This past Sunday I had the privilege (an overused word, yes, but always true) of leading the singing at my home church, Covenant Life. I’ve had requests to post more on what we do on Sundays, so here it is, my rundown of another normal Sunday.
We’re in a series called “Living Hope” as we preach through the book of 1 Peter. Two Sundays ago we heard about the prophets who were faithful to prophesy about the grace that was to be ours and “searched and inquired carefully” (1 Pet. 1:10). So this week seemed like a great Sunday to teach the Getty/Townend song, By Faith. The song includes the verse:
By faith the prophets saw a day
When the longed-for Messiah would appear
With the power to break the chains of sin and death
And rise triumphant from the grave
This was the line up:
My Hope is Built on Nothing Less – we added an intro/turn in 6/8 for a different feel between verses. Click here to listen.
Saving One (Starfield)
Here I Am to Worship (never got to this one)
Before “By Faith” I shared a thought that went something like this:
In just a few minutes we’ll be privileged to sit under the teaching of God’s Word. But it’s good to remember that even now, Colossians 3:16 says that we are “teaching and admonishing one another” as we sing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in our hearts to God.” So in the song we just sang, we were teaching each other that Jesus Christ is our only rock, that anything else we trust in is like sand, that “his oath, his covenant, his blood” support us in the whelming flood. In the song we’re about to sing, we’re going to be telling each other that we weren’t the first ones to trust God. We are part of a long history of God’s chosen people who have put our faith in God’s Word and his promises. We heard last week that prophets long ago proclaimed a Messiah they would never see because they believed God had spoken to them. We believe God has spoken as well. The world may mock and deride us for trusting in God. But we look not to things that are seen, but to things that are unseen. We stand on the promises of God as he has declared them to us, for in Jesus Christ, every one of them is yes and amen. And those who have put their faith in Christ shall never be ashamed.
After we sang “By Faith” we witnessed two people get baptized in the first meeting, and one in the second. We started including water baptisms in the Sunday meetings a few years ago, and I’m so grateful that we did. It’s a regular reminder that God is still in the business of radically changing lives through the gospel as well as preserving kids who grow up in Christian homes from a life of rebellion.
Here’s where the title of this post comes in. After the baptisms we planned to sing the bridge of “Saving One.” So I had everyone stand up and boldly sang out, “And anyone who calls upon his name, they will be saved.” The only problem was, I was singing the bridge lyrics to the chorus melody. I guess I didn’t know it as well as I thought. I backed away from the mic, trying to make it sound as though I was having a spontaneous burst of inspiration (one benefit to being a continuationist). I gathered my thoughts, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and the right melody came back to me. Strike one.
At the end of the meeting we were planning to sing Stuart Townend’s “Beautiful Savior” in response to the message. But I looked down to the lyric screen and saw that In Christ Alone was in the cue (ProPresenter includes both the lyrics you’re singing and what’s coming up). I assumed that someone had chosen a different song. I found out later that the projectionist was editing lyrics and those words just happened to be up on my screen. The song ended up working great, but I totally misunderstood what was going on. Strike two.
In the second meeting, things went better. I actually remembered the bridge melody to “Saving One.” But when I came up after the message I heard the drummer’s click track in my headphones and the tempo was nowhere near what it should have been. I tried to get the drummer’s attention, but he seemed to be talking with the people at the monitor board. In the mean time my piano kept fading out of my monitors. I had no idea what was going on but hoped someone would figure out that I didn’t want the click track in my headphones. Moments later I realized that either I or someone else had hit the “metronome” button on my keyboard when moving it. The click track was coming from my piano. Nice touch. Strike three.
Fortunately, leading congregational worship isn’t like baseball. I’m not out. They’re still going to let me lead next Sunday.
More importantly, people encountered God as we sang, Jesus was magnified in their hearts and minds, the gospel was clearly proclaimed, and I was humbled.
All in all, a great morning and another normal Sunday.