Songlist for Global Day of Worship Perth

I’m glad to announce that after a lot of prayer and thought, we’ve finally crafted the songlist for Global Day of Worship Perth. I really appreciate Pastor Yoy’s and Derwin’s input into shaping all the songs that we had to choose from.

Here it is:

SONGS – PART 1 (LIVE STREAMING)

  1. Shout to the Lord (A) // Mel Crothers
  2. You are good (A) // Lester Ong
  3. You (A) // Derwin Bong
  4. Our God (A) // Yoy Alberastine
  5. Rooftops (E) // Celesti Weck
  6. Your Presence is Heaven (Bb) // Derwin Bong
  7. Jesus at the Centre (D) // Yoy Alberastine
  8. How Great is Our God (B) // Sung in Noongyar, Tagalog, Afrikaans, Chinese, Bahasa and English

SONGS – PART 2

  1. Cornerstone/The Solid Rock (C) // Lester Ong
  2. I See the Lord (E) // Stephanie Truscott
  3. You’re Worthy of it All (A) // Yoy Alberastine
  4. You Deserve the Glory (A) // Stephanie Truscott
  5. Worthy is the Lamb (A) // Mel Crothers
  6. Hosanna (I see the King of glory) (E) // Celesti Weck
  7. Hosanna (Be Lifted Higher) (E and up) // Lester Ong
  8. History maker (F) // Yoy Alberastine

At Converge earlier this year, we tried doing How Great is Our God (World Edition). This time, we are aiming to incorporate the local indigenous language, Ngoonyar, along with Tagalog, Afrikaans, English, Malay/Indonesian and Mandarin. This reflects the multicultural nature of the Australian church landscape.

I encourage you to make the effort and come be part of this momentous event!

Your Presence is Heaven to Me

We often prepare songlists for church services which go for 25 minutes. It gets quite easy and routine. You do four songs, two fast, two slow, maybe have a scripture reading somewhere, a bit of open worship after the first of the slow songs and finish up with some enthusiastic applause.

But how do you prepare for a 2 hour worship set with 6 worship leaders? And also make sure that it spans the generation divide?

This is what I’ve been struggling with as we prepare for Global Day of Worship in Perth.

I can tell you now that I think I bit off more than I could chew!

Here are a few things I learnt in the last couple of days about the process (in no particular order except where this is obvious):

// Focus on God first!

// Then focus on the journey of worship.

// Make sure your songs help people to worship (a timely reminder from Pastor Yoy)

// Make sure there are some newer songs that are currently relevant.

// Make sure there are some older songs that aren’t so old that no one remembers them.

// Work on tension and release – break the tension at key points.

// You don’t need as many songs as you think. Give some time over for “soaking”.

// You don’t need to do all the songs that you like. Remind yourself this is not the last time you’ll do something like this.

// Cull, cull, cull again!

// Worship lots in the process, lest you lose focus again and start thinking through the unending variables.

One of the songs young Derwin suggested, which is fairly new, is “Your Presence is Heaven to Me” by Micah Massey and Israel Houghton. It’s an amazing song and I think God will really use it to draw people to His presence.

Here is the video:

And here is another version which medleys “Forever Reign”, “There’s Just Something About That Name” and “Your Presence is Heaven”:

I worshipped a lot with this song as I was preparing – and it helped bring in the focus.

In Exodus 33, Moses prays a prayer of desperation. “God, You might get us into the promised land; you might bring us victory, success, prosperity, wealth, but if Your presence doesn’t go with us, don’t take us from this place”.

There’s something about worship that invites and invokes the immediacy of God’s presence (Ps 22). How we need His presence more and more!

I can tell you now that if we do the Global Day of Worship just for the sake of playing music, or even getting churches together (whilst all good reasons), it would be in vain if God’s presence didn’t show up.

How important is God’s presence? The whole Biblical narrative is about the loss and recovery of God’s presence. The fall is about banishment; the law is about hosting God’s presence; the Psalms is about inviting His presence in song; the Prophets are about not taking God’s presence lightly; the Gospels are about God’s incarnate presence through Jesus; Acts is about God’s empowering presence through the Spirit; the Epistles is about God’s presence being manifested through the church and Revelation is about the permanence of God’s presence in the new Jerusalem.

Lord, we need Your presence!

If Only All Rehearsals Were Like Today’s

I have just come back from an amazing rehearsal with the Converge Asian Worship band at the Hen House rehearsal studios.

It was an interesting evening. As I was collecting the six pizzas for the band, Darren had gotten to the studio early and sent me a picture of the studio. Apparently, one of the walls was painted with a fairly confronting mural of a topless female angel. I wasn’t really sure how the team would feel about it, so I was stressing out a bit.

To my relief, we all laughed it off and thought it was a pretty funny situation, almost slighty ironic. But for the protection of the wider church, I don’t think I’ll post a picture of the room. Here is a “safer” picture of Darren, Yvonne and Ling on the “clean” side of the room.

And here’s another shot taken at the end of the rehearsal of the whole team, courtesy of Darren Woon (from Lto R: Darren Woon, me, Jun Wee, Gabriel Tan, Addie Choon, Derwin Bong, Yoy Alberastine, Yvonne Mohan, Ling Chua, Clement Ch’ng), and also taken from the “clean” side of the room.

I did come with plenty of faith however, to the extent that I thought that maybe, just maybe, as we were worshipping, the mural might supernaturally melt and all the other bands in the surrounding studios would come and see. They would be amazed and say “what God is this who dissolves unholy murals?” and we would then lead them to Christ.

Okay, so that didn’t eventuate, but every now and then, as we were deep in worship, I would just peek out of the corner of my eyes just to see whether perhaps some of the paint might start to come off.

Anyway, after we had eaten some pizza and introduced ourselves to each other, I told the band that it was great to work with anointed worship musicians whom I have admired and for whom I have the highest esteem. In fact, when I looked at the band, I realised that I had worked with most of the musos and singers before and I had longed to work with them again – so today was the opportunity!

I then wondered what it would be like if Converge wasn’t what we were working towards? What if, like Pentecost, it was the birth of something? What if it was the beginning of more times of worship together across churches, at a grassroots level? What if it sparked a movement of passionate worshippers and psalmists joining together across the city?

With that thought, we started running through the 15 songs on our songlist.

One of the songs which Derwin had chosen was “One Thirst” by Jeremy Riddle (good choice, Derwin!). When I first heard that song earlier last week, something had clicked and I somehow knew that that song would capture the heart of what we were trying to do.

Most of the band were pretty unfamiliar with that song, however. As we listened to it on my iPhone, Pastor Yoy said that we should approach it more pensively and prayerfully, almost in an “IHOP” style. What he said rightly set the tone for that song.

As Derwin began to lead that song, the music started to take on a life of its own and the various worship leaders began to sing over the top of the song. We must have gone for about half an hour of the most amazing worship I’ve experienced for a long time. It was like we were soaking up the presence of God and God’s weighty glory somehow descended. Alas though, no melting mural. Instead, we just experienced wave after wave of God’s presence as intercession and prophetic singing flowed.

In times like these, you are just too scared to do anything because you don’t want to be the one responsible for ruining the move of God. That was how real the presence of God felt. I understand more why the “fear of God” is associated with His presence.

And Yoy began to pray that there would be a convergence of psalmists, priests and prophets in this city.

And I prayed that as the church stood in visible unity, there would be a breakthrough atmosphere in our city that would affect our society and transform its values. That all our churches would experience the intensity of God’s presence that we experienced just then.

I don’t think we really wanted to stop.

And I wondered if it would be like this on the actual day itself. I wondered whether our worship would keep flowing like a mighty torrent that can’t be stopped. Whether God would break free from our programs. Whether the whole day would just be seamless. Whether the other bands that came on the day would simply fold into this one. Whether worship would just start and never end. Whether Pentecost would really come like it did at Azusa Street and change the face of the church and the city all at once.

If only all rehearsals were like this one. If only all worship services were like this one! I can feel the mountains tremble, the singers roar. I can sense the time of jubilee coming, when all the streams flow as one river, when the brokenness and fragmentation of the church are washed away, and young and old will turn to Jesus. Tonight didn’t feel like just another rehearsal. It was a prayerful prying open of the windows of heaven over our city.

Songlist for Asian Worship

I’m really excited about Converge. After months of planning, we are nearly there and I’m getting to do what I love the most: working together with the band!

And I’m excited to be working together with a great team of friends from different churches all of whom are not only skilled musicians, but also have a big heart for God’s glory.

So I want to invite you to head down to Wesley Church on the corner of Hay and William Streets in Perth on Saturday 26 May 2012 to worship together with us from 8 am to 10 am.

We are expecting and praying for the manifest presence of God to encounter each worshipper that will birth destinies for the city and the nations!

Yoy Alberastine, Gabriel Tan, Derwin Bong and I will be leading worship. So exciting!

If you are coming down to join us, here is the anticipated songlist to help you prepare:

// Hosanna (Be Lifted Higher) (Sidney Mohede/Israel Houghton)
// You are Good (Israel Houghton)
// You are Good (Bethel: Brian Johnson and Jeremy Riddle
// Great in All the Earth (Starfield)
// Our God (Chris Tomlin)
// Come Holy Spirit (City Harvest)
// One Thirst (Jeremy Riddle)
// Revelation Song
// Here in Your Presence (New Life Worship)
// Great is the Lord (Steve McEwen)
// Overcome (New Life)
// With Everything (Hillsong)
// Jesus Be The Centre
// Rise (Hillsong)
// Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble

It’s going to be an awesome time!