Category Archives: Contemporary Christian Music

Sing to the Lord a New Song in 2017


Every year, around this time, I offer a list of contemporary song selections for the upcoming year based on the lectionary readings. Here is a link to download my list for 2017:

Download Link

Enjoy!

This is an excerpt of what the file look like:

Sing to the Lord a New Song in 2017

 

Contemporary Song Choices for 2017 based on the Lectionary Readings
Date Song Title Writer Scripture Ref
Jan 6 Epiphany Mighty to Save Reuben Morgan Isa 60:1-3
One Small Child David Mecce Mt 2:1-12
Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground) Chris Tomlin Mt 2:9-11
Jan 8 The Baptism of our Lord One Small Child David Mecce Isa 42:1
Jan 15 Epiphany 2 Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin Jn 1:29
Hear the Call of the Kingdom Keith Getty Acts 13:47
Jan 22 Epiphany 3 Whom Shall I Fear? Chris Tomlin Ps 27:1-3
Children of Light Stanfill, Reeves & Ingram Isa 9:2
Children of God Mac Powell 1 Jn 3:1-2
How Great is the Love Paul Baloche 1 Jn 3:1-5
Glorious Day Mark Bird 1 Jn 3:2
Jan 29 Epiphany 4 Speak O Lord* Keith Getty Mic 6:8
God of Justice Tim Hughes Mic 6:8
Lord I Need You Matt Maher 1 Cor 1:30
Unwavering Matt Maher Mt 5:1-12
Feb 5 Epiphany 5 Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) Chris Tomlin Isa 58:6
Here I Am Lord Dan Schutte Mt 5:14-16
Hear the Call of the Kingdom Keith Getty Mt 5:16
Feb 12 Epiphany 6 Beautiful One Tim Hughes 1Cor 2:8-10
The Same Love Paul Baloche 1 Th 4:7
Speak O Lord Keith Getty 1Cor 2:8-10
Feb 19 Epiphany 7 Living Stones Michael Schmid 1Cor 3:10-14
Your Grace Finds Me Matt Redman Mt 5:45

Worship Leader = Pastor


Worship Leader = Pastor

In my denomination, the “worship leader” is the Pastor – end of discussion, and I wholeheartedly support this.  He has given 8 years of his life to higher education, he has pursued a Masters in Divinity and he has learned the Greek and Hebrew languages.  What the rest of the Christian world refers to as a “Worship Leader”, we use the term “Musical Director” or “Musical Coordinator” or “Praise Band Leader” or some other similar term.  This just seems right with me.

So, in the traditional church that predominantly uses hymns, what are the traits of this elusive “Praise Band Leader?”  I can only tell you what traits I strive for after doing this for over a decade.

  1. I stay in the Word as much as possible by reading God’s word, devotional books and praying as often as possible.
  2. The only music that I listen to is Christian music. I keep on top of the new releases coming out of this genre and I collect lead sheets and piano arrangements.  I also make it a habit to categorize all of my music by scripture reference.
  3. I attend church and bible class regularly and am active in my membership. It is an inseparable part of my life and is woven into my daily and weekly routines.
  4. I know my congregation well. I know them better than my own fretboard and believe me that says a lot.  I know what songs they can sing and what songs they will enjoy in worship.  I use this knowledge in choosing music.
  5. I follow my Synod and read as much of their correspondence as I can. I use their APPS, I bookmark and use their websites, I listen to their podcasts and I subscribe to all of their email lists.  I strive to know their teachings and doctrines and apply these principles in choosing music.
  6. I am diligent in my work. I do my worship planning at least one month ahead of time and I submit my song choices to our Pastor so that he can review the lyrics for false teachings (and they do exist in some of today’s music) and for appropriateness for the intended Sunday.  If it’s a new song, I also include a youtube link so that he can not only hear the lyrics but the style of the song as well.  I respect his opinion and never second guess his responses.  I trust him and I learn from him.  He is responsible for our worship and has to answer to God and to his Synodical leaders if things go bad – not me.  I fully understand this.
  7. I am well prepared when I am scheduled to accompany worship. I arrive early, do a sound check and organize my arrangements.  We are well rehearsed and I know what lines I am singing, all the transitions and the song flow.  Sometimes I will express my musical creativity through my guitar playing but never in a showy manner.
  8. I turn the other cheek when someone calls a song a “7/11” song or expresses other hurtful remarks with regards to either contemporary music or traditional hymns because both are worshipful and powerful and because I want to follow Jesus’ lead.
  9. I do my best to fix my eyes on Jesus at all times.
  10. I acknowledge the presence of the Spirit inside me and rely on Him to inspire, to teach and to lead me.
  11. I am not a leader, I am a servant.
  12. I am a sinner. The above characteristics are my goals and oftentimes I fall short.

The Lyrics Reflect the Way that I Speak


When you finally get to heaven and see Jesus face-to-face will you speak in beautiful old hymn-like poetry to Him or will you simply just say in your own words something like “Jesus I am so thankful to you for giving your life for mine? I am overwhelmed and overjoyed to be in your presence and I love you with everything I am. I have been waiting my entire life for this moment” For me, I’ll use something like the latter because those are my own words. It would be equally wonderful to recite a favorite hymn verse to Him as well, it’s just not me.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful, I do love hymns, but this is THE reason why I also like contemporary music. They put my praise and worship into my vernacular. The lyrics in these songs reflect the way that I speak.

Please don’t fault me for this. I am your brother in Christ and we worship side-by-side in perfect fellowship to our great God using mutually beautiful styles of music that brings a smile to our Lord’s face.

I Invite You to Pray Over these Scriptures


I Invite You to Pray Over these Scriptures!

When life is tumultuous and your emotions are swirling round and round,
There’s really only one anchor, a solid rock that we can grab…

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. – Psalm 18:2

When the future looks bleak and the present is filled with your tears…

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. – Psalm 116:8-9

When you are suffering and in pain for most of your waking hours…

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. – 2 Corinthians 1:5

When worries fill your head and anxiety fills your heart…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

When sorrow is weighing you down and anguish rips at your core…

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
– Joseph M. Scriven

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
– Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash and Scott Cash

In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear.
There is only one foundation
We believe.
In this broken generation
When all is dark
You help me see.
There is only one salvation.
We believe.
We believe in God the Father.
We believe in Jesus Christ.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, and He’s giving us new life.
We believe in the crucifixion,
We believe that He conquered death.
We believe in the resurrection, and He’s coming back again.
– Matthew Hooper, Richie Fike and Travis Ryan

A Call to Worship Based on 1 Chronicles 16:34-36


M:        Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
C:        Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.

M:        Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
C: Amen and Praise the Lord

This call to worship can be followed with Matt Maher’s song “And All the People Said Amen.”

A Call to Worship for Thanksgiving


A Call to Worship for Thanksgiving
Based on Psalm 136:1-3

The band plays the song “Forever” by Chris Tomlin during the following readings.

M: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
C: His love endures forever.
M: Give thanks to the God of gods.
C: His love endures forever.
M: Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
C: His love endures forever.

The congregation concludes by singing “Forever.”

More responsive readings:Lifestyle Worship

Sing to the Lord a New Song in 2016


It was popular last year, so I am doing it again.  Here are my “new song” recommendations for each of your Lectionary-based worship services in the upcoming church year.  On most of the Sundays I have included a choice of songs.  I have not used all of these songs in worship and some of them were released in 2015 so please have your Pastor review all the lyrics prior to use.

Here is an excerpt of the song choices:

Contemporary Song Choices for 2015/2016 based on the Lectionary Readings
Date Song Title Writer Scripture Ref
Nov 29
Advent 1
Overflow Matt Maher 1 Th 3:12
Lift High Steve Fee Lk 21:28
Dec 6
Advent 2
One Small Child David Mecce Mal 3:1-6
Every Promise Keith Getty Php 1:6
Give Us Clean Hands Charlie Hall Ps 24:3-6
Dec 13
Advent 3
Mighty to Save Reuben Morgan Zeph 3:17
Rescuer Johnny Parks Zeph 3:17
Whole World in His Hands Tim Hughes Zeph 3:17
East to West Mark Hall Php 4:6-7
Dec 20
Advent 4
My Soul Magnifies the Lord Chris Tomlin Luke 1:46-51
Dec 24
Christmas Eve
We Have a Savior Reuben Morgan Isa 9:6
Emmanuel (Hallowed manger Ground) Chris Tomlin Lk 2:6-7
He Shall Reign Forevermore Chris Tomlin Isa 9:6-7
Joy has Dawned Keith Getty Lk 2:1-20
Glory in the Highest Chris Tomlin Lk 2:13-14
Dec 25
Christmas Day
Glorious Day Mark Hall Jn 1:1-2
Uncreated One Chris Tomlin Jn 1:1-4
Dec 27
Christmas 1
Offering (Christmas Version) Paul Baloche
Jan 3
Christmas 2
Abba Father Steve Fry Gal 4:6
Rise and Sing Steve Fee Lk 1:68
Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble? Martin Smith Ps 148:7
Beautiful Savior Stuart Townend Col 1:13-14
Uncreated One Chris Tomlin Col 1:15-17
The Heart of Worship Matt Redman Col 1:17-18

You can download the entire file for free here:

https://app.box.com/s/bt7zkk1s8zl0sljuvf9smc8tm2sjqfdl

The Spice of Life!


Paul new that variety is the spice of life!

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  – Eph 5:19,20

But sometimes we forget.  So he said it again:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  – Col 3:16

We need musical variety so our worship doesn’t become routine, stale and boring.

Did you now that we share the gift of music with angels?  It says in Rev 5:13

“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

So sing to the Lord a new song this Sunday!