“Rejoice” – Worship Conference and New Song

[POST UPDATE: I’ve had a lot of great response to this song and many inquiries into a good recording of it. I have a new CD in the works that should be available late summer of 2010, which includes a studio recording of this song now in progress. For now here is a raw recording of Jay and I introducing the song to the LA Church. There is some teaching at the beginning, so fast forward the first couple minutes if you want.
Rejoice – live recording, being introduced to LA Church]

[POST UPDATE 2: There is now a studio recording of this song available. Check iTunes or follow this link for a sample recording of this and other songs from the album, “The Whole World Will Know”]

Hello all,

I wanted to invite you to this year’s worship leader conference entitled “Rejoice”. We hosted one of these conferences a few years back in LA, then it was in DC, and last year Chicago. This year we’ll be in Rhode Island, and we’ll be coming together for worship on Sunday with the New England churches who will be there the same weekend for the New England Conference and 30-year anniversary of the great Boston Church of Christ.

 

It is an amazing, amazing time being with singers, musician and other people of the arts who are passionate about worshipping God. Being in the audience, I have a hard time singing my part — I’m usually too choked up to emit much sound because it is just so moving hearing the voices all around me (and if I am on stage I have to really try to hold it together).

I wanted to share this year’s theme song, entitled “Rejoice,” and some thoughts that went into writing the music and lyrics for it.*

In what some consider the oldest book in the Bible, God tells Job that the angels and the morning stars sang and shouted together as the cornerstone of earth’s foundation was being laid. From the dawn of time, the instant of God’s creation — the song of praise was there!

When God entered his creation as a human being, the night of his birth, the sky was filled with angels singing “Glory to God, peace on earth.” (I love that the audience was some ordinary hillside shepherds.) The song of praise continued.

And then when Jesus entered Jerusalem the final week of his ministry, on his way to make atonement for all sin for all time, his followers were overcome with the moment, and the song of praise continued…

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Luke 19:37-40

As a singer, and song writer, minister and musician, I love the fact that praise is part of the creation. Creation itself sings praise to God (see Psalm 148). The song of praise to God is very old, and as we join in, we sing along with a mighty throng of those not only on earth but in heaven who sing praises to God even now. As performers, we can sometimes think of ourselves more highly than we ought or desire personal glory — imagining our name in lights or on the lips of screaming fans. But as Christ-followers, we really are nothing but a voice in an enormous choir singing praise to God. As worship leaders we exist to point people to him. And his praise will continue for all eternity. I love this picture of the heavenly realm, revealed to the apostle John:

 Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and blessing.”

And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the one sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.”
Revelation 5:11-13 (NLT)

Here is a video of me sharing some thoughts, and a recording of the new song for you. I pray to see you at the conference, “Rejoice” this summer, August 28-30.

*My friend and fellow minister / worship leader Jay Minor helped to write the bridge section of this song. I love what we’ve come to call the “whoa whoa” part he came up with.

Here is a video of Jay’s ministry, Turning Point LA, introducing the song to their congregation.

Here are the lyrics of the song:

REJOICE

The cornerstone of earth’s beginning
The morning stars and angels singing
In joyful music as the world began
And still the song is ever-flowing
The choir of voices keeps on growing
Eternal praises of the great I AM

Rejoice, rejoice
I will lift my voice
and join the song
Creation is singing
Sing and shout
Even stones cry out
I must rejoice
For you are my King

Reign over me, O King of glory
All of my heart will sing the story
Of how your grace has saved a wretch like me
How sweet the sound we all are singing
The celebration’s just beginning
We’ll sing your praises for eternity

One day every knee will bow
But I give all to crown you now
One day we’ll see face to face
Till then I will run this race
Oh, oh…

Click here to get a detailed chart that Jay put together. Here is a simple text chord chart below…

REJOICE

Chorus
Bb / F/A / gmin / Eb
(repeating)

Verse
Bb / Bbsus / Bb / Bbsus
gmin / Eb/G / F / F

Bridge
cmin / cmin / Bb/D / Bb/D
Ab / Ab / Eb / Eb
(repeat)
F / gmin7 / F/A / Bb
cmin7 / Bb/D / Eb / Eb
(repeat)
F/Eb…


23 Comments on ““Rejoice” – Worship Conference and New Song”

  1. Justin says:

    this is moving. do more bible with your songs in these. it really ministered to my heart and helped me to show and minister others. I really despise the notion of being an entertainer at church. I want to glory in the lord with my brothers and sisters in unison, effort and love. this teaching took me there….

  2. Michael Aggabao says:

    brian,
    love the song.. so happy and upbeat. East region music ministry might send me and Chris to the conference. Great job last sunday!

  3. Christine Arsenault says:

    This song is so moving. I love it! It’s simple, beautiful and stirs my heart to worship God more deeply. Thank you for sharing your God given talents & using them to help the church grow in worshipping our great God & Father.

    • jbriancraig says:

      Glad you guys are learning this. I have new recording from singing this at our 20th anniversary service I’ll post soon.

  4. Eric Smith says:

    What an excellent song! The conference was amazing – thanks for all your hard work! (I see Jeff Schachinger got everything out of you he could! 🙂 ) Thanks for posting these songs with videos as well. It makes learning and teaching that much more effective! I look forward to seeing more and participating with some new songs!

    • jbriancraig says:

      Hey, thanks for the encouragement. It was a blast being together. My favorite was singing with just the worship leaders Sat morning… that was awesome!

  5. Eric Smith says:

    Where can I find your E-mail? – I want to send you those lyrics to the song I wrote for the songwriting class – and send a recording once I have it down…

  6. Nicola says:

    Where can I get the piano music for this song? I would like to use it in our church asap …

    • jbriancraig says:

      I don’t have piano music, but I do have some music with vocal parts that was put together for the conference in Rhode Island that I wrote the song for. I will add that to the post today. I also have a recording that teaches the harmony parts. I’ll add that too.

  7. Chris V. says:

    Brian, just curious, but do you have a new album in the works? You have a lot of songs that I would love to have on a cd sometime, Inlcuding Rejoice and Joy of The Lord is My Strength. Maybe you can get the song Imagine from the conference on there too (I know Aleshin wrote it). Anyways, great job with the music as always!

    • jbriancraig says:

      Hey Chris – thanks for the encouragement – especially from a great musician like yourself. Yeah, I’m just starting work on a new CD. I had delusions of trying to get something out this past summer, but with all the conferences and stuff there was no way. Right now I’m in the praying and playing stage – messing with some new software and stuff, and praying a lot that God would really bless the project and grease the wheels if he wants me to do it.

  8. Drew Krause says:

    Hey Brian – Drew Krause (East Region Singles) here. I have talked to you before (ICMC New Orleans and ICMC Irvine) about sending my songs over to you to get some feedback. I have 4 tracks currently I was wondering how I could send them to you. Do you have an email. I could attach them that way, whatever is easiest. Thanks Brian.

  9. Steve Major says:

    Where can I find a copy of the entire song “Rejoice” – Did not see it on WordPress or iTunes…

    Thanks!

    • jbriancraig says:

      I have a studio recording in the works, part of a new CD we’re working on – should be available late summer. For now I have a recording of Jay and I introducing the song to the LA Church. I added it to the top of this post and here is a direct link:

      [audio src="https://jbriancraig.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/rejoice-w_teaching.mp3" /]

  10. I was online looking up songs to prepare for song leaders for Sunday worship and I found this page! I have sung the song “Rejoice” several times but never knew it was originally written for a conference. I love the scriptural references so much I’ve included them in our sheet music. I’ve sung this song several times but now see it with different eyes. Thanks for all you do!

  11. John Vazquez Sr. says:

    My talented brother, I give thanks to God for the blessing he has bestowed on you. I can tell you that as a Latino man your song has soften my heart many time and humbled my prideful soul. It is a constant reminder to be that I should feel the joy in my heart for the gift that, through my brother and lord Jesus, God has given me. Every time, I hear your song tear of joy pour out from me and brings me back to our father in heaven, Thank you brother, I hope to see the day we can sing it together, if not in earth then in heaven. God bless you and lord over you.
    with love in my heart
    your brother
    John V

  12. Ruby says:

    I love it!!!! It stirs my soul within while worshipping! 🙂


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