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January 19, 2011

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How to Find Great, New Songs for Worship

by Kenny Lamm
new song2

Several weeks ago I wrote about the importance of using new songs in worship (take a look at that post). Today, I will discuss ways to find great, new songs to use in your worship services. Later, we will look at ways to evaluate those songs to see if they are “fit” for worship in your church.

One of the best ways to find new songs is to see what is most popular among other churches. These songs have already been put through the fire and risen to the top as some of the best worship songs of our time. Probably the best place to determine this is to look at Christian Copyright Licensing International’s (CCLI) Top 100 and Top 25 lists. Twice yearly, CCLI┬áreports songs that churches are using most in worship. The churches they survey include liturgical, evangelical, pentecostal… from traditional to contemporary, and everything in between. Only copyrighted songs will appear in these lists. Here is the CCLI Top 25. I will list the top 100 later in this post.

If your church is just beginning to use newer songs, this is one of the best places to start. Songs on this list would be known by most people who have been exposed to more current worship music. Arrangements for your use are easy to find–be sure to check out www.LifeWayWorship.com for great a la carte downloads of instrumental parts, vocal parts, and accompaniment tracks (great for churches with few musician resources). A couple of other good sources are www.PraiseCharts.com and www.WordMusicNow.com.

I often lead worship in events that gather people from churches of vastly differing worship styles. I almost always select music from the CCLI lists and great hymns, knowing that it is more likely these songs would be a common worship vocabulary of those attending.

If you are a subscriber to SongSelect.com (a CCLI license holder add-on), you have access to what is hot in a particular week based on the lead sheets, chord sheets, hymn sheets, or lyric sheets most downloaded that week. This will keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening now in many churches to clue you in on some potential worship gems. Also check out the top downloads for LifeWayWorship and PraiseCharts. Both of these sites have audio previews of the music.

Other ways to find great, new worship songs:

  1. Ask other worship leaders what songs are connecting well with the congregations they serve.
  2. Listen to Christian radio stations that play worship music.
  3. Listen to worship CDs. (realize there is a difference between appropriate congregational worship music and CCM (contemporary Christian music). More on that in a later post.
  4. Attend worship conferences and other events and follow up immediately with any great songs you hear in those settings. (I will usually have a pad to write down any songs I hear. If I do not know the title, I will write down some lyrics and do a Google search on them later to discover the song.)

Finding songs is an important step in introducing new songs to your congregation, but evaluating the music and lyrics to determine if the song is truly something you should use in your setting is another issue. Stay tuned for more on that.

What are some ways you discover new songs?

Here’s the list. If you don’t know a large number of these songs, you and your church have missed out on some great worship songs of the past couple of decades.

1 Mighty To Save
2 How Great Is Our God
3 Blessed Be Your Name
4 Here I Am To Worship
5 Everlasting God
6 Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
7 Open The Eyes Of My Heart
8 Your Grace Is Enough
9 Jesus Messiah
10 Holy Is The Lord
11 Shout To The Lord
12 Forever
13 You Are My King
14 Come Now Is The Time To Worship
15 Revelation Song
16 In Christ Alone
17 Lord I Lift Your Name On High
18 Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)
19 God Of Wonders
20 We Fall Down
21 Beautiful One
22 From The Inside Out
23 The Heart Of Worship
24 You Are My All In All
25 Days Of Elijah
26 Your Name
27 The Wonderful Cross
28 You’re Worthy Of My Praise
29 Better Is One Day
30 Breathe
31 How Great Thou Art
32 Hosanna
33 I Am Free
34 Trading My Sorrows
35 Sing To The King
36 Indescribable
37 Above All
38 Friend Of God
39 I Will Rise
40 I Give You My Heart
41 You Never Let Go
42 God Of This City
43 Draw Me Close
44 Enough
45 Lord Reign In Me
46 My Redeemer Lives
47 How Deep The Father’s Love For Us
48 My Savior Lives
49 Happy Day
50 Love The Lord
51 The Stand
52 You Are Holy (Prince Of Peace)
53 You Are Good
54 My Savior My God
55 Agnus Dei
56 I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever
57 Marvelous Light
58 Hallelujah
59 He Is Exalted
60 I Love You Lord
61 Let It Rise
62 Give Us Clean Hands
63 Great Is Thy Faithfulness
64 As The Deer
65 All Because Of Jesus
66 Not To Us
67 Awesome God
68 Today Is The Day
69 Worthy Is The Lamb
70 Because He Lives
71 Majestic
72 Shine Jesus Shine
73 How Can I Keep From Singing
74 Let God Arise
75 O Praise Him
76 Awesome Is The Lord Most High
77 Majesty
78 He Knows My Name
79 Sanctuary
80 Hungry
81 Everyday
82 All Who Are Thirsty
83 Victory In Jesus
84 Jesus Paid It All
85 Sing Sing Sing
86 The Power Of Your Love
87 Ancient Of Days
88 Grace Like Rain
89 Famous One
90 Lead Me To The Cross
91 Take My Life
92 Let The Praises Ring
93 Amazed
94 That’s Why We Praise Him
95 All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises
96 Shout To The North
97 In The Secret
98 Step By Step
99 Wonderful Merciful Savior
100 You Are God Alone (Not A God)

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. KED
    May 26 2014

    The WOW-series annual compilation is also a good source of songs. There is frequently a mix of new’ish [i.e., brand new and 'reasonably current new' songs]. In addition to the most recent year, it doesn’t hurt to go back to earlier years – as there could be songs that are new to your particular congregation.

    [For personal listening, I tend toward harder rock and various metal, so this is a resource I use as someone who *doesn't* listen to CCM or Praise & Worship music on a regular basis.]….

    Reply
  2. Aug 8 2011

    Or try writing your own!

    Reply
  3. John Bentz
    Jan 29 2011

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