In Christ Alone, a testament to deep lyrics in song

HAPPY EASTER!  We sang this song in church yesterday, and I so enjoyed all the voices loudly proclaiming these lyrics.  We first introduced this song way back in 2011, and I noticed it hasn’t really lost its luster but rather has only grown in richness when we sing it.  I was wondering if perhaps that is a testament to the depth of lyrics.  There are a lot of modern worship songs I come across that only have a handful of lyrics.  And that’s fine, it makes them easy to catch and sing.  But then there are those like this one –takes a little more effort to learn and memorize these.  This one even has an older hymn structure — no repeated chorus.  Anyway, years later I still love this song and thought I would record the version of it that I do for you today.  Happy Easter Monday!


Congregational Reading – Helping Your Church Worship

Hey guys, happy Monday!  Reminding the congregation about bringing their best to God in worship is something that we will continually need to return to in our teaching — just like grace, devotion, one-another relationships, evangelism, and other spiritual disciplines.  I notice in our church that we do better for a while, and then we need another reminder now and then.

One ancient practice that helps a congregation to get in a worshipful mindset you might try as part of a Sunday service is congregational reading.  This is still practiced in every Jewish synagogue on weekends — responsive reading of the torah by those gathered.  We were finding people were talking too much during singing and a couple weeks ago we simply read a praise scripture together before we sang a great old song based on the passage.  It made a real difference both that week and in the weeks that followed, just making a few comments and then reading together.  Give it a try and leave a comment if it goes well  [see the video below for what we did].

God bless!


Only In the Cross – from Regional service

Happy Monday, and happy birthday to me!  (Thanks for all the well wishes, fam!)  I am sharing a video of a new song we introduced a regional service a few weeks ago.  Some of you may have seen an earlier video I posted for our members so they could be familiar with the song before we got there to sing.  And here is the video from our live stream of the service itself.  Seemed to work well to send it out ahead of time — people really sang out on it.  More about the song below.  (Note: the live stream cuts off just as our guest speakers from the Middle East came up to speak, due to security concerns with their lesson content.)


I had been feeling for a while like I wanted some new songs we could sing during Communion (or immediately following a time of meditation).  There are some great ones that are somewhat newer (“Jesus Messiah,” “My Chains Are Gone,” “What a Beautiful Name”).  I like ones that specifically mention the body and blood of Jesus, and had been thinking about it for a while when this song just popped into my head during a quiet time.  I didn’t have an instrument handy so I just jotted down the lyrics and sang the melody onto my phone.  It was only later that I realized the chorus changes are pretty identical to “10,000 Reasons,” so I’m sure you music nerds will notice that — sorry my dudes, but nothing is new under the sun.

Anyway, here is the demo recording I made for our team — I’ll work on it a bit more and add it to several other new songs I hope to release soon.  And here is some sheet music for the harmony parts on the chorus.  We had a choir and you can hear, they sound great on the video above.

Only In the Cross – demo

Only in the Cross – sheet music

Feel free to use the song — I’m curious if you mess with the key and try it lower or higher, let me know; I’m overthinking that all the time these days.  God bless!


Only in the cross
Can I be set free
Only by your body
Given up for me
Only in the blood
Falling from your hands
Only in the cross
We begin again

We take this bread
As we gather here
We remember you
We take this cup
And commit our souls
The covenant made new

We the church
Worship you alone
You our God and King
We serve and witness
All you’ve done
Praises we will sing

“It is finished!”
Was your cry
You’re coming back
Some day
Now in heaven
Exalted high
Forever you will reign

Glory – Glory!



G  D  /  A  Bm7

G  D  /  A  A  D/F#

G  D  /  A  Bm7

G  D  /  A   D…


Bm  A/C#   D  /  Em7  Bm

Bm  A/C#   D  /  A   Asus

G   A  Bm   /  A   D

Bm  A/C#   D  /  A   Asus

Bridge  “Glory”

Bm   D/F#  /    G    / 

G   A   /  Bm    /   Bm 


Last time go to  D instead of Bm

voices only soft chorus to end



A Faithful Witness – capo chords

Hey guys, I had a nice comment from a brother from Cambodia looking for chord charts for this song, and it reminded me of an old video I had not seen in a long time.  This video is from over 10 years ago now from the conference the retreat was written for.  It was a nice memory, and made me realize this is a song that has stood the test of time well.  Our congregation still loves to sing this one; it’s one that always gets everyone moving and inspired to do something for God.  I like that you can see that in this video when the song was first introduced (at least from most people –you also see a few people a bit distracted when the cameraman pans the crowd).

Here are the chords of the song, as well as capo chords.  (I play it with G “shapes” using a capo).  For some people they like taking it down a little and doing it in G anyway…



F#m   /   F#m    /   A   /   A

Bm   /   Bm    /    D    /  D

F#m   /   F#m    /   A   /   A

Bm   /   Bm    /   D    / E (break)


A   /   A    /   Esus   /   Esus

D(add2)  /   D(add2)  / F#m   /  E

A   /   A    /   Esus   /   Esus

D(add2)  /   D(add2)  /  A  /    A


E   /   E   /   D  /  D  (repeating)

A FAITHFUL WITNESS – in G (or capo 2)


Em   /   Em   /   G   /   G

Am   /    Am   /    C   /   C

Em   /   Em   /   G   /   G

Am   /    Am   /    C   /   D (break)


G   /   G    /   Dsus   /   Dsus

C2  /   C2  /   Em  /   D

G   /   G    /   Dsus   /   Dsus

C2  /   C2  /  G  /    G


D   /   D   /   C  /  C  (repeating)

Also here is the studio version:

Happy Monday!  I’m excited about a bunch of new songs I want to share.  Also a new direction my career is taking.  Will look forward to sharing more on future posts.  Love you all!


All to Jesus I Surrender – Celebrating 10 Years of Monday Morning Music

Wow, it’s been exactly 10 years now since I started this blog post, “Monday Morning Music” and shared my vision for this spot on the web in this video.  I didn’t accomplish posting something every Monday by any means, like I mentioned in the video.  But I have posted over 170 articles here — new songs, new arrangements, songs by other disciples, and worship ministry ruminations and ideas.  (You can find things by searching for a song or topic in the search window, or look through the archives for different titles.)

To celebrate 10 years I’m posting a video of the same song I posted 10 years ago (wow, I’ve really aged a lot–church leadership and teen kids I guess).  I plan to keep posting ideas, thoughts, and new songs.  Thank you for the encouragement many of you have given me through the years.  It definitely keeps me going.  There are many times I think “why am I doing this” and then God encourages me with something and nudges me by his Spirit towards his purposes for me.

Lord bless you and keep you!  – JBC

The Secret to Starting Worship Services on Time

It seems to be a universal challenge.  The first song is starting and there are only two rows of people there to sing it.  Or it’s the fourth song and people are still streaming in and greeting each other rather than singing.  Haven’t figured it out yet, but in this video I share a few ideas such as…

  • Some things that don’t help long term (in my opinion)
  • Opportunities to teach your congregation
  • Ideas to switch up your service order

Feel free to add any comments below of other ideas you might have to share!

How to Play Swing 16ths

Hey everyone – Today I’m continuing to share thoughts via video on different topics that have to do with worship ministry. This video has a topic that might seem to serve a pretty narrow audience but this is definitely something that makes a big difference to your groove, something I have noticed a lot of younger worship leaders could benefit from —how to play swing 16ths!

  • I talk through a quick explanation of what “swing” is
  • What swing 8ths are and the the feel created from them
  • What swing 16ths are, several examples, and how to practice them

[Sorry – I streamed live and seems like my internet connection wasn’t great but the sound is ok after a min or two so you definitely get the idea!]

Direct link to video