singing praise to Him.
Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you,
They sing praise to your name.”
Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime;
Weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth
Sing to him a psalm of praise.
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord
Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving
Let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise
For the Lord is a great God
And a great King above all gods
After those verses were read, we did another chorus of “Sing” before asking people to stand and going right into the other songs of the opening set. Again, this was something a little different from what we normally do – there were things in the flow that didn’t go perfect but overall it worked pretty well and was a good opener for our service and our series.
Some other thoughts from this morning –
Today was the closest we’ve come to losing power on a Sunday morning. A huge thunderstorm rolled through at about 10:30 this morning – lots of thunder, lightning and dark skies outside. Power flickered off and on a few times but the new surge protection gear we installed during last year’s expansion/renovation did the trick this morning! We did lose power on our projectors at one point but they reset themselves and came back online pretty quick.
Our numbers on Sunday morning have been up significantly last year. I don’t normally make a big deal about numbers on the blog just because they would be HUGE for some churches but they’d also be TINY for some churches. But.. year over year, we are seeing about 40% more people in our building on Sunday morning compared to 2008. We think there’s three reasons for that – it’s just a different crowd of new people who have been coming this year, the weather has had a BIG impact on people not taking holidays and, of course, the economy.
We did something kind of fun (well, fun for me!) with “Jesus You Are Worthy” – this song is really familiar for our congregation and normally we do it as a medium-tempo song pretty close to how Brenton does it on his CD. During rehearsal we had the idea to bring the tempo waaaayyyy down – about 54 bpm! We really built the bridge – did it once instrumentally out of the second chorus and then three more times with the vocals. By the last time the band was really driving it – pretty different for a song like this but because we were using the song as part of communion it worked really well.
One other thing we’re doing in this series is we’ve set up easels on the main floor of our building and each week we’re giving people an opportunity to respond to the message by writing words or phrases that express a Psalm-like heart response. At the end of the series we’ll gather these boards and display them on our stage as a community-written Psalm.
If you were tracking along with Willow Creek Leadership Summit stuff, you might have seen Josh Wilson’s name pop up. I’m so glad to see him getting the exposure that he is – I was introduced to him in February at re:create, heard his song “Sing” a few weeks ago and knew that we would use it for this series. I’ll do a separate post on Josh and his music this week.
Check out more Sunday recaps and confessionals over at Fred’s blog.