I’ve been encouraged by some of the modern worship songs that have been written recently. On the whole, there seems to be more emphasis on content, biblical faithfulness, and the centrality of the cross. Here are a few songs I think are worth checking out.
Burn for You – Steve Fee
All Because of Jesus – A jubilant verse, chorus, and bridge exalting Jesus as our creator, sustainer, ruler, and redeemer.
Grace Will Be My Song – A simple song with two verses and a bridge that focuses on Jesus as the one whose blood ransomed us from our bondage and whose grace carries us in our weakness.
Beautiful the Blood – A meditation on the meaning of the death of Christ for our sins. “How beautiful the blood flow, how merciful the love shown, the King of Glory poured out, victorious are we now.” The wording is a little odd to my ears at times, but it doesn’t take away from the song’s effectiveness.
Faithful – A mid-tempo song celebrating God’s faithfulness expressed in his Word, redemption, and creation.
Anything Worth Saying – Aaron Shust
Matchless – An up-tempo song celebrating many names of our matchless Savior, before whom every knee will bow.
Let the People Praise
– Based on passages in Daniel 2 and 4, this song reminds of God’s
sovereign rule. “Those who walk in pride He is able to humble.”
My Savior and My God
– A humble response to the amazing promise from God’s Word: Christ died
to save me. The chorus is an infectious (in a good way) declaration of
our Savior’s eternal faithfulness.
You Are Good – Matt Papa
Unto the One – Might be a challenge congregationally, but an uplifting 6/8 song based on Revelation 5:13.
This CD contains a number of good songs (Into Your Arms, Who is Like You), but they might be better as specials than as congregational songs.
I have a few more, but they’ll have to wait. It’s time to get back to the book. By the way, thank you to everyone who left a comment on my post asking for your greatest challenges as a worship leader. Your responses have helped me focus as I’ve been writing.
Aaron opened for the PCA General Assembly ’06 the first night of worship. Rest assured, he’s a lot less grumpy than his photo might suggest. :) Talented worship leader as well, not “just” a singer/songwriter.
Thanks so much for the post on new worship stuff. I’ve been doing a lot of old hymns, not because I’m opposed to newer modern stuff, but simply because much of it is very redundant and has already been said, and because much of it lacks a unifying theme or doctrine that is driving the lyrics.
So thanks for the recommendations and keep them coming!! Also, thanks for noting that some songs might not be congregation friendly…. that’s important for us to remember!
Amen to Jared’s post! Really appreciate these recommendations. I learn so much from your blog. God bless you, Paul
Thank you so much for your song suggestions. I hope you don’t mind if I suggest a few more – these are all song that I’ve introduced lately to our youth service with are melodic, upbeat, and have doctrinally solid deep lyrics. And yes, I’m including a few newer Sov. Grace tunes, since I don’t thing Bob is too likely to spend all day plugging his own material. Anyway, if you’re a worship leader looking for some fresh material, I suggest:
See His Love – Tom Lockley (recorded live by Tim Hughes)
Happy Day – Tim Hughes
Heavenly Father, Beautiful Son – Sov. Grace (very well received by our youth)
It was Your Grace (works better corporately if slowed down and used as a ballad, though the upbeat version is fun as a ‘WALK IN’)
You never let Go – Matt Redman
Creation’s King – Paul Baloche/Graham Kendrick (more popular with the older crowd)
Sweetly Broken – Jeremy Riddle (we’ve been doing this since it was released on a ‘Club Vineyard’ in late ’05 – our Jr. High, Sr. High, and ‘Adult’ body all love it, and it gets regular use in all of our services)
And for a shameless plug, I’m really happy with my wife & I’s newest, “Rejoice in Me”… the youth seem to like it too.
Thanks for your excellent columns, Bob – I’m really looking forward to your new book as well. I’ve been reading both ART OF WORSHIP & CREATED FOR WORSHIP, both due to your recommendation, and they’re both proving to be very helpful. Thanks much, and blessings!