By Candace Combs
Christian people everywhere, in every culture, need to worship the Creator. Worship comes in many forms, music perhaps being one of the greatest. Charles Billingsley, Worship leader at Thomas Road Church and Artist-in-residence at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, presented to a full house the release of his new project, Only Jesus.
Billingsley, formerly the lead singer with NewSong, has continuously dedicated his ministry and teaching to the art of worship. Â This latest edition is completely engrossed in leading listeners to forget about the stage, forget the instruments and completely focus on worship of Jesus. Thus the title: Only Jesus.
The title track is completely titled, â€œJesus, Only Jesusâ€ and features the familiar voices of Travis Cottrell, Michael Oâ€™Brien, and Southern Gospel favorite, Guy Penrod. This collaboration with these voices features the best of each genre of Christian music today. Hopefully, this wonâ€™t be the last!
Thomas Road Church dedicated the evening to the ministry of an international humanitarian relief organization named World Help (worldhelp.net). The evening opened with a bouncy childrenâ€™s choir representing every corner of the world. The group performs nationally as Children of the World. They were a special treat with their culturally inspired clothing representing the nations of their origin.
When Billingsley took the stage, he had a full compliment of stage band and the worship choir from Thomas Road Church. Â The program opened with traditional worship songs that was joined with the over 5,000 in attendance. Â Billingsley communicated that he would be leading us from early traditional songs of the faith, leading from the great sacrifice of the Cross, to the glorious Resurrection.
â€œGreat is Thy Faithfulnessâ€ was performed with a contemporary yet traditional arrangement. Billingsley sang the familiar, â€œIt is Well,â€ with a full force of power. While the arrangement is the same sung for years in churches, Billingsleyâ€™s rendition exudes great power from his smooth voice, into an offering of faith.
Once the audience was assured that worship was the focus of the event, Billingsley and the worship team broke into â€œJesus, Only Jesus.â€ This song was followed by dialogue that â€œJesus is the only way, the only hope.â€ Billingsley continued to invite any non-believers to a relationship with Jesus.
A crowd favorite at the Virginia church, â€œOnly Boastâ€ was performed next. Having brought a history of worship, the program moved into a section of songs of the Cross. â€œMercy Treeâ€ is a song that portrays the great cost of salvation. The song was accompanied with a video presentation pronouncing the truth that worship is about a relationship. The Christian deserves nothing, yet on that tree God revealed just how holy He is!
Worship was brought full circle as the entire room was filled with the melody of â€œGloriaâ€ in a modern arrangement. A sign language interpretation of the lyrics was presented during the performance. Billingsley held nothing back as he brought the evening of worship to a full crescendo.
Prayer, in addition to music, is another of the Christianâ€™s arsenal of worship. Billingsley next took the opportunity to lead in prayer asking â€œGod to help us worship you, to give you all we have.â€ He further asked God for help in capturing scripture in music. This request was natural segue into â€œTen Thousand Reasons.â€
Quietly and joyfully, in closing, the congregation joined in a chorus of â€œBless His Holy Name.â€ Concluding in such a simple way was Billingsleyâ€™s way of keeping the nights focus on Jesus, only Jesus!
For an inside look at the production, go to Charles Billingsley YouTube, Behind the Scenes recording: â€œJesus, Only Jesus.â€ The CD is now available. This music should be just what you need to get your worship on! For more information, visit http://charlesbillingsley.com/
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