Category Archives: Choosing Songs

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.

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 Top Five Reasons for Rejecting Some of Today’s Music


I do not reject any contemporary song for the sole reason of it being “too light.” If I did, I would also have to reject the singing of Psalm 117 and cringe at what the angels are singing in heaven. Sorry, I am not about to do that!

But there are some good reasons to reject some of the Christian songs coming out today. Perhaps what I am about to say is only for my denomination based on it’s doctrines, but I don’t think so. Every Christian should take heed.

Here are the main reasons why I reject certain songs coming our today:
  1. The focus is on man, and our actions rather than on Christ, God the Father or the Holy Spirit. There are too many songs about us worshiping, us bowing down, us loving, us praising, us lifting, us singing, us, us, us, me, me, I, I … You get the picture. Some of this is fine but the song must also include the reason for our actions. Incredibly, too many songs fail this test!
  2. The next big one is what I would call “decision theology.” This is where we have the wherewithal to accept Jesus on our own, without acknowledging that He loved us first and that He chose us first. He is the initiator. I am very leery of songs that even use the word “choose or accept” in their lyrics unless it’s Jesus doing the choosing or accepting.
  3. There are huge denominational differences on the Sacraments. You need to be very careful on Communion and Baptism themed songs. Run these all by your Pastor before even giving them a blink of your eye.
  4. Watch for legalism. It’s in the lyrics. Stuff we have to do to gain eternal life as opposed to what Jesus has already done on our behalf.
  5. Watch for lyrics that can easily be misinterpreted. One that always gets my Lutheran ears ringing is actually a line in the Athanasian Creed that says: “Those who have done good will enter eternal life, but those who have done evil will go into eternal fire.” I’ve heard this one rightly explained but it takes lots of backpedaling. My advice – avoid similar notions in your song selections.
These are the big 5. There are others, but I find that most contemporary writers shy away from deep theological and doctrinal statements in their music that would limit their acceptance in Christendom.

All that being said, there is a plethora of incredible new music being released every day!

Sing to the Lord a New Song in 2014/2015


Sing to the Lord a New Song in 2014/2015

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 many of the Sundays I have included a choice of songs.

Email me at sjbrown58 “at” yahoo “dot” com if you would like a copy of this file.

Contemporary Song Choices for 2014/2015 based on the Lectionary Readings
Date Song Title Writer Scripture Ref
Nov 30 Advent 1 Since the World Began Mac Powell Isa 64:1-9
Dec 7 Advent 2 A Baby Will Come Bill Wolf Isa 40:3-5
Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin Mark 1:1
Dec 14 Advent 3 Our God Saves Paul Baloche Isa 61:3
How Can I Keep from Singing? Chris Tomlin 1Thess 5:18
The Way Jeremy Camp Jn 1:5-7
Dec 21 Advent 4 Born That We May Have Life Chris Tomlin Luke 1:26-38
Dec 24 Christmas Eve We Have a Savior Reuben Morgan Isa 9:6
Emmanuel (Hallowed manger Ground) Chris Tomlin Lk 2:6-7
Dec 25 Christmas Day Glorious Day Mark Hall Jn 1:1-2
Dec 28 Christmas 1 Name Above All Names Tim Hughes Isa 45:22-24
God of Justice Tim Hughes Col3:12
Build Your Kingdom Here Rend Collective Col 3:14-16
Jan 4 Christmas 2 I Will Sing of My Redeemer Chad Cates Eph 1:1-7
Sing and Shout Matt Redman Eph 1:1-8
Let Our God be Praised Michael Farren Eph 1:3
You Alone Can Rescue Matt Redman Eph 1:4
Salvation’s Song Stuart Townend Eph 1:13
It is You Peter Furler Eph 1:7-8
Jan 6 Epiphany Mighty to Save Reuben Morgan Isa 60:1-3
Children of God Mac Powell Eph 3:6
One Small Child David Mecce Mt 2:1-12
Jan 11 The Baptism of our Lord Like a Lion David Bashta Acts 16:25-26
Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin Mk 1:1
Jan 18 Epiphany 2 Word of God Speak Bart Millard 1 Sam 3:9
They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love Peter Scholtes 1 Cor 6:17
Jan 25 Epiphany 3 Go Fish Micahel Schmid Mk 1:17-18
Feb 1 Epiphany 4 You are Able Christy Nockles Dan 3:17
Lord I Need You Matt Maher 1 Cor 1:30
Redemption Song Marc Byrd 1 Cor 1:30
Feb 8 Epiphany 5 10,000 Reasons Matt Redman Ps 103:1-5
Feb 15 Transfiguration Farewell to Alleluia To the tune of “Ode to Joy”
Open the Eyes of My Heart Paul Baloche
Feb 18 Ash Wed The Scandal of Grace Hillsong United 2 Cor 5:20-21
Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin 2 Cor 5:21
Feb 22 Lent 1 Counting on Your Name Tim Hughes Rom 8:31-39
Across the Lands Getty & Townend Rom 8:34
Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin Rom 8:35-39
Whom Shall I Fear Chris Tomlin Rom 8:38
Mar 1 Lent 2 Awesome in This Place Dave Billington Gen 28:17
Amazing Love (You Are My King) Billy Foote Rom 5:8
Grace Like Rain Todd Agnew Rom 5:8
Sweetly Broken Jeremy Riddle Rom 5:8-11
White Flag Chris Tomlin Mk 8:34
Give Me Jesus
  1. Ortega & Jeremy Camp
Mk 8:36-37
Mar 8 Lent 3 The Scandal of Grace Hillsong United 1 Cor 1:23
Mar 15 Lent 4 All Because of Jesus Steve Fee Eph 2:4-5
And Can it Be? Bob Kauflin Eph 2:4-7
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us Getty & Townend Eph 2:4-9
Grace Alone Scott Wesley Brown Eph 2:5-9
Wonderful Maker Chris Tomlin John 3:16
This is Amazing Grace Phil Wickham Jn 3:16
Jesus Saves Jeremy Camp Jn 3:16-17
Light has Come Matt Maher Jn 3:19
Mar 22 Lent 5 Be Glorified Chris Tomlin Jn 12:23
Be Lifted High Chris Tomlin Jn 12:32-36
Mar 29 Palm Sunday Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin Php 2:1-11
Like an Avalanche Joel Houston Php 2:1-16
Lamb of God Twila Paris Php 2:6-11
Hosanna Brooke Fraser Mk 11:9
Hosanna (Praise is Rising) Paul Baloche Mk 11:9-10
Apr 2 Maundy Thursday Make Us One Twila Paris 1 Cor 10:16,17
Apr 3 Good Friday Lead Me to the Cross Brooke Fraser Heb 4:15
Lord, I Need You Matt Maher Heb 4:16
Nothing but the Blood Matt Redman Heb 4:16
Your Grace Finds Me Matt Redman Heb 4:16
Apr 5 Easter (Dawn) First Song of Isaiah Jack Nobel White Isa 12:2-6
In Christ Alone Getty & Townend 1 Cor 15:51-57
Across the Lands Getty & Townend 1 Cor 15:54-55
Mighty to Save Reuben Morgan 1 Cor 15:54-55
Christ is Risen Matt Maher 1 Cor 15:55 & Jn 20
Let God Arise Chris Tomlin 1 Cor 15:55
Resurrection Hymn Getty & Townend 1 Cor 15:57
Apr 5 Easter This is Amazing Grace Phil Wickham 1 Cor 15:20-23
All Because of Jesus Steve Fee 1 Cor 15:22
Apr 12 Easter 2 Arise Paul Baloche Acts 3:19
Like a Lion Michael Bashta 1 Jn 5:4-5
Apr 19 Easter 3 In Christ Alone Getty & Townend Acts 4:11-12
Your Name Paul Baloche Acts 4:12
Nothing but the Blood Matt Redman 1 Jn 1:7 & 2:1
Apr 26 Easter 4 You Are so Good to Me Ben Pasley Acts 4:31
Because of Your Love Paul Baloche 1 Jn 3:1
Lost in Wonder Martin Layzell 1 Jn 3:1
Children of God Mac Powell 1 Jn 3:1-2
How Great is the Love? Paul Baloche 1 Jn 3:1-5
May 3 Easter 5 I Need You More Marc James Jn 15:5
May 10 Easter 6 The Highest and Greatest Tim Hughes 1 Jn 4:4
Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin 1 Jn 4:10
May 14 Ascension Jesus Saves Tim Hughes Acts 1:8
Jesus Saves Jeremy Camp Acts 1:8
Glorious Paul Baloche Acts 1:10
Glorious Day Mark Hall Acts 1:11
The Scandal of Grace Hillsong United Eph 1:18
Open the Eye of My Heart Lord Paul Baloche Eph 1:18-21
Overcome Jon Egan Eph 1:20
May 17 Easter 7 Alive and Running Kristian Stanfill 1 Jn 4:14
My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness Getty & Townend 1 Jn 4:18
You Never Let Go Matt Redman 1 Jn 4:18
Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin 1 Jn 4:19
The Power of Your Name Paul Baloche Jn 17:11
The Name of Jesus Chris Tomlin Jn 17:11
May 24 Pentecost Awake My Soul Chris Tomlin Ez 37:4-10, Acts 2:1-3
Holy Spirit Rain Down Russell Fragar John 14:26
May 31 Holy Trinity I See the Lord Chris Falson Isa 6:1-3
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty Matt Maher Isa 6:1-8
Our Great God Fernando Ortega Isa 6:2-6
Wonderful, Merciful, Savior Dawn Rodgers Rom 8:14-16
June 7 Pentecost 2 The Way Jeremy Camp 2 Cor 4:6
June 14 Pentecost 3 Overflow Matt Maher 2 Cor 4:15
June 21 Pentecost 4 By Faith Keith Getty 2 Cor 5:7
June 28 Pentecost 5 Cannons Phil Wickham Job 38:4-7
The Scandal of Grace Hillsong United 2 Cor 5:15, 20-21
Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin 2 Cor 5:21
East to West Mark Hall 2 Cor 5:21
Holding Nothing Back Tim Hughes 2 Cor 5:17
July 5 Pentecost 6 Whole World in His Hands Tim Hughes Lam 3:21-24
I Lift My Hands Chris Tomlin Lam 3:21-24
Faithful Chris Tomlin Lam 3:23
The Lord Our God Kristian Stanfill Lam 3:23
In Christ Alone Getty & Townend Lam 3:23-25
July 12 Pentecost 7 Your Grace is Enough Matt Maher 2 Cor 12:9
Your Grace Finds Me Matt Redman 2 Cor 12:9
His Strength is Perfect Steven Curtis Chapman 2 Cor 12:9-10
July 19 Pentecost 8 I Will Sing of My Redeemer Chad Cates Eph 1:1-7
Sing and Shout Matt Redman Eph 1:1-8
Let Our God be Praised Michael Farren Eph 1:3
You Alone Can Rescue Matt Redman Eph 1:4
Salvation’s Song Stuart Townend Eph 1:13
It is You Peter Furler Eph 1:7-8
July 26 Pentecost 9 Through the Cross Ben Cantelon Eph 2:15-17
Aug 2 Pentecost 10 They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love Peter Scholtes Eph 4:2-4
May the Words of My Mouth Tim Hughes Eph 4:15
Oceans – Where Feet May Fail Joel Houston Eph 4:14-16
Aug 9 Pentecost 11 Take My Life Scott Underwood Eph 4:23-25
Breathe Marie Barnett John 6:35
Aug 16 Pentecost 12 People Need the Lord Greg Nelson Eph 4:35
Savior of the World Ben Cantelon Eph 4:39-42
Miracle Maker Martin Smith Eph 5:1-15
Come Just as You Are Joseph Sabolick Jn 6:47
Aug 23 Pentecost 13 Holy Spirit Keith Getty Eph 5:18
Aug 30 Pentecost 14 Rescue Jared Andersen Jn 6:68
Rescuer Jn 6:68
Son of God Ed Cash Jn 6:69
Sept 6 Pentecost 15 O Church Arise Getty & Townend Eph 6:10-18
Sept 13 Pentecost 16 O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing David Crowder Isa 35:4-6
Everything, God in My Living Tim Hughes James 1:17
Everything Chris Tomlin James 1:17
Overflow Matt Maher James 1:17
Friend of God Michael Gungor James 2:23
Sept 20 Pentecost 17 Word of God Speak Bart Millard Isa 50:4
White Flag Chris Tomlin Mk 8:34
Sept 27 Pentecost 18 Yesterday, Today and Forever Viccky Beeching James 3:17
The Servant Song Richard Gillard Mk 9:35
Let the Children Come Michael Card Mk 9:37
Oct 4 Pentecost 19 Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer Keith Getty James 4:8
Oct 11 Pentecost 20 Come and See Lenny LeBlanc Heb 2:9
Worthy is the Lamb Jeff Nelson Heb 2:9
Let the Children Come Michael Card Mk 10:13-16
Oct 18 Pentecost 21 I Stand for You Jon Ellis Mk 10:21
By Faith Keith Getty Mk 10:27
Oct 25 Pentecost 22 In Christ Alone Getty & Townend Isa 53:10-11
Purify My Heart Jeff Nelson Isa 53:11-12
Once Again Matt Redman Isa 53:11-12
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us Getty & Townend Isa 53:12
Our Great God Fernando Ortega Isa 53:12
Thy Word Amy Grant Heb 4:12
Before the Throne of God Vikki Cook Heb 4:14016
Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin Mk 10:45
Nov 1 Reformation Salt and Light Jon L’Ecuyer Jer 18:6
O Church Arise Getty & Townend
Nov 8 Last Judgment Here’s My Heart Chris Tomlin Mal 4:2
The Wonder of the Cross Vicky Beeching Heb 9:28
Glorious Day Mark Hall Heb 9:28
Nov 15 Saint’s Triumphant How Can I Keep from Singing? Chris Tomlin
Nov 22 Christ the King O Worship the King Chris Tomlin Dan 7:9-22
And Can it Be? Bob Kauflin Rev 1:4-6
Amazing Love (You are My King) Billy Foote Rev 1:5
The Scandal of Grace Hillsong United Rev 1:5
Behold the Lamb Keith Getty Rev 1:5
Glory to God Forever Steve Fee Rev 1:6
Nov 26 Thanksgiving My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness Keith Getty
Enough Chris Tomlin Php 4:19
All We Need Charlie Hall Php 4:19

 

The Gift of Music


The Gift of Music

Good musicians say that it is not the notes but the pauses between the notes that make music.

Our God just pours out blessings upon blessings on us believers through His gracious gift of music. We need to use it wisely to His glory. Just pause for a moment and think about how great music really is.

To take the gift of music and use it for the reason God gave it to us is nothing short of miraculous, no matter how simple or how elaborate the offering is, how new or old it is and whether it is accompanied by one instrument or one hundred. As long as it proclaims truth and comes from a heart of praise, our singing delights the heart of God. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The Musician

• The Holy Spirit fills the heart of the musician to the point of overflow.

• Filled musicians will easily find the “pocket” of the song.

• A good musician is humble, with a heart longing after God’s.

• A good musician does not want to be on a platform. They desire the opposite; to be made “less of” so that God may increase. They understand that if you don’t have a hunger for the things of God, then you must be full of yourself.

• A good musician will not only lead a congregation in worship, their actions will command it. Being filled with the Spirit, they will engage you to sing, to praise, to pray, to feel the music and to listen with your heart. People will want to join in and sing.

The Lyrics

• Good lyrics embrace me. Like a rare earth magnet, they can pull you into the song.

• Good lyrics are memorable. They are truthful, Christ-centered, gospel-focused, bursting with grace, filled with scriptural language and remind us of hope. I recently heard the word hope described as this acronym: “Hold On, Pain Ends.”

• Good lyrics become part of your vocabulary.

• Good lyrics stimulate your emotions, especially longing to be with God

The Music

• Music is a symphony of harmonies blending together around a melody and being carried by a groove that diffuses into your heart.

• A good melody is easy to sing and as memorable as Yankee Doodle Dandy. It is enjoyable. It adds strength to the lyrics. It matches the mood and feeling of the worship.

• A good beat gets your foot tapping; even the most stoic Lutheran.

The Test

You’ll know when you have heard a good song, offered by a gifted musician who understands the source of the gift, with finely honed truth-filled lyrics and a beat that drives the message into your melon – it’s the song that you’ve chosen for your funeral! My guess is that it’s hymn.

 

The Importance of the Opening Song


The Importance of the Opening Song

 

Welcome to Worship

One hundred people enter from all walks of life.  Some are struggling with addictions, some with divorce, some with a job they don’t like, some with mis-behaving children, some with family troubles, some are over-worked, some are in financial ruin, some are dealing with loss, some are looking for work, some struggle with disease, some are overwhelmed, some are near to death, some are depressed, some are insecure, some are feeling heaps of guilt from a signature sin, some are bewildered, some doubt God’s existence, some wonder if God hears their prayers, some need counseling, some are perfectionists, some are burned out, all are sinners, and some actually think they are normal and trouble-free.  These are the people I worship with every Sunday.  I am one of them. Welcome to worship.

“We open this morning’s worship in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” – Your Pastor

Now that deserves a response! It is time for the opening song.

My favorite song location is the “Hymn of the Day.”  It is sung right before the sermon and to the best of our ability is lyrically spot-on with his message and the scripture readings.

Next to the HOTD, my song of choice is the opening congregational piece because the Spirit can use this song to help prepare the tribe of varied worshippers with their myriad mindsets into a unified group of believers and followers with one common goal – if not only for the next hour.  This is the song that the Holy Spirit can use to level the playing field.  This is the song that helps to prepare our minds for worship.  This is the song that delineates the worship service from the rest of the weekly grind. This is the wake up call.  This is the call to worship. Reveille! This song is the trend setter for the mood of the service to follow. This song is powerful because the Spirit is present in the gathered assembly. You are in worship and your problems, troubles, concerns and thoughts are minimized in comparison to the Almighty.  He can handle all of these burdens before blinking if He so desires.

How To Choose This Song

There are several hints in the preceding paragraph.  It is a wake up call – it can be lively.  It prepares people for worship – it should be edifying and pointing to God. It is used by the Holy Spirit – it needs to be grounded in scriptural truths. It needs to show who is in charge and it’s not you, your family, your job, your financial situation, your anything – it is Christ centered, or Gospel centered, or God centered. It’s like a compass always pointing to the truth.  It is a piece that people can rely on.  It is a piece that helps to carry them through the upcoming week. The song should move their heart, mind, body and soul.

Looking for a Few God Songs?

Meaty Hymns:

  • Blessed Jesus, at Your Word
  • Stand Up! Stand Up! For Jesus – try singing this one      actually standing up for a change.
  • God Himself is Present
  • To Your Temple I Draw Near
  • Now the Silence

New Songs:

  • Gather in His Name – by Gwen Smith and Carl Cartee
  • Enter This Temple – by Leland Mooring
  • Here I Am Lord – Dan Schutte
  • Here With Me – Bart Millard
  • Here for You – by Matt Reman and Matt Maher
  • Here – by Kari Jobe
  • Meet Us Here – Mike Honholtz

Contemporary Songs for Good Friday


Contemporary Songs for Good Friday

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  1. “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty
  2. “By His Wounds” by Mac Powell (Third Day)
  3. “Once Again” by Matt Redman
  4. “Nothing but the Blood”, traditional; Andy Cherry arrangement with added chorus
  5. “Beautiful the Blood” by Steve Fee and Louie Giglio
  6. “Sweetly Broken” by Jeremy Riddle
  7. “On My Cross” by Jeromy Deibler (FFH)
  8. “Amazing Love” by Graham Kendrick
  9. “At the Foot of the Cross” by Kathryn Scott
  10. “Majesty” by Martin Smith and Stuart Garrard (Delirious)
  11. “Lamb of God” by Twila Paris
  12. “Lost in Wonder” by Martyn Layzell
  13. “The Power of the Cross” by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty
  14. “Lead Me to Calvary” by Don Chapman
  15. “This Man” by Jeremy Camp
  16. “Before the Cross” by Jon Payne
  17. “Jesus, Paid it All”, traditional; Alex Nifong arrangement with added chorus
  18. “The Message of the Cross” by Martin Smith (Delirious)
  19. “Depth of Mercy”, traditional; arranged by Caedmon’s Call