Archives For Music

Do you realize that you confess your faith every time you sing together in worship? Found out how and why it’s so important.

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I was able to get an early copy of Vertical Church Band’s “The Rock Won’t Move” and boy, I’m glad I did. This is a solid album with very few flaws. It also came at an opportune time for me as I’m realizing that our church body needs more “celebration” songs and some more energy in our midst.

I’m going to walk through my impressions of the album as a whole and give a summary of my impressions of each song below. Please give the whole thing a read, as you’ll be rewarded with a free download of the title track from the album at the end of the review :-) !

Overall impressions

  • This album is mostly singable. Many new albums of this style tend to not be easily singable, so it’s very refreshing to find an album like this where I can say “Yes, we can sing that in our congregation” to the majority of the songs.
  • Solid teaching. A lot of newer albums are overly emotional or experiential, but for the most part this album’s lyrics are very objective and focus on truths about God rather than feelings about God. While I’m coming to terms with the fact that sometimes “emotional” songs can help balance the weightiness of songs full of truth, I’m glad to see the depth in the lyrics of the album.
  • There is a lot of energy on this album. The songs are songs that make you want to shout-sing at the top of your lungs, not just sing. Even the slower songs have an energy to them.
  • My one complaint: Lead singers – please don’t jump up an octave. I’m very thankful that when this happens on the album there are singers remaining where the melody was in the previous octave, but this can be very taxing on congregations.

Let’s Dig into the Songs

Call on the Name

Very excellent call to worship here, listing many attributes of Christ and then allowing a personal declaration of “I will call on the name, I will call on the name of the Lord” Really love this song and hope to use it soon.

Found in You

Love the energy of this song. I always have an issue with “welcoming” God into the congregation (I understand the intent, but I think we could phrase it better, but more on that another day), this song treats the concept very nicely. Love the chorus “All we want and all we need is found in you, found in you. Jesus, every victory is found in you; found in you.” Another great call to worship, one of the best I’ve found in quite some time.

He Has Won

This is going to be one of my go-to Easter or post-Easter songs. It’s fantastic. The lyrics point people to Jesus and His victory as they deal with the weight of burdens, the question of being loved by the Father, and more. It’s especially a great song for men to sing – you just want to belt this one! I think this is my favorite track on the album.

I Will Follow

This song gets a little high for a typical congregation, but is still fairly singable. It’s a wonderful declaration of faith through various situations the Christian is facing.

I’m Going Free (Jailbreak)

I like this song a lot. I love the “revival” feel in the song. However, I wish a couple things: I wish there were more lyrics like the first verse. That verse includes the powerful ”The judge is my defense; I’m going free” That is a GREAT lyric. I also think the phrase “your love is my jailbreak” is very awkward and wish they would have changed it to something else, especially as part of the title of the song is based on one quick, conceptual line that needs explanation.

Only Jesus Can

GREAT lyrics in here and GREAT groove. The syncopation would get difficult for our multi-generational congregation, and the rhythms on the chorus are tricky to catch at first, but the concept in this song is fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the rhythms in here (both the verse and the chorus), they just could be tricky to teach. However, this is one of my favorites on the album.

Strong God

It took me a couple listens to this song for this one to “click” for me. While the lyrics are wonderful, I wanted a little more power in the melody and bridge to match the anthem-like feel of the song. But, if this is the weakest song on the album (in my opinion), that’s saying something, as I still think it’s a wonderful song.

Strong to Save

“The Lord our God is mighty in battle. We are not afraid. His hand upholds us through our trials; our God is strong to save.” What a fantastic chorus. I love the bridge as well. I’m going to duck for cover here but I think this is a much stronger take on the concept of God being “mighty (strong) to save” than that other song that’s been popular for awhile :-)

The Rock Won’t Move

The title track is an interesting adaptation of the hymn the “The Solid Rock.” I love the expansion and play on the original lyrics of the hymn. While this song is a powerful anthem, I think the bridge gets hard on the ears and I’m not sure the updates to the hymn lyrics improve them. I know many have done it, but I wish they would have used the existing melody from “The Solid Rock” in the bridge instead of what was used.

Worthy, Worthy

I love the hymn-like feel of this one. It’s very useful to have songs like this, especially for multi-generational congregations like ours. The timeless concept of all of heaven declaring God’s worthiness and holiness will never get old. This song is a helpful addition to congregations like mine who sometimes still use a piano/organ-driven accompaniment. I think this is a song that could work well in that situation as well as led by a full band.

Download “The Rock Won’t Move” MP3 and Lead Sheet for Free!

I really like this album and I think the songs should find their way into many churches. This is one you’ll definitely want to have in your library and I’m going to be keeping an eye on Vertical Church Band in the future.

Use the NoiseTrade widget below to receive a free copy of the title track and the lead sheet from this album.

I’ve been inspired for quite a well by Bobby Gilles’ weekly recap of the songs, readings, prayers, and liturgy of Sojourn Community church’s services. So…I thought I’d steal it. With his permission, of course. :-)

These serve as a great reminder of how, in the recent word’s of Bob Kauflin, we “remembered, rehearsed, reveled in and responded to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as our only hope and the means by which we come to know God as our Father.”

You can find links to the set lists of this church and many other churches each week in the Worship Set Lists at theworshipcommunity.com.

Gathering Song: Psalm 62, written by Aaron Keyes and Stuart Townend

Call to Worship: Titus 3:4-8

God has saved us through His mercy, poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. We gather today to remember and respond. Remember who God is and what He’s done, and respond by preparing each other for His work in this place and outside these walls.

Song: Your Grace is Enough, written by Matt Maher

Song: Lord, I Need You, written by Jess Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Maher, Christy Knockels, and Daniel Carson

Confession of Sin:

That song of confession declares our need for a Savior. Let’s continue to dwell on that thought.

Savior, we indeed confess we that we need you. Not because of any human understanding of desire, but because we are broken with sin and without hope. You alone can save. Without You, we cannot stand. We run to You as our source of security. Guard and guide our heart’s desires as only You can.

May we trust in You alone for help, hope, and rescue.
May we delight ourselves in You, receiving our pleasures from You.
May we commit our ways to You, place our trust in You, and believe You will act.
(adapted from Psalm 37:3-5)

Song: Forever Reign, written by Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram, made known by Passion and Kristian Stanfill

Declaration of Grace

God welcomes us into His embrace through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ, rich in love and mercy.

“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

In light of God embracing us into His family, let’s greet each other and welcome one another within our family today.

Confession of Faith

Confessions of Faith were given by students who had just attended the FLY (Free Lutheran Youth) convention the week before. It was a great blessing to hear how God’s Word impacted them, and to hear every student share Scripture with the congregation. We are so thankful for the work that consistently happens through God’s Spirit at FLY.

Announcements

Tithes and Offerings

Scripture Reading:
John 1:1-5

Message
Nick Schulz, an active youth leader and a philosophy enthusiast, taught on the response of the believer to the payment Jesus gave us through His blood, and how John was specifically battling gnostic teaching that since the body is evil it doesn’t matter what we do with it by declaring the truth in 1 John 1-2:2.

The Lord’s Supper

We sang Psalm 62 again during the Lord’s Supper, to continue to teach the congregation as it was a new song this week, and to continue to declare the great truths in the lyrics.

Benediction:
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

The Church is a beautiful thing when properly functioning.  One of the most beautiful things about the early Christian church in the book of Acts was the freely generous nature of the people.  Acts 2:44-45 says this:

And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

I’ve been privileged to get to know a new acquaintance (who I hope will eventually turn into a good friend) who understands how to put this verse into practice.  Bobby Gilles and his wife Kristen have been faithfully serving the Church in many ways, from writing an outstanding blog encouraging artists and songwriters in the church to taking time out of a busy schedule to spend on a Skype call with me, although we’ve never really had a whole lot of contact.

Today, Bobby and Kristen released a free 4-song EP (and they really are releasing it for free, another example of putting the functioning Church into practice) that you should download and enjoy. The EP also addresses the issue of a “one-size-fits-all” liturgy that our American Church falls into so often.

These worship songs feature focused lyrics that consistently point us to the Cross and remind us of our rescued condition in Christ.  Some lyrical highlights that have already impacted me include:

  • “Bold before God’s throne, yet unworthy to be there”
  • “I stand condemned by my own heart, deserving just to die; but still I do not hesitate to stand before the King, a paradox to all but God who gave His son for me”

I am so thankful for Bobby and Kristen and their willingness to bless, encourage, and equip church worship leaders and musicians with this new music.  You can download the songs through the Noise Trade widget below, head to Noise Trade to download them, or visit Bobby and Kristen’s blog.

We’ve been enjoying a lovely week at the AFLC (Association of Free Lutheran Churches) family camp this week.  I’ve been blessed with the privilege to lead worship and it’s going quite well!

Since I haven’t had much time to write or much of a connection I’ll point you to a couple places I’ve guest posted recently:

I’ve been part of Chris Vacher’s Summer Mix Tape here, writing about how God is using Let Your Kingdom Come in our church.

I also wrote on Ashley’s blog here, writing about living intentionally by faith.

What exciting things have you been doing this summer?