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Worship serviceThis is a great article/resource from the folks over at Musicademy.com; it started with a conversation on their Facebook page, and they had quite a few responses. click on through to read the full article.

“Recommendations for worship songs that break the “Hillsong” mould, in more of folk than rock style”

This page has a bunch of links to alternative song resources, so make sure to check it out!

Worship serviceThere are quite a few options out there for church presentation software, which means that Powerpoint and Keynote are not the only solution for your presentation needs.

The main things that all of these various softwares have in common are these following features; if they don’t have them, they are really not worth using.

  • CCLI/SongSelect integration – This means you can access all of the lyric content via the church’s Christian Copyright License right inside the program. No having to type out all of the lyrics. 95% of the songs you would likely use will have their lyrics posted with CCLI.
  • Powerpoint/Keynote integration – You can import and use Powerpoint and Keynote presentations within the larger presentation software. Most support Powerpoint, a few support Keynote.
  • Media integration – This is one of the biggest features that these programs have. You are able to place your video, audio, website, even use live video feeds right in the program. With some of them you are able to cue up a specific section on a DVD, and have it play just that section.
  • Moving video backgrounds – This is one of the cool features of these various programs; you are able to use looping video backgrounds with your song lyrics instead of a static background.
  • Bible integration – Again, most of these programs come standard with a set of Bibles, so you can search for a verse, and have it up on the screen in seconds. There is generally an option to purchase other Bible versions as well.
  • The bottom line feature for these programs is the ability to change things on the fly without having to blank the screen or some other such thing. Forgot to put one of the songs in the schedule, or a video illustration for the sermon? It’s just a click away and nobody knew that there was an issue

Most of these programs have demo versions, so you can try them out before purchasing; the demo period can be from 7 to 30 days depending on the software.

EasyWorshiphttp://www.easyworship.com/

This software is, in my opinion, the best choice on the market, not because it has all the bells and whistles, but because it is the most straight forward in terms of it’s use. The only issue is that it is not cross-platform, although they are in process of making a Mac version, but that has been in development for several years, so who knows when it will come out. This comes with a site license, so you can install it on any computer in the church at no extra cost. (currently windows only)

Media Shouthttp://www.mediashout.com/

I have only used a demo of Media Shout, and that was several years ago. I wasn’t super-impressed, but I was used to using Easyworship. It has changed a lot since then, so I assume it is greatly improved. It comes with a 3-computer license, and to be honest, you wouldn’t likely need it for more than that. (cross-platform)

ProPresenterhttp://www.renewedvision.com/

ProPresenter is the big up and comer in church presentation software. They have more features than anything on the market; it has modules you can add for more features. I have never used this software, but have seen it in action. (cross-platform)

Live Worshiphttp://www.liveworship.com/

I used the demo of this several years ago. It looked like it could be a good alternative. (cross-platform)

SongShow Plushttp://songshowplus.com/

This was one of the first church presentation programs. Still going strong. (windows only)

OpenLPhttp://openlp.org/

OpenLP is a free, open source alternative for presentation software. It’s pretty good for a free product, and is supported on Mac, Windows and Linux platforms. (cross-platform)

Proclaimhttp://www.proclaimonline.com/

Proclaim is cloud-based, and is a product of Logos Bible Software, which means it could be a really good product. They have a sliding pricing scale dependent on the size of the church. (cross-platform)

This list is not definitive; there are a few more programs out there, but these are most widely used. With a little research, you can find the solution that works best for your church.

Old Hymns; New Way

music notesThere has been so much bandied about regarding hymns vs. choruses; the arguments about it have divided congregations. I don’t plan on getting into that argument here; what I would rather do is direct your attention to a great resource, regardless of what side you are on.

If you haven’t heard of Indelible Grace Music, you are truly missing out. I discovered them several years ago while looking for good hymn arrangements on the internet.  Here is an excerpt from their website that gives a little info about where they are coming from:

“Indelible Grace Music grew out of ministering to college students, primarily through Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). As these students began to taste more of the depth of the gospel and the richness of the hymn tradition, many began to join the music of their culture with the words of our forefathers (and mothers!), and a movement was born.”

Not only have they re-introduced some great hymn texts, but they also made them melodically sound, and a joy to listen to as well as sing. The other great thing is that they provide all of their charts for free on their website. It is worth checking out.

August 4, 2013 Set List

red communionWe had a guest speaker this week, as Pastor Craig was on a well-deserved vacation. The message focused on Holy Communion, and how we can improperly view and participate in this sacrament to the point that it can effect our well-being. It was a good reminder to hold the Lord’s Supper in high regard.

I had the rare opportunity this Sunday to lead the music all by myself. This offers many benefits, but can also be quite difficult as well. It effects your song selections, as some songs just don’t translate well to just piano or just keys. I did use a rhythm track on the first song, so there is a good alternative. I don’t like to use rhythm tracks too much because it can seem like the music is too canned.

Anyway, here is my set list:

Hosanna – by Paul Baloche and Brenton Brown; this is the song I used the rhythm track on. It’s a good track, easy to follow. I got this track from Praise Charts.

Your Name – by Paul Baloche and Glenn Packiam

Here Is Love – by William Rees, Robert S. Lowry and Matt Redman; there are several versions of this song out there, but I chose this one because I liked how it felt when I played it.

Heart of Worship – by Matt Redman

O Sacred Head – by Bernard of Clairvaux, Hans Leo Hassler and James W. Alexander; arrangement by Mary Barrett.

Nothing But the Blood – by Matt Redman

July 28, 2013 Set list

Words Mean ThingsThis week, we continued on in our series based on Proverbs called “Wiser”. The topic for this week was being “Wiser In Our Words”. What we say can, many times, have more impact than what we do; our words can build up or tear down; they can heal or destroy. Physical wounds can heal with nary a scar, but the verbal jabs can have an effect for a lifetime. Proverbs 10:19 (NASB) says “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable. But he who restrains his lips is wise.” Pastor Craig’s main points were this: Let your words be few; let your words be true; let your words be gentle; and let your words be life-giving. Words to live by I would say.

Now my set list:

All Creatures of Our God and King – by St. Francis of Assisi; Arr. & chorus by Aaron Welk & Peter Blue. This arrangement has an added chorus, and is one of my favorite arrangements of this traditional hymn.

Let My Words Be Few – by Matt Redman

Great is Thy Faithfulness – by Thomas O. Chisholm & William M. Runyan (traditional)

May The Words of My Mouth – by Tim Hughes & Rob Hill

The Solid Rock – by Edward Mote & William B. Bradbury (traditional)

July 7, 2013 Set list

Christian-marriage ringsThis week, we had a very timely message regarding marriage. The main questions raised were what is God’s purpose and plan for marriage, and how has our post-christian culture warped its meaning and its value. A big take away was the concept that God uses the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman to reflect His relationship with the Bride of Christ, the Church. It is something so sacred; how dare “we” presume to redefine its meaning.

Now my set list:

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) – by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman

Come Ye Sinners – by Joseph Hart, Andrew Threlkeld, Maggie Amini, and Billy Smiley: Great old hymn put to a new melody.

How Deep the Father’s Love for Us – by Stuart Townend

Jesus Paid It All – Elvina M. Hall and Alex Nifong

In the Garden – by C. Austin Miles (traditional)

June 30, 2013 Set List

FlagSince this service was the one before Independence Day, we had a patriotic focus. The message was hard hitting, covering topics that are effecting and eroding our culture away from Christian values in favor of a secular world view, effectively exchanging the Truth for a lie. We were called upon to humble ourselves and pray, and charged to do our part to stand for the Truth of God.

Now to the set list:

America Medley – traditional

FreedomDarrell Evans

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – Helen H. Lemmel (here is a great version of this song by Jadon Lavik)

How Great Is Our God – Chris Tomlin

America the Beautiful – traditional

June 16, 2013 Set list

letgoofgod.17We’re almost done with our series on the Ten Commandments, and I commend Pastor Craig for being able to make each one of these very relevant. This week we looked at the ninth commandment, Don’t Bear False Witness: do not lie. This is one of the commandments that we all have broken, and one that we are always at war with. We lie to protect ourselves, or others. We like to conceal, or to defame. Truly, it can destroy a person, because lie often begets lie. We often consider that it is easier to lie than to confront the truth, but in reality, we are only postponing the inevitable. Speak the truth in love.

Now my set list:

Sing to the King – by Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne

Our God – by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman

Forever – by Chris Tomlin

Your Name – by Glenn Packiam, Paul Baloche

Forever Reign – by Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan

Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) – by Chris Tomlin, John Newton, Louie Giglio

June 9, 2013 Set List

letgoofgod.17Yet another set list! Imagine that!

The message this week was a continuation of our Ten Commandments series, focusing on the eighth commandment “Do not steal”. This can be a hard subject to exegete, but Pastor Craig did a great job. He pointed out the ways we can “steal” in the workplace (they won’t miss this tool!), from our friends (you’ve had your neighbor’s shovel for a year) and even how we steal from God by not being faithful in our giving. Good reminders all.

Here are the songs:

Majestic – Lincoln Brewster (from the recording “All To You…Live”)

Hope of the Nations – Brian Doerksen (From the recording “You Shine”)

Holy Holy Holy (Savior King) – Gateway Worship (from the recording “Great Great God”)

Revelation Song – Gateway Worship

I Am Yours (w/Take My Life) – Michael Neale (from the recording “No Greater Audience”)

Have a blessed week!

May 26, 2013 Set-list

FlagNot only did I lead the worship this Sunday, I also did the message. Boy, I was exhausted!

Here are the songs:

Battle Hymn – This was a great upbeat arrangement that I got from PraiseCharts.

Hallelujah (Your Love is Amazing) – Brian Doerksen & Brenton Brown

Great is Thy Faithfulness – Traditional

I Belong – Kathryn Scott

Hear Our Praises – Hillsong

Mighty to Save – we did the Laura Story arrangement.

We also featured a video for Memorial Day called “Sacrifice of One” from the Skit Guys.

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