“Knowing Jesus” this year was a very special night. While we have had the opportunity to lead this night of worship at North Side, other churches, North Greenville University, prisons, etc., this was a very special night.
We kept to the script from the DVD that we did last year, but we did make some special changes to the night which I think allowed us to tell the narrative of Jesus even better.
Here were some of the tweaks:
- Welcome – Sometimes we try to do things so dramatic that people don’t know how to respond. So, this year, I just came up to the stage to say hello, welcome everyone, make some announcements, and get going. The group that night seemed more relaxed from the get-go.
- A capella Intro – When we started, “Come Lord Jesus,” the ladies sang the beginning of that song a cappella. It was gorgeous.
- You Must Increase – With Ted out-of-town, Heath did a great job of singing this song with precision and passion.
- I Will Follow – Stacy helped lead this song and was a great way to show how the women who followed Christ made such an authentic commitment to Jesus as well.
- Jesus Film – We were able to use portions of the Jesus Film in different songs to add some depth to the telling of the story.
- You Are the Christ – While everyone loves the simplicity of Eric singing this song on the album, Peggy and John added some beautiful harmonies to color the chords.
- Junior Band – We had children of our band members play and sing with us on “Hosanna.” Since this song was a rowdy song in the streets, we wanted the real rowdy musicians to come and join us, and boy did they ever!
- Communion – We added communion in the narrative which was a beautiful way to celebrate it. During that time, we sang the only song the group didn’t write (“O the Blood”) and a flute choir played a medley of hymns of the cross.
- The Cross – During “It Is Finished,” I had the hardest time focusing on my part. We moved the silhouette actors in front of the rear projection screens to act out the words we were singing (last year we did that through “The Betrayal”). On stage, a ministry team from First Baptist Church Abbeville did a beautiful painting of Christ on the cross in such a unique way. As the choir was coming out, acting was taking place, painting was going on, and worshipers getting rowdy, it was sensory overload and it still paled in comparison to what happened on the real day.
- Women at the Tomb – I had wanted to change the gender of the lead singer on one of the songs just to change things up. With Ted being out-of-town, it gave me a great opportunity to try something. I wanted to point out that the women were the first at the tomb of Jesus. We raised the key, passed the microphone around, and these ladies absolutely brought the house down!
- Worship from West Africa – While we have used “Ni Zan Je,” a worship song from Africa as part of the end of the service, we actually used the worship leader from whom we learned the song. We used a video from Africa of Haruna leading the song. We transposed his voice from C to D to match the song. When we got to a break in the song, the lights went out, Haruna was singing the song, and then we came back and joined him. Amanda asked me when I got home one day, “Trav, what have you been doing at work today?” My response: “Autotuning an African worship leader in the desert for ‘Knowing Jesus.'” True talk.
- Glowing Trash Cans – While we had previously ended with a trash can percussion ensemble, this time we snuck white trash cans out during the Haruna video, and when they came in we lit them up! We placed the trash cans on top of LED lights and let them illuminate the percussion party. It was a great way to end the night!
There were many other tweaks, but all in all, it was a special night.
Out of all the wonderful stories I am hearing from those who received Christ, getting connected to the church, growing in their love for the Word, I wanted to share one unique story with you.
I had someone find me on Sunday and introduce herself and say that she had brought her grandchildren to the service. The next day (Saturday) was a particularly rainy day. She asked me, “Do you know what my elementary-aged children did while they were stuck in the house with their grandmother all day? They studied Scripture and wrote songs about Jesus all day long. They kept reading passages and singing Scripture to one another. They were so impacted by that night, I can’t even begin to tell you how often they talk about it. Thank you so much.”
Another group of worship leaders rising up using the Word as their text – that’s a win!
I am so grateful for such a wonderful team of servants who made this night so special. Can’t wait to serve alongside you for so much more!
If you would like to join us in preparation for next year’s Good Friday service when we worship through the entire Bible, you can get more information here.
Grateful to Paige Stumbo for the wonderful pictures below.