Tuesday, January 30, 2018

"So Will I (100 Billion X)" - An Amazing Acoustic Version by the Worship Team of Emmanuel Enid

I am blessed to work and worship with some talented volunteers and staff at Emmanuel Enid, Oklahoma. This song, an acoustic version of Hillsong United's "So Will I," is a powerful example of the gifts and talents of the people at Emmanuel Enid. This is from our third Sunday morning REFUGE service on January 21, 2018.


Bob Cleveland said...


Tom said...


The worship team is very talented, and the arrangement of the song has been skilfully done and presented, however, great congregational worship only occurs when the voice of the congregation over takes the leading of the worship teams such that the congregation and the worship team sound as one voice singing praises unto the Lord.

In third world countries they listen to available worship videos and try and copy the sound that they hear on the worship videos they watch, and they emulate the excesses that they see, believing that they are leading their worship time in their respective churches in an appropriate manner.

This worship video does not have the excesses that I saw copied within one third world country I had visited late last year for 3 months in many of their affluent city churches. Another church 43 kms as the crow flies, into the back waters of the country, the only musical instrument was a traditional hand held drum, yet the worship time, I heard, was charged with the presence of God, in the dirt floor room in which the church came together in, for their "Sunday/Actually Saturday" services.

In this third world country, it is considered that worship requires a sound mixer, massive amplification, large speakers and oppressive sound for a church, to have meaningful worship. Consequently, the sound system for the worship occupies a significant floor space to the determent of available floor space for the congregation. It becomes their idol, within their church.

Many of these congregations cannot afford the sound systems demanded by their "young" worship teams. In my country, the same scenario is occurring with the excuse that the young people will leave the church if the excesses of the worship time is not followed by the elders/the leadership team. The idols of worship stand proudly in many of our churches.

20 to 30 years ago, I attended a weekly men's night of pray and worship, and the unaccompanied singing of worship songs was electrifying and meaningful for the men attending. We would often sit on the floor, sometimes at the front of the 1500 seat main auditorium and sing and pray and be quite before the Lord. This group of men was about 10-20 strong, but its influence on the life of the church could not be measured.

When young people joined the group because of what they heard was happening, they brought their guitars and the often-spontaneous worship was stifled by the number of songs that they knew how to play.

When the leadership team of the church heard reports of what was happening in this small group, they took over and subsequently killed off the dedicated small men's group of intercessors and the time of the weekly congregational night prayer and worship

Great worship, is measured by how often people feel the need to take off their sandals/shoes, because they feel the Holy presence of God, in their midst. Great worship is not measured by our ears, but by the influence that the worship has on our hearts towards God.


Rex Ray said...

Tom Ross,

WOW! You nailed it when you said: “Great congregational worship only occurs when the voice of the congregation over takes the leading of the worship teams such that the congregation and the worship team sound as one voice singing praises unto the Lord.”

About 30 years ago, there were two brothers with beautiful voices and they led church singing. One was in our church of about 500. His loud speaker and the organ were about the only sound that could be heard.

On a mission trip near Mexico, we visited his brother’s church about 200 miles away. There were about 1,500 in attendance. He had a microphone but most of the time his arms directed the singing. The sound of the congregation was wonderful.

We sing without a song book; only words on a screen, and most of the songs are new that repeat, repeat, repeat. Once, it was a big surprise when the electricity went off. You could still hear the song leader because very few were singing.

Last Sunday, the loud speakers were so loud I told the ‘sound person’ it was hurting my ears and I was deaf. He thought it was perfect.

I could hear the sermon from outside the church. I stood at the back of the church with my hands over my ears, but the pastor didn’t see me. I went home. He said later he could not detect the sound level and would talk to the ‘sound man’.

BTW, the ‘sound man’ and I are friends.

Tom said...

Rex, 80 db is the optimum sound level for people to communicate with each other and also to listen to good orchestral music.

Another interesting fact is that new born babies should not be subjected to sounds above 80 db otherwise their hearing could be impaired.

Sound levels above 80 db within the confines of a church only scream out that the Church Leadership team is not interested in the well being, as a whole, of the congregation at all.

It is only a very small percentage of the church that want really loud amplified worship and sadly, these are the only ones being listened to with respect to worship singing and leading.

Tom said...

Oh, and another interesting fact is that communal OT time worship only ever occurred out in the open air. Large worship gatherings never occurred in large building like it does today.

PS 150 is not applicable for us today unless we also worship out in the open like the Jewish community did on a very irregular basis, i.e. only a couple of times per year.

Oh, if people want to amplify their instruments, suggest to them that they first run a power lead back to the Jerusalem Temple over 2,000 years ago to power their amps today.

Victorious said...

A worship service many years ago had a profound effect on my search for Jesus. Although being raised Roman Catholic, I did not believe in God. When my father died, I asked my mother where he was now. She said, "He's in heaven." I asked how she knew and she replied, "You gotta have faith" to which I replied, "where do I get it?"

Fast forward to a time in my effort to find out if God was truly "real." A friend invited me to a service she called a prayer-meeting to be held in an Episcopal Church. I was shocked because we were not supposed to attend services outside of the Catholic faith, but I reluctantly agreed to go. The service, ironically, was led by two Roman Catholic priests and much of what transpired has escaped my memory. All but one....

At some point in the service, one of the priests lifted his arms and began to sing words of praise. They were unscripted words in a melody that seemed to be spontaneous. Immediately the entire congregation of approx. 400, joined him in praise in the same manner individually praising with their own words. No instruments; no words on a screen; individual words that stemmed from the heart; and it shocked me (for lack of a better word). I turned to my friend and asked her how they learned how to do that. She said they were simply worshiping the Lord in the Spirit.

Although that happened nearly 40 yrs. ago, I can hear it in my mind like it was yesterday. I've never heard such worship from the heart since but that day there was surely a "sweet, sweet Spirit in that place" and it had a profound impact on me and my search for the Lord.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom and Rex,

Any culture that attempts to copy the culture of another in worship are the ones who don't understand the heart of worship.

Worship is meaningful with the sound of a natural water brook in the background, the acapella voices of men in a morning Bible study, the single beating drum of an African native, or a gifted band of musicians in a western culture.

I would tell a farming community church in East Texas that likes culture similar to the 1950's and 1960's that it would be unwise to "copy" the worship style of a metropolitan church, and likewise, I would tell a metropolitan church in the United States to avoid copying anyone else.

Music is from the heart.

Find your culture, reach your culture, change your culture.

But don't make the mistake of believing one 'style' of worship is more holy than another.

Tom said...


One of the issues that I pointed out to the pastor of the church I was visiting, in the third world country last year, was that all of the practices that come out of their past cultural norms, before they became Christians, are not necessarily practices, that fit in with what the Lord wants for His People to observe. As we travelled around, he would point out "jungle areas where Children sacrifices to their idol god's are still practiced within the Temples there.”

Our worship should be a reflection of God's "Cultural" requirements for the "Christian Church," and not the cultural influences of the "heathen people" in which the "church" is existing.

As regards to copying another "church's" worship style, your words only reflected the message that I was giving to the pastor on this very issue. They, as a distinct people group, have a very authentic and genuine worship style that reflects the heart that God has placed in each and every one of their lives since they have accepted the Lord as their only true God.

Within God's community of the "church," there are no cultural boundaries or differences in our practices. However, there may be minor variations as to how different people groups express their worship of God. Language is one of those minor variations, that spring to mind.

Your opening defence of your worship team was to put the blame onto the other cultures for copying your style of worship by listening to the u-tube videos over the net. The other side of the coin is that "Christians" should not put stumbling blocks into the paths of other “newer” Christians as they attempt to become "more Christ like" during their life's journey.

In fact, the video you published last year of the worship team, I used as an example of how a worship team should sound when leading worship within their church.

My opening paragraph was: - "The worship team is very talented, and the arrangement of the song has been skilfully done and presented, however, great congregational worship only occurs when the voice of the congregation over takes the leading of the worship teams such that the congregation and the worship team sound as one voice singing praises unto the Lord."

On the video you linked to, I could not hear the congregation singing along with the worship team. They had been muted out of the video.

All your response needed to be was, "Yes, Tom, that also happens during the worship time within our church and my spirit rise up as one with the whole congregation as they open their hearts in praise to the Lord."

Sadly, my experience is that the volume of the amplification jars with my spirit and any semblance of my ability to worship leaves the building as I mutter under my breath about not being cared for by the leadership team.

Perhaps, I am showing that I am slipping into the "older person category" within the life of the church and will soon become lost in the dust on the trampled floor.

Oh, and I do agree with you, that, there is not one style of worship that is more “proper” than another.


Wade Burleson said...


I am unfamiliar with "God's 'Cultural' requirements" for the Christian church in terms of worship.

No defense needed of Emmanuel's worship team.

You don't like it. I - and others - do.

People are different. People like different things.

My only problem is when someone says what they like is what God likes.


Tom said...

Wade, although we both speak and understand the English language, there is a cultural chasm between our respective understanding of God's cultural requirements, not only with how we worship but how we live our lives on a daily basis.

I am sorry that you have not heard and taken the time to understand what I have written in my comments.


Rex Ray said...


Would you agree there’s a difference between a song performer and a song leader?

In my opinion a song performer is to be heard, and a song leader wants to hear people sing.
It’s sad when the person leads with their eyes closed. Especially when the song is “Open my eyes, Lord”.

A change in singing should not be forced for this reason, “If we don’t change, we will lose the young people!” Well, we lost a lot of young people when they were forced to leave when their parents left.

From a window right now, I can see the steeple of our new church that was finished in 2007. Years ago our interim pastor announced to the church: “Rex’s committee of one replaced the 1/8 rivets that held our steeple on with ¾ inch bolts.” I worked on the church full time for over a year.

I was one of the 40 charter members 74 years ago. In 1948 an army surplus building was bought and the lumber was used to build a small country church. It is used now for more Sunday school rooms.

The new church was finished in 2007 with a floor space of 16,000 sq. feet. The sanctuary has a stage in front of the baptistery with a 300 seating capacity.

(Besides the pastor’s salary, there are salaries for a secretary, youth director, two janitors, and a treasurer. There are around 90 in the worship service.)

The gym has four goals with a 37 foot climbing wall. It has a kitchen, nursery, library, storage space, and a 30’ x 70’ youth room upstairs.

Our present pastor served five years in the old church, and came back after eight years when the new church was almost finished.

He has a tight schedule and preaches once a week since he has a full time job with hospice. He said if forced to choose only one, he would choose hospice. He has two children in high school and his wife teaches school.

I cannot get him to promote a church visitation program. I guess I still resent him only visiting my first wife once in five years. She was terminal and he drove by our house every time he went to church.

The pastor and I buried the hatchet several years ago and things were good.

The wife of the first family to leave our church was told in front of the congregation to have her mistake on the bulletin corrected by the next Sunday. They said the last straw was their granddaughter crying because she had been scolded for ‘bouncing’ too much in the song service.

I’m remembering this because this is family night for the father. He was 88. Donations will go to their church building fund. That made me remember when they asked what they owed me for ‘tape, bed, and texturing’ their home, and I said just give to our building fund.

Judy doesn’t like my comment, and suggested we attend another church. I’m seriously thinking about it.

Wade Burleson said...


I do agree there is a difference between a worship performer and a worship leader.

"They said the last straw was their granddaughter crying because she had been scolded for ‘bouncing’ too much in the song service."

That, Rex, is very sad. To negate the way a person worships the Lord seems to me to be an abuse of alleged "spiritual authority."

Were you "for" or "against" the scolding of the young lady?

Judy, in my opinion, is always very wise. :)

Wade Burleson said...


You write:

"There is a cultural chasm between our respective understanding of God's cultural requirements..."

Tom, I think you may be misunderstanding me. I have NO understanding of God's "cultural requirements" for worship. None.

I am more than happy for you to enlighten me. I mean it.

Christiane said...

It's a beautiful song. Thank you for sharing this.

Christiane said...

For those Churches without the money for 'sound systems', I think there may be an excellent solution in something called 'Shape-Note Singing' (Sacred Harp Singing) which doesn't require any musical instruments.

Here's an example:


Rex Ray said...


“Were you "for" or "against" the scolding of the young lady?”

We didn’t know about the scolding or why they left other than their saying, “It’s the Lord’s will.” Over a year later some relative told about the scolding but didn’t say who had done it.

There are 652 on my slide list and she is number 2 and went down 8 times. At ‘family night she gave me a hug and showed the slide list to her friends.

As I was leaving I gave my dad’s story “When is my daddy coming home?” to a man at the door. He asked if I was Rex Ray.

He had read the book, “Rex Ray Cowboy Missionary in Kwanngsi”. He said there should be another printing of it.

It made me feel good when he said it was an honor to meet me. :)

Rex Ray said...

I forgot to say the girl was about 7 years old when they left the church. A couple of years later she went down the slide when she was 9.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex, in my opinion, you have way too much invested (in people, time, and gifts) to leave your church. Stick it out! :)

Rex Ray said...


Thanks. I needed that.

Tom said...

Wade, perhaps you may like this as a worship song which has been stripped back to keep it simple: -