Palm Sunday Worship Confessional 03.16.08

Blended Worship:
Glory (Hillsong)
Hosanna, Loud Hosanna (traditional hymn)
Holy is the Lord (Tomlin)
Your Name (Packiam/Baloche)
Hosanna! Sing a Loud Hosanna! (choir)
When I Survey (traditional hymn)
Contemporary Worship:
Tell the World (Hillsong)
Holy is the Lord (Tomlin)
Hosanna (Hillsong London)
Sing to the King (Foote)
Mighty to Save (Hillsong)
To Know Your Name (Hillsong)

This was the third week in our series ‘We Were There’ with the focus being on the crowds; the one that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem… and the one that later demanded he be crucified. We had an opportunity to push a few edges in the contemporary service, so we did. My friend Andy, an extremely gifted worship leader, joined us this week. Andy and I put the set list together, and are very comfortable working together, so he took the lead on most of the songs and I added harmonies (which is one of my most favorite things to do). A few band members had played with Andy before, so there were unified ideas about several of the songs. Even so, it pushed us to do so many Hillsong pieces…. they are not difficult to play, really, but there’s an intensity and a ‘rhythm’ of rise-and-fall to each song which is nearly, but not exactly, the same. No matter how effective (or not) our Thursday rehearsals are, Sunday mornings we only have about 10 minutes to do any sound check/rehearsal and the room is already 3/4 full of people when we do so. So Sunday we talked through the set and looked at each other with that ‘welp! let’s see what happens!’ expression even more than usual…. and took off with ‘Tell the World”. The combination of a powerful band and powerful singing by Andy was amazing. We pushed the edge for the congregation by doing so many intense songs, but they responded very well…. more than I expected, actually. The energy level of the congregation is usually set by a rather large block of about 100 high school students, 50 of whom were gone this Sunday. But the grown-ups came through! :)

I have to wonder how big a difference it makes to have strong male leadership up front. A guy who is relatively new to our church, but not at all new to corporate worship, sent me an email after Sunday saying: Love that you are pushing the envelope with Hillsong stuff and I really feel like people are worshiping. Even in the short time we’ve been attending, I feel like God is moving people to worship. I love that others are seeing that. God is at work. Even when the band isn’t sure when the bridge happens…

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