Category Archives: Getty and Townend

Four Contemporary Song Choices for Good Shepherd Sunday

Four Contemporary Song Choices for Good Shepherd Sunday

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. – John 10:11

Good Shepherd Sunday is celebrated on Easter 4 which is May 11, 2014.

“You Never Let Go” by Matt Redman:

“Dwell” by Aaron Keys:

“Good Shepherd of My Soul” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend:

“The Lord is My Shepherd (Angel of The Lord)” by Miriam Webster:

For WELS & ELS Churches only – The sheet music for one of these songs will be shared within our group of churches that use Contemporary music.  There are twenty churches so far from all over the US that have already joined the group.  You can see the group members here: link

You can join the group here: link

There is no obligation on your part to join. You will receive about an email a month containing helpful resources, links and information for churches within our fellowship.

WELS – Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

ELS – Evangelical Lutheran Synod

Contemporary Music for Pentecost

Contemporary Music for Pentecost

Holy Spirit painting
Holy Spirit painting (Photo credit: hickory hardscrabble)

Acts 2:1-21:

“Holy Spirit” by Keith and Kristen Getty

“Awakening” by Chris Tomlin and Reuben Morgan

“Breathe on Me” by Charlie Hall and Kendall Colmes

“Fires” by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin

“Holy Spirit Rain Down” by Russell Fragar

“Spirit Fall” by Jason Ingram, Louie Giglio, Kristian Stanfill and Daniel Carson

“Where the Spirit of The Lord Is” by Chris Tomlin, Nathan Nockels and Christy Nockels

Ezekiel 37:1-14:

“Days of Elijah” by Robin Mark

“Dry Bones” by Jon Egan and Mia Fields

“Awake, My Soul” by Chris Tomlin

Thanksgiving is Worship!

Thanksgiving is Worship!

We cannot give God anything but praise and thanks, for everything else we receive from Him, be it grace, words, works, Gospel, faith, and all things. Moreover, praising and thanking is also the one proper, Christian form of worshiping God.” – Martin Luther

There is no duty more urgent than giving thanks.” – Ambrose of Milan, A.D. 338-397

The purpose of thanksgiving is not so much to focus on the gift as it is to honor the Giver, and to acknowledge one’s dependence on Him as the source of all good things.

Psalm 100 is priceless for a Thanksgiving service. Here it is in a responsive format:

M: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
C: Worship the Lord with gladness;

M: Come before him with joyful songs.
C: Know that the Lord is God.

M: It is he who made us, and we are his;
C: We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

M: Enter his gates with thanksgiving
C: and his courts with praise!

M: Give thanks to him and praise his name.
C: For the Lord is good;

M: His steadfast love endures forever,
C: His faithfulness continues through all generations. – Ps 100

As far as contemporary song choices for Thanksgiving – alas, the world is your oyster. There are thousands upon thousands of contemporary songs to choose from for Thanksgiving because this genre of music tends to emphasize praise and thanks while hymns tend to emphasize teaching, scripture and doctrine. So I will only mention a few.

  1. “Give Thanks” by Henri Smith is probably not considered contemporary any longer, but if all you do right now is hymns, then this song will be earth shaking, so give it a try.
  2. “Forever” by Chris Tomlin: This is a great adaptation of Psalm 136 and also has pieces of 1 Chro 16:23, Ps 62:11, Ps 108:3-5, 1 Cor 10:13, Ps 24:8 and 2 Chro 13:12.
  3. “My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness” by Keith Getty


Third Sunday After Pentecost – Contemporary Worship

Third Sunday After Pentecost – Contemporary Worship

“Worship must be a priority and must not be approached lightly, haphazardly, or without passion.”

On June 17, we will be blessed by having the Branches Band accompany our worship service. Over the past several weeks I have been working with the Branches Band via email to plan and prepare for the service. After discussing the idea with our Pastor, it was decided to follow our typical contemporary worship format. This is a worship service meant to be accompanied by a keyboard/guitar style of music. The entire worship bulletin is included below. I have inserted a view videos of the Branches music where appropriate.

Worship is not from tradition but from the heart.  The following is contemporary worship.

Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church
Member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
300 Buckland Road, P.O. Box 1156, South Windsor, CT 06074

Pastor Timothy J. Ehlers Church Office: (860) 644-2110

Third Sunday after Pentecost June 17, 2012

Our faith is based on Jesus our risen Lord


PRE-SERVICE: “I Rejoiced” ……………………………………………………………………………………….Branches Band
“Fill Me Up”
“O Holy Spirit, Enter In” (arranged by the Branches Band)

OPENING SONG: CW234 “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” arranged by the Branches Band

M: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.
C: And also with you.


M: Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?
C: He who has clean hands and a pure heart, he will receive blessing from God his Savior
(Psalm 24:3-5)

M: What does God say about each of us in his holy Word?
C: He says that I am a sinner and deserve only his punishment.

M: What should each of us do if we are not aware of our personal sins or are not troubled by them?
C: I should examine myself according to the Ten Commandments and ask how well I have carried out my responsibilities as a husband or wife or single person, as a parent or child, an employer or employee, a teacher or student. Have I loved God with all my heart, gladly heard his Word, and patiently endured affliction? Have I been disobedient, proud, or unforgiving? Have I been selfish, lazy, envious, or quarrelsome? Have I lied or deceived, taken something not mine, or given anyone a bad name? Have I abused my body or permitted indecent thoughts to linger in my mind? Have I failed to do what is right and good?

Silence for personal reflection

M: When each of us realize that we have sinned against God and deserve his punishment, what should each of us do?
C: I will confess before God all my sins, those which I remember as well as those of which I am unaware. I will pray to God for his mercy and forgiveness.

M: Dear friends, let us approach God with a true heart and confess our sins, asking him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to forgive us.
C: Lord of life, I confess that I am by nature dead in sin. For faithless worrying and selfish pride, for sins of habit and sins of choice, for the evil I have done and the good I have failed to do, you should cast me away from your presence forever. O Lord, I am sorry for my sins. Forgive me, for Jesus sake.

M: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. In his great mercy, God made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in our sins. Hear the word of Christ through his called servant:

I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.
M: In the peace of forgiveness, let us sing praise to our Lord.

YOU ARE GOD WE PRAISE YOU (Te Deum by Marty Haugen)


M: Let us pray.
O God, the strength of all who trust in you, mercifully hear our prayers. Be gracious to us in our weakness
and give us strength to keep your commandments in all we say and do; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our
Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


THE FIRST LESSON: Genesis 3:8-15

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? ”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!

You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

PSALM OF THE DAY: “The Heart of Worship” by Matt Redman song #209 in Songbook
(Responsive Reading of Psalm 51 with music)

M: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
C: according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions.

M: Wash away all my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
C: For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

M: Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
C: Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Congregation Sings: Verse 1 & Chorus

M: Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
C: Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

M: Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
C: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

M: O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
C: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Congregation Sings: Verse 2 & Chorus

THE SECOND LESSON: 2 Corinthians 4:13-18
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead
will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


C: Alleluia. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Alleluia.


20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub ! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

23 So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables:“How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. 28 I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”

30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

CHILDREN’S TALK (All children are invited to the front of church.)

HYMN OF THE DAY: 387 “Drawn to the Cross” arranged by the Branches Band



Offertory Music – “Hearts of Stone” by the Branches Band


M: O Lord, our God, you are wise and powerful, good and gracious. Your mercies are new every morning.
Each day you open your hand and provide for the needs of your children on earth.
C: We praise you for every grace and blessing.

M: Strengthen your Church in all the world. Let your comforting message of salvation in Christ Jesus be
proclaimed to troubled souls everywhere.
C: Use our ministries and offerings to extend your healing and your hope.

M: We bring you our requests for the various structures of our society. Bless our nation, state, and local
C: Grant us civil servants who are worthy of honor and respect.

M: Grant prosperity to our businesses and industries. Give employers a sense of fairness toward their
workers, and employees a feeling of joy and pride in their workmanship.
C: Help us find satisfaction in all work well done.

M: Invigorate the schools of our land. Give success to every effort that helps students read, think, and
communicate in ways that will promote an informed and responsible citizenry. Arouse curious minds to
discover the wonders of your created order.
C: Give us teachers and students who pursue excellence.

M: Strengthen the families of our country. Give fathers and mothers a renewed commitment to be good
parents. Give children and young people the wisdom to regard their parents as your representatives.
C: Lead us to love one another as you have loved us.

M: Hear us, Lord, as we bring you our private petitions.

Silent prayer.

M: Gracious Father, we pray boldly as Jesus taught, with the confidence that you will hear and with the faith
that you will respond for our welfare.
C: Amen.


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.


CLOSING SONG: 745 “May the Peace of God” by Keith & Kristin Getty see insert


Welcome to Worship

We’re so glad to have you with us today! We consider it a privilege to gather together to worship our Lord and hear from Him as he speaks to us from the Bible, His Word. If you are here with us for the first time, please introduce yourself to us and, when you have the opportunity, please sign our guest register, located in the back of the worship area. If you are in need of any assistance at all, please speak with one of our ushers who would be very happy to assist you. May God bless our worship together today!


Prayer Upon Entering Church

O Lord – our Maker, Redeemer, and Comforter – we are assembled in your presence to hear your holy Word. We pray that you would open our hearts by your Holy Spirit that through the preaching of your Word we may repent of our sins, believe in Jesus, and grow day by day in grace and holiness. Hear us for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Children’s Prayer Before Church

Lord Jesus, bless the pastor’s word, Upon my heart, I pray;

That after all is said and heard, I gladly may obey. Amen.

A Personal Confession of Sin

Father, I have sinned against you and am no longer worthy to be called your child. Especially am I sorry for ___________. Yet in mercy you sacrificed your only Son to purge away my guilt. For his sake, O God, be merciful to me, a sinner, and in the joy of your Holy Spirit let me serve you all my days. Amen.

For Obedience to God’s Will

Lord God, give me strength and willingness to say with your Son, “Not my will but your will be done.” Make me cheerful and trusting to bear whatever you let happen to me. From your hand I am willing to take the good and the bad, the joy and the sorrow. Keep me from sin, gracious Father, and comfort me with your kind Word. Amen.

Contemporary Song choices for the Transfiguration of Our Lord

Contemporary Song choices for the Transfiguration of Our Lord

Scripture References:

Mt 17:1-13, Mk 9:2-13, 2 Cor 3:12-4:2, Ex 24:12, 15-18, 2 Peter 1:16-21, 2 Cor 4:3-6. Ex 34:29-35, Ps 148, Lk 9:28-36, 2 Ki 2:1-12

Contemporary Song choices for the Transfiguration   of Our Lord

Song Title Author / Songbook Comments
Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble? Martin Smith BOB #45 Ref. Ps 148:7 Good congregation song & fun to play/sing (we lower  the key by a half step due to the bridge)
A Mighty Fortress Christy and Nathan Nockels Ref Ex 24:17 Congregation Song with Beautiful piano music
Jesus, Take Us to the Mountain LAPPY 162 and CWS712 Ref. Mt 17:1-13, Mk 9:2-13, Lk 9:28-36 and 2 Pe 1:16-18
Tune: Silver Spring
Once on a Mountaintop LAPPY 231
Speak, O Lord Keith GettyCWS 735 Ref. 2 Cor 3:18Good congregational song
You, Lord, Are both Lamb and Shepherd CWS746 (especially Vs 2) Ref. Mt 17:1-13, Mk 9:2-13, Lk 9:28-36 and 2 Pe 1:16-18
Tune: Picardy

Great Hymns:  “With Trembling Awe the ChosenThree”
“Down from the Mount of Glory “ (CW 97)*
“How Good, Lord, to be Here” (CW#95)*
* These hymns lend themselves to guitar/piano accompaniment.

These are all good sites to find music:

Music to Close Your Worship Service

Finding contemporary music to match the day’s worship theme is not easy, especially if you need to find four or five songs per Sunday.  You can make this a little easier by making sure that the hymn of the day (HOTD) is a tight match to the  readings but the opening song and closing song in particular can have themes to match their purpose.  For example, here are three songs to use as a close to your worship service.  All three have beautiful closing/blessing messages, are corporate  friendly for singing and if you have blended worship services on a monthly basis, you can reuse these throughout the year.  Now one of your song choices is already done.

“Peace be Yours” by Blair A’Hearn (BOB #83)
“May the Peace of God” by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend (CWS 745)
“Go Out as people of God” by Gloria Lien (BOB #69)

  • Hotd (

Contemporary Epiphany Song Choices

Here’s a listing of some great contemporary pieces to use during the season of Epiphany: 

Epiphany Music

Title / Author Sheet Music Source Comments
One Small ChildDavid Meece LAPPY Songbook #232 Good congregational song
Joy has Dawned
Stuart Townend & Keith Getty  Good congregational song
(mentions the wise men & their gifts)
Offering (Christmas Version)
Paul Baloche  Band piece
(mentions the wise men)
Shine Jesus Shine
Graham Kendrick
Best of the Best Songbook #204
also LAPPY #270
Good congregational song
Christ has Come
Kirk Kirkland & Phillip Keveren
  Lk 2:8-16, Mt 2:1-11
How Suddenly a baby Cries,
– and –
All Forever ChangeKeith Getty  Mt 2:1-12, Lk 2:8-19 & 25-38

Most of these songs can be purchased at the following sites unless noted otherwise:

Son of Adam, Son of heaven,
Given as a ransom,
Reconciling God to man,
Christ our mighty champion!
What a savior, what a friend!
What a glorious mystery!
Once a babe inBethlehem,
Now the Lord of Histroy.
-“Joy has Dawned” by Keith Getty (last verse) 

Lyrics just don’t get much better than that!

Gospel Motivation

Gospel Motivation

I am predestined, called, justified and glorified, not to mention – saved (Romans 8:30) by someone who was stricken, smitten and afflicted (Isaiah 53:4).

If you know me, you would conclude that something is wrong with this picture.

But the reality is that there is nothing wrong with it.  It’s God’s plan from the beginning of time.  He loves me!

This is gospel motivation and it is indeed compelling.

The Gospel is my mission.   The Gospel is my message.  The Gospel is my motivation.

Set List for Blended Worship on 10/9/2011 (Pentecost 17):

Pre-Service: “Children of God” by Mac Powell (pictured above)
Opening Song: Amazing Love by Graham Kendrick (BOB 11)
Absolution Response: “Te Deum” by Marty Haugen (GIA)
Psalm of the Day: Ps 103 with “Grace Alone” (BOB 77)
HOTD: “There is an Everlasting Kindness” (the Compassion Hymn) by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend
Offertory: “You Are God Alone” by Billy Foote
Closing Song: “Go Out as People of God” by Gloria Lien (BOB 69)